Ancient History (ancient + history)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Focal infection: new age or ancient history?

Thomas J. Pallasch
First page of article [source]

Food Security in China and Contingency Planning: the Significance of Grain Reserves

Hendrik J. Bruins
China is inhabited by ca 20 percent of the world population, but has only 7 percent of global arable land and only 6.6 percent of global freshwater resources. These unfavourable relationships between population size and the basic resources for food production , soil and water , require careful food security and contingency planning by the Chinese authorities. The country has been remarkably successful in raising its food production since 1949 at a faster rate (400 percent) than the increase in its population (240 percent). This has basically been achieved by increasing the yields per unit area with enhanced fertilizer use, as the total size of arable land has been decreasing in recent years. Though China attempts to be largely self-sufficient in food grain production, two possible contingency scenarios are suggested that might cause grave problems: (1) severe multi-annual drought; (2) reduced chemical fertilizer manufacturing. If Chinese food production would drop as a result by, say, 33 percent, famine, the dreaded scourge throughout Chinese history, might recur. A shortage of ca 150 million tons of food grains cannot easily be buffered by the volume of food grains annually traded on the world market, ca 240 million tons. Much of this amount tends to be committed already to traditional buyers, as most countries in the world have to import food grains. Cash reserves, therefore, may not guarantee food purchases, because global grain reserves are limited and declining. The formation and maintenance of large internal food grain reserves in China, common in its tradition and ancient history, seem the only realistic contingency planning strategy to avert famine in case of a severe decline in its food production in future crisis years. [source]

HLA genes and surnames show a similar genetic structure in Lombardy: Does this reflect part of the history of the region?

Antonella Lisa
Lombardy, in northern Italy, is the most populated and industrialized Italian region. We attempt to study its genetic structure with two independent sets of data: HLA allele frequencies and surnames. According to our results, it is plausible to deduce that ancient history, more than genetic isolation and drift, may have contributed to the present genetic structure of Lombardy. The hypothesis seems to be confirmed by the results of the cluster analysis of the 11 provinces of the region, which was performed using two different types of markers. Both genes and surnames show approximately the same structure. Not only Celts but also ancient Ligurians (and Etruscans) probably shaped the region into the present three clusters in which the 11 provinces appear to be genetically structured. In particular, an ancient historic, archaeological, and linguistic boundary, along the Adda River, seems to be preserved in present-day Lombardy's population structure.Am. J.Hum. Biol. 19:311,318, 2007. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

Federal Repatriation Legislation and the Role of Physical Anthropology in Repatriation

Stephen D. Ousley
Abstract Two laws governing the disposition of Native American human remains in museums and institutions have had a profound impact on anthropology, and especially physical anthropology. In contrast to the perception of constant conflict between Native Americans and physical anthropologists, the repatriation process based on these laws has been in large part harmonious between institutions and Native peoples in the US. Despite misconceptions, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAPGRA; 25 United States Code (U.S.C.) 3001-3013) was not intended to halt further research on Native American remains in museums. In fact, court decisions have affirmed that the documentation of human remains produces information no other methods can provide, and provides necessary evidence to be incorporated and weighed, along with other evidence, in evaluating "cultural affiliation," the legal term for the required connection from federally recognized Native American groups to their ancestors. The wide variety of osteological data collected at the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), Smithsonian Institution, have proven indispensable when evaluating cultural affiliation, especially when other information sources are unhelpful or ambiguous, and provide an empirical basis for determining the ancestry of individuals whose remains will be discovered in the future. To date, the claim-driven process at the NMNH has resulted in the affiliation and repatriation of more Native American remains than any other institution in the country. Repatriation experiences at the NMNH demonstrate the changing relationships between museums and Native peoples, the continuing important contributions that physical anthropology makes to the repatriation process, and the importance of physical anthropology in understanding the recent and ancient history of North America. Yrbk Phys Anthropol 48:2,32, 2005. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

Lost Works of Art: the problem and a case study

ART HISTORY, Issue 3 2000
Ed Lilley
This article, which is presented in two parts, aims to raise awareness of the position of lost works in art-historical practice. The first section seeks to question the status of the information which can exist regarding work of art that are no longer extant. Without claiming to be comprehensive, it details examples of the different sorts of material that may exist (photographs, engravings, explanatory texts, etc.) and considers these in relation to the original object. The secondary sources are considered individually, as being nearer to, or further from, the original, but they are also seen together as ,traces'. It is explicitly stated that these traces cannot provide access to the meaning of the original but that they may help to elucidate its ,message' (its historical, political or social significance). The second part focuses on two lost paintings by Leclerc which were shown, as pendants, at the 1756 exhibition of the Académie de Saint-Luc in Paris and which are now known only from a single critical text. One of them was a history painting, while the other was a genre scene. The latter, according to the textual source, depicted women in eighteenth-century dress disrobing on the banks of a stream. It is argued that such an immodest scene would not normally have been thought fit for public exhibition in eighteenth-century Paris and reasons are sought for its production and its exposure. The mid-eighteenth century saw doubts cast on frivolous erotic mythology (such as is seen in Leclerc's other painting) as being suitable for artistic depiction. Later events show that the loves of the gods were eclipsed by moral tales from ancient history (the rise of neoclassicism, in a word). It is suggested here, however, that Leclerc perhaps sought to provide an alternative. As his history picture and his genre scene were presently explicitly as pendants, he perhaps aimed to suggest that the way forward might be an acceptance of contemporary sexuality as a suitable subject in art. The paper is exploratory in every sense. It seeks to put the question of lost works on the agenda, to provide the first, rather than the last, word on the subject. In the final analysis, it is even suggested, not entirely frivolously, that Leclerc's paintings may never have existed. But even if they did not, a text describing possible pictures does, and this is of itself an important intervention in the thinking about suitable themes for depiction in eighteenth-century France. [source]