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Sample records for nendo ningen kyocho

  1. Environmental reconstruction and biostratigraphy of late Middle Pleistocene lakeshore deposits at Schöningen.

    PubMed

    Urban, Brigitte; Bigga, Gerlinde

    2015-12-01

    The Pleistocene sequence of Schöningen provides a key link between unglaciated and glaciated areas in western Central Europe and is an important point of reference for the subdivision of the glaciated late Middle Pleistocene. This locality yields paleoecological and geological evidence of at least four interglacial periods prior to the Holocene and younger than the Elsterian glaciation. The Pleistocene deposits at Schöningen are valuable archives of climate, landscape, and human evolution, containing outstanding information on past environmental changes and human adaptation. This paper presents paleoenvironmental and biostratigraphical results from the Middle Pleistocene archaeological lakeshore site of Schöningen, focusing on the so-called reference profile Schöningen 13 II of 2003. We discuss the lithological, palynological, and macrobotanical evidence and present a revised subdivision and reinterpretation of late phases of the Reinsdorf Interglacial. PMID:26638875

  2. Overview and new results from large-scale excavations in Schöningen.

    PubMed

    Serangeli, Jordi; Böhner, Utz; Van Kolfschoten, Thijs; Conard, Nicholas J

    2015-12-01

    Archaeological finds including spears, other wooden artifacts, lithic artifacts, and bones with impact scars and cut marks document the repeated presence of hominins on the shoreline of an approximately 300,000 year old lake near Schöningen in Northern Germany. Continuing excavations have uncovered in the locality "Schöningen" at least 20 sites dating to the late Lower Paleolithic. Schöningen is therefore not only a singular archaeological site with remarkable finds; it is a vast locality that preserves a multifaceted archaeological landscape with numerous sites. Ongoing excavations have exposed several large surfaces with organic materials dating to MIS 9. In particular, recent excavations have uncovered new sections belonging to the original Spear Horizon from Schöningen 13 II-4 (the Horse Butchery Site). Current research in Schöningen places the exceptional artifacts within a spatial and environmental context, and provides a wealth of new information on the subsistence strategies and settlement dynamics of the inhabitants of these short-term lakeside occupations. Schöningen, with an overall excavated area of 9400 m(2), is one of the largest excavated archaeological localities from MIS 9. Here we present a summary of all the sites, as well as the most relevant excavated areas since 2008 (excavations Tübingen/NLD). PMID:26596727

  3. The age of the Lower Paleolithic occupation at Schöningen.

    PubMed

    Richter, Daniel; Krbetschek, Matthias

    2015-12-01

    Thermoluminescence (TL) data are presented for eight samples of heated flint collected at the archaeological site of Schöningen 13/I-1 (Cycle I), for which a Holsteinian age is suggested by palynology of stratigraphically similar positions within a cyclic sedimentological model for the Quaternary sequence of Schöningen. Although the fire responsible for the zeroing of the TL-signal cannot be unequivocally attributed to human activities, any time difference between a natural fire and the human occupation is negligible for a site of this antiquity. The weighted mean age of 321 ± 16 ka places the last heating of the flints nominally in the age range of Marine Isotope Stages (MIS) 10 to 8. By inference this data would suggest an attribution of the Holsteinian to MIS 9 and may also serve as a maximum age estimate for the spear site of Schöningen 13/II-4 (Cycle II). Considering the chronometric data available and following an alternative sedimentological model the age of these two sites at Schöningen can be considered as belonging to the same climatic cycle. This suggests an attribution to MIS 9, and by inference provides an age estimate of 337-300 ka for the oldest spears in human history. PMID:26212768

  4. Residue and microwear analyses of the stone artifacts from Schöningen.

    PubMed

    Rots, Veerle; Hardy, Bruce L; Serangeli, Jordi; Conard, Nicholas J

    2015-12-01

    Stone artifacts from Schöningen 12 and 13 were examined microscopically to identify residues, wear, and manufacturing traces in order to clarify their possible anthropogenic origins and their function. We present evidence showing that the stone tools were used for working wood and hide and for cutting meat. The results from the use-wear and residue analyses proved complementary in several instances. Suggestive evidence of hafting was observed on a few pieces, which is particularly interesting given the identification of wooden hafts at the site. The positive results of this analysis demonstrate the efficacy and potential of these techniques for Lower Paleolithic sites such as Schöningen. PMID:26387038

  5. On the evidence for human use and control of fire at Schöningen.

    PubMed

    Stahlschmidt, Mareike C; Miller, Christopher E; Ligouis, Bertrand; Hambach, Ulrich; Goldberg, Paul; Berna, Francesco; Richter, Daniel; Urban, Brigitte; Serangeli, Jordi; Conard, Nicholas J

    2015-12-01

    When and how humans began to control fire has been a central debate in Paleolithic archaeology for decades. Fire plays an important role in technology, social organization, subsistence, and manipulation of the environment and is widely seen as a necessary adaptation for the colonization of northern latitudes. Many researchers view purported hearths, burnt wooden implements, and heated flints from Schöningen as providing the best evidence for the control of fire in the Lower Paleolithic of Northern Europe. Here we present results of a multianalytical study of the purported hearths along with a critical examination of other possible evidence of human use or control of fire at Schöningen. We conclude that the analyzed features and artifacts present no convincing evidence for human use or control of fire. Our study also shows that a multianalytical, micro-contextual approach is the best methodology for evaluating claims of early evidence of human-controlled fire. We advise caution with macroscopic, qualitative identification of combustion features, burnt flint, and burnt wood without the application of such techniques as micromorphology, Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, organic petrology, luminescence, and analysis of mineral magnetic parameters. The lack of evidence for the human control of fire at Schöningen raises the possibility that fire control was not a necessary adaptation for the human settlement of northern latitudes in the Lower Paleolithic. PMID:26087650

