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The Copper Age cemetery in Varna, Bulgaria, is famous for the earliest known, massive deposition of exquisite golden artefacts. Radiocarbon dating of the Varna i cemetery, excavated in the period 1972–91, places it in the mid-fifth millennium bc and suggests a duration of c 225 years from c 4550 to c 4325 cal bc. Construction work in the adjacent area (2.5 km to the east of Varna i cemetery) in December 2017 led to the discovery of sixteen new graves, whose characteristics are identical to the burials in the cemetery investigated in the last century. This article discusses the AMS dates of ten newly discovered inhumations. The results match well the existing cemetery chronology, showing that the new graves start slightly later and end earlier than Varna i and have a shorter duration of probably no more than a few decades. It is demonstrated for the first time that some areas of burial on the terrace were in continuous use for one or two generations only, suggesting multi-focal depositional activities as opposed to expedient and opportunistic spatial utilisation.
The radiocarbon (14C) calibration curve so far contains annually resolved data only for a short period of time. With accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) matching the precision of decay counting, it is now possible to efficiently produce large datasets of annual resolution for calibration purposes using small amounts of wood. The radiocarbon intercomparison on single-year tree-ring samples presented here is the first to investigate specifically possible offsets between AMS laboratories at high precision. The results show that AMS laboratories are capable of measuring samples of Holocene age with an accuracy and precision that is comparable or even goes beyond what is possible with decay counting, even though they require a thousand times less wood. It also shows that not all AMS laboratories always produce results that are consistent with their stated uncertainties. The long-term benefits of studies of this kind are more accurate radiocarbon measurements with, in the future, better quantified uncertainties.
Radiocarbon (14C) ages cannot provide absolutely dated chronologies for archaeological or paleoenvironmental studies directly but must be converted to calendar age equivalents using a calibration curve compensating for fluctuations in atmospheric 14C concentration. Although calibration curves are constructed from independently dated archives, they invariably require revision as new data become available and our understanding of the Earth system improves. In this volume the international 14C calibration curves for both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, as well as for the ocean surface layer, have been updated to include a wealth of new data and extended to 55,000 cal BP. Based on tree rings, IntCal20 now extends as a fully atmospheric record to ca. 13,900 cal BP. For the older part of the timescale, IntCal20 comprises statistically integrated evidence from floating tree-ring chronologies, lacustrine and marine sediments, speleothems, and corals. We utilized improved evaluation of the timescales and location variable 14C offsets from the atmosphere (reservoir age, dead carbon fraction) for each dataset. New statistical methods have refined the structure of the calibration curves while maintaining a robust treatment of uncertainties in the 14C ages, the calendar ages and other corrections. The inclusion of modeled marine reservoir ages derived from a three-dimensional ocean circulation model has allowed us to apply more appropriate reservoir corrections to the marine 14C data rather than the previous use of constant regional offsets from the atmosphere. Here we provide an overview of the new and revised datasets and the associated methods used for the construction of the IntCal20 curve and explore potential regional offsets for tree-ring data. We discuss the main differences with respect to the previous calibration curve, IntCal13, and some of the implications for archaeology and geosciences ranging from the recent past to the time of the extinction of the Neanderthals.
We undertook a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) analysis of Northern Hemisphere tree-ring datasets included in IntCal20 in order to evaluate their strategic fit with the demands of archaeological users. Case studies on wiggle-matching single tree rings from timbers in historic buildings and Bayesian modeling of series of results on archaeological samples from Neolithic long barrows in central-southern England exemplify the archaeological implications that arise when using IntCal20. The SWOT analysis provides an opportunity to think strategically about future radiocarbon (14C) calibration so as to maximize the utility of 14C dating in archaeology and safeguard its reputation in the discipline.
Early researchers of radiocarbon levels in Southern Hemisphere tree rings identified a variable North-South hemispheric offset, necessitating construction of a separate radiocarbon calibration curve for the South. We present here SHCal20, a revised calibration curve from 0–55,000 cal BP, based upon SHCal13 and fortified by the addition of 14 new tree-ring data sets in the 2140–0, 3520–3453, 3608–3590 and 13,140–11,375 cal BP time intervals. We detail the statistical approaches used for curve construction and present recommendations for the use of the Northern Hemisphere curve (IntCal20), the Southern Hemisphere curve (SHCal20) and suggest where application of an equal mixture of the curves might be more appropriate. Using our Bayesian spline with errors-in-variables methodology, and based upon a comparison of Southern Hemisphere tree-ring data compared with contemporaneous Northern Hemisphere data, we estimate the mean Southern Hemisphere offset to be 36 ± 27 14C yrs older.
