Articles (17)

Article

04 June 2024

Initial Stages of Development of an Automated Measurement Technique on Incisors

Teeth are an important object of studies in many scientific disciplines and, among various study techniques, measurements have one of the most promising prospects for further improvements supported by progress in computer sciences, imaging and image processing. Our recent work on automated odontometric algorithms for premolars and molars has gradually come to develop similar methods for another group of teeth—incisors. Using 3D reconstructions of teeth obtained through micro-focus tomographic scanning, we propose landmarks, which correspond to main morphological features of incisors and enable their formal description. In this article we present an orientation and measurement technique, based on an interpretation of incisor morphology, as a system which is able to perform in a fully automated mode. Since the primary objective of the current paper is to introduce methodological improvements, data on measurements and their results are shown at the most basic level.

Armen  Gaboutchian*
Vladimir  Knyaz
Sergey  Vasilyev
Anatoliy  Maximov

Article

27 May 2024

The Strange Question of Species: Biocratic Implications in Interwar Paleoanthropology

Species was one of the most controversial concepts in biological science. Not even the “New Systematics” of the 1930s and 1940s succeeded in bringing complete clarity to the issue. During the first half of the twentieth century the conceptualization of species was challenged by paleontology, a then-emerging discipline, but an ancient essentialist conception resisted, whereby each species is characterized by its own immutable essence (eidos). This simplification was transferred to physical anthropology in the study of human populations, with further cultural and political outcomes. For example: the meaning of species developed a series of biopolitical and legal implications regarding the construction of a society preserved from foreign dangerous bodies. From this perspective, the racial policy of the Third Reich established that the German national community was to be based on belonging to a same species (Art), from which Jewish population was excluded, considering it an alien species (Artfremd) and therefore incompatible. The concept of species, defined from an essentialist perspective, was in fact considered more differentiating and selective than that of “race”. Consequently, foreignness to the human species became a more radical distinguishing factor than racial classification. The article, with a focus on German academia, aims to reconstruct the debate in paleoanthropology during interwar period.

Alberto  Castaldini*

Article

17 May 2024

Article

22 April 2024

Paleo-Asian Cultural Phenomena of Ancient Beringia: Population Convergence and Solution of Ethnic Self-Identification

Authors offer for a discussion the materials from studies of archaic culture elements that include body modifications in ethnic groups in the context of population genetic data from native peoples of the Far North. The authors consider materials from the territory of ancient Beringia which include a part of Chukotka and Kamchatka in Russia, Alaska in the USA and several island groups in between. The working hypothesis of the study involves the identification of common and specific features of body modifications in ethnic groups having similar population genesis. This allows to clarify the specifics of the regional contacts. Body modifications (tattoos, piercings, etc.) are considered as a way of a person’s self-identification and a form of his group membership (in this case—ethnic group). The study used ethnographic, archaeological, paleo-history, folklore materials and up-to-date data that include genetic research of contemporary ethnic groups inhabiting the territory of ancient Beringia and maintaining their traditional way of life. The methodology base of the research is based on formalized approach and cross-cultural analysis evidence of the similarity/difference of the population in combination with the method of comparative analysis of DNA data and information about their genetic structure.

Liudmila Lbova*
Irina Ponkratova

Comment

19 April 2024

Review

15 April 2024

Human Mobility in the Central and Eastern Mediterranean during Hellenistic and Roman Times: The Potential and Limitations of Bioarchaeological Research

This paper offers a review of bioarchaeological research on human mobility during the Hellenistic and Roman period in the Central and Eastern Mediterranean. This period was marked by significant connectivity amidst the establishment of major political entities. The paper begins with an overview of bioarchaeological methods used to study past mobility, including biodistance, isotopic and ancient DNA analyses. It then examines published studies that have utilized these methods to explore mobility during the Hellenistic and Roman periods. The paper concludes by critically assessing the current research limitations and proposing directions for future studies. These suggestions emphasize the importance of conducting additional research to investigate human mobility in neglected areas, as well as at different temporal and spatial scales. Integrating mobility data with other sources of evidence, such as historical accounts, paleoenvironmental data and osteobiographic information is another important future direction of research. Finally, relevant research should be more theoretically informed and its contemporary implications should be effectively communicated within and beyond the academic community. An enhancement of our understanding of the nature and impact of mobility is crucial in today’s society, where misconceptions linking immigration to the decline of the Roman Empire can perpetuate biases against contemporary mobility. 

Efthymia Nikita*

Article

01 April 2024

Fighting Arts on Today’s Coins, Medals and Badges: Popularity or Uniqueness

Background. Medallic art is used to promote the subject matter which is important for the issuer. Also fighting arts and martial traditions are used here as icons in the coins and medals. Problem. What is the purpose of occasional coins, medals or badges relative to their contents or symbolism, the metal used or the volume of the release? Does an issuer aim at promotion or rather at recognition and at maintaining the uniqueness? Material and Method. The study uses a regression method, comparative analysis and literature review. Approximately one hundred examples are discussed. Statistical analyses took into account N = 64 of contemporary coins (47) and medals (17), representing the relevant thematic groups. Pearson C coefficient was calculated for the factor of popularity FA and a number of variables. Results. It has been found that medals are issued in small volumes and are significantly varied in terms of the subject matter (uniqueness and originality). Some organisations seek to ensure the exceptional status of medal-type award which is granted based on strictly defined rules. Conclusions. Presentations of martial arts on coins, medals and badges make reference to the related symbolism or to the issuer’s national traditions. Large volume releases are mainly done for promotional purposes. On the other hand medals issued in small numbers are meant to be unique—they find their way to a select group of people deserving special recognition.

Wojciech J.  Cynarski*

Commentary

21 February 2024

Editorial

17 January 2024

Perspective

05 January 2024

The Future of Artificial Intelligence Will Be “Next to Normal”—A Perspective on Future Directions and the Psychology of AI Safety Concerns

This paper introduces the AI “next to normal”-thesis, suggesting that as Artificial Intelligence becomes more ingrained in our daily lives, it will transition from a sensationalized entity to a regular tool. However, this normalization has psychosocial implications, particularly when it comes to AI safety concerns. The “next to normal”-thesis proposes that AI will soon be perceived as a standard component of our technological interactions, with its sensationalized nature diminishing over time. As AI’s integration becomes more seamless, many users may not even recognize their interactions with AI systems. The paper delves into the psychology of AI safety concerns, discussing the “Mere Exposure Effect” and the “Black Box Effect”. While the former suggests that increased exposure to AI leads to a more positive perception, the latter highlights the unease stemming from not fully understanding its capabilities. These effects can be seen as two opposing forces shaping the public’s perception of the technology. The central claim of the thesis is that as AI progresses to become normal, human psychology will evolve alongside with it and safety concerns will diminish, which may have practical consequences. The paper concludes by discussing the implications of the “next to normal”-thesis and offers recommendations for the industry and policymakers, emphasizing the need for increased transparency, continuous education, robust regulation, and empirical research. The future of AI is envisioned as one that is seamlessly integrated into society, yet it is imperative to address the associated safety concerns proactively and not take the normalization effects take ahold of it.

Yoshija Walter*
TOP