  6. Excavations at Schöningen and paradigm shifts in human evolution.

    PubMed

    Conard, Nicholas J; Serangeli, Jordi; Böhner, Utz; Starkovich, Britt M; Miller, Christopher E; Urban, Brigitte; Van Kolfschoten, Thijs

    2015-12-01

    The exceptional preservation at Schöningen together with a mixture of perseverance, hard work, and sheer luck led to the recovery of unique finds in an exceptional context. The 1995 discovery of numerous wooden artifacts, most notably at least 10 carefully made spears together with the skeletons of at least 20 to 25 butchered horses, brought the debate about hunting versus scavenging among late archaic hominins and analogous arguments about the purportedly primitive behavior of Homo heidelbergensis and Neanderthals to an end. Work under H. Thieme's lead from 1992 to 2008 and results from the current team since 2008 demonstrate that late H. heidelbergensis or early Neanderthals used sophisticated artifacts made from floral and faunal materials, in addition to lithic artifacts more typically recovered at Lower Paleolithic sites. The finds from the famous Horse Butchery Site and two dozen other archaeological horizons from the edges of the open-cast mine at Schöningen provide many new insights into the technology and behavioral patterns of hominins about 300 ka BP during MIS 9 on the Northern European Plain. An analysis of the finds from Schöningen and their contexts shows that the inhabitants of the site were skilled hunters at the top of the food chain and exhibited a high level of planning depth. These hominins had command of effective means of communication about the here and now, and the past and the future, that allowed them to repeatedly execute well-coordinated and successful group activities that likely culminated in a division of labor and social and economic patterns radically different from those of all non-human primates. The unique preservation and high quality excavations have led to a major paradigm shift or "Schöningen Effect" that changed our views of human evolution during the late Lower Paleolithic. In this respect, we can view the behaviors documented at Schöningen as a plausible baseline for the behavioral sophistication of archaic hominins

  7. Investigation of equid paleodiet from Schöningen 13 II-4 through dental wear and isotopic analyses: Archaeological implications.

    PubMed

    Rivals, Florent; Julien, Marie-Anne; Kuitems, Margot; Van Kolfschoten, Thijs; Serangeli, Jordi; Drucker, Dorothée G; Bocherens, Hervé; Conard, Nicholas J

    2015-12-01

    The paleodietary traits of the equid population from Schöningen 13 II-4 were investigated through tooth mesowear and microwear analyses, as well as stable isotopic analyses. The mesowear pattern observed on the upper teeth indicates a low abrasion diet with a significant amount of browse in the diet of the horses. The tooth microwear analysis and the isotopic data confirm that the horses from Schöningen 13 II-4 were mixed feeders, like many populations from other Pleistocene localities in Northern and Eastern Europe. Microwear also provides information on seasonal changes in the diet of the horses and offers the possibility to test hypotheses about the presence of one or several horse populations. Our analysis determined that the assemblage of horse remains from Schöningen 13 II-4 resulted from multiple accumulation events, which took place at different periods of time. PMID:25242064

  8. Characterizing the Lower Paleolithic bone industry from Schöningen 12 II: A multi-proxy study.

    PubMed

    Julien, Marie-Anne; Hardy, Bruce; Stahlschmidt, Mareike C; Urban, Brigitte; Serangeli, Jordi; Conard, Nicholas J

    2015-12-01

    Although preservation of Paleolithic faunal assemblages from open-air settings is often poor, the Lower Paleolithic sites of Schöningen provide exceptionally well-preserved mammalian faunal material for investigating hominin/animal relationships. Pleistocene fossil assemblages, however, usually reflect a complex taphonomic history in which natural and anthropogenic processes are often superimposed. A number of examples of osseous finds that resemble tools were recently discovered in the MIS 9 deposits of Schöningen 12 II. Non-anthropogenic agents are known to produce surface modifications mimicking human artifacts and the identification of osseous remains used and/or deliberately modified by ancient hominins is often controversial in such old contexts. Multiple lines of evidence are thus useful for distinguishing between osseous artifacts and "eco-facts". In this paper, the recognition of the use of bone for different technological purposes by late Middle Pleistocene hominins is addressed through a multi-proxy study combining geoarcheology, bone taphonomy, zooarcheology, and use-wear analysis. This allowed the identification of the processes and agents responsible for the formation and modification of the different bone assemblages of Schöningen 12 II. Our analysis points to different types of bones having been likely used as tools. These results expand the diversity of the organic technological repertoire of the Middle Pleistocene hominins, making Schöningen 12 II a remarkable new source of information on osseous technology long before the Upper Paleolithic, the period traditionally viewed as the start of the systematic use of bone tools. Together with other observations of bone tools documented during the Lower and Middle Paleolithic, the results from Schöningen show that archeologists may have underestimated the diversity and importance of osseous technology among archaic hominins. PMID:26651609

  9. The depositional environments of Schöningen 13 II-4 and their archaeological implications.

    PubMed

    Stahlschmidt, Mareike C; Miller, Christopher E; Ligouis, Bertrand; Goldberg, Paul; Berna, Francesco; Urban, Brigitte; Conard, Nicholas J

    2015-12-01

    Geoarchaeological research at the Middle Pleistocene site of Schöningen 13 II-4, often referred to as the Speerhorizont, has focused on describing and evaluating the depositional contexts of the well-known wooden spears, butchered horses, and stone tools. These finds were recovered from the transitional contact between a lacustrine marl and an overlying organic mud, originally thought to be a peat that accumulated in place under variable moisture conditions. The original excavators proposed that hominin activity, including hunting and butchery, occurred on a dry lake shore and was followed by a rapid sedimentation of organic deposits that embedded and preserved the artifacts. Our geoarchaeological analysis challenges this model. Here, we present evidence that the sediments of Schöningen 13 II-4 were deposited in a constantly submerged area of a paleolake. Although we cannot exclude the possibility that the artifacts were deposited during a short, extreme drying event, there are no sedimentary features indicative of surface exposure in the sediments. Accordingly, this paper explores three main alternative models of site formation: anthropogenic disposal of materials into the lake, a geological relocation of the artifacts, and hunting or caching on lake-ice. These models have different behavioral ramifications concerning hominin knowledge and exploitation of the landscape and their subsistence strategies. PMID:26341030