Prevalence estimates of childhood and adolescent mental health disorders appear to vary between 20 to 30% worldwide. It is therefore unsurprising that studies have yielded inconsistent findings in regards to the trends of prevalence of mental health disorders. Some reasons for the discrepancy in findings include use of survey data and its associated attrition and selection bias.
Objectives and aims
First, to determine and compare the prevalence of mental health disorders derived from a survey and a population cohort. Second, to evaluate trends of mental health prevalence over time.
As population data (i.e., linked health records) may be used to overcome the issues presented by survey data, we compared the prevalence estimated from a prospective survey cohort (the Western Australian Pregnancy Cohort (Raine study) to another estimate from a prospective population cohort (linked population data; data from the Hospital Morbidity Records and Mental Health Registration).
As expected, the Raine cohort yielded a larger estimate of prevalence when compared to the linked population data. However each cohort also revealed opposite trends of prevalence, where the Raine cohort showed the prevalence of mental health disorders to decrease as children age.
We therefore recommend that estimates of prevalence be interpreted with the type of cohort in mind, as estimates from survey cohorts will provide different information to that from population cohorts.
In 2018 Pearson et al. published a new sequence of annual radiocarbon (14C) data derived from oak (Quercus sp.) trees from Northern Ireland and bristlecone pine (Pinus longaeva) from North America across the period 1700–1500 BC. The study indicated that the more highly resolved shape of an annually based calibration dataset could improve the accuracy of 14C calibration during this period. This finding had implications for the controversial dating of the eruption of Thera in the Eastern Mediterranean. To test for interlaboratory variation and improve the robustness of the annual dataset for calibration purposes, we have generated a replicate sequence from the same Irish oaks at ETH Zürich. These data are compatible with the Irish oak 14C dataset previously produced at the University of Arizona and are used (along with additional data) to examine inter-tree and interlaboratory variation in multiyear annual 14C time-series. The results raise questions about regional 14C offsets at different scales and demonstrate the potential of annually resolved 14C for refining subdecadal and larger scale features for calibration, solar reconstruction, and multiproxy synchronization.
Social media research during natural disasters has been presented as a tool to guide response and relief efforts in the disciplines of geography and computer sciences. This systematic review highlights the public health implications of social media use in the response phase of the emergency, assessing (1) how social media can improve the dissemination of emergency warning and response information during and after a natural disaster, and (2) how social media can help identify physical, medical, functional, and emotional needs after a natural disaster. We surveyed the literature using 3 databases and included 44 research articles. We found that analyses of social media data were performed using a wide range of spatiotemporal scales. Social media platforms were identified as broadcasting tools presenting an opportunity for public health agencies to share emergency warnings. Social media was used as a tool to identify areas in need of relief operations or medical assistance by using self-reported location, with map development as a common method to visualize data. In retrospective analyses, social media analysis showed promise as an opportunity to reduce the time of response and to identify the individuals’ location. Further research for misinformation and rumor control using social media is needed.
Encephalitis due to anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antibodies (ANMDARE) is the most frequent immune-mediated encephalitis. It is distinguished by the subacute onset of neuropsychiatric symptoms.
To evaluate the characteristic neuropsychiatric symptoms and their outcome in patients diagnosed with ANMDARE.
This was a prospective, longitudinal study in patients with a diagnostic suspicion of ANMDARE that presented to the National Institute of Neurology from March 2018 to February 2019. A comparative analysis of two groups (positive N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor [NMDAR] vs. negative NMDAR antibodies in cerebrospinal fluid [CSF]) was done on admission and at discharge. Neuropsychiatric systematic assessments included the Neuropsychiatric Inventory Questionnaire, the Bush Francis Catatonia Rating Scale, the Confusion Assessment Method Severity, the Montreal Cognitive Assessment, and the Overt Agitation Severity Scale.
