Reiss Engelhorn Museen

Mannheim, Germany

Reiss Engelhorn Museen

Mannheim, Germany
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Stiller M.,Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology | Baryshnikov G.,Russian Academy of Sciences | Bocherens H.,University of Tübingen | Grandal D'Anglade A.,University of La Coruña | And 11 more authors.
Molecular Biology and Evolution | Year: 2010

The causes of the late Pleistocene megafaunal extinctions are still enigmatic. Although the fossil record can provide approximations for when a species went extinct, the timing of its disappearance alone cannot resolve the causes and mode of the decline preceding its extinction. However, ancient DNA analyses can reveal population size changes over time and narrow down potential causes of extinction. Here, we present an ancient DNA study comparing late Pleistocene population dynamics of two closely related species, cave and brown bears. We found that the decline of cave bears started approximately 25,000 years before their extinction, whereas brown bear population size remained constant. We conclude that neither the effects of climate change nor human hunting alone can be responsible for the decline of the cave bear and suggest that a complex of factors including human competition for cave sites lead to the cave bear's extinction. © 2010 The Author. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution. All rights reserved.

Musshoff F.,University of Bonn | Musshoff F.,Forensic Toxicological Center | Brockmann C.,University of Bonn | Madea B.,University of Bonn | And 2 more authors.
Forensic Science International | Year: 2013

The Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo contain over 1800 preserved bodies: friars, priests and laypeople including men, women, and children. The bodies were accessible to family members who could visit the deceased and commemorate them through prayers. The "Sicily Mummy Project" analyzed hair samples from 38 mummies to determine the presence of ethyl glucuronide (EtG) using a routine procedure in our accredited laboratory of liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry. The limit of quantification was 2.3. pg/mg.The hair samples were from 1.5 to 12. cm in length. All samples were analyzed in 2 segments (seg. A 0-3. cm and seg. B the remainder). Samples <4. cm in length were cut in half. In 31 out of 76 segments positive results were obtained for EtG, with concentrations between 2.5 and 531.3. pg/mg (mean 73.8, median 13.3. pg/mg). In 14 cases positive results were obtained for both segments. In one sample a positive result was obtained for segment A but not for segment B and in a further two samples only for segment B. The results indicate that EtG analyses can be performed on mummy hair samples even several hundred years after death to identify evidence for significant alcohol consumption during life. © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

Robu M.,Emil Racovita Institute of Speleology | Petculescu A.,Emil Racovita Institute of Speleology | Panaiotu C.,University of Bucharest | Doppes D.,Reiss Engelhorn Museen | And 6 more authors.
Quaternaire, Supplement | Year: 2011

The first two palaeontological excavation campaigns held in 2010 at the Urşilor Cave, Bihor Mountains, Romania brought new information concerning the cave occupation by Ursus spelaeus during the Upper Pleistocene. The excavation is located in the Lower Passageway (Scientific Reserve) and extends over 7 m 2 with the lowest point reached during the campaigns at ∼ 125 cm below surface. The overwhelming majority of the fossil material extracted belongs to the cave bear of all age categories. The skeletal elements found in anatomical connection, the analysis of the long bones orientation, and their relatively good preservation indicate that the bones were deposited under a low-energy hydraulic regime and subsequently covered by lacustrine sediments during at least three flooding episodes. The morphodynamic analysis of the fourth cave bear premolars from the uppermost three layers indicates an MIS 3 age. The P4 index however comes in disagreement with the K-index value for the 4 th metatarsal which indicates a low evolutionary level for the cave bear population from Urşilor cave.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: PEOPLE-2007-1-1-ITN | Award Amount: 3.32M | Year: 2008