  10. The behavioral and cultural stratigraphic contexts of the lithic assemblages from Schöningen.

    PubMed

    Serangeli, Jordi; Conard, Nicholas J

    2015-12-01

    Within the various archaeological horizons in Schöningen, the presence of hominins is repeatedly demonstrated by the recovery of stone artifacts, broken bones, and bones with cut marks. The Spear Horizon, 13 II-4, with its ca. 1500 stone artifacts and ca. 12,000 faunal remains, represents by far the richest archaeological layers in Schöningen. Systematic waterscreening over a period of 15 years has fostered the recovery of numerous small flakes that otherwise would have remained undetected. Based on the stone artifacts published by H. Thieme and the lithic artifacts recovered from the ongoing excavations of the University of Tübingen and the Archaeological Heritage Office of Lower Saxony since 2008, we present here the main aspects of these lithic assemblages. The main features of the lithic assemblages recovered from the different find horizons and concentrations provide a consistent signature, suggesting a robust and repetitive technological strategy. The assemblages, which are made of local, high quality flint, lack handaxes and are clearly not related to the Acheulean. Intensely retouched scrapers, as well as denticulates, notched pieces, and points on thick flakes, angular debris, and non-anthropogenic thermal spalls are the most numerous retouched forms. The assemblages also contain a smaller number of thinner forms. Reduction sequences are short and Levallois technology is absent. Although some of the retouched forms are reminiscent of the Middle Paleolithic, the relatively non-standardized short reduction sequences technically oriented toward the production of thick and broad flakes are consistent with a classification in the late Lower Paleolithic. PMID:26311252

  11. The Spear Horizon: First spatial analysis of the Schöningen site 13 II-4.

    PubMed

    Böhner, Utz; Serangeli, Jordi; Richter, Pascale

    2015-12-01

    The Spear Horizon (Schöningen 13 II-4) from Schöningen, Lower Saxony, Germany, is one of the most important archeological sites dating to the Middle Pleistocene. Until today, the numerous finds have only been published individually, often outside of their context. Here we present for the first time the distribution map of the Spear Horizon together with a spatial analysis of the different categories of remains (flint, bones, and woods). The finds are situated in a 10 m wide belt, which runs parallel to a former lakeshore. The distribution of faunal remains correlates closely with the distribution of flint artifacts and wooden objects. We have been able to distinguish five different sectors that can be aligned with different events or activities. The greatest density of finds was evident within an area of 11 × 15 m, where most of the horse skulls were recovered. Some of the square meters contain more than 150 finds. During the excavation the profiles were continually documented and these data help us to reconstruct the shoreline of the paleo-lake with considerable accuracy. Over a distance of 60 m, the thickness and density of the organic mud and peat layers could be reconstructed in high resolution. The distribution of finds shows no preferred orientation or selection through size. The analyses only indicate small-scale dislocations and limited taphonomic alterations. The fraction of lithic artifacts with size ranges less than 2 cm are preserved, while some smaller bone fragments are missing. Most of the wooden artifacts are in-situ, but were deformed by the ice load during the Saalian ice age. While some small charcoal remains as well as a burnt artifact have been observed, there is no evidence of burnt bones. Our results allow a first insight into the formation history of the site. PMID:26626956

  12. The European saber-toothed cat (Homotherium latidens) found in the "Spear Horizon" at Schöningen (Germany).

    PubMed

    Serangeli, Jordi; Van Kolfschoten, Thijs; Starkovich, Britt M; Verheijen, Ivo

    2015-12-01

    The 300,000 year old Lower Paleolithic site Schöningen 13 II-4 became world famous with the discovery of the oldest well-preserved and complete wooden spears. Through ongoing excavations, new archaeological discoveries of scientific importance are still being made from the same archaeological layer where the spears were found. In this context, remains of a rare carnivore species, the European saber-toothed cat (Homotherium latidens), were recovered. Here we present five teeth and one humerus fragment that are unambiguously from two individual saber-toothed cats. The humerus is a unique specimen; it shows evidence of hominin impacts and use as a percussor. The Homotherium remains from Schöningen are the best documented finds of this species in an archaeological setting and they are amongst the youngest specimens of Homotherium in Europe. The presence of this species as a carnivore competitor would certainly have impacted the lives of late Middle Pleistocene hominins. The discovery illustrates the possible day-to-day challenges that the Schöningen hominins would have faced and suggests that the wooden spears were not necessarily only used for hunting, but possibly also as a weapon for self-defense. PMID:26505304

  13. Lower Paleolithic bone tools from the 'Spear Horizon' at Schöningen (Germany).

    PubMed

    Van Kolfschoten, Thijs; Parfitt, Simon A; Serangeli, Jordi; Bello, Silvia M

    2015-12-01

    The Lower Paleolithic locality of Schöningen 13 II-4 is famous for the discovery of wooden spears found amongst the butchered remains of numerous horses and other large herbivores. Although the spears have attracted the most interest, other aspects of the associated artifact assemblage have received less attention. Here we describe an extraordinary assemblage of 88 bone tools from the 'Spear Horizon.' This sample includes numerous long-bone shaft fragments (mostly of horse), three ribs used as 'retouchers' to resharpen flint tools, and a complete horse innominate that was used as an anvil in bipolar knapping. Most of the retouchers were prepared by scraping the diaphysis of fresh and dry long-bones. Technological analysis of the associated lithic assemblage demonstrates exhaustive resharpening to maintain functional cutting edges. Whereas the flint tools were brought to the site, curated, and maintained, the retouchers had a shorter use-history and were either discarded after a limited period or broken to extract marrow. Horse and bison metapodials with flaked and rounded epiphyses are interpreted as hammers used to break marrow bones. Several of the 'metapodial hammers' were additionally used as knapping percussors. These constitute the earliest evidence of multi-purpose bone tools in the archeological record. Our results highlight the advanced knowledge in the use of bones as tools during the Lower Paleolithic, with major implications for understanding aspects of non-lithic technology and planning depth in early hominins. PMID:26653208

