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Absolute dating of mortars is crucial when trying to pin down construction phases of archaeological sites and historic stone buildings to a certain point in time or to confirm, but possibly also challenge, existing chronologies. To evaluate various sample preparation methods for radiocarbon (14C) dating of mortars as well as to compare different dating methods, i.e. 14C and optically stimulated luminescence (OSL), a mortar dating intercomparison study (MODIS) was set up, exploring existing limits and needs for further research. Four mortar samples were selected and distributed among the participating laboratories: one of which was expected not to present any problem related to the sample preparation methodologies for anthropogenic lime extraction, whereas all others addressed specific known sample preparation issues. Data obtained from the various mortar dating approaches are evaluated relative to the historical framework of the mortar samples and any deviation observed is contextualized to the composition and specific mineralogy of the sampled material.
Recently a cremation cemetery was excavated at the site of Wijnegem where 29 cremation graves and 9 funerary monuments were uncovered. Thirty radiocarbon (14C) dates were carried out, mostly on cremated bone but also 10 charcoal samples were dated. Twenty-four cremations were studied. Four ring ditches were dated by charcoal samples from the infill of the ditch. The 14C dates showed an interesting long-term occupation of the cemetery. Different phases were ascertained. The history of the cemetery starts in the northern part of the site around a circular funerary monument. Two cremations were dated at the transition of the Early to Middle Bronze Ages. Two other graves represent the transition from the Middle to the Late Bronze Ages. The main occupation period dates between the end of the Late Bronze Age and the Early Iron Age. Finally, an isolated cremation grave marks the definite abandonment of the site during the Late Iron Age.
Seven radiocarbon laboratories: Åbo/Aarhus, CIRCE, CIRCe, ETHZ, Poznań, RICH, and Milano-Bicocca performed separation of carbonaceous fractions suitable for 14C dating of four mortar samples selected for the MOrtar Dating Inter-comparison Study (MODIS). In addition, optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) analyses were completed by Milano-Bicocca and IRAMAT-CRP2A Bordeaux. Each laboratory performed separation according to laboratory protocol. Results of this first intercomparison show that even though consistent 14C ages were obtained by different laboratories, two mortars yielded ages different than expected from the archaeological context.
A special type of coastal settlement, promontory forts defended by inland-facing walls, appeared in the Balearic Islands in an imprecise time during the Bronze Age. A research project was initiated in 2011 to study one of these sites on each of the two major islands of the archipelago. The first one, Es Coll de Cala Morell (north Menorca), is a walled promontory with a relatively large plateau, with 13 horseshoe-shaped houses (navetes). The second, Sa Ferradura (east Mallorca), is a smaller coastal cape, with a different spatial planning, with only two large built-up areas, both attached to the enclosure wall. Two of the navetes have been excavated at Es Coll de Cala Morell, showing a domestic space with a central hearth in both cases. The occupation has been dated to around 1600–1200 cal BC. At Sa Ferradura seven hearths have been recorded in a large, open-air area. Their chronology falls within the interval of approximately 1200/1100–900 cal BC. From a chronological point of view, fortified settlements in coastal promontories are not, as was expected, a unitary phenomenon in Menorca and Mallorca and have to be related to different cultural periods.
Shallow ice cores were obtained from widely distributed sites across the West Antarctic ice sheet, as part of the United States portion of the International Trans-Antarctic Scientific Expedition (US ITASE) program. The US ITASE cores have been dated by annual-layer counting, primarily through the identification of summer peaks in non-sea-salt sulfate (nssSO42–) concentration. Absolute dating accuracy of better than 2 years and relative dating accuracy better than 1 year is demonstrated by the identification of multiple volcanic marker horizons in each of the cores, Tambora, Indonesia (1815), being the most prominent. Independent validation is provided by the tracing of isochronal layers from site to site using high-frequency ice-penetrating radar observations, and by the timing of mid-winter warming events in stable-isotope ratios, which demonstrate significantly better than 1 year accuracy in the last 20 years. Dating precision to ±1 month is demonstrated by the occurrence of summer nitrate peaks and stable-isotope ratios in phase with nssSO42–, and winter-time sea-salt peaks out of phase, with phase variation of <1 month. Dating precision and accuracy are uniform with depth, for at least the last 100 years.
Only domestic mammals (sheep, goat, cattle, pig, and dog) and two rodent species constituted the faunal package introduced to the Balearic Islands by the early settlers in the 3rd millennium cal BC. Later animal introductions in the archipelago were thought to occur by the end of the 1st millennium cal BC due to contacts with Punic merchants or, more than likely, to the Roman conquest of the islands. Recently, several faunal remains belonging to different vertebrates (red deer, chicken, and rabbit) were found in the Talayotic site of Cornia Nou (Minorca), in contexts that date to the early 1st millennium cal BC. A series of radiocarbon (14C) dates was made directly on samples of small species to exclude the possibility of infiltration into lower layers. The obtained results show that chicken and rabbit were already present on Minorca in the early 1st millennium cal BC. Chicken is recorded in Phoenician colonies in south Iberia as early as the 8th century cal BC. Rabbit, on the other hand, is indigenous to the Iberian Peninsula. These new faunal introductions recorded in Minorca could be related to the Late Bronze and Phoenician maritime activity.