24 individuals were analysed: 14 had positive NMDAR antibodies, and 10 had negative NMDAR antibodies in CSF. On admission, agitation/aggression, euphoria/exaltation, and disinhibition were more common in patients with positive antibodies. Excited catatonia and delirium were diagnosed more frequently in patients with positive antibodies. At discharge, there was an important decrease in neuropsychiatric symptoms, but substantial cognitive impairment remained. The mean hospitalisation length was 41.71 (SD 39.33) days for patients with definitive ANMDARE (p 0.259).
Neuropsychiatric symptoms profile in ANMDARE was associated with the early onset of euphoria/exaltation and disinhibition, accompanied by marked psychomotor agitation. When ANMDARE was suspected, the presence of excited-type catatonia and delirium showed a tendency to predict definitive ANMDARE. At discharged, most patients recovered from catatonia, delirium, and psychosis, but marked cognitive symptoms, anxiety, and depression persisted at discharge.
The Melanesian islands of the Southwest Pacific (Island Melanesia) experienced the effects of European contact somewhat later than islands in Micronesia and Polynesia. There were sporadic contacts in the early nineteenth century, but most places had little sustained impact until whaling ships, traders, missionaries, and labor recruiters arrived in larger numbers after 1850. In consequence the islands of the Bismarck Archipelago (Papua New Guinea), Solomons, and New Hebrides (Vanuatu) experienced growing instability in local politics, increasingly violent interisland relations, epidemics, and a decline in population that became increasingly apparent to outside observers in the last three decades of the nineteenth century. A few islands were altogether depopulated, and most others (not all) saw a fall in numbers, but neither the magnitude of decline nor the reasons for decline were documented, and medical information is almost nonexistent. Apart from the colony of Fiji, even a basic head count of the populations did not take place in these islands until well into the twentieth century.
An exception is Simbo and Vella Lavella, two islands in the western Solomons that were visited by William H. R. Rivers and Arthur Hocart in 1908. The extensive genealogies collected by these pioneer anthropologists enabled Rivers to demonstrate the high proportion of married women living on these islands who had borne no children. Rivers himself came to favor a “psychological” explanation for childlessness, seeing colonialism as a form of trauma or shell shock that affected people's willingness to conceive, carry out abortions, or permit children to survive. The evidence he provided for these assertions was weak, and growing evidence now suggests an alternative explanation. I argue that the introduction and spread of STIs, especially gonorrhea, resulted in miscarriages, stillbirths, and sterility, and it was these effects that caused the severe decline in fertility rates. The resulting fall in population probably started before 1850 and accelerated in the 1880s and 1890s.
I also consider how far we can generalize this model across Island Melanesia, which is a region with very great cultural diversity between and even within islands. Were Simbo and Vella Lavella especially vulnerable to high levels of infection by STIs because they were “Aphrodisian cultures,” sensu Marshall Sahlins?
When Othello described Desdemona as possessing ‘that whiter skin of hers than Snow, And smooth as monumental alabaster’, Shakespeare was referring to the Elizabethan and Jacobean predilection for a white and smooth female complexion that could be represented on a monumental effigy by well-chosen white alabaster. However the alabaster available to English sculptors working between 1550 and 1660 did not always allow them to use the ideal pure white material and some deliberately exploited differences in colour in the architectural elements of their work. The introduction of Carrara marble early in the seventeenth century for the monuments of Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots was the initial move away from alabaster as the primary material for monuments, a move that was largely complete by the end of the century although alabaster held primacy until 1660 and did so longer outside London.
By the fifteenth century, alabaster tomb production was concentrated in the alabaster-producing areas of the Midlands and run by Englishmen. Such tombs were only very occasionally carved in London and York. London-made alabaster tombs of the first half of the sixteenth century are very few, but the picture changed after 1550 – gradually at first, but gathering speed by the 1570s. The influx of Netherlandish refugees in the late 1560s and beyond led to the establishment of tomb workshops in Southwark and London.