  14. The Middle Pleistocene tunnel valley at Schöningen as a Paleolithic archive.

    PubMed

    Lang, Jörg; Böhner, Utz; Polom, Ulrich; Serangeli, Jordi; Winsemann, Jutta

    2015-12-01

    Schöningen represents one of the key sites for Lower Paleolithic archaeology in central Europe, where a Middle to Late Pleistocene sedimentary succession, locally up to 45 m thick, has been preserved in an Elsterian tunnel valley. After deglaciation, the tunnel valley remained underfilled and provided the accommodation space for Holsteinian interglacial deposition and also kept the artifact-bearing strata below base level for subsequent erosion. The Holsteinian (MIS 9) succession consists of laterally and vertically stacked lacustrine delta systems, which were controlled by repeated lake-level changes. In the face of changing climatic and environmental conditions the long-lived interglacial lake provided an attractive site for animals and early humans. Artifacts were deposited on the subaerial delta plain and became embedded during lake-level rise. Although the area was considerably affected by erosion and glacitectonic deformation during the subsequent Saalian glaciation, the artifact-bearing Holsteinian strata were preserved in the deeper part of the tunnel valley. Tunnel valleys should be regarded as potential archives for interglacial deposits, which may contain important Paleolithic sites. Tunnel valleys may provide accommodation space and also have a high preservation potential. Interglacial lakes situated within underfilled tunnel valleys represented attractive sites for animals and early human hunter-gatherers. PMID:25747317

  15. New insights on the wooden weapons from the Paleolithic site of Schöningen.

    PubMed

    Schoch, Werner H; Bigga, Gerlinde; Böhner, Utz; Richter, Pascale; Terberger, Thomas

    2015-12-01

    The Paleolithic site of Schöningen is famous for the earliest known, completely preserved wooden weapons. Here we present recent results of an ongoing analysis of the nine spears, one lance, a double pointed stick, and a burnt stick dating to the Holsteinian, c. 300 kyr. Macroscopic and microscopic analyses, as well as studies of thin sections, contribute to a better understanding of the manufacture of the wooden weapons. They were deposited in organic sediments at a former lakeshore among numerous bones of butchered horses. In general, the spears are extremely well-preserved and show no or little sign of taphonomic alteration, although some of the weapons are broken and parts were slightly moved, probably by water action. The excellent preservation conditions provide considerable information on the operational sequence of production. The hunters selected thin trunks of spruce or pine and initially stripped off the bark. Traces of cutting, scraping, and smoothing can be observed on the spear surfaces in detail. In the case of spear X, repeated use of the weapon is implied by re-sharpening of the tip. Analyses of wood anatomy provide information on climatic conditions and contribute to the better understanding of the development of the site. PMID:26442632

  16. Paleoenvironment and possibilities of plant exploitation in the Middle Pleistocene of Schöningen (Germany). Insights from botanical macro-remains and pollen.

    PubMed

    Bigga, Gerlinde; Schoch, Werner H; Urban, Brigitte

    2015-12-01

    Plant use is an elusive issue in Paleolithic archaeology. Due to poor organic preservation in many sites, botanical material is not always present. The sediments in Schöningen, however, contain abundant botanical macro-remains like wood, fruits, seeds, and other parts of plants which offer the opportunity to reconstruct the local vegetation. Combined with palynological results, it is possible to reveal the full potential of this environment to hominins. Ethnobotanical studies of hunter-gatherer societies living in similar environments illustrate the importance of plants for subsistence purposes. The identified taxa from the archaeological horizons at Schöningen include a broad spectrum of potentially exploitable species that could be sources of food, raw material, and firewood. PMID:26596728

  17. The larger mammal fauna from the Lower Paleolithic Schöningen Spear site and its contribution to hominin subsistence.

    PubMed

    Van Kolfschoten, Thijs; Buhrs, Elfi; Verheijen, Ivo

    2015-12-01

    The locality Schöningen (Germany) is an important source of knowledge about Lower Paleolithic hominin subsistence. The locality includes a series of sites dated to the late Middle Pleistocene with a Holsteinian (MIS 11) and Reinsdorf Interglacial (MIS 9) age. One of the youngest sites is Schöningen 13 II-4, the Spear Horizon site also known as the Horse Butchery site. The organic remains excavated here are exceptionally well-preserved as they were embedded in anaerobic, waterlogged sediments in an area where the groundwater is rich in calcium carbonate. The fossil assemblage is ideal for the study of patterns in hominin interference with the mammalian species encountered at the site. The vertebrate record is extensive and very diverse. The fossil larger carnivore guild of the Spear Horizon faunal assemblage includes saber-toothed cat, fox, and wolf. Herbivores are represented by an elephant species, two equid species, two rhinoceros species, two cervid species, and two large bovid species. Evidence of hominin interference presents itself as either marks on skeletal remains related to the use of bones as knapping tools or hammers, or as marks that indicate butchering activities such as skinning, dismembering, defleshing, filleting, and marrow extraction. The humerus of the saber-toothed cat clearly shows that the bone has been used as a knapping tool. The fossil remains of the other larger carnivores do not show any signs of hominin interference or exploitation. This also applies to the limited number of elephant and rhinoceros remains found at the site. The large horse Equus mosbachensis dominates the larger mammal record and played a major role in hominin subsistence. Marks on the horse bones indicate that a large number of carcasses have been butchered. Traces on the fossil remains of both red deer (Cervus elaphus) and the large bovids also indicate exploitation by Lower Paleolithic hominins. PMID:26607346

  18. Bone taphonomy of the Schöningen "Spear Horizon South" and its implications for site formation and hominin meat provisioning.