In 1981, the first 14C and Archaeology Symposium was organized because it was felt necessary to have a symposium that focused on the specific problems related to the use of 14C dating in archaeology. The dating method has been constantly changing and approving itself technically as well as in the application of the method. The relationship between the archaeologists and the 14C dating laboratories has, however, never been straightforward. For a lot of 14C laboratories, archaeology was not their core business. For archaeologists, the main problem arose from an insufficient knowledge of natural sciences. The last decennia, however, 14C and archaeology are growing towards one another. One of the reasons might be the introduction of small exclusively 14C-dedicated machines and the availability of fully automatic graphitization lines.
Cathars have long been regarded as posing the most organised challenge to orthodox Catholicism in the medieval West, even as a "counter-Church" to orthodoxy in southern France and northern Italy. Their beliefs, understood to be inspired by Balkan dualism, are often seen as the most radical among medieval heresies. However, recent work has fiercely challenged this paradigm, arguing instead that "Catharism" was a construct of its persecutors, mis-named and mis-represented by generations of subsequent scholarship, and its supposedly radical views were a fantastical projection of the fears of orthodox commentators. This volume brings together a wide range of views from some of the most distinguished international scholars in the field, in order to address the debate directly while also opening up new areas for research. Focussing on dualism and anti-materialist beliefs in southern France, Italy and the Balkans, it considers a number of crucial issues. These include: what constitutes popular belief; how (and to what extent) societies of the past were based on the persecution of dissidents; and whether heresy can be seen as an invention of orthodoxy. At the same time, the essays shed new light on some key aspects of the political, cultural, religious and economic relationships between the Balkans and more western regions of Europe in the Middle Ages.
Antonio Sennis isSenior Lecturer in Medieval History at University College London Contributors: John H. Arnold, Peter Biller, Caterina Bruschi, David d'Avray, Jörg Feuchter, Bernard Hamilton, Robert I. Moore, MarkGregory Pegg, Rebecca Rist, Lucy Sackville, Antonio Sennis, Claire Taylor, Julien Théry-Astruc, Yuri Stoyanov
Penetrating penile injuries occur mostly in industrial/work accidents, automobile accidents, or as a result of sexual curiosity and attempts at self-expression/mutilation. In this case report, the authors describe an accidental nailgun injury to the penis of a 46-year-old man. We discuss the management of such injuries in the emergency department, including the utility of a dorsal penile block for regional anesthesia. Although exceptionally rare, familiarity with penetrating lower urinary tract injuries may reduce their long-term repercussions on genitourinary and sexual health.
We investigate the role of distal, proximal, and child risk factors as predictors of reading readiness and attention and behavior in children at risk of dyslexia. The parents of a longitudinal sample of 251 preschool children, including children at family risk of dyslexia and children with preschool language difficulties, provided measures of socioeconomic status, home literacy environment, family stresses, and child health via interviews and questionnaires. Assessments of children's reading-related skills, behavior, and attention were used to define their readiness for learning at school entry. Children at family risk of dyslexia and children with preschool language difficulties experienced more environmental adversities and health risks than controls. The risks associated with family risk of dyslexia and with language status were additive. Both home literacy environment and child health predicted reading readiness while home literacy environment and family stresses predicted attention and behavior. Family risk of dyslexia did not predict readiness to learn once other risks were controlled and so seems likely to be best conceptualized as representing gene–environment correlations. Pooling across risks defined a cumulative risk index, which was a significant predictor of reading readiness and, together with nonverbal ability, accounted for 31% of the variance between children.
Structural brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) traits share part of their genetic variance with cognitive traits. Here, we use genetic association results from large meta-analytic studies of genome-wide association (GWA) for brain infarcts (BI), white matter hyperintensities, intracranial, hippocampal, and total brain volumes to estimate polygenic scores for these traits in three Scottish samples: Generation Scotland: Scottish Family Health Study (GS:SFHS), and the Lothian Birth Cohorts of 1936 (LBC1936) and 1921 (LBC1921). These five brain MRI trait polygenic scores were then used to: (1) predict corresponding MRI traits in the LBC1936 (numbers ranged 573 to 630 across traits), and (2) predict cognitive traits in all three cohorts (in 8,115–8,250 persons). In the LBC1936, all MRI phenotypic traits were correlated with at least one cognitive measure, and polygenic prediction of MRI traits was observed for intracranial volume. Meta-analysis of the correlations between MRI polygenic scores and cognitive traits revealed a significant negative correlation (maximal r = 0.08) between the HV polygenic score and measures of global cognitive ability collected in childhood and in old age in the Lothian Birth Cohorts. The lack of association to a related general cognitive measure when including the GS:SFHS points to either type 1 error or the importance of using prediction samples that closely match the demographics of the GWA samples from which prediction is based. Ideally, these analyses should be repeated in larger samples with data on both MRI and cognition, and using MRI GWA results from even larger meta-analysis studies.
