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The Avebury henge is one of the famous megalithic monuments of the European Neolithic, yet much remains unknown about the detail and chronology of its construction. Here, the results of a new geophysical survey and re-examination of earlier excavation records illuminate the earliest beginnings of the monument. The authors suggest that Avebury's Southern Inner Circle was constructed to memorialise and monumentalise the site of a much earlier ‘foundational’ house. The significance here resides in the way that traces of habitation may take on special social and historical value, leading to their marking and commemoration through major acts of monument building.
Many countries face the challenge of an aging population. Development of suitable technologies to support frail elderly living in care homes, sheltered housing or at home remains a concern. Technology evaluation in real-life conditions is often lacking, and randomized controlled trials of ‘pre-designed’ technologies are expensive and fail to deliver. A novel alternative would be ‘living labs’-real-life test and experimentation environments where users and producers co-create innovations and large-scale data can be collected.
The goal of the living labs and Data Driven Research and Innovation (DDRI) Programme is to use data driven analytics and insights to support technology development for independent living, healthy aging and more cost-effective care. This involves a cluster of long-term residential care facilities providing 24/7 living lab settings, linked to an embedded innovation hub. DDRI also encompasses private vehicles (e.g. sensors in cars) to enable elderly to drive safely for longer. Collaborations have been established with Universities in England, Scotland and Ireland and with international industry partners.
Several projects are underway: (i) develop machine learning algorithm from non-intrusive sensor data to build a well-being representation for individual residents/citizens; (ii) evaluate innovative interventions for good sleep environment and nutritional support; and (iii) establish ethics framework to ensure that needs of residents, families and staff are embedded in design, communication, and evaluation of future DDRI projects. In addition, fifteen interdisciplinary doctoral fellowships are in place, six universities are working closely with individual living lab settings, and an innovation hub has been established in one care home for horizon-scanning and strategic technology selection and implementation.
Over the next five years, a national network of 20 residential living labs with over 1,500 participants will be established. Generation of new user-led technologies, blueprints for capture of individual data at significant scale, and ethical and organizational guidelines will be developed. Intelligent mobility via data capture/feedback in vehicles will be established.
Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs) are sites identified as being globally important for the conservation of bird populations on the basis of an internationally agreed set of criteria. We present the first review of the development and spread of the IBA concept since it was launched by BirdLife International (then ICBP) in 1979 and examine some of the characteristics of the resulting inventory. Over 13,000 global and regional IBAs have so far been identified and documented in terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems in almost all of the world’s countries and territories, making this the largest global network of sites of significance for biodiversity. IBAs have been identified using standardised, data-driven criteria that have been developed and applied at global and regional levels. These criteria capture multiple dimensions of a site’s significance for avian biodiversity and relate to populations of globally threatened species (68.6% of the 10,746 IBAs that meet global criteria), restricted-range species (25.4%), biome-restricted species (27.5%) and congregatory species (50.3%); many global IBAs (52.7%) trigger two or more of these criteria. IBAs range in size from < 1 km2 to over 300,000 km2 and have an approximately log-normal size distribution (median = 125.0 km2, mean = 1,202.6 km2). They cover approximately 6.7% of the terrestrial, 1.6% of the marine and 3.1% of the total surface area of the Earth. The launch in 2016 of the KBA Global Standard, which aims to identify, document and conserve sites that contribute to the global persistence of wider biodiversity, and whose criteria for site identification build on those developed for IBAs, is a logical evolution of the IBA concept. The role of IBAs in conservation planning, policy and practice is reviewed elsewhere. Future technical priorities for the IBA initiative include completion of the global inventory, particularly in the marine environment, keeping the dataset up to date, and improving the systematic monitoring of these sites.
The following paper aims to take a critical look at the role that can be played within the broad context of landscape based archaeological research by Geographical Information Systems (GIS). It will be argued that the rapid acceptance of GIS by archaeologists has not been without its problems, with a number of archaeologists wondering whether, despite the hype, any new approaches have been introduced at all. This, it will be argued, is a direct result of GIS-based applications tending to work within a largely inherited theoretical framework and, more importantly, lacking at present a critical theory of practice.
The aim of the paper is move beyond critique to suggest how GIS can provide not only an efficient means of generating simple distribution maps, but a flexible environment within which to bridge developments in theory and practice. Using an on-going case-study centred upon flood events in the palaeo-flood plain of the river Tisza, the implications of using GIS to welcome uncertainty into the analytical environment are explored and a number of approaches advocated. The significance these developments have in expanding our interpretive frameworks is explored through the fore-grounding and challenging of a number of dualistic modes of thought in that area actively encouraged and reinforced by the use of traditional GIS.