    PubMed

    Starkovich, Britt M; Conard, Nicholas J

    2015-12-01

    This paper presents the faunal remains from the new excavation area at the Lower Paleolithic site of Schöningen. The focus of the study is on the southern extension of the main find horizon (Spear Horizon South), which includes the layer that yielded the famous Schöningen spears (13 II-4). Taxonomic data corroborate previous studies, that hominins primarily hunted Equus mosbachensis, a large Pleistocene horse. Equid body part representation at the site suggests that the animals were hunted and butchered locally. There is no evidence for density-mediated attrition in the assemblage. Weathering damage is uncommon, though there is ample evidence that carnivores had access to the bone. Carnivore bite sizes were measured and compared to experimental data provided by previous authors. Based on relationships between bite size and carnivore behavior and body size, we conclude that the primary modifying agents were large carnivores (i.e., wolves or saber-toothed cats). Previous studies show that carnivores often had secondary access to the remains, after hominins. Cut marks are commonly arranged haphazardly on the bones. This may indicate that multiple hominins participated in the butchery of horse skeletons, or that they were butchered over the course of hours or days. Cut marks on axial elements are more "orderly," which probably reflects the physical logistics of orienting one's body in relation to a large carcass. These data differ from sites formed by Middle and Upper Paleolithic hominins, which might suggest that in later times, a system of organized meat provisioning was already in place. Taken together, the faunal evidence from the Spear Horizon South indicates that late Lower Paleolithic hominins using the site understood the behaviors of different prey species, hunted socially to take down large game, and successfully competed with large carnivores on the landscape for primary access to ungulate remains. PMID:26626957

  19. A new approach for deciphering between single and multiple accumulation events using intra-tooth isotopic variations: Application to the Middle Pleistocene bone bed of Schöningen 13 II-4.

    PubMed

    Julien, Marie-Anne; Rivals, Florent; Serangeli, Jordi; Bocherens, Hervé; Conard, Nicholas J

    2015-12-01

    It is often difficult to differentiate between archaeological bonebeds formed by one event such as a mass kill of a single herd, and those formed by multiple events that occurred over a longer period of time. The application of high temporal resolution studies such as intra-tooth isotopic profiles on archaeological mammal cohorts offers new possibilities for exploring this issue, allowing investigators to decipher between single and multiple accumulation events. We examined (18)O and (13)C isotopic variations from the enamel carbonate of 23 horse third molars from the Middle Pleistocene archaeological site of Schöningen. We employed a new approach to investigate processes of fossil accumulation that uses both bulk and intra-tooth isotopic variations and takes into account animal behavior, age at death and dental development to test the degree of isotopic affinity of animals from the same fossil assemblage. Oxygen and carbon isotope bulk values indicate that the horses from Schöningen 13 II-4 experienced relatively similar climatic and dietary regimes. Inter-individual differences of the bulk values of the horses sampled in the current study present nevertheless inter-individual variability similar to individuals from multi-layered localities. In addition, the intra-tooth isotopic variation of specimens of the same age at death seems to indicate that the studied cohort corresponds to a mix of individuals that recorded both similar and different isotopic histories. Finally, the conditions recorded in the isotopic signal shortly before death (i.e., for teeth not fully mineralized) varied between sampled individuals, suggesting possible differences in the seasonality of death. Considering those results, we discuss the possibility that the horses from Schöningen 13 II-4 correspond to an accumulation of different death events. PMID:25912820

  20. Carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes of well-preserved Middle Pleistocene bone collagen from Schöningen (Germany) and their paleoecological implications.

    PubMed

    Kuitems, Margot; van der Plicht, Johannes; Drucker, Dorothée G; Van Kolfschoten, Thijs; Palstra, Sanne W L; Bocherens, Hervé

    2015-12-01

    Carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes in bone collagen can provide valuable information about the diet and habitat of mammal species. However, bone collagen degrades in normal circumstances very rapidly, and isotope analyses are therefore usually restricted to fossil material with a Late Pleistocene or Holocene age. The Middle Pleistocene site of Schöningen, dated to around 300,000 years ago, yielded bones and teeth with an exceptionally good state of collagen preservation. This allowed us to measure reliable biogenic carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratios for different herbivorous taxa from the families Elephantidae, Rhinocerotidae, Equidae, Cervidae, and Bovidae. The results provide insights regarding the paleoenvironmental setting in which Middle Pleistocene hominins operated. The vegetation consumed by the herbivores from the famous spear horizon originates from open environments. During the climatic Reinsdorf Interglacial optimum, the landscape seems to have been relatively open as well, but certainly included parts that were forested. The results also indicate some niche partitioning; different herbivore species used different plant resources. For instance, the horses seem to have been predominantly browsers, while the straight-tusked elephants were feeding chiefly on grass. PMID:25824673

  1. Crystal Structure of a Monomeric Form of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus Endonuclease Nsp15 Suggests a Role for Hexamerization As An Allosteric Switch

    SciTech Connect

    Joseph, J.S.; Saikatendu, K.S.; Subramanian, V.; Neuman, B.W.; Buchmeier, M.J.; Stevens, R.C.; Kuhn, P.; /Scripps Res. Inst.

