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Shanidar Cave in Iraqi Kurdistan became an iconic Palaeolithic site following Ralph Solecki's mid twentieth-century discovery of Neanderthal remains. Solecki argued that some of these individuals had died in rockfalls and—controversially—that others were interred with formal burial rites, including one with flowers. Recent excavations have revealed the articulated upper body of an adult Neanderthal located close to the ‘flower burial’ location—the first articulated Neanderthal discovered in over 25 years. Stratigraphic evidence suggests that the individual was intentionally buried. This new find offers the rare opportunity to investigate Neanderthal mortuary practices utilising modern archaeological techniques.
Ramparted depressions (doughnut-shaped debris-cored ridges with peat- and/or sediment-filled central basins) are commonly perceived to represent the relict collapsed forms of permafrost ground-ice mounds (i.e. pingos or lithalsas). In Wales, UK, ramparted depressions of Late Pleistocene age have been widely attributed to permafrost-related processes. However, a variety of alternative glacial origins for these enigmatic landforms are also consistent with the available geological and geomorphological evidence, although previous studies have barely considered such alternative processes of formation. From detailed geophysical, sedimentological and remote-sensing studies at two field sites, we demonstrate that: (i) the wastage of stagnating glacier ice is a viable alternative explanation for the formation of ramparted depressions in Wales; (ii) the glacial geomorphology and geology of these landforms is analogous to supraglacial and subglacial landforms from the last Laurentide and Fennoscandian ice sheets; (iii) these landforms have significant potential for characterising the nature of deglaciation around the margins of the Irish Sea during the last glacial cycle, and may record evidence for the overextension and stagnation of the south-eastern margin of the Irish Sea Ice Stream; and (iv) investigations of ramparted depressions within formerly glaciated terrains must consider both glacial and periglacial mechanisms of formation.
New roads and, later, railways were essential for the modernisation and rapid economic development of north-western Italy in the early nineteenth century. The new routes also encouraged an increasing number of foreign travellers to visit the region. They opened up fresh tracts of countryside and provided novel viewpoints and points of interest; many travellers took the opportunity to record these views with topographical drawings and watercolours. In this article we make use of some of these views to examine how the modernised transport routes released new places to be celebrated by tourists and became themselves features and objects of especial interest and comment. We examine the works of three artists, one English and two Italian, who depicted landscapes of contrasting rural Ligurian landscapes. Their drawings and prints are contextualised and interpreted with maps, field data, archival documents and contemporary descriptions of roads and railways by travellers and in guidebooks.
The recent reappearance of wolves in many areas of Europe has stimulated an interest in the past relationships between the species and humans in various different geographical locations and historical epochs. The image of wolves approaching and entering human settlements is a potent image of the wild, ‘natural’ world encroaching on that of the domestic and ‘cultural’. This paper examines the existence of the wolf in the psychological and physical landscape through a micro-historical analysis of a vernacular manuscript from the mid sixteenth century in north-west Italy. The paper demonstrates that the wolf existed both as a ‘mythological beast’ and as a ‘biological animal’ that was a normal, frequently encountered component of the Ligurian faunal assemblage.
Echinoderms are well represented in nearshore hard-bottom (< 100 m depth) habitats along the Antarctic Peninsula where they are presumably important contributors to benthic production, carbon flow, and determinants of community structure. The present study assesses the densities of echinoderms at shallow depths (2–15 m) at five sampling sites within three kilometres of Anvers Island on the central western Antarctic Peninsula. The asteroids Odontaster validus, Granaster nutrix, Lysasterias perrieri and Adelasterias papillosa, two ophiuroids in the Amphiuridae, the holothuroids Psolicrux coatsi and Psolus carolineae and one representative of the Cucumaridae, and the regular echinoid Sterechinus neumayeri were enumerated. Mean total echinoderm densities were high (34.9 individuals m-2) and ranged from 21.9 individuals m-2 for asteroids to 2.7 individuals m-2 for holothuroids. With the exception of a positive relationship between the abundance of the regular echinoid Sterechinus neumayeri and the biomass of the brown alga Himanthothallus grandifolius, no significant relationships were found between the abundance of asteroids, ophiuroids, or holothuroids and two species of brown algae or three algal ecotypes. The present study indicates nearshore hard-bottom echinoderms are important in the carbon cycle and their inherent vulnerability to ocean acidification may have community-level impacts.