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Richard Dunn, Silke Ackermann and Giorgio Strano

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Heaven and Earth United

Instruments in Astrological Contexts


Edited by Richard Dunn, Silke Ackermann and Giorgio Strano

Historically, the idea that the stars and planets influence the Earth and its inhabitants has proved powerful in almost every culture, offering an important context for the use of mathematical and astronomical instruments. In the past, however, historians of astronomy have paid relatively little attention to astrology and other “non-scientific” topics, while historians of astrology have tended to concentrate on the analysis of texts rather than surviving artefacts, scientific instruments in particular. Heaven and Earth United is an attempt to redress the balance through an exploration of the astrological contexts in which instruments once found a place.

Contributors are Silke Ackermann, Marisa Addomine, Jim Bennett, Marvin Bolt, Louise E. Devoy, Richard Dunn, Seb Falk, Stephen Johnston, Richard L. Kremer, Günther Oestmann, Josefina Rodríguez-Arribas, Petra G. Schmidl, Giorgio Strano, and Sylvia Sumira.
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Richard A. Zann and Andrew M. Dunn


Undirected Song is commonly performed in wild and captive zebra finches and is typically given by males partly isolated from other members of the flock or colony. It has no territorial function nor it is used during precoital courtship; its frequency varies strongly among individuals. However, its rate of performance is severely limited by the close proximity of conspecifics, and this study investigated what social factors are responsible for this constraint in first-generation offspring of wild-caught zebra finches. The close presence of females caused a greater reduction in singing than did that of males. Familiarity between companions and the singer was also a factor that reduced the rate of singing. The more familiar the singer became with a female the more often he would sing in her presence, whereas the opposite occurred with males - singing was more prevalent with strangers than with familiar companions. Pair formation reduced a singer's sensitivity to inhibitory factors associated with the close proximity of conspecifics. Simple visual and auditory contact with a conspecific was not sufficient to constrain Undirected Singing, but intense, close range interactions appear to be necessary. It is hypothesised that Undirected Singing is used to attract females for pair formation or extra-pair mating, but the close proximity of male companions and/or the mate hampers this. However, in a competitive mate choice experiment there was no significant correlation between the rate at which a male gave Undirected Song and order of the pair formation. This suggests that Undirected Singing may not be crucial in the ultimate choice of a mate, but it may still be a useful cue at the outset of pair formation.

Dunn, Richard S., Jean R. Soderlund, Mary Maples Dunn, Richard A. Ryerson and Scott M. Wilds

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Mart Bax, F. Bovenkerk, H.J.M. Claessen, Jozef Franz Thiel, H.J.M. Claessen, Anthony Reid, J. Davis, M. Stuchlik, Ank Klomp, A.F. Marks, A.J.F. Köbben, Richard Price, Adam Kuper, Richard Werbner, P. Velde and F.L. Dunn

- Mart Bax, F. Bovenkerk, Binnenstebuiten en Ondersteboven. De antropologie van de industriële samenleving. (Terreinverkenningen in de Culturele Antropologie.) Van Gorcum, Assen, 1976. 97 pp. plus bibliografie., L. Brunt (eds.) - H.J.M. Claessen, Anthony Reid, Pre-colonial state systems in Southeast Asia. The Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, Bali-Lombok, South Celebes. Monographs of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society No. 6. Published by the Council of the MBRAS. Kuala Lumpur, 1975. 135 pp. Maps., Lance Castles (eds.) - H.J.M. Claessen, Jozef Franz Thiel, Heil und Macht - Approches du Sacré. Studia Instituti Anthropos, vol. 22. St. Augustin bei Bonn: Verlag des Anthropos-Institutes. 215 pp., Albert Doutreloux (eds.) - J. Davis, M. Stuchlik, Goals and behaviour. The Queen’s University Papers in Social Anthropology, Vol. 2. Belfast (Department of Social Anthropology, Q.U.B.), 1977. 166 pp. - Ank Klomp, A.F. Marks, Male and female and the Afro-Curacaoan household. Verhandelingen van het Koninklijk Instituut voor Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde No. 77, The Hague. Martinus Nijhoff, 1976. - A.J.F. Köbben, Richard Price, The Guiana Maroons; a historical and bibliographical introduction. (Johns Hopkins Studies in Atlantic History and Culture). The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore and London, 1976. Pp. ix, 184. - Adam Kuper, Richard Werbner, Regional cults. London and New York: Academic Press, 1977. 257 pp. - P. van de Velde, F.L. Dunn, Rain-forest collectors and traders - a study of resource utilization in modern and ancient Malaya. Monographs of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society No. 5, Kuala Lumpur, 1975. 151 pages; tables; map and figures.