The ideal training for future researchers in Europe, draws together leading groups in the world, state-of-the-art methods and a clearly focused, important and emotive questions with widespread repercussions, and integrates them using sophisticated tools and training devices; welcome to LeCHE. This large (14 researcher, 24 participant) training network explores the origin and impact of dairying Europe. The ITN will draw on the latest genetic studies of modern humans and domestic animals to identify markers of specific traits, but will also travel back in time and search for these in ancient remains. The Lactase Persistence trait is under extreme selection in humans; ancient DNA analyses suggesting that it was absent in the first Neolithic farmers. Modern phylogeographic patterning indicates a high degree of co-evolution of humans and domesticates. We will test these hypotheses by using sophisticated chemical and isotopic geochemical analyses of artefacts and bones, combined with traditional archaeology to obtain direct evidence of milk consumption and explore husbandry practices. All these data will be integrated into a large database. Mathematical modelling of gene flow and selection in Neolithic populations, constrained by archaeological data, will be compared with modern distribution of genetic diversity and ancient remains. Each student will have their own research project, but will be encouraged to think and work as a team, by network activities, including a sophisticated set of Web 2.0 tools for communication, summer schools and their co-authorship of a book, the latter to teach them writing, editing and team-working skills. The students will benefit from industrial involvement, both instrument/analytical, but also the involvement of the modern diary industry. They will help organize a final conference, for which we have already agreed sponsorship from a Spanish foundation, sponsors of the meeting at which this proposal was born.

Munzel S.C.,University of Tübingen | Rivals F.,Institute Catala Of Paleoecologia Humana I Evolucio Social Iphes | Rivals F.,Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies | Pacher M.,University of Vienna | And 4 more authors.
Quaternary International | Year: 2014

Several types of bears lived in Europe during the Late Pleistocene. Some of them, such as cave bears ( Ursus s. spelaeus and Ursus ingressus), did not survive after about 25,000 years ago, while others are still extant, such as brown bear ( Ursus arctos). Our article aims at a better understanding of the palaeoecology of these large "carnivores" and focuses on two regions, the Ach valley in the Swabian Jura (SW-Germany) with Geißenklösterle and Hohle Fels, and the Totes Gebirge (Austria) with Ramesch and Gamssulzen caves. Both regions revealed two genetically distinct cave bear lineages, and previous studies suggest behavioural differences for the respective bears in these two regions.In the Ach valley, irrespective of the cave site, U. s. spelaeus was replaced by U. ingressus around 28 ka uncal BP with limited chronological overlap without recognizable dietary changes as documented by the isotopic composition (13C, 15N) of the bones. Furthermore, the present study shows that the dental microwear pattern was similar for all bears in both caves, however with a larger variability in Geißenklösterle than in Hohle Fels.In contrast, the two Austrian caves, Gamssulzen ( U. ingressus) and Ramesch ( Ursus s. eremus), show considerable differences in both palaeodietary indicators, i.e., stable isotopes, and dental microwear, over at least 15,000years. The oxygen and carbon analysis of the tooth enamel combined with the dental microwear of the same molars provide an extremely diversified picture of the feeding behaviour of these fossil bears. The already known differences between these two study areas are confirmed and refined using the new approaches. Moreover, the differences between the two cave bear lineages in the Totes Gebirge became even larger. Some niche partitioning between both types of cave bears was supported by the present study but it does not seem to be triggered by climate. This multi-disciplinary approach gives new insights into the palaeobiology of extinct bears. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA.

Doppes D.,Reiss Engelhorn Museen | Pacher M.,University of Vienna
Quaternary International | Year: 2014

Sixteen sites yielding radiocarbon dated brown bears from Alpine regions of Austria are described. Samples have been dated by the AMS-method. For each find, a description of the site, dating and the context of the find are given. The time frame of the finds ranges from Preboreal to the Middle Ages. The climatic context and palaeobiological aspects are discussed. There is no correlation between altitude of the site and chronological age of the bear remains. Comparative data suggest the majority of bears in Alpine cave sites are females. Remains of Holocene brown bears were found in denning caves and in natural pits. Hence, they are bears that did not survive the winter or bears that fell into a natural shaft. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA.

PubMed | Paracelsus Medical University, University of Mannheim, Massachusetts General Hospital and Reiss Engelhorn Museen
Type: | Journal: European journal of radiology open | Year: 2016