    2007-07-09

    Mature nonstructural protein-15 (nsp15) from the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) contains a novel uridylate-specific Mn{sup 2+}-dependent endoribonuclease (NendoU). Structure studies of the full-length form of the obligate hexameric enzyme from two CoVs, SARS-CoV and murine hepatitis virus, and its monomeric homologue, XendoU from Xenopus laevis, combined with mutagenesis studies have implicated several residues in enzymatic activity and the N-terminal domain as the major determinant of hexamerization. However, the tight link between hexamerization and enzyme activity in NendoUs has remained an enigma. Here, we report the structure of a trimmed, monomeric form of SARS-CoV nsp15 (residues 28 to 335) determined to a resolution of 2.9 Angstroms. The catalytic loop (residues 234 to 249) with its two reactive histidines (His 234 and His 249) is dramatically flipped by {approx}120 degrees into the active site cleft. Furthermore, the catalytic nucleophile Lys 289 points in a diametrically opposite direction, a consequence of an outward displacement of the supporting loop (residues 276 to 295). In the full-length hexameric forms, these two loops are packed against each other and are stabilized by intimate intersubunit interactions. Our results support the hypothesis that absence of an adjacent monomer due to deletion of the hexamerization domain is the most likely cause for disruption of the active site, offering a structural basis for why only the hexameric form of this enzyme is active.

  2. Discovery of a novel nidovirus in cattle with respiratory disease

    PubMed Central

    Sameroff, Stephen; Hesse, Richard A.; Hause, Ben M.; Desai, Aaloki; Jain, Komal; Ian Lipkin, W.

    2015-01-01

    The family Coronaviridae represents a diverse group of vertebrate RNA viruses, all with genomes greater than 26 000 nt. Here, we report the discovery and genetic characterization of a novel virus present in cattle with respiratory disease. Phylogenetic characterization of this virus revealed that it clusters within the subfamily Torovirinae, in the family Coronaviridae. The complete genome consists of only 20 261 nt and represents the smallest reported coronavirus genome. We identified seven ORFs, including the canonical nidovirus ORF1a and ORF1b. Analysis of polyprotein 1ab revealed that this virus, tentatively named bovine nidovirus (BoNV), shares the highest homology with the recently described python-borne nidoviruses and contains several conserved nidovirus motifs, but does not encode the NendoU or O-MT domains that are present in other viruses within the family Coronaviridae. In concert with its reduced genome, the atypical domain architecture indicates that this virus represents a unique lineage within the order Nidovirales. PMID:25918239

  3. Source of the 6 February 2013 Mw = 8.0 Santa Cruz Islands Tsunami

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Romano, F.; Molinari, I.; Lorito, S.; Piatanesi, A.

    2015-06-01

    On 6 February 2013 an Mw = 8.0 subduction earthquake occurred close to Santa Cruz Islands at the transition between the Solomon and the New Hebrides Trench. The ensuing tsunami caused significant inundation on the closest Nendo Island. The seismic source was studied with teleseismic broadband P-wave inversion optimized with tsunami forward modelling at DART buoys (Lay et al., 2013) and with inversion of teleseismic body and surface waves (Hayes et al., 2014a). The two studies also use different hypocentres and different planar fault models and found quite different slip models. In particular, Hayes et al. (2014a) argued for an aseismic slip patch SE from the hypocentre. We here develop a 3-D model of the fault surface from seismicity analysis and retrieve the tsunami source by inverting DART and tide-gauge data. Our tsunami source model features a main slip patch (peak value of ~ 11 m) SE of the hypocentre and reaching the trench. The rake direction is consistent with the progressively more oblique plate convergence towards the Solomon trench. The tsunami source partially overlaps the hypothesized aseismic slip area, which then might have slipped coseismically.

  4. Source of the 6 February 2013 Mw 8.0 Santa Cruz Islands Tsunami

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Romano, F.; Molinari, I.; Lorito, S.; Piatanesi, A.

    2015-03-01

    On 6 February 2013 an Mw 8.0 subduction earthquake occurred close to Santa Cruz Islands at the transition between the Solomon and the New Hebrides Trench. The ensuing tsunami caused significant inundation on the closest Nendo Island. The seismic source was studied with teleseismic broadband P waves inversion optimized with tsunami forward modeling at DART buoys (Lay et al., 2013), and with inversion of teleseismic body and surface waves (Hayes et al., 2014). The two studies also use different hypocenters and different planar fault models, and found quite different slip models. In particular, Hayes et al. (2014) argued for an aseismic slip patch SE from the hypocenter. We here develop a 3-D model of the fault surface from seismicity analysis and retrieve the tsunami source by inverting DART and tide-gauge data. Our tsunami source model features a main slip patch (peak value of ~11 m) SE of the hypocentre, and reaching to the trench. The rake direction is consistent with the progressively more oblique plate convergence towards the Solomon trench. The tsunami source partially overlaps the hypothesized aseismic slip area, which then might have slipped coseismically.

  5. The nonstructural protein 11 of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus inhibits NF-κB signaling by means of its deubiquitinating activity.

    PubMed

    Wang, Dang; Fan, Jinxiu; Fang, Liurong; Luo, Rui; Ouyang, Haiping; Ouyang, Chao; Zhang, Huan; Chen, Huanchun; Li, Kui; Xiao, Shaobo