William Cure, a Dutchman, was brought to England to work on Henry VIII's palace of Nonsuch. We still do not know what work Cure did after Nonsuch but both the Marblers’ and Masons’ Companies in London were interested in his activities, suggesting that he was concentrating on producing monumental brasses and alabaster tombs. His son Cornelius was made a freeman of the Marblers’ Company in 1574 and moved to the Masons’ when that company subsumed the marblers in 1585. As master mason to James I he made the monument to Mary Queen of Scots, thus helping to begin the trend to replace alabaster with Italian marble. A series of alabaster tombs has been linked to him convincingly. For instance, a payment in 1584 by the Earl of Leicester may link him to that at St Mary's, Warwick, for Leicester's small son who died that year (Fig. 9.1).
Since 1993 Historic England (and its predecessor English Heritage) has commissioned 9074 radiocarbon (14C) measurements on archaeological samples. Over 80% of these have been interpreted within formal Bayesian statistical models. The multiple strands of reinforcing evidence incorporated in these models provide precise chronologies that make stringent demands on the accuracy of the 14C results included in the analysis. Inter-laboratory replication is consequently a routine part of model construction and validation. We report an analysis of replicate measurements on 1089 archaeological samples. It is clear that laboratory reproducibility accounts for only part of the observed variation. The type of material dated is also critical to the reproducibility of measurements, with some sample types proving particularly problematic.
New radiocarbon dating and chronological modelling have refined understanding of the character and circumstances of flint mining at Grime’s Graves through time. The deepest, most complex galleried shafts were worked probably from the third quarter of the 27th century cal bc and are amongst the earliest on the site. Their use ended in the decades around 2400 cal bc, although the use of simple, shallow pits in the west of the site continued for perhaps another three centuries. The final use of galleried shafts coincides with the first evidence of Beaker pottery and copper metallurgy in Britain. After a gap of around half a millennium, flint mining at Grime’s Graves briefly resumed, probably from the middle of the 16th century cal bc to the middle of the 15th. These ‘primitive’ pits, as they were termed in the inter-war period, were worked using bone tools that can be paralleled in Early Bronze Age copper mines. Finally, the scale and intensity of Middle Bronze Age middening on the site is revealed, as it occurred over a period of probably no more than a few decades in the 14th century cal bc. The possibility of connections between metalworking at Grime’s Graves at this time and contemporary deposition of bronzes in the nearby Fens is discussed.
Children of parents with psychiatric disorders are at risk of poor outcomes. However, there is limited evidence regarding the relationship between parental psychiatric disorders and child school readiness, which is linked to later academic achievement. This study aims to investigate these relationships and broaden the evidence underlying the rationale for family-focused interventions for parental psychiatric disorders.
This study used linked administrative data. Children's school readiness in multiple developmental domains (physical, social, emotional, communicative, cognitive) was measured by the Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) for 19 071 Western Australian children (mean age 5.5 years). Children scoring in the bottom 25% on any AEDC domain were considered developmentally vulnerable, or at risk of vulnerability, on that domain. Biological child–parent pairs were identified using birth records. Parents with psychiatric disorders were identified from hospital records, which included information on diagnosis and frequency/duration of psychiatric admissions. Logistic regressions, adjusted for parent age, mother's marital status, child Aboriginality, child English language status, local community remoteness and socioeconomic index, estimated the odds of children being vulnerable/at-risk on each of the AEDC domains.
A total of 719 mothers and 417 fathers had a psychiatric hospitalisation during the study period (12 months prior to the child's birth, up to the end of 2009). Children whose parents had psychiatric disorders had increased odds of being classified as vulnerable/at-risk for school readiness. This increase in odds was evident for both maternal (adjusted odds ratio, aOR 1.37– 1.51) and paternal psychiatric disorders (aOR 1.38–1.50); and for a single admission of one day (aOR 1.32–1.59), a single admission of multiple days (aOR 1.30–1.47), and multiple admissions (aOR 1.35–1.63). Some variability in child outcome was found depending on the parents’ psychiatric diagnosis (mood, anxiety, substance abuse or comorbid disorder).
Children of parents who have been hospitalised with psychiatric disorders are at risk for poor school readiness. These findings add support to recommendations that mental health professionals consider dependent children in discharge and treatment planning for adult psychiatric inpatients. It is also important to ensure that the impact of psychiatric illness in fathers is not overlooked in assessment and intervention. Family-based approaches to adult psychiatric care could meet the dual needs of intervention for parents and preventative measures for children. These findings can inform policy regarding the importance of integrating and coordinating services to meet the needs of families.
