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My first title in fact comprises two independent books. Within a section dedicated to Graeco-Roman art and archaeology, the subject may come as something of a surprise: the case study is not ‘Greek’ or ‘Roman’, nor does it derive from the extended Mediterranean. Rather, From Memory to Marble analyses the Voortrekker Monument in Pretoria, inaugurated in 1949. Elizabeth Rankin and Rolf Michael Schneider have delivered a pair of volumes almost as monumental as the installation they describe, the first examining the context, origin, and legacy of the building's frieze, the second cataloguing its twenty-seven scenes. One of the many remarkable aspects of these two books is that both have been made available as free downloads. But what really stands out in the analysis is the ‘unconditional collaboration’ (5) between an art historian and a classical archaeologist: on the one hand, the project showcases how a broader art-historical training can enrich the traditional sorts of questions posed by classical archaeology, especially when it comes to issues of pictorial narrative; on the other, it demonstrates what classical archaeological formalism can offer to contemporary art history, and indeed larger debates about cultural history and contemporary identity politics. The result will be essential reading for anyone concerned with the legacy of classical ideas and imagery in South Africa.
For many, the era of COVID-19 has been short of colour. All the more reason, perhaps, to welcome this round-up's starter for ten: a multihued survey of polychromy in Roman portraiture. Facing the Colours of Roman Portraiture is a book that really does lend itself to being judged by its cover: as we turn the volume from back to front, a marble portrait magically metamorphoses between battered original and technicolour reconstruction.
Junglerice and feather fingergrass are major problematic weeds in the summer sorghum cropping areas of Australia. This study aimed to investigate the growth and seed production of junglerice and feather fingergrass in crop-free (fallow) conditions and under competition with sorghum planted in 50-cm and 100-cm row spacings at three sorghum planting and weed emergence timings. Results revealed that junglerice and feather fingergrass had greater biomass in early planting (November 11) compared to late planting times (January 11). Under fallow conditions, seed production of junglerice ranged from 12,380 to 20,280 seeds plant–1, with the highest seed production for the December 11 and lowest for the January 11 planting. Seed production of feather fingergrass under fallow conditions ranged from 90,030 to 143,180 seeds plant–1. Seed production of feather fingergrass under crop-free (fallow) conditions was similar for November 11 and December 11 planting times, but higher for the January 11 planting. Sorghum crop competition at both row spacings reduced the seed production of junglerice and feather fingergrass >75% compared to non-crop fallow. Narrow row spacing (50 cm) in early and mid-planted sorghum (November 11 and December 11) reduced the biomass of junglerice to a greater extent (88% to 92% over fallow-grown plants) compared to wider row spacing (100 cm). Narrow row spacing was found superior in reducing biomass of feather fingergrass compared to wider row spacing. Our results demonstrate that sorghum crops can substantially reduce biomass and seed production of junglerice and feather fingergrass through crop competition compared with growth in fallow conditions. Narrow row spacing (50 cm) was found superior to wider row spacing (100 cm) in terms of weed suppression. These results suggest that narrow row spacing and late planting time of sorghum crops can strengthen an integrated weed management program against these weeds by reducing weed growth and seed production.
I am no doubt showing my prejudice, but I didn't expect a book on Greek acroteria to make for such exciting lockdown reading. Because of their position high up on temple buildings, extant sculpted materials tend to be fragmentary – and hence pushed to the literal and metaphorical corners of modern-day museums. Look to scholarly publications, moreover, and there is a tendency towards classificatory catalogues, markedly less in the way of theoretical discussion (whether about architectural and cultic framing, for example, historical aesthetics, or the intersection between ‘ornamental’ and ‘figurative’ representational modes).
Mosaics have not fared well in the hands of classical archaeologists. Modern viewers have traditionally treated them as panel-paintings laid out on the floor: consider how mosaics are frequently displayed on museum walls, for example, or how book reproductions perpetuate the ideal of a ‘vertical’ bird's-eye view. Scholars, too, have been quick to identify mythological subjects, homing in on ‘figurative’ motifs. But we still lack an adequate framework for approaching more ‘ornamental’ components – or for challenging that segregation in the first place.
Australian conservation cropping systems are practiced on very large farms (approximately 3,000 ha) where herbicides are relied on for effective and timely weed control. In many fields, though, there are low weed densities (e.g., <1.0 plant 10 m−2) and whole-field herbicide treatments are wasteful. For fallow weed control, commercially available weed detection systems provide the opportunity for site-specific herbicide treatments, removing the need for whole-field treatment of fallow fields with low weed densities. Concern about the sustainability of herbicide-reliant weed management systems remain and there has not been interest in the use of weed detection systems for alternative weed control technologies, such as targeted tillage. In this paper, we discuss the use of a targeted tillage technique for site-specific weed control in large-scale crop production systems. Three small-scale prototypes were used for engineering and weed control efficacy testing across a range of species and growth stages. With confidence established in the design approach and a demonstrated 100% weed-control potential, a 6-m wide pre-commercial prototype, the “Weed Chipper,” was built incorporating commercially available weed-detection cameras for practical field-scale evaluation. This testing confirmed very high (90%) weed control efficacies and associated low levels (1.8%) of soil disturbance where the weed density was fewer than 1.0 plant 10 m−2 in a commercial fallow. These data established the suitability of this mechanical approach to weed control for conservation cropping systems. The development of targeted tillage for fallow weed control represents the introduction of site-specific, nonchemical weed control for conservation cropping systems.
