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The East Flanders Prospective Twin Survey (EFPTS) is a registry of multiple births in the province of East Flanders, Belgium. Since its start in 1964, over 10,000 twin-pairs have been registered. EFPTS has several unique features: it is population-based and prospective, with the possibility of long-term follow-up; the twins (and higher order multiple births) are recruited at birth; basic perinatal data are recorded; chorion type and zygosity are established; since 1969, placental biopsies have been taken and frozen at –20°C for future research. Since its origin, the EFPTS has included placental data and allows differentiation of three subtypes of monozygotic twins based on the time of the initial zygotic division: the dichorionic–diamniotic pairs (early, with splitting before the fourth day after fertilization), the monochorionic–diamniotic pairs (intermediate, splitting between the fourth- and the seventh-day postfertilization) and the monochorionic–monoamniotic pairs (late, splitting after the eighth day postfertilization). Studies can be initiated taking into account primary biases, those originating ‘in utero’. Such studies could throw new light on the consequences of early embryological events and the gene–environment interactions as far as periconceptional and intrauterine environment are concerned.
This chapter examines the nineteenth-century cultural interest in Roman decadence, curious in view of the many historical figures who typified such Roman virtues as dutifulness to family and the gods, self-sacrificing patriotism, heroic manliness. To focus instead on the extravagance, weakness, and sexual deviance of the emperors was to exhibit the perversity for which decadent culture is renowned. A sense of belatedness, a feeling that the greatness of the past is gone forever, connects the Silver Age and the late-nineteenth century, inspiring a pessimistic world view but also a freedom from the artistic and linguistic restrictiveness of a self-consciously great era. Yet the transition from virtuous to dissolute impressions of Rome is not simply a phenomenon of the fin de siècle: the subversive insinuations of melancholy, self-indulgence, effeminacy, extravagance, embellishment, and foreign influences in the literature of the Golden Age resonate with romantic sensibilities and react against imperial ambitions to destabilize exemplary images of Rome throughout the nineteenth century.
Jane Hedley accounts for Plath’s descriptive and interpretive practice of poems that take art as their subject. Plath’s ekphrastic poems can be seen as interventions in a conversation with canonical predecessors from Keats to Auden, and can be traced not just to her deliberate study of art history, but to the studies she made as a visual artist, before she made the decision in young adulthood to concentrate on writing.
The Romans had a difficult relationship with the kind of luxury and excess that we think of as indicators of moral and social decadence. But in many ways they revelled in such luxury. Readily accepting the financial rewards of empire, they spent huge sums on their own benefits. Whether in the colossal public games in the amphitheatre and the circus, in the opulent imperial bath complexes, or in extravagant private villas, Romans of all social levels delighted in the very best that life was thought to offer. Chapter 1 examines how far the evidence supports this somewhat melodramatic view of Rome by looking at the ways in which luxury spread in the Roman world. It also looks at the ways this growth in luxury compelled the Romans to create new concepts to understand the phenomenon. Luxury was almost never seen as a simple index of increased wealth. Rather, it raised all manner of moral issues among Rome’s ruling classes, many of which long outlived the end of the Roman empire itself.
Pictorial representation is a key human behaviour. Cultures around the world have made images to convey information about living kinds, objects and ideas for at least 75,000 years, in forms as diverse as cave paintings, religious icons and emojis. However, styles of pictorial representation vary greatly between cultures and historical periods. In particular, they can differ in figurativeness, i.e. varying from detailed depictions of subjects to stylised abstract forms. Here we show that pictorial styles can be shaped by intergroup contact. We use data from experimental microsocieties to show that drawings produced by groups in contact tended to become more figurative and transparent to outsiders, whereas in isolated groups drawings tended to become abstract and opaque. These results indicate that intergroup contact is likely to be an important factor in the cultural evolution of pictorial representation, because the need to communicate with outsiders ensures that some figurativeness is retained over time. We discuss the implications of this finding for understanding the history and anthropology of art, and the parallels with sociolinguistics and language evolution.
Later medieval art is usually discussed in terms of categories like architecture, sculpture, manuscript illumination, stained glass etc. While these categories have historical roots, medieval viewers naturally tended to conflate rather than anatomise what they saw: Chaucer’s testimony to the Court of Chivalry suggests this. Academic taxonomies of art are nevertheless valuable to scholars, even if the terminology of style associated with them is largely modern. Our understanding of later medieval art is clouded by vast material losses, although documents such as the inventories of Pleshy Castle (1397) and the abbot’s chapel at Bury St Edmunds (1429) offer some compensation. These reveal that taste for types of object and imagery was not generally conditioned by social status (e.g. lay or clerical). At the level of the common person, parish churches were major sites of display. Again, documents like the archdeacons’ inventories for the diocese of Norwich (1368) help fill in the gaps created by loss. Sepulchral monuments and architecture enjoy higher rates of survival and thus give a more concrete idea of the look, purpose and function of art.