The aim of this study was to systematically reinvestigate the first human mummy that was ever analyzed with X-ray imaging in 1896, using dual-source computed tomography (DSCT) in order to compare the earliest and latest imaging technologies, to estimate preservation, age at death, sex, anatomical variants, paleopathological findings, mummification, embalming and wrapping of the child mummy from ancient Egypt. Radiocarbon dating was used to determine the mummys age and to specify the childs living period in the Egyptian chronology.The ancient Egyptian child mummy is kept in the Senckenberg Museum of Natural History in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. An accelerator mass spectrometer (MICADAS) was used for radiocarbon dating. DSCT was performed using a 264 slice dual-source CT system (Siemens Healthineers, Forchheim, Germany). A thorough visual examination of the mummy, a systematic radiological evaluation of the DICOM datasets, and established methods in physical anthropology were applied to assess the bio-anthropological data and the post mortem treatment of the body.Radiocarbon dating yielded a calibrated age between 378 and 235cal BC (95.4% confidence interval), corresponding with the beginning of the Ptolemaic period. The mummy was a male who was four to five years old at the time of death. Remnants of the brain and inner organs were preserved by the embalmers, which is regularly observed in ancient Egyptian child mummies. Skin tissue, inner organs, tendons and/or musculature, cartilage, nerves and vasculature could be identified on the DSCT dataset. The dental health of the child was excellent. Anatomical variants and pathological defects included a congenital Pectus excavatum deformity, hepatomegaly, Harris lines, and longitudinal clefts in the ventral cortices of both femora.Our results highlight the enormous progress achieved form earliest to latest imaging technology for advanced mummy research using the first human mummy investigated with X-ray. With the application of DSCT, detailed knowledge regarding age at death, sex, diseases, death, and mummification of a child from Ptolemaic Egypt are revealed while considering the temporary rites of body treatment and burial for children.

Panzer S.,Paracelsus Medical University | Gill-Frerking H.,Mummies of the World Touring Company | Rosendahl W.,Reiss Engelhorn Museen | Zink A.R.,EURAC Institute for Mummies and the Iceman | Piombino-Mascali D.,EURAC Institute for Mummies and the Iceman
Annals of Anatomy | Year: 2013

Whole-body multidetector computed tomography (CT) was performed on the mummified corpse of two-year-old Rosalia Lombardo, an anthropogenic mummy displayed in the Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo, Sicily, Italy. Rosalia Lombardo reportedly died of bronchopneumonia in 1920 and was preserved by the embalmer and taxidermist Alfredo Salafia with a formaldehyde-based fluid. Rosalia Lombardo's body is still exhibited in the Capuchin Catacombs inside the original glass-topped coffin in which she was placed. Only her head is visible: the rest of her body is covered by a sheet.CT images of Rosalia's body within her coffin were of reduced quality because of distinct metal artifacts caused by the coffin itself. Nevertheless, a detailed radiological analysis was possible for most of the body. Analysis of the data from the CT examination revealed indicators for the historically-reported endovasal and intracavity treatment. Rosalia's entire body was preserved in a remarkable state. The exceptional preservation of her internal organs made it possible to consider a radiological diagnosis of pneumonia.For this study, CT was determined to be the ultimate method for investigation, since Rosalia's body had to be kept untouched in her sealed coffin for conservation purposes. The CT examination offered new insights into the current preservation status of the body, and the superior contrast of CT allowed detailed assessment of different tissues. Post-processing methods provided reconstructions on any desired plane, as well as three-dimensional reconstruction, for the best possible visualization and interpretation of the body. © 2013 Elsevier GmbH.

Doppes D.,Reiss Engelhorn Museen | Rabeder G.,Institute For Palaontologie | Stiller M.,Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology | Stiller M.,Pennsylvania State University
Quaternary International | Year: 2011

This study presents a cohesive review of the existing radiometric data as well as morphological and genetic analysis of bear remains from ten high-alpine caves, mostly from the Middle Würmian Interstadial complex, roughly corresponding to the marine isotope stage (MIS) 3 and dating back between 65,000-30,000 years before present. Today these caves are located in an area without any vegetation, which could not provide the herbivorous bears with sufficient food resources. It therefore can be concluded that the Middle Würmian in the Alps had to be warmer than it is today. Furthermore, congruent and conflicting data from soil formation in loess sequences as well as sinter data in caves are discussed in more detail to evaluate this hypothesis. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA.

Rosendahl W.,Reiss Engelhorn Museen | Doppes D.,Reiss Engelhorn Museen
Quaternaire, Supplement | Year: 2011

The river Rhine, one of the largest rivers in Europe, connects the Alps with the Northern Europe. The Upper Rhine Graben offers an outstanding sediment trap where a continuous accumulation and preservation is documented. The presented bear remains are located in gravel pits between Mainz and Mannheim. The bones and teeth are stored in the Natural History Museum Mainz and at private collectors. The fragmented feature is typical for gravel findings. The bear remains come from a maximum deep of 30 meters and document a time range from the Middle Pleistocene to the Holocene.

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