Although crop diversity has been identified as essential to enhance global food security and adapt to climate change, high loss of genetic resources is occurring due to agricultural industrialization and market requirements. Value chain development is an emerging market strategy that seeks to simultaneously achieve agrobiodiversity conservation and economic goals, though little empirical evidence exists regarding the extent to which value chains encourage biodiversity maintenance. This study considers the conservation of native potatoes among households in the highlands of Peru where value chain development is being pursued to create market niches for certain native potato varieties. Utilizing a mixed-methods case study approach, the findings of this study indicate that the conservers of native varieties are the households with more endowed resource bases as well as those that sell native varieties in value chains. However, the findings suggest that value chains themselves likely have only a marginal effect on conservation. Native potato conservation and potato production for value chains exist as two separate livelihood activities, and households with more resources are best positioned to engage in both. While value chains allow households to capitalize on the economic value of certain native varieties, the production of other native varieties allows households to fulfill cultural values. Based on these findings, this study concludes that value chain opportunities for native varieties should continue to be identified but they alone are not an adequate strategy to conserve agrobiodiversity. Therefore, in addition to value chain development, a full suite of conservation schemes should be implemented simultaneously.
This paper focuses upon the web of practices and transformations bound up in the extraction and movement of megaliths during the Neolithic of southern Britain. The focus is on the Avebury landscape of Wiltshire, where over 700 individual megaliths were employed in the construction of ceremonial and funerary monuments. Locally sourced, little consideration has been given to the process of acquisition and movement of sarsen stones that make up key monuments such as the Avebury henge and its avenues, attention instead focusing on the middle-distance transportation of sarsen out of this region to Stonehenge. Though stone movements were local, we argue they were far from lacking in significance, as indicated by the subsequent monumentalization of at least two locations from which they were likely acquired. We argue that since such stones embodied place(s), their removal, movement and resetting represented a remarkably dynamic and potentially disruptive reconfiguration of the world as it was known. Megaliths were never inert or stable matter, and we need to embrace this in our interpretative accounts if we are to understand the very different types of monument that emerged in prehistory as a result.
Family carers of people with dementia frequently report acting abusively toward them and carer psychological morbidity predicts this. We investigated whether START (STrAtegies for RelaTives), a psychological intervention which reduces depression and anxiety in family carers also reduces abusive behavior in carers of people living in their own homes. We also explored the longitudinal course of carer abusive behavior over two year.
We included self-identified family carers who gave support at least weekly to people with dementia referred in the previous year to three UK mental health services and a neurological dementia service. We randomly assigned these carers to START, an eight-session, manual-based coping intervention, or treatment as usual (TAU). Carer abusive behavior (Modified Conflict Tactic Scale (MCTS) score ≥2 representing significant abuse) was assessed at baseline, 4, 8, 12, and 24 months.
We recruited 260 carers, 173 to START and 87 to TAU. There was no evidence that abusive behavior levels differed between randomization groups or changed over time. A quarter of carers still reported significant abuse after two years, but those not acting abusively at baseline did not become abusive.
There was no evidence that START, which reduced carer anxiety and depression, reduced carer abusive behavior. For ethical reasons, we frequently intervened to manage concerning abuse reported in both groups, which may have disguised an intervention effect. Future dementia research should include elder abuse as an outcome, and consider carefully how to manage detected abuse.
As a result of the exclusive use of extremely small megaliths (miniliths), the prehistoric stone settings of Exmoor, south-west England, challenge current approaches to the interpretation of monumental stone architecture during the later Neolithic and Early Bronze Age. Whilst the broader context of the practice of erecting tiny upright stones (a seemingly diverse and widespread phenomenon) and the reasons why this diminutive architecture has tended to escape sustained critical comment have been explored (smaller stone elements being relegated to a generalised background or subsidiary role such as ‘packing’), attempts to explain the settings have been remarkably few. Drawing upon the results of ten years of piecemeal fieldwork on the moor the present paper seeks to rectify this, arguing that far from being generalised ritual structures or metaphorical expressions of hunting groups, the tiny stones were, instead, an integral part of a dynamic human–animal landscape of movement and pause.
