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Some human settlements endure for millennia, while others are founded and abandoned within a few decades or centuries. The reasons for variation in the duration of site occupation, however, are rarely addressed. Here, the authors introduce a new approach for the analysis of settlement longevity or persistence. Using seven regional case studies comprising both survey and excavation data, they demonstrate how the median persistence of individual settlements varies widely within and among regions. In turn, this variability is linked to the effects of environmental potential. In seeking to identify the drivers of settlement persistence in the past, it is suggested that archaeologists can contribute to understanding of the sustainability and resilience of contemporary cities.
People with severe mental illness (SMI) have a greater risk of dying from colorectal cancer (CRC), even though the incidence is lower or similar to that of the general population This pattern is unlikely to be solely explained by lifestyle factors, while the role of differences in cancer healthcare access or treatment is uncertain
We undertook a systematic review and meta-analysis on access to guideline-appropriate care following CRC diagnosis in people with SMI including the receipt of surgery, chemo- or radiotherapy. We searched for full-text articles indexed by PubMed, EMBASE, PsychInfo and CINAHL that compared CRC treatment in those with and without pre-existing SMI (schizophrenia, schizoaffective, bipolar and major affective disorders). Designs included cohort or population-based case–control designs.
There were ten studies (sample size = 3501–591 561). People with SMI had a reduced likelihood of surgery (RR = 0.90, 95% CI 0.92–0.97; p = 0.005; k = 4). Meta-analyses were not possible for the other outcomes but in results from individual studies, people with SMI were less likely to receive radiotherapy, chemotherapy or sphincter-sparing procedures. The disparity in care was greatest for those who had been psychiatric inpatients.
People with SMI, including both psychotic and affective disorders, receive less CRC care than the general population. This might contribute to higher case-fatality rates for an illness where the incidence is no higher than that of the general population. The reasons for this require further investigation, as does the extent to which differences in treatment access or quality contribute to excess CRC mortality in people with SMI.
The medical savings account model of health insurance in the United States combines a high-deductible health insurance plan‹ A high-deductible health plan is an insurance plan under which the beneficiary is responsible for a substantial amount of expense (the deductible) before the insurer begins paying benefits. US federal law as of 2015 requires a deductible of at least US$1300 for single coverage and US$2600 for family coverage for health saving account-qualified high-deductible health plans ().› with a dedicated savings account used to pay expenses incurred below the deductible. Savings in the plan can roll over from one year to the next and, after some predefined period during which they are dedicated to health spending, can be used for non-health-related expenses.‹ Use of savings for non-health expenses before this predefined period (age 65 under current law), incurs a tax and 20% penalty.› In principle, this model combines the incentives for frugal use of health services that exist in high-deductible health insurance with assurance that the funds required in the event of true medical need will be available.
Investigating how different forms of inequality arose and were sustained through time is key to understanding the emergence of complex social systems. Due to its long-term perspective, archaeology has much to contribute to this discussion. However, comparing inequality in different societies through time, especially in prehistory, is difficult because comparable metrics of value are not available. Here we use a recently developed technique which assumes a correlation between household size and household wealth to investigate inequality in the ancient Near East. If this assumption is correct, our results show that inequality increased from the Neolithic to the Iron Age, and we link this increase to changing forms of social and political organization. We see a step change in levels of inequality around the time of the emergence of urban sites at the beginning of the Bronze Age. However, urban and rural sites were similarly unequal, suggesting that outside the elite, the inhabitants of each encompassed a similar range of wealth levels. The situation changes during the Iron Age, when inequality in urban environments increases and rural sites become more equal.
Recent survey and excavation conducted in the Mil Plain region of the southern part of the Republic of Azerbaijan challenges traditional notions of Neolithic sedentism. Here, the authors present their findings, and propose that prior to its abandonment towards the end of the sixth millennium BC, the occupation of the region was comprised of numerous highly variable short-term sites and multi-mounded sites (Qarabel Tepe), as well as anchoring sites (Kamiltepe). This indicates multi-scalar patterns of mobility of a much more complex nature than had previously been supposed, making this region quite unique for the Late Neolithic of South-western Asia.
Specimen survivability is a primary concern to those who utilize atom probe tomography (APT) for materials analysis. The state-of-the-art in understanding survivability might best be described as common-sense application of basic physics principles to describe failure mechanisms. For example, APT samples are placed under near-failure mechanical-stress conditions, so reduction in the force required to initiate field evaporation must provide for higher survivability—a common sense explanation of survivability. However, the interplay of various analytical conditions (or instrumentation) and how they influence survivability (e.g., decreasing the applied evaporation field improves survivability), and which factors have more impact than others has not been studied. In this paper, we report on the systematic analysis of a material composed of a silicon-dioxide layer surrounded on two sides by silicon. In total, 261 specimens were fabricated and analyzed under a variety of conditions to correlate statistically significant survivability trends with analysis conditions and other specimen characteristics. The primary result suggests that, while applied field/force plays an obvious role in survivability for this material, the applied field alone does not predict survivability trends for silicon/silicon-dioxide interfaces. The rate at which ions are extracted from the specimen (both in terms of ions-per-pulse and pulse-frequency) has similar importance.
For this issue of NBC, we investigate a range of different approaches to the archaeology of ritual. The attribution of unexplained phenomena to ritual practice is something of a cliché in public perceptions of archaeology (just try googling ‘ritual archaeology cartoon’!), and even within the discipline there are those who remain sceptical that we can ascend Hawkes's ladder of inference (1954) to such dizzy heights. Yet several recent books coming in to the Antiquity office show how both theory and method are advancing our understanding of this complex concept. Sparked by the publication of two major volumes from Cambridge, we here take the pulse of the archaeology of ritual, and find it in rude health.