    2015-12-01

    Since its emergence in the late 1980s, porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) has been devastating the swine industry worldwide. The causative agent is an Arterivirus, referred to as PRRS virus (PRRSV). The pathogenic mechanisms of PRRS are poorly understood, but are believed to correlate with the ability of PRRSV to inhibit immune responses of the host. However, precisely how the virus is capable of doing so remains obscure. In this study, we showed that PRRSV infection led to reduced ubiquitination of cellular proteins. Screening all of the 12 nonstructural proteins (Nsps) encoded by PRRSV revealed that, apart from the Nsp2 which contains the deubiqintinating (DUB) ovarian tumor (OTU) domain, Nsp11, which encodes a unique and conserved endoribonuclease (NendoU) throughout the Nidovirus order, also possesses DUB activity. In vivo assay demonstrated that Nsp11 specifically removed lysine 48 (K48)-linked polyubiquitin chains and the conserved sites C112, H144, D173, K180, and Y219 were critical for its DUB activity. Remarkably, DUB activity was responsible for the capacity of Nsp11 to inhibit nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) activation. Mutations abrogating the DUB activity of Nsp11 toward K48-linked polyubiquitin chains of IκBα nullified the suppressive effect on NF-κB. Our data add Nsp11 to the list of DUBs encoded by PRRSV and uncover a novel mechanism by which PRRSV cripples host innate immune responses. PMID:26342881

  6. Gas Chromatography/Atmospheric Pressure Chemical Ionization-Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance Mass Spectrometry of Pyrolysis Oil from German Brown Coal.

    PubMed

    Zuber, Jan; Kroll, Marius M; Rathsack, Philipp; Otto, Matthias

    2016-01-01

    Pyrolysis oil from the slow pyrolysis of German brown coal from Schöningen, obtained at a temperature of 500°C, was separated and analyzed using hyphenation of gas chromatography with an atmospheric pressure chemical ionization source operated in negative ion mode and Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (GC-APCI-FT-ICR-MS). Development of this ultrahigh-resolving analysis method is described, that is, optimization of specific GC and APCI parameters and performed data processing. The advantages of GC-APCI-FT-ICR-MS hyphenation, for example, soft ionization, ultrahigh-resolving detection, and most important isomer separation, were demonstrated for the sample liquid. For instance, it was possible to separate and identify nine different propylphenol, ethylmethylphenol, and trimethylphenol isomers. Furthermore, homologous series of different acids, for example, alkyl and alkylene carboxylic acids, were verified, as well as homologous series of alkyl phenols, alkyl dihydroxy benzenes, and alkoxy alkyl phenols. PMID:27066076

  7. Gas Chromatography/Atmospheric Pressure Chemical Ionization-Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance Mass Spectrometry of Pyrolysis Oil from German Brown Coal

    PubMed Central

    Zuber, Jan; Kroll, Marius M.; Rathsack, Philipp; Otto, Matthias

    2016-01-01

    Pyrolysis oil from the slow pyrolysis of German brown coal from Schöningen, obtained at a temperature of 500°C, was separated and analyzed using hyphenation of gas chromatography with an atmospheric pressure chemical ionization source operated in negative ion mode and Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (GC-APCI-FT-ICR-MS). Development of this ultrahigh-resolving analysis method is described, that is, optimization of specific GC and APCI parameters and performed data processing. The advantages of GC-APCI-FT-ICR-MS hyphenation, for example, soft ionization, ultrahigh-resolving detection, and most important isomer separation, were demonstrated for the sample liquid. For instance, it was possible to separate and identify nine different propylphenol, ethylmethylphenol, and trimethylphenol isomers. Furthermore, homologous series of different acids, for example, alkyl and alkylene carboxylic acids, were verified, as well as homologous series of alkyl phenols, alkyl dihydroxy benzenes, and alkoxy alkyl phenols. PMID:27066076

  8. Source of the 6 February 2013 Mw 8.0 Santa Cruz Islands Tsunami.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Romano, F.; Molinari, I.; Lorito, S.; Piatanesi, A.

    2014-12-01

    On February 6, 2013 a Mw8.0 interplate earthquake occurred in the Santa Cruz Islands region. The epicenter is located near a complex section of the Australia-Pacific plate boundary, where a short segment of dominantly strike-slip plate motion links the Solomon Trench to the New Hebrides Trench. In this region, the Australia plate subducts beneath the Pacific plate with a convergence rate of ~9cm/yr. This earthquake generated a tsunami that struck the city of Lata and several villages located on the Nendo island with tsunami height exceeding 11m (Fritz et al.,2014). The tsunami has been distinctly recorded by 5 DART buoys in the Pacific Ocean and by some tide-gauges at Solomon Islands, Fiji Islands, and New Caledonia. In this work we retrieve the source of the tsunami by inverting the signals recorded by both DART buoys and tide-gauges, and using an earthquake fault model that accounts for the variability of the subduction plate geometry. We compare and discuss our tsunamigenic slip model with previous coseismic slip models obtained by teleseismic data (Hayes et al.,2013) and telesismic data constrained by tsunami records (Lay et al.,2013). Our preferred tsunami source (maximum slip value of ~10m) is located southeast from the hypocenter and the slip direction is in agreement with the convergence direction that becomes progressively more oblique in the NW segment. We find a tsunami source roughly consistent to a possible source of low frequency radiation (http://www.iris.edu/spud/backprojection) and/or to the region of aseismic slip argued by Hayes et al. (2013). However, we do not find significantly tsunamigenic slip in the region of seismic high frequency radiation around the hypocenter.

  9. A Dimerization-Dependent Mechanism Drives the Endoribonuclease Function of Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus nsp11

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Yuejun; Li, Youwen; Lei, Yingying; Ye, Gang; Shen, Zhou; Sun, Limeng; Luo, Rui; Wang, Dang; Fu, Zhen F.; Xiao, Shaobo

    2016-01-01

    structural analysis revealed NendoU active site residues, which are conserved throughout the order Nidovirales (families Arteriviridae and Coronaviridae) and the major determinants of dimerization (Ser74 and Phe76) in Arteriviridae. Importantly, these findings may provide a new structural basis for antiviral drug development. PMID:26912626

  10. Isolation and Characterization of a Novel Betacoronavirus Subgroup A Coronavirus, Rabbit Coronavirus HKU14, from Domestic Rabbits

