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The reach of the currently available linguistic evidence on early agriculture also extends back to the middle or the later middle Holocene for the Middle East, India and Mesoamerica. The essential foundation for the linguistic recovery of history is a systematic reconstruction of the relationships and phonological histories of the families of languages spoken in the regions whose human histories one wishes to investigate. Two major originating centres of food production lay in Africa, one in the far eastern Sahara and the other far to the west, in West Africa, along with a probable third centre in the southwestern Ethiopian highlands. The lexicons of subsistence in the first several periods in the history of the Nilo-Saharan language family reveal an extended, stage-by-stage history of shift from food collection to food production. A new stage in the evolution of West African agricultural practices began by no later than the fifth millennium BCE.
This chapter focuses on what kind of evidence can be productively used from human remains to tell us something about a population's diet and health. It addresses the questions of how agriculture contributes to our health and diet and how bioarchaeology can help people understand this relationship better. Essentially, bioarchaeological studies of health and well-being provide a deep-time perspective on understanding the origin, evolution, and history of disease, which is very relevant to the emerging discipline of evolutionary medicine. It is much easier to consider the health of contemporary people who hunt and forage, and ecological factors specific to living hunter-gatherers and agriculturalists can be used effectively to understand the diet they eat and challenges to health they experience. Advances in understanding the nature of the agricultural transition and its impact on humans have particularly been seen recently in genetic studies, for example how plants and animals have evolved.
The majority of the early crops grown in Europe had their origins in south-west Asia, and were part of a package of domestic plants and animals that were introduced by the first farmers. Broomcorn millet, however, offers a very different narrative, being domesticated first in China, but present in Eastern Europe apparently as early as the sixth millennium BC. Might this be evidence of long-distance contact between east and west, long before there is any other evidence for such connections? Or is the existing chronology faulty in some way? To resolve that question, 10 grains of broomcorn millet were directly dated by AMS, taking advantage of the increasing ability to date smaller and smaller samples. These showed that the millet grains were significantly younger than the contexts in which they had been found, and that the hypothesis of an early transmission of the crop from east to west could not be sustained. The importance of direct dating of crop remains such as these is underlined.
Quality control of the inertial confinement fusion (ICF) target in the laser fusion program is vital to ensure that energy deposition from the lasers results in uniform compression and minimization of Rayleigh–Taylor instabilities. The technique of nuclear microscopy with ion beam analysis is a powerful method to provide characterization of ICF targets. Distribution of elements, depth profile, and density image of ICF targets can be identified by particle-induced X-ray emission, Rutherford backscattering spectrometry, and scanning transmission ion microscopy. We present examples of ICF target characterization by nuclear microscopy at Fudan University in order to demonstrate their potential impact in assessing target fabrication processes.
In this article, single-phase CuIn(SxSe1-x)2 thin films with different x have been prepared using a new two-step method consisting of partly selenizing Cu–In precursors in Se ambient, and then exposing the partly selenized films to H2S/Ar under different conditions. The x-ray diffraction indicated that the CuIn(SxSe1-x)2 films exhibited the homogeneous chalcopyrite structure. With the increase of the sulfurization temperature from 425 to 525 °C, x increases from 0 to 1, Eg increases from 0.95 to 1.42 eV, the Raman shift of the A1[Se–Se] mode increases from 173 to 197 cm−1, and the resistivity increases from 101 to 103 Ω.cm.
Early farming in northern China featured the cultivation of two species of millet, broomcorn and foxtail. Although previously seen as focused on the Yellow River, the authors show that the earliest agriculture is actually found in the foothills of the neighbouring mountain chains, where drier and better drained locations suited millet cultivation, particularly broomcorn. In this they echo new thoughts on the locale of early agriculture in south-west Asia, on the hilly flanks of the Fertile Crescent rather than in the valleys of the Nile or the Euphrates.
In hydroxylated poly(styrene-b-butadiene-b-styrene) (HO–SBS) micelle, ZnS/CdS composite nanocrystals were prepared by adding Cd2+ ions and Zn2+ ions to the system sequentially. The resulting composites were identified with elemental analysis, transmission electron microscopy, x-ray diffraction, surface photovoltage spectroscopy, and electric field induced surface photovoltage spectroscopy.
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