77 research outputs found

    Geochemical “fingerprints” for Olduvai Gorge Bed II tuffs and implications for the Oldowan–Acheulean transition

    Get PDF
    Bed II is a critical part of early Pleistocene Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania. Its deposits include transitions from humid to more arid conditions (with associated faunal changes), from Homo habilis to erectus, and from Oldowan to Acheulean technology. Bed II (~ 1.8–1.2 Ma) is stratigraphically and environmentally complex, with facies changes, faulting, and unconformities, making site-to-site correlation over the ~ 20 km of exposure difficult. Bed II tuffs are thinner, less evenly preserved, and more reworked than those of Bed I. Five marker tuffs (Tuffs IIA–IID, Bird Print Tuff (BPT)), plus local tephra, were collected from multiple sites and characterized using stratigraphic position, mineral assemblage, and electron probe microanalysis of phenocryst (feldspar, hornblende, augite, titanomagnetite) and glass (where available) composition. Lowermost Bed II tuffs are dominantly nephelinitic, Middle Bed II tuffs (BPT, Tuff IIC) have basaltic components, and upper Bed II Tuff IID is trachytic. The BPT and Tuff IID are identified widely using phenocryst compositions (high-Ca plagioclase and high-Ti hornblende, respectively), though IID was originally (Hay, 1976) misidentified as Tuff IIC at Loc 91 (SHK Annexe) in the Side Gorge. This work helps establish a high-resolution basin-wide paleolandscape context for the Oldowan–Acheulean transition and helps link hominin, faunal and archaeological records

    Bed II Sequence Stratigraphic context of EF-HR and HWK EE archaeological sites, and the Oldowan/Acheulean succession at Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania

    Get PDF
    Archaeological excavations at EF-HR and HWK EE allow reassessment of Bed II stratigraphy within the Junction Area and eastern Olduvai Gorge. Application of Sequence Stratigraphic methods provides a time-stratigraphic framework enabling correlation of sedimentary units across facies boundaries, applicable even in those areas where conventional timelines, such as tephrostratigraphic markers, are absent, eroded, or reworked. Sequence Stratigraphically, Bed II subdivides into five major Sequences 1 to 5, all floored by major disconformities that incise deeply into the underlying succession, proving that simple "layer cake" stratigraphy is inappropriate. Previous establishment of the Lemuta Member has invalidated the use of Tuff IIA as the boundary between Lower and Middle Bed II, now redefined at the disconformity between Sequences 2 and 3, a lithostratigraphic contact underlying the succession containing the Lower, Middle, and Upper Augitic Sandstones. HWK EE site records Oldowan technology in the Lower Augitic Sandstone at the base of Sequence 3, within Middle Bed II. We suggest placement of recently reported Acheulean levels at FLK W within the Middle Augitic Sandstone, thus emphasizing that handaxes are yet to be found in earlier stratigraphic units of the Olduvai sequence. This would place a boundary between the Oldowan and Acheulean technologies at Olduvai in the Tuff IIB zone or earliest Middle Augitic Sandstone. A major disconformity between Sequences 3 and 4 at and near EF-HR cuts through the level of Tuff IIC, placing the main Acheulean EF-HR assemblage at the base of Sequence 4, within Upper rather than Middle Bed II. Sequence stratigraphic methods also yield a more highly resolved Bed II stratigraphic framework. Backwall and sidewall surveying of archaeological trenches at EF-HR and HWK EE permits definition of “Lake-parasequences” nested within the major Sequences that record downcutting of disconformities associated with lake regression, then sedimentation associated with lake transgression, capped finally by another erosional disconformity or hiatal paraconformity caused by the next lake withdrawal. On a relative time-scale rather than a vertical metre scale, the resulting Wheeler diagram framework provides a basis for recognizing time-equivalent depositional episodes and the position of time gaps at various scales. Relative timing of archaeological assemblage levels can then be differentiated at a millennial scale within this framework

    Hominin raw material procurement in the Oldowan-Acheulean transition at Olduvai Gorge

    Get PDF
    The lithic assemblages at the Oldowan-Acheulean transition in Bed II of Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania, represent a wide variety of raw materials reflecting both the diversity of volcanic, metamorphic, and sedimentary source materials available in the Olduvai basin and surroundings and the preferences of the tool-makers. A geochemical and petrographic systematic analysis of lava-derived archaeological stone tools, combined with textural and mineralogical characterization of quartzite, chert, and other metamorphic and sedimentary raw materials from two Middle and Upper Bed II sites, has enabled us to produce a comprehensive dataset and characterization of the rocks employed by Olduvai hominins, which is used here to establish a referential framework for future studies on Early Stone Age raw material provenancing. The use of rounded blanks for most lava-derived artifacts demonstrates that hominins were accessing lava in local stream channels. Most quartzite artifacts appear to derive from angular blocks, likely acquired at the source (predominantly Naibor Soit hill), though some do appear to be manufactured from stream-transported quartzite blanks. Raw material composition of the EF-HR assemblage indicates that Acheulean hominins selected high-quality lavas for the production of Large Cutting Tools. On the other hand, the HWK EE lithic assemblage suggests that raw material selectivity was not entirely based on rock texture, and other factors, such as blank shape and availability of natural angles suitable for flaking, played a major role in Oldowan reduction sequences