Background: The emphasis regarding intracranial neuroendoscopy has been traditionally advocated and focused on the role in pediatric patients, although a significant usage has developed in adult patients. In this study, we examine and contrast the role of predominantly intracranial neuroendoscopy in both a pediatric and adult population with a minimum postprocedure follow-up of 5 years.
Methods: A retrospective review was conducted for patients in the two hospitals that manage neurosurgical care for Southern Alberta, Canada, undergoing neuroendoscopic surgery between 1994 and 2008. The pediatric group was defined as age ≤17 years and the adult group as age ≥18 years.
Results: A total of 273 patients who underwent a total of 330 procedures with a mean postprocedure follow-up of 12.9 years were identified. There were 161 adult and 112 pediatric patients, and both groups underwent surgery by the same surgeons. The most common procedure was endoscopic third ventriculostomy, accounting for 55% of procedures. One postoperative death occurred in an adult patient. Endoscopic third ventriculostomy success 1-year postprocedure was 81%, with only three late-term failures. Postoperative infection was the most common serious complication (two pediatric/four adult patients). Adult and pediatric patients had similar major complication rates (4.2% vs 5.7%, p=0.547). Conclusions: Neuroendoscopy overall had a similar role in both pediatric and adult neurosurgical populations, with the most commonly associated complication being infection. Neuroendoscopy is an important therapeutic modality in the management of appropriate adult patients.
Background: Cognitive dysfunction is a common complaint associated with obstructive hydrocephalus. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) on the neuropsychological outcome in patients presenting with cognitive decline and obstructive hydrocephalus. Methods: A retrospective review of patients who underwent ETV at the University of Calgary and had both pre and post operative neuropsychological testing, was completed. Presenting clinical features, etiology of hydrocephalus and ventricle size utilizing frontal occipital horn ratio was obtained. Outcomes and complications of the ETV were recorded. Detailed measures of intelligence, attention and concentration, executive function, visual and verbal memory, language functions and fine motor skills were completed. Post treatment change was determined utilizing Reliable Change Index. Results: A total of 13 patients were identified. Etiology of the hydrocephalus was aqueductal stenosis in 8 and tectal glioma in 4. The majority of patients (11 of 13, 85%) demonstrated cognitive dysfunction at the borderline (≤1 SD) or impairment level (≤1.5 SDs) in at least one domain. Nine patients (69%) showed reliable improvement in at least one cognitive domain. The greatest improvement was seen with visual memory (42%). One quarter to one third of patients demonstrated improvement on tests of intelligence quotient, verbal memory, attention and concentration, and executive function. Two patients declined in executive functioning. Ventricle size improved in eight patients. Conclusions: ETV is a safe effective procedure, capable of producing reliable improvements in cognitive dysfunction with hydrocephalus. Patients with cognitive complaints alone may benefit from ETV.
Background: Ependymomas are rare tumors of the central nervous system whose management is controversial. This population-based study of adults and children with ependymoma aims to (1) identify clinical and treatment-related factors that impact survival and (2) determine if postoperative radiotherapy (RT) can improve survival of patients with subtotal resection (STR) to levels similar to patients who had gross total resection (GTR). Methods: This retrospective population-based study evaluated 158 patients with ependymoma diagnosed between 1975-2007 in Alberta, Canada. Results: Younger patients (<7 years of age) were more likely to be diagnosed with grade III tumors compared with adults in whom grade I tumors were more common (p=0.003). Adults were more likely to have spinally located tumors compared to young children whose tumors were typically found in the brain. Overall, young children with ependymoma were more likely to die than older children or adults (p=0.001). An equivalent number of patients underwent GTR as compared with STR (48% vs 45%, respectively). Overall, older age, spinal tumor location, lower grade, and GTR were associated with improved progression free survival but only GTR was associated with significant improvement in overall survival. Median survival after STR and RT was 82 months compared with 122 months in patients who had GTR (p=0.0022). Conclusions: This is the first Canadian population-based analysis of patients with ependymoma including adults and children. Extent of resection appears to be the most important factor determining overall survival. Importantly, the addition of RT to patients initially treated with STR does not improve survival to levels similar to patients receiving GTR.