Longhouses are a key feature of Neolithic Linearbandkeramik (LBK) settlements in Central Europe, but debate persists concerning their usage, longevity and social significance. Excavations at Versend-Gilencsa in south-west Hungary (c. 5200 cal BC) revealed clear rows of longhouses. New radiocarbon dates suggest that these houses experienced short lifespans. This paper produces a model for the chronology of Versend, and it considers the implications of the new date estimates for a fuller understanding of the layout and duration of LBK longhouse settlements.
Since its publication in 1954 Star Carr has held an iconic status in British Mesolithic archaeology. The original excavations at the site recorded a large assemblage of bone and antler tools from a sequence of peat deposits at the edge of the Lake Flixton. Over 60 years later this remains the largest assemblage of bone and antler artefacts of its date in Britain and has been an invaluable source of information for life in the early Mesolithic. However, the interpretation of this material has been the subject of intense debate, and the assemblage has been variously described as the remains of an in situ settlement, a refuse dump, and the result of culturally prescribed acts of deposition. Fundamentally, these very different ideas of the nature of the site depend on differing interpretations of the environmental context into which the majority of the organic artefacts were deposited. This paper presents the results of recent work at Star Carr that helps to resolve the debate surrounding both the context of the assemblage and the motivations that lay behind its deposition.
Archaeological fieldwork preceding housing development revealed a Mesolithic site in a primary context. A central hearth was evident from a cluster of calcined flint and bone, the latter producing a modelled date for the start of occupation at 8220–7840 cal bc and ending at 7960–7530 cal bc (95% probability). The principal activity was the knapping of bladelets, the blanks for microlith production. Impact-damaged microliths indicated the re-tooling of hunting weaponry, while microwear analysis of other tools demonstrated hide working and butchery activity at the site. The lithics can be classified as a Honey Hill assemblage type on the basis of distinctive leaf-shaped microlithic points with inverse basal retouch.
Such assemblages have a known concentration in central England and are thought to be temporally intermediate between the conventional British Early and Late Mesolithic periods. The lithic assemblage is compared to other Honey Hill type and related Horsham type assemblages from south-eastern England. Both assemblage types are termed Middle Mesolithic and may be seen as part of wider developments in the late Preboreal and Boreal periods of north-west Europe. Rapid climatic warming at this time saw the northward expansion of deciduous woodland into north-west Europe. Emerging new ecosystems presented changes in resource patterns and the Middle Mesolithic lithic typo-technological developments reflect novel foraging strategies as adaptations to the new opportunities of Boreal forest conditions. While Honey Hill-type assemblages are seen as part of such wider processes their distinctive typological signature attests to autochthonous, regional developments of human groups infilling the landscape. Such cultural insularity may reflect changing social boundaries with reduction in mobility range and physical isolation caused by rising sea level and the creation of the British archipelago.
Orkney is internationally recognised for its exceptionally well-preserved Neolithic archaeology. The chronology of the Orcadian Neolithic is, however, relatively poorly defined. The authors analysed a large body of radiocarbon and luminescence dates, formally modelled in a Bayesian framework, to address the timescape of Orkney's Late Neolithic. The resultant chronology for the period suggests differences in the trajectory of social change between the ‘core’ (defined broadly as the World Heritage site) and the ‘periphery’ beyond. Activity in the core appears to have declined markedly from c. 2800 cal BC, which, the authors suggest, resulted from unsustainable local political tensions and social concerns.
There is a considerable mix of models for house durations in the literature on Neolithic Europe. This article presents a summary of a formal chronological model for the Neolithic tell of Uivar in western Romania. We provide estimates of house duration and relate houses to other features of the development of this tell, from the later sixth to the mid-fifth millennium cal bc. Three wider implications are discussed: that the house must be contextualized case by case; that house duration gives powerful insights into the sociality of community; and that houses, surprisingly often taken rather for granted in Neolithic archaeology, should be fully integrated into the interpretation of Neolithic histories. From what perspective, anthropocentric or relational, that may best be done, is open to question; while it may be helpful to think in this case in terms of the lives and vitality of houses, the ability of people to create and vary history should not be set aside lightly.