The effect of low energy implantation of P or C ions in 3C-SiC on the properties of Ti/Ni/Au contacts has been examined for doses in the range 1013-1015 ions/cm2. Measurements of specific contact resistance, ρc, were performed using the two-contact circular test structure. The magnitude of ρc for the Ti/Ni/Au contacts on unimplanted SiC was 1.29 x 10−6 Ω.cm2. The value of ρc increased significantly at an implant dose of 1 x 1015 ions/cm2. The dependence of ρc on ion dose has been measured using both C and P implant species.
The Fezzan Project is investigating the last 10,000 years of human settlement, landscape evolution and climatic change in the Germa region in southern Libya. The second season in February–March 1998 comprised interdisciplinary research in archaeology and geography, centred around excavation and survey work carried out at the site of Old Germa. To date, three phases of mud brick buildings have been partially explored. In addition, wider geomorphological study and archaeological survey and fieldwalking were carried out elsewhere in the Germa/Twesh oasis and around el-Hatiya. Numerous sites were discovered, including a new hillfort of Zinchecra type and several valley centre ‘villages’ of Garamantian/Roman date. Artefactual studies were carried out on pottery and lithics, animal bones and seeds. Further work on the subterranean irrigation features, the foggaras, have confirmed their pre-Islamic origins.
The Lower Palaeolithic site at Elveden, Suffolk, was the subject of new excavations from 1995–1999. Excavations around the edge and in the centre of the former clay-pit revealed sediments infilling a lake basin that had formed in Lowestoft till, overlying Chalk, the till being attributed to the Anglian glaciation (MIS 12). The lake sediments contain pollen that can be assigned to pollen zones HoI and HoIIa of the early Hoxnian (MIS 11). Overlying grey clays contain ostracods, molluscs, vertebrates, and carbonate concretions. Together they are indicative of a fluvial environment in a temperate climate. AAR ratios (amino acid racemisation) on the molluscs also suggest correlation with MIS 11. Further indications of a fluvial context are indicated by thin spreads of lag gravel along opposite sides of the clay-pit, marking the edges of a channel. The gravel forms the raw material for the human industries which consist of handaxes, flake tools, flakes, and cores. Further artefacts are found in the overlying black clay, which is interpreted as a palaeosol that formed with the silting-up of the channel. The basin was further infilled with colluvial ‘brickearths’, which also contain artefacts that are probably derived from the underlying gravel. Further evidence of soil formation was identified in the ‘brickearth’. Coversands with periglacial involutions overlie the ‘brickearth’ at the top of the sequence. These probably formed in the last cold stage, the Devensian (MIS 5d-2).
This paper presents the results of a programme of research on an unusual group of prehistoric stone settings located on Exmoor, south-west England. Taking a variety of semi-geometric and apparently random forms, a total of 59 settings have been identified, with new discoveries taking place on a regular basis. These stone settings are remarkable for their diminutive size, with component stones often standing to heights of 100 mm or less, a factor which has led to their being termed ‘minilithic’. Through reference to the results of a programme of geophysical survey and small-scale excavation targeted upon a particularly rich cluster of settings around the upper reaches of Badgworthy Water, issues of morphology, dating, relationships, and the implications of the Exmoor miniliths for developing understandings monumentality are discussed.
Background: Medications are frequently prescribed for neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS) associated with dementia, although information on the efficacy and safety of medications for NPS specifically in long-term care (LTC) settings is limited. The objective of this study was to provide a current review of the efficacy and safety of pharmacological treatments for NPS in LTC.
Methods: We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsychINFO, and the Cochrane Library for randomized controlled trials comparing medications with either placebo or other interventions in LTC. Study quality was described using the Cochrane collaboration risk of bias tool. The efficacy of medications was evaluated using NPS symptom rating scales. Safety was evaluated through rates of trial withdrawals, trial withdrawals due to adverse events, and mortality.
Results: A total of 29 studies met inclusion criteria. The most common medications evaluated in studies were atypical antipsychotics (N = 15), typical antipsychotics (N = 7), anticonvulsants (N = 4), and cholinesterase inhibitors (N = 3). Statistically significant improvements in NPS were noted in some studies evaluating risperidone, olanzapine, and single studies of aripiprazole, carbamazepine, estrogen, cyproterone, propranolol, and prazosin. Study quality was difficult to rate in many cases due to incomplete reporting of details. Some studies reported higher rates of trial withdrawals, adverse events, and mortality associated with medications.
Conclusions: We conclude that there is limited evidence to support the use of some atypical antipsychotics and other medications for NPS in LTC populations. However, the generally modest efficacy and risks of adverse events highlight the need for the development of safe and effective pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions for this population.