‘An anonymous product of an impersonal craft’: that is how Rhys Carpenter characterized Greek sculpture in 1960, and it's an assessment that has long dominated the field. Carpenter was challenging the traditional workings of classical archaeology, not least its infatuation with individual ‘masters’. While responding to past precedent, however, his comments also looked forward in time, heralding a decidedly postmodern turn. From our perspective in 2020, six decades after his book was first published, Carpenter can be seen to anticipate what Roland Barthes would dub the ‘death of the author’: ‘the birth of the reader must be ransomed by the death of the author’, as Barthes put it.
Attributes are fundamental to the study of classical archaeology, just as they are to the discipline of art history at large. When it comes to identifying figures on an Attic vase – or for that matter the subject of a medieval fresco, Renaissance canvas, or Neoclassical statue – scholars regularly rely on the associative value of objects. Consider the ease with which we recognize ‘Heracles’ on the grounds of a club or lionskin; observe, too, how often a spiked wheel is understood to signal ‘St Catherine’, or a golden key to betoken ‘St Peter’. In all these scenarios, viewers have learned to ‘read’ certain objects in certain culturally conditioned sorts of ways. Despite their non-verbal medium, attributes come to function almost like textual labels: inserted within the field of visual representation, they inscribe an identity, narrative backdrop, or semantic context; they anchor the project of critical interpretation – and in doing so take on a significatory logic of their own.
Change is what keeps the study of classical art and archaeology in business. The stories that we tell of ancient material culture – about form, function, and modes of response – are premised on the continuities that we trace, no less than on our evidence for rift or rupture. In each case, historical analyses of how things developed coalesce with critical attempts to explain why they did so. Answers shuffle and shift. But the project of describing and interpreting change remains constant.
We examined relationships between measures of total knee arthroplasty (TKA) “appropriateness” constructs and surgeon TKA recommendations in people with knee osteoarthritis (OA). Although TKA is highly effective, fifteen to thirty percent of recipients report dissatisfaction and/or little or no symptom improvement. More appropriate selection of surgical candidates may improve both patient outcomes and healthcare resource use, but no validated appropriateness criteria exist currently in Canada.
Patients 30 years of age or older with knee OA referred for surgical consultation at two large joint arthroplasty centres in Alberta, Canada were invited to participate. Participants completed a standardized pre-consult questionnaire, which included the following sociodemographics and validated measures of appropriateness constructs for TKA: knee symptoms; non-surgical management; patient readiness for and expectations of TKA; and net patient benefit. Post-consultation, surgeons were asked to confirm knee OA and their recommendation. We used multivariable logistic regression to examine the relationship between measures of appropriateness constructs and receipt of surgeon TKA recommendation.
Of 3,009 patients approached, 2,360 completed the questionnaire and 2,064 (sixty-nine percent) were eligible at surgical consultation (mean age 65.7 years, standard deviation 9.1; fifty-nine percent were women); 1,495 (seventy-two percent) were recommended for TKA. The likelihood of receiving a TKA recommendation was independently associated with: knee symptoms (odds ratio [OR] per unit increase in pain intensity, 1.19 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.11–1.27)); prior non-surgical OA management (OR for prior knee injection, 1.53 (95% CI: 1.21–1.94)); readiness for surgery (OR if definitely/probably willing to undergo TKA, 3.03 (95% CI: 1.99–4.59)); and TKA expectations (OR outcome “very important”: ability to perform daily activities, 1.40 (95% CI: 1.04–1.88); straighten the knee/leg 1.42 (95% CI: 1.13–1.80); participate in exercise/sports 0.75 (95% CI: 0.58–0.98)).
In our cohort of patients with confirmed knee OA who consulted a surgeon for TKA, appropriateness constructs were significantly associated with receipt of a TKA recommendation. Research is ongoing to evaluate the predictive validity of these measures for patient-reported outcomes associated with TKA.
The frames of classical art are often seen as marginal to the images that they surround. Traditional art history has tended to view framing devices as supplementary 'ornaments'. Likewise, classical archaeologists have often treated them as tools for taxonomic analysis. This book not only argues for the integral role of framing within Graeco-Roman art, but also explores the relationship between the frames of classical antiquity and those of more modern art and aesthetics. Contributors combine close formal analysis with more theoretical approaches: chapters examine framing devices across multiple media (including vase and fresco painting, relief and free-standing sculpture, mosaics, manuscripts and inscriptions), structuring analysis around the themes of 'framing pictorial space', 'framing bodies', 'framing the sacred' and 'framing texts'. The result is a new cultural history of framing - one that probes the sophisticated and playful ways in which frames could support, delimit, shape and even interrogate the images contained within.