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Dating of ancient permafrost is essential for understanding long-term permafrost stability and interpreting palaeoenvironmental conditions but presents substantial challenges to geochronology. Here, we apply four methods to permafrost from the megaslump at Batagay, east Siberia: (1) optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating of quartz, (2) post-infrared infrared-stimulated luminescence (pIRIR) dating of K-feldspar, (3) radiocarbon dating of organic material, and (4) 36Cl/Cl dating of ice wedges. All four chronometers produce stratigraphically consistent and comparable ages. However, OSL appears to date Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 3 to MIS 2 deposits more reliably than pIRIR, whereas the latter is more consistent with 36Cl/Cl ages for older deposits. The lower ice complex developed at least 650 ka, potentially during MIS 16, and represents the oldest dated permafrost in western Beringia and the second-oldest known ice in the Northern Hemisphere. It has survived multiple interglaciations, including the super-interglaciation MIS 11c, though a thaw unconformity and erosional surface indicate at least one episode of permafrost thaw and erosion occurred sometime between MIS 16 and 6. The upper ice complex formed from at least 60 to 30 ka during late MIS 4 to 3. The sand unit above the upper ice complex is dated to MIS 3–2, whereas the sand unit below formed at some time between MIS 4 and 16.
In their introduction to the discussion of Beiläufigkeit in archaeology, Pollock, Bernbeck, Appel, Loy and Schreiber build pleasingly on the theme of what Daniel Miller refers to as the ‘humility’ of physical things (2010, 50). By this he means that objects do not determine or prescribe the actions of human beings, but mutely establish the circumstances under which we operate, conditioning our expectations of how to proceed. Things are often not conspicuously meaningful, but unobtrusive or ‘hiding in plain sight’ and bringing about unacknowledged effects (Alvis 2017, 212). This state of affairs has been recognized by both the phenomenological tradition and the more recent ‘new materialisms’, but what I want to suggest in this contribution is that these perspectives implicitly indicate that things can be ‘incidental’ in a variety of subtly different ways.
Criminal law and criminal justice are becoming increasingly globalised. In open societies, the era in which individual jurisdictions developed their own codes, statutes and systems of justice with no regard to other systems and countries is long over. There is a growing desire to develop common approaches to common problems and to learn from the diversity of current practice in different countries. This development has been reinforced by the internationalisation of criminal justice in international and mixed criminal tribunals. However, attempts at trans-jurisdictional discourse are often hampered by mutual misunderstanding. Some problems are linguistic: although English is the new lingua franca in international and comparative criminal law, not all foundational concepts of criminal law and justice originate in the English-speaking world; some of them are rooted in civil law jurisdictions, such as France, Germany and Italy. The translation of these concepts into English is thus subject to ambiguity and potential error: the same term may have different meanings in different legal contexts. As a consequence, critical and theoretical discussions too often take place within the different legal traditions rather than between them: Anglo-American scholars talk to each other, as do those taught in Continental European criminal law traditions; too rarely do they engage seriously with each other across these jurisdictional borders.
Attempts at trans-jurisdictional debate and agreement are often beset by mutual misunderstanding. Professionals and academics engaged in comparative criminal law sometimes use the same terms with different meanings or different terms which mean the same thing. Although English is the new lingua franca in international and comparative criminal law, there are many ambiguities and uncertainties with regard to foundational criminal law and criminal justice concepts. However, there exists greater similarities among diverse systems of criminal law and justice than is commonly realised. This book explores the foundational principles and concepts that underpin the different domestic systems. It focuses on the Germanic and several principal Anglo-American jurisdictions, which are employed as examples of the wider common law-civil law divide.