Abstract

The rarity of material evidence for the religion of Islam during the first seventy years of the hijra (622-92 CE) has been used to attack the traditional positivist account of the rise of Islam. However, the earliest declarations of Islam are to be found on media produced by the early Islamic state. It is therefore mistake to read too much significance into the absence of such declarations prior to the formation of that state by Abd al-Malik (685-705 CE). There is little prospect that archaeology will uncover new evidence of Islam from the first seventy years. Le manque de données matérielles sur la religion de l'Islam pendant les sept premières décennies de l'hégire (622-92) a été utilisé pour réfuter la théorie positiviste traditionelle de l'essor de l'Islam. Cependant, les premières déclarations de l'Islam sont à trouver dans des oeuvres produites par l'Etat islamique à ses débuts. Il est donc erroné d'attribuer trop de sens à l'absence de telles déclarations avant la formation de cet Etat par Abd al-Malik (685-705). Il y a peu de perspectives de nouvelles découvertes archéologiques sur l'Islam des sept premières décennies.

In: Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient
In: The Aghlabids and their Neighbors

Abstract

This paper examines the level of conceptual complexity illustrated by members of the Kenyan parliament following the end of civil conflict that had been precipitated by the contested December 2007 presidential and parliamentary elections. Who is more likely to engage in rhetoric that is more complex (and hence more reconciliatory) the opposition or the governing party?: Ministers or other MPs? Using machine coded text analysis of parliamentary debates over the proposed reconciliation government in March 2008, we find that complexity scores were lower among representatives of the parties that were the principal protagonists in the civil conflict and lower among ministers of government than were representatives from other parties or non ministerial members of parliament.

In: African and Asian Studies
In: The Heritage of Arabo-Islamic Learning

When individuals are required to switch rapidly from execution of one task to another, goal-related task networks and attentional mechanisms are engaged to reconfigure task-specific networks, suppressing activity within circuits responsible for performance of the old task and amplifying preparatory neural processes for the anticipated novel task. That is, competition between two potential task-set configurations must be resolved so that an effective strategy shift can be enacted. In this study, we investigated the neural processes involved in switching between visual and auditory tasks, where both potentially task-relevant sensory inputs were presented simultaneously. As such, the two sensory systems were competing for processing resources. We were specifically interested in the role of oscillatory neural mechanisms in these task-set reconfigurations. We principally examined alpha-band oscillatory activity (10–14 Hz) in the periods preceding switches of task, compared to periods preceding repeats of a given sensory task. The need to switch tasks across the senses resulted in significant behavioral costs (slower and less accurate performing) than when just one task was engaged in for protracted periods of time. Anticipatory alpha-band suppressive mechanisms, in the form of substantially amplified oscillatory synchronizations, were implicated in the successful switching of attention to the auditory stream. In contrast, vigorous alpha-band desynchronization characterized periods preceding switches to the visual domain. The major cortical generators of this alpha-band activity were found in parieto-occipital and fronto-central regions, suggesting involvement of the well-known fronto-parietal attention network in resolving competition between two competing sensory tasks.

In: Multisensory Research

Abstract

Much of Lesotho’s cultural heritage has been studied as a result of dam developments. Where dams have been built, heritage studies have provided crucial data for improving our understanding of local archaeological sequences. Ahead of the construction of the Lesotho Highland Development Authority’s (LHDA) new Polihali Dam in Lesotho’s Mokhotlong District and following the recommendations of a heritage assessment (CES 2014), a large-scale five-year cultural heritage management program was launched in 2018 that seeks to excavate and mitigate a number of heritage sites. Here, we provide the background to one of southern Africa’s largest heritage mitigation contracts by contextualising the current research program. We then present the archaeology of Lesotho’s eastern highlands basalt region using data collected during the inception phase of this program. The findings challenge current preconceived notions about the sparsity of archaeological remains for this region.

In: Journal of African Archaeology

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