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The ancient Sahara has often been treated as a periphery or barrier, but this agenda-setting book – the final volume of the Trans-Saharan Archaeology Series – demonstrates that it was teeming with technological innovations, knowledge transfer, and trade from long before the Islamic period. In each chapter, expert authors present important syntheses, and new evidence for technologies from oasis farming and irrigation, animal husbandry and textile weaving, to pottery, glass and metal making by groups inhabiting the Sahara and contiguous zones. Scientific analysis is brought together with anthropology and archaeology. The resultant picture of transformations in technologies between the third millennium BC and the second millennium AD is rich and detailed, including analysis of the relationship between the different materials and techniques discussed, and demonstrating the significance of the Sahara both in its own right and in telling the stories of neighbouring regions.
This chapter introduces the larger themes of the volume. Connections and barriers within the Trans-Saharan region (and the interrelationship between these two aspects) form one focus. The introduction presents an overview of crucial themes and considerations which cross-cut all or many of the contributions. Fundamentally, this book seeks to explore what defines technology, how technological knowledge spreads and how technological change has happened in Saharan societies. After reviewing how the Sahara serves as a linking space for the wider Trans-Saharan region, the chapter discusses broad issues of technological mobility and transfers and foregrounds the coming discussing on issues relating to farming technology (plants and animals), textiles (further discussed in Part II), metals (Part III), glass (Part IV) and pottery (Part V).
The concluding discussion in this chapter addresses several issues. In the first place it draws together the threads of discussion that run through the individual chapters relating to the nature of technology and technological transfer in the Sahara. It reflects on ‘what is a mobile technology?’, ‘how to study technology in the Sahara’, ‘difficulties and solutions’ and ‘connections’. The second half of the chapter broadens the discussion to consider further the implications of Saharan technology transfer in relation to the ‘and beyond’ part of our title. Finally, it examines some of the ramifications of the combined results of the four volumes of the Trans-Saharan Archaeology series for archaeologists, historians and related researchers. It presents some ideas about how the conclusions of this series offer a fresh perspective on the Trans-Saharan region and necessitate a fundamental reshaping of future agendas of study of the ancient Sahara and beyond.
Background: Children diagnosed with medulloblastoma (MB) that are refractory to upfront therapy or experience recurrence have very poor prognoses. Reports of phase I and II studies for these children exist, but bear significant treatment related morbidity and mortality. Methods: A retrospective review of children diagnosed with a pediatric MB from 2002-2015 from the McMaster Pediatric Brain Tumour Study Group (PBTSG) captured a number of pediatric recurrent MB. Results: Over the 13-year period, 31 children with a histological diagnosis of MB were treated. At two years, 21 (67.7%) of 31 patients were free of recurrence and 25 (80.6%) survived. Thirteen children had recurrent or treatment refractory MB. mean time to recurrence was 14.6 months. The mean follow-up for survivors of recurrent MB was 4.0 years. In 3 recurrent MB, the disease had significantly progressed and the patients palliated. For the remaining children, therapy offered included surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy agents either in isolation or in varying combinations. Conclusions: Recurrent MB in our cohort carried a poor prognosis despite administration of salvage therapy. Though there is standardization of the upfront treatment exists, we observed great heterogeneity in the treatment of our 13 patients experiencing recurrence. A greater understanding of the biology of recurrent MB has the potential to guide salvage therapy.