    The contexts and early Acheulean archaeology of the EF-HR paleo-landscape (Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania)

    Get PDF
    Renewed fieldwork at the early Acheulean site of EF-HR (Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania) has included detailed stratigraphic studies of the sequence, extended excavations in the main site, and has placed eleven additional trenches within an area of nearly 1 km(2), to sample the same stratigraphic interval as in the main trench across the broader paleo-landscape. Our new stratigraphic work suggests that EF-HR is positioned higher in the Bed II sequence than previously proposed, which has implications for the age of the site and its stratigraphic correlation to other Olduvai Middle Bed II sites. Geological research shows that the main EF-HR site was situated at the deepest part of an incised valley formed through river erosion. Archaeological excavations at the main site and nearby trenches have unearthed a large new assemblage, with more than 3000 fossils and artefacts, including a hundred handaxes in stratigraphic position. In addition, our test-trenching approach has detected conspicuous differences in the density of artefacts across the landscape, with a large cluster of archaeological material in and around the main trench, and less intense human activity at the same level in the more distant satellite trenches. All of these aspects are discussed in this paper in the light of site formation processes, behavioral contexts, and their implications for our understanding of the early Acheulean at Olduvai Gorge

    Malignancy risk analysis in patients with inadequate fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) of the thyroid

    Get PDF
    Background Thyroid fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) is the standard diagnostic modality for thyroid nodules. However, it has limitations among which is the incidence of non-diagnostic results (Thy1). Management of cases with repeatedly non-diagnostic FNAC ranges from simple observation to surgical intervention. We aim to evaluate the incidence of malignancy in non-diagnostic FNAC, and the success rate of repeated FNAC. We also aim to evaluate risk factors for malignancy in patients with non-diagnostic FNAC. Materials and Methods Retrospective analyses of consecutive cases with thyroid non diagnostic FNAC results were included. Results Out of total 1657 thyroid FNAC done during the study period, there were 264 (15.9%) non-diagnostic FNAC on the first attempt. On repeating those, the rate of a non-diagnostic result on second FNAC was 61.8% and on third FNAC was 47.2%. The overall malignancy rate in Thy1 FNAC was 4.5% (42% papillary, 42% follicular and 8% anaplastic), and the yield of malignancy decreased considerably with successive non-diagnostic FNAC. Ultrasound guidance by an experienced head neck radiologist produced the lowest non-diagnostic rate (38%) on repetition compared to US guidance by a generalist radiologist (65%) and by non US guidance (90%). Conclusions There is a low risk of malignancy in patients with a non-diagnostic FNAC result, commensurate to the risk of any nodule. The yield of malignancy decreased considerably with successive non-diagnostic FNAC

    Temporal Trends in Vertebral Size and Shape from Medieval to Modern-Day

    Get PDF
    Human lumbar vertebrae support the weight of the upper body. Loads lifted and carried by the upper extremities cause significant loading stress to the vertebral bodies. It is well established that trauma-induced vertebral fractures are common especially among elderly people. The aim of this study was to investigate the morphological factors that could have affected the prevalence of trauma-related vertebral fractures from medieval times to the present day. To determine if morphological differences existed in the size and shape of the vertebral body between medieval times and the present day, the vertebral body size and shape was measured from the 4th lumbar vertebra using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and standard osteometric calipers. The modern samples consisted of modern Finns and the medieval samples were from archaeological collections in Sweden and Britain. The results show that the shape and size of the 4th lumbar vertebra has changed significantly from medieval times in a way that markedly affects the biomechanical characteristics of the lumbar vertebral column. These changes may have influenced the incidence of trauma- induced spinal fractures in modern populations

    New excavations at the HWK EE site: Archaeology, paleoenvironment and site formation processes during late Oldowan times at Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania

    Get PDF
    This paper reports the results of renewed fieldwork at the HWK EE site (Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania). HWK EE is positioned across the boundary between Lower and Middle Bed II, a crucial interval for studying the emergence of the Acheulean at Olduvai Gorge. Our excavations at HWK EE have produced one of the largest collections of fossils and artefacts from any Oldowan site, distributed across several archaeological units and a large excavation surface in four separate trenches that can be stratigraphically correlated. Here we present the main stratigraphic and archaeological units and discuss site formation processes. Results show a great density of fossils and stone tools vertically through two stratigraphic intervals (Lemuta and Lower Augitic Sandstone) and laterally across an area of around 300 m2, and highlight the confluence of biotic and abiotic agents in the formation of the assemblage. The large size and diversity of the assemblage, as well as its good preservation, qualify HWK EE as a reference site for the study of the late Oldowan at Olduvai Gorge and elsewhere in Africa. In addition, the description of the stratigraphic and archaeological sequence of HWK EE presented in this paper constitutes the foundation for further studies on hominin behavior and paleoecology in Lower and Middle Bed II

    Unexpectedly rapid evolution of mandibular shape in hominins

    Get PDF
    Members of the hominins – namely the so-called ‘australopiths’ and the species of the genus Homo – are known to possess short and deep mandibles and relatively small incisors and canines. It is commonly assumed that this suite of traits evolved in early members of the clade in response to changing environmental conditions and increased consumption of though food items. With the emergence of Homo, the functional meaning of mandible shape variation is thought to have been weakened by technological advancements and (later) by the control over fire. In contrast to this expectation, we found that mandible shape evolution in hominins is exceptionally rapid as compared to any other primate clade, and that the direction and rate of shape change (from the ape ancestor) are no different between the australopiths and Homo. We deem several factors including the loss of honing complex, canine reduction, and the acquisition of different diets may have concurred in producing such surprisingly high evolutionary rates. This study reveals the evolution of mandibular shape in hominins has strong morpho-functional and ecological significance attached

    Convergent and parallel evolution in life habit of the scallops (Bivalvia: Pectinidae)

    Get PDF
    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>We employed a phylogenetic framework to identify patterns of life habit evolution in the marine bivalve family Pectinidae. Specifically, we examined the number of independent origins of each life habit and distinguished between convergent and parallel trajectories of life habit evolution using ancestral state estimation. We also investigated whether ancestral character states influence the frequency or type of evolutionary trajectories.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>We determined that temporary attachment to substrata by byssal threads is the most likely ancestral condition for the Pectinidae, with subsequent transitions to the five remaining habit types. Nearly all transitions between life habit classes were repeated in our phylogeny and the majority of these transitions were the result of parallel evolution from byssate ancestors. Convergent evolution also occurred within the Pectinidae and produced two additional gliding clades and two recessing lineages. Furthermore, our analysis indicates that byssal attaching gave rise to significantly more of the transitions than any other life habit and that the cementing and nestling classes are only represented as evolutionary outcomes in our phylogeny, never as progenitor states.</p> <p>Conclusions</p> <p>Collectively, our results illustrate that both convergence and parallelism generated repeated life habit states in the scallops. Bias in the types of habit transitions observed may indicate constraints due to physical or ontogenetic limitations of particular phenotypes.</p

    Mental health first aid training for nursing students: a protocol for a pragmatic randomised controlled trial in a large university

    Get PDF
    BackgroundThe impact of mental health problems and disorders in Australia is significant. Mental health problems often start early and disproportionately affect young people. Poor adolescent mental health can predict educational achievement at school and educational and occupational attainment in adulthood. Many young people attend higher education and have been found to experience a range of mental health issues. The university setting therefore presents a unique opportunity to trial interventions to reduce the burden of mental health problems. Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) aims to train participants to recognise symptoms of mental health problems and assist an individual who may be experiencing a mental health crisis. Training nursing students in MHFA may increase mental health literacy and decrease stigma in the student population. This paper presents a protocol for a trial to examine the efficacy of the MHFA training for students studying nursing at a large university in Perth, Western Australia. Methods/DesignThis randomised controlled trial will follow the CONSORT guidelines. Participants will be randomly allocated to the intervention group (receiving a MHFA training course comprising two face to face 6.5 hour sessions run over two days during the intervention period) or a waitlisted control group (not receiving MHFA training during the study). The source population will be undergraduate nursing students at a large university located in Perth, Western Australia. Efficacy of the MHFA training will be assessed by following the intention-to-treat principle and repeated measures analysis. DiscussionGiven the known burden of mental health disorders among student populations, it is important universities consider effective strategies to address mental health issues. Providing MHFA training to students offers the advantage of increasing mental health literacy, among the student population. Further, students trained in MHFA are likely to utilise these skills in the broader community, when they graduate to the workforce. It is anticipated that this trial will demonstrate the scalability of MHFA in the university environment for pre-service nurses and that implementation of MHFA courses, with comprehensive evaluation, could yield positive improvements in the mental health literacy amongst this target group as well as other tertiary student groups. Trial registrationAustralian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN1261400086165
    corecore