    PubMed Central

    Lau, Susanna K. P.; Woo, Patrick C. Y.; Yip, Cyril C. Y.; Fan, Rachel Y. Y.; Huang, Yi; Wang, Ming; Guo, Rongtong; Lam, Carol S. F.; Tsang, Alan K. L.; Lai, Kenneth K. Y.; Chan, Kwok-Hung; Che, Xiao-Yan; Zheng, Bo-Jian

    2012-01-01

    We describe the isolation and characterization of a novel Betacoronavirus subgroup A coronavirus, rabbit coronavirus HKU14 (RbCoV HKU14), from domestic rabbits. The virus was detected in 11 (8.1%) of 136 rabbit fecal samples by reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR), with a viral load of up to 108 copies/ml. RbCoV HKU14 was able to replicate in HRT-18G and RK13 cells with cytopathic effects. Northern blotting confirmed the production of subgenomic mRNAs coding for the HE, S, NS5a, E, M, and N proteins. Subgenomic mRNA analysis revealed a transcription regulatory sequence, 5′-UCUAAAC-3′. Phylogenetic analysis showed that RbCoV HKU14 formed a distinct branch among Betacoronavirus subgroup A coronaviruses, being most closely related to but separate from the species Betacoronavirus 1. A comparison of the conserved replicase domains showed that RbCoV HKU14 possessed <90% amino acid identities to most members of Betacoronavirus 1 in ADP-ribose 1″-phosphatase (ADRP) and nidoviral uridylate-specific endoribonuclease (NendoU), indicating that RbCoV HKU14 should represent a separate species. RbCoV HKU14 also possessed genomic features distinct from those of other Betacoronavirus subgroup A coronaviruses, including a unique NS2a region with a variable number of small open reading frames (ORFs). Recombination analysis revealed possible recombination events during the evolution of RbCoV HKU14 and members of Betacoronavirus 1, which may have occurred during cross-species transmission. Molecular clock analysis using RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) genes dated the most recent common ancestor of RbCoV HKU14 to around 2002, suggesting that this virus has emerged relatively recently. Antibody against RbCoV was detected in 20 (67%) of 30 rabbit sera tested by an N-protein-based Western blot assay, whereas neutralizing antibody was detected in 1 of these 20 rabbits. PMID:22398294

  11. [Merits of acquiring ISO15189 accreditation].

    PubMed

    Kitagawa, Masami

    2010-01-01

    In Japan, an ISO15189 accreditation system was started in 2005. To date, 47 hospitals have been accredited. In this session, I will present the merits of acquiring accreditation regarding ISO15189 based on our experience. Our hospital has 263 beds. The Clinical Examination Section consists of 12 staff (including 5 part-time workers): 7 in change of sample examination and 5 in charge of physiological examination. The annual number of samples is approximately 150,000. Samples collected on health checkups account for 90%. To improve the quality and service, assessment by third persons has been positively utilized in our hospital. Accreditation regarding ISO9001, ISO14001, ISO27001, privacy mark, hospital function assessment, the functional assessment of "ningen-dock"/health checkup hospitals, labor/hygiene service function assessment, and ISO15189 has been acquired. Patients may not recognize ISO. So, it must be utilized, considering that the acquisition of accreditation is not a goal but a starting point. Furthermore, cost-performance should be improved to achieve utilization-related merits. It is important to not only acquire accreditation but also help clinical staff and patients become aware of some changes/merits. Patients may consult a hospital for the following reasons: confidence in the hospital, and the staffs kind/polite attitudes. Long-term management strategies should be established without pursuing only short-term profits. I will introduce several merits of acquiring accreditation regarding ISO15189. Initially, incidental conditions for bids and appeal points include accreditation regarding ISO15189. Our corporation has participated in some competitive bids regarding health checkup business. In some companies, the bid conditions included ISO acquisition. In our hospital, clinical trials have been positively carried out. For participation in trials, hospitals must pass an institutional examination. However, ISO acquisition facilitates the preparation of

  12. Subsidence and basin-fill architecture of a lignite-bearing salt rim syncline: insights into rim syncline evolution and salt diapirism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brandes, C.; Pollok, L.; Schmidt, C.; Wilde, V.; Winsemann, J.

    2012-04-01

    In the last decades, salt-withdrawal basins achieved much attention due to their significant hydrocarbon potential like in the Gulf of Mexico, along the Brazilian passive margin and in northern Germany. The Helmstedt-Staßfurt salt wall and the related Schöningen rim syncline are an ideal natural laboratory to study the evolution of salt-withdrawal basins in detail. An excellent data set of 358 wells allows a detailed assessment of the basin-fill architecture. The aim was to expand on the classical cross-section based rim syncline analysis by the use of 3D models and basin simulations. The Helmstedt-Staßfurt salt wall is 70 km long, 6-8 km wide and one of the most important diapiric structures in northern Germany, based on the economically significant lignite-bearing rim synclines. The analysed Schöningen rim syncline, located on the southwestern side of the Helmstedt-Staßfurt structure, is 8 km long and 3 km wide. The basin-fill is up to 366 m thick and contains 13 major lignite seams with thicknesses between 0.1 and 30 m. Cross-sections perpendicular to the basin axis indicate that the basin-fill has a pronounced lenticular shape. This shape varies from more symmetric in the NW to clearly asymmetric in the SE. It coincides to the broadening of the salt diapir from NW to SE. The geometry of the rim syncline therefore seems to be a function of the diapir morphology. Sediments close to a diapir margin tend to be sheared by the rising diapir and this effect is probably enhanced where the diapir becomes broader and as a result, the related rim syncline is more asymmetric. Isopach maps imply a two-fold depocentre evolution. The depocentre migrated over time towards the salt wall and also showed some distinct shifts parallel to the salt wall. The shifts parallel to salt wall were abrupt, in contrast to the more gradual migration of the depocentres perpendicular to the salt wall. The basin modelling part of the study was carried out with the software Petro