In response to increased international collaboration in archaeological research of the South Caucases, a recent workshop has addressed important issues in applying GIS to the study of heavily modified landscapes in the former Soviet republics of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia.
And so to my next NBC, the difficult second album, the sophomore slump. As an antidote to any jitters on my part, in this issue we tackle a range of books investigating creativity and innovation in the past. Innovation is enjoying something of a ‘moment’ in archaeological thought at present, with several large, multi-disciplinary projects underway in Europe and sessions devoted to the topic at major US and European conferences over the last few years. As with the current concentration on inequality, this interest can be traced to the social and political climate of the present and concerns over rapid technological change, economic growth and productivity. Innovation can be both productive and profoundly disruptive, and as such, it is of central concern in understanding social change in the past and predicting its effects in the future. The first four volumes discussed below deal directly with innovation, creativity and learning. The fifth, written by political scientist James C. Scott, invites us to consider the negative consequences of certain kinds of innovation and the implications for the sorts of complex societies that we live in today.
Back in 2013, Rob Witcher, in his first NBC, mused on the future of academic publishing, and especially the potential impact of open access and e-books on traditional book reviews. Reading these lines five years later as incoming Reviews Editor, it is striking how little an impression e-books in particular have made on the market, and more generally how persistent print editions of both journals (including Antiquity) and books have remained in the face of rapidly changing digital technologies. Sales of major e-reader brands have declined since their height in 2014, at least in the UK, and e-book sales have stabilised since then at around 25 per cent of all book purchases. At Antiquity, we still receive upwards of 300 books per year, and send out over 120 to review across the six issues. NBC is an attempt to provide some critical perspective on a selection of the remaining books, many of which merit reviews in their own right but cannot be included for reasons of space. This section will continue in much the same manner as in the past, safe in the knowledge that, as Groucho Marx put it, ‘Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend . . .’ (the second half of the quotation is less relevant here but perhaps worth including—‘. . . inside of a dog, it's too dark to read’).
The weed control spectrum of clomazone, the influence of clomazone on the performance of other herbicides, and the performance of tank mixtures containing clomazone were evaluated from 1985 through 1987. Clomazone applied preemergence at 280 g ai/ha controlled 90 to 100% of barnyardgrass, giant foxtail, goosegrass, large crabgrass, seedling johnsongrass, prickly sida, and velvetleaf. Clomazone at reduced rates was more effective applied preemergence than preplant-incorporated for 10 of 23 weed species. Clomazone enhanced imazaquin activity on entireleaf morningglory and sicklepod in 1986. A tank mixture of clomazone, imazaquin, and metribuzin at half the labeled rates reduced soybean injury, increased soybean yield, and controlled weeds as well as the mixture at labeled rates.
This chapter investigates the archaeological landscapes of the frontiers of the Sasanian Empire. Drawing on evidence from current and archived archaeological surveys, in combination with high-resolution remote sensing datasets such as CORONA spy photography, we compare the organisation of settlements and defensive structures of the Sasanian frontier zones in response to a variety of external pressures. These varied from the Roman Empire in the west to less centralised entities, including nomadic groups, in the southwest and north-east. Following a general discussion of the multiple manifestations of Sasanian frontiers drawn from southern Mesopotamia (Iraq), northern Syria and north-eastern Iran, the main focus of the chapter is on the complex frontier landscape of the southern Caucasus, particularly the area of modern Azerbaijan, Georgia and Daghestan. We discuss the role of linear barriers, including the Gorgan Wall in north-eastern Iran and the Ghilghilchay and Derbent Walls in the Caucasus, irrigation systems, and alignments of fortifications and settlements in shaping their local landscapes. By placing the archaeological remains of the Sasanian Empire in a wider context we are able to examine the relationships between military installations, settlement patterns, infrastructure and geographical features such as mountain ranges and rivers. Comparing the different case studies allows us to conclude with some general statements on the nature of Sasanian power in the frontier territories of the empire.
As a large territorial entity, the Sasanian Empire encompassed a variety of geographical, environmental and socio-cultural zones. Even within the northern and western reaches discussed here, the empire included the high mountain ranges of the Taurus, Caucasus and eastern Anatolia, the fertile dry farming plains of much of northern Mesopotamia and Gorgan, heavily irrigated southern Mesopotamia and steppe and desert regions in various guises (Fig. 5.1). Threats to Sasanian power were similarly diverse, from the agrarian might of the Roman Empire in the west to smaller local ‘states’, client kingdoms and decentralised nomadic groups in the north and north-east. This diversity had a profound impact on the organisation and character of the frontier regions at the edges of imperial control. In this chapter we make use of data acquired as part of the recent upsurge in interest in Sasanian frontiers across the study region,1 as well as satellite imagery and textual information, to examine the structure and function of the frontier zones in different areas.
The strategic significance of the Dariali Gorge, the main pass across the central Caucasus, has long been recognised. It forms a border today as it has done for much of the past 2000 years. But how was an effective military force sustained in an isolated Alpine environment? Excavations, osteoarchaeology and landscape survey have revealed that the Early Middle Ages saw as much investment in controlling this key route as there was in Antiquity. Guarded by the same Muslim-led garrison for at least a quarter of a millennium, its survival in a harsh environment was made possible through military effort and long-distance food supplies.
Conventional wisdom and earlier research have concluded that cattle feeding profitability is more determined by feeder and fed cattle prices than by animal performance. This study examined cross-sectional and time-series data from over 1600 pens of cattle in more than 220 feedlots in the upper Midwest where weather and lot conditions are thought to influence feedlot profitability. In addition to input and output prices and animal performance, other factors found to significantly impact cattle feeding profitability were sex, placement weight, facility design, and to a lesser extent placement season.