Chaucer lived in a society that was aware of childhood and adolescence as distinctive stages of human life and which inherited practices whereby young people were brought up and trained for adulthood. Informally, at home, children were introduced to social norms, religion and work. Those from wealthier families underwent more formal education, mastering literacy at home, in schools or in great households, where they learnt reading, rules of courtesy, French and, in the case of some boys, Latin. Chaucer’s works refer in passing to most of these processes, with particular attention to adolescents, including university scholars. During the fifteenth century his works in general came to be seen as having educational value. The Astrolabe, first written for his son Lewis, seems to have been used for teaching reading to other young children while his major writings were recommended as suitable literature for older ones.
The production of abstract engravings is considered an indicator of modern human cognition and a means for the long-term recording and transmission of information. This article reports the discovery of two engraved bones from the Lingjing site in Henan Province, China, dated to 105–125 kya. The carefully engraved nature of the incisions, made on weathered rib fragments, precludes the possibility of unintentional or utilitarian origins. Residue analysis demonstrates the presence of ochre within the incised lines on one specimen. This research provides the first evidence for the deliberate use of ochred engravings for symbolic purposes by East Asian Late Pleistocene hominins.
In this article, I explore how digital data collection in the context of the Berkeley-Abiquiú Collaborative Archaeology (BACA) project works, some of the affordances of this new-ish technology, and how they articulate with analogue art practices to achieve the goals of engaged research. Thinking with affordances helps me reflect critically on what digital data recording offers our research goals. In this case, the most important aspect of using digital data recording is how it changes our relationship to time. New orientations of research time created by such technology is an opportunity to engage creatively with how archaeology can represent complexity, produce embodied experience, and share senses of place through both digital and analogue practices. As archaeologists trying to think trans-humanistically, we need to reflect critically on digital technologies to produce engaged research. This is always a shifting target. New uses reveal new possibilities, and vice versa. But newness is not what makes an impact, a difference, or changes the way we do research together; what makes a difference is the result, effects, and affects of these affordances.
Art may be made as a guide to understanding sense of place, and also as a pathway to understanding and valuing scientific ideas. Here we consider this connection in the context of a selected history of artists working in Antarctica, from early explorers to the modern era. This provides a parallel trajectory for the nature, realisation and purpose of the art. We then consider the interaction between art and science and the nature of interdisciplinary work by looking at work produced in a sea ice-based science field camp by an artist collecting data – both scientific and art focused. The artist participated in two field campaigns a year apart, allowing comparison of the evolution of both the artistic practice and the science data collection. Furthermore, the collection of data that served both needs provides a unique point of connection between two fields of endeavour, which are typically considered as separate.
We begin our consideration of Brahms’s politics and religion with the great historical turn that occurred in the centre of Europe in the year 1870. With the decisive German military defeat of France and proclamation of King Wilhelm I of Prussia as German Emperor, the German Question was at last given its definitive Prussian-dominated Smaller German solution. Brahms probably would have preferred a Larger German solution that included Austria, Prussia’s traditional rival for leadership in the loosely bound German Confederation that was established by the Congress of Vienna following Napoleon’s final defeat in 1815. But what mattered most was that Germany had at last emerged from its political impotence to become a nation-state possessed of power and influence in the world commensurate with its long-recognised achievements in the cultural sphere.
Brahms was a man with wide cultural interests that ranged far beyond his musical practice, as evinced by his circle of friends, as well as the contents of his library. He had close relationships with several leading German artists and art historians of his time. Once he was financially stable, he accumulated a substantial collection of prints that included both modern and classical artists, focussing on German and Italian art (much like his musical interests, and in keeping with prevailing German tastes). He showed little interest in French contemporaries, despite the towering reputation of contemporary painters like Delacroix and Courbet. On a personal level, his interest in art was part of his general thirst for Bildung, or all-round cultural cultivation. Already in the late 1850s, he met Herman Grimm through Joseph Joachim. Grimm was a historian of art and literature, and his biography of Michelangelo (which Brahms owned and read) is still consulted today.
The following article considers the approach taken by the courts of the United States in claims concerning issues of state immunity and private international law with respect to the expropriation and restitution of cultural property, primarily in the context of Nazi Germany. It can be seen that the US courts have interpreted the provisions under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act so as to significantly widen the scope for individuals to bring claims against states and state entities in circumstances where the case, and the property concerned, has little or no connection with the jurisdiction and which at their core are domestic disputes.
Permafrost occupies 20 million square kilometres of Earth’s high-latitude and high-altitude landscapes. These regions are sensitive to climate change and human activities; hence, permafrost research is of considerable scientific and societal importance. However, the results of this research are generally not known by the general public. Communicating scientific concepts is an increasingly important task in the research world. Different ways to engage learners and incorporate narratives in teaching materials exist, yet they are generally underused. Here we report on an international scientific outreach project called “Frozen-Ground Cartoons”, which aims at making permafrost science accessible and fun for students, teachers, and parents through the creation of comic strips. We present the context in which the project was initiated, as well as recent education and outreach activities. The future phases of the project primarily involve a series of augmented reality materials, such as maps, photos, videos, and 3D drawings. With this project we aim to foster understanding of permafrost research among broader audiences, inspire future permafrost researchers, and raise public and science community awareness of polar science, education, outreach, and engagement.