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It seems almost preordained that James Scott, a scholar who moves with profound agility between the worlds of anthropology and political science, should eventually work his way onto the intellectual terrain of the barbarian. Barbarians play a foundational role in the formation of both disciplines, populating both anthropology's ‘savage slot’ (Trouillot 2003) and political science's prelapsarian ‘state of nature’ (Palmeri 2016). In Scott's most recent book, Against the Grain, the barbarians who helped to shape the world's earliest states play a variety of consequential roles. They are at once the forces of resistance to centralizing power, the refugees seeking respite from sovereignty's infringements and the brigands of the borderlands who provide the slave labour and mercenaries that prop up the fragile state.
The South Caucasus occupies the divide between ancient Mesopotamia and prehistoric Europe, and was thus crucial in the development of Old World societies. Chronologies for the region, however, have lacked the definition achieved in surrounding areas. Concentrating on the Tsaghkahovit Plain of north-western Armenia, Project ArAGATS's multi-site radiocarbon dataset has now produced Bayesian modelling, which provides tight chronometric support for tracing the transmission of technology, population movement and social developments that shaped the Eurasian Bronze and Iron Ages.
We determined the association between neighborhood socio-environmental factors and insomnia symptoms in a nationally representative sample of US adults aged >50 years.
Data were analyzed from two waves (2006 and 2010) of the Health and Retirement Study using 7,231 community-dwelling participants (3,054 men and 4,177 women) in the United States. Primary predictors were neighborhood physical disorder (e.g. vandalism/graffiti, feeling safe alone after dark, and cleanliness) and social cohesion (e.g. friendliness of people, availability of help when needed, etc.); outcomes were insomnia symptoms (trouble falling asleep, night awakenings, waking too early, and feeling unrested).
After adjustment for age, income, race, education, sex, chronic diseases, body mass index, depressive symptoms, smoking, and alcohol consumption, each one-unit increase in neighborhood physical disorder was associated with a greater odds of trouble falling asleep (odds ratio (OR) = 1.09, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.04–1.14), waking too early (OR = 1.05, 95% CI: 1.00–1.10), and, in adults aged ≥69 years (adjusting for all variables above except age), feeling unrested in the morning (OR = 1.11, 95% CI: 1.02–1.22 in 2006). Each one-unit increase in lower social cohesion was associated with a greater odds of trouble falling asleep (OR = 1.06, 95% CI: 1.01–1.11) and feeling unrested (OR = 1.09, 95% CI: 1.04–1.15).
Neighborhood-level factors of physical disorder and social cohesion are associated with insomnia symptoms in middle-aged and older adults. Neighborhood-level factors may affect sleep, and consequently health, in our aging population.
Geophysical techniques now available to archaeology have the potential to provide large-scale survey data that can map the buried structures of extensive and complex sites. Recent work at two Late Bronze Age hilltop fortresses in the mountainous volcanic terrain of Armenia provides an excellent illustration of their potential. Magnetometry revealed an unknown residential complex at Tsaghkahovit. Across the plain at Gegharot, where magnetometry was less successful, ground-penetrating radar identified terracing extending down the western slope of the hill below the fortress, greatly increasing the size of the occupied area. Combined with targeted excavations, these geophysical approaches are providing novel insights into the unusual political relations between fortress-based sovereigns and mobile subjects in central Armenia.
For thousands of years, the geography of Eurasia has facilitated travel, conquest and colonization by various groups, from the Huns in ancient times to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in the past century. This book brings together archaeological investigations of Eurasian regimes and revolutions ranging from the Bronze Age to the modern day, from Eastern Europe and the Caucasus in the west to the Mongolian steppe and the Korean Peninsula in the east. The authors examine a wide-ranging series of archaeological studies in order to better understand the role of politics in the history and prehistory of the region. This book re-evaluates the significance of power, authority and ideology in the emergence and transformation of ancient and modern societies in this vast continent.