RheinMain University

Schönau am Königssee, Germany

RheinMain University

Schönau am Königssee, Germany
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News Article | October 26, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Archaeologists from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in Germany started excavations in September 2016 at Khirbat al-Minya, an early-Islamic caliphate palace on the shore of the Sea of Galilee in Israel. Led by PD Dr. Hans-Peter Kuhnen of the Department of Ancient Studies at JGU, the team is hoping to find out how the site looked before the palace was built and whether the building was used for different purposes after the catastrophic earthquake of 749 AD. The palace, which was still under construction at the time, suffered major damage during the quake. Findings from the new excavations show that the building lost its palatial function as a result of the earthquake and was subsequently only used by craftsmen, traders, and sugar cane farmers. Among the small artefacts found is a tiny glass weight just 12 millimeters in diameter that has an Arabic inscription on it. The words solicit "Glory to Allah," indicating that the Muslim traders operating here in the 9th or 10th century were dealing with particularly valuable goods. Another significant discovery is that of facilities for processing sugar cane, the cultivation of which initially triggered an economic boom in the Middle Ages in the Holy Land but subsequently led to desertification across large swathes of land in the region. For the first time, the Mainz archaeologists were able to uncover layer-by-layer a boiling system used for molasses production, thus gaining new insights into how sugar cane was refined in this period. During in-depth excavation of the ground beneath the foundations of the caliphate palace, project team members discovered evidence of what could well have been dramatic changes to the landscape before the building was constructed. At least twice in the post-Roman period extreme weather conditions had caused disastrous boulder slides that covered what would later be the building site and thus buried the foundation walls of an older, pre-Islamic settlement. With the resumption of digging here, Mainz University is continuing a research project that German archaeologists had initiated in the years 1932 to 1939 in order to clarify the history of both the palace structure and the overall settlement built under Caliph Walid I (705-715 AD) and Walid II (743/4 AD). When World War II began in 1939, however, excavations were interrupted, which is why the research work here still needs to be completed. The project is being supported by the Institute of Archaeology of the University of Tel Aviv and the Israel Nature and Parks Authority. In addition to the excavations, the Mainz archaeologists are also running a conservation project that has been financed since 2015 through the Cultural Preservation Program of the German Federal Foreign Office. The objective is to prevent the further progressive deterioration of the palace ruins that has been occurring since their exposure in 1939. Therefore, Mainz University has commissioned a German-Israeli restoration team to carry out reinforcement work in November 2016 to shore up some of the walls that are at great risk of collapsing. In preparation for the job, the Laboratory for Building Research at the RheinMain University of Applied Sciences in Wiesbaden has begun a new and precise survey of the at-risk walls in order to get a clear idea of their construction technique as well as to ensure optimal planning for the type and scope of the upcoming restoration work. "By combining the use of exploratory trenches, the architectural survey, and conservation measures we are setting standards in the research, preservation, and investigation of this important early-Islamic site," said project manager PD Dr. Hans-Peter Kuhnen of the Department of Ancient Studies at JGU, outlining the relevance of the undertaking. "The new excavations and the accompanying architectural survey will provide us for the first time with detailed insights into what happened on the shores of the Sea of Galilee before the palace was built and after it was destroyed by the earthquake of 749 AD. Our results will then contribute to the future development of the site."

Nahar Q.,University of Western Ontario | Fleissner F.,University of Western Ontario | Fleissner F.,RheinMain University | Shuster J.,University of Western Ontario | And 8 more authors.
Journal of Biophotonics | Year: 2014

Waveguide Evanescent Field Scattering (WEFS) microscopy is introduced as a new and simple tool for label-free, high contrast imaging of bacteria and bacteria sensors. Bacterial microcolonies and single bacteria were discriminated both by their bright field images and by their evanescent scattering intensity. By comparing bright field images with WEFS images, the proportion of planktonic: sessile (i.e., "floating": attached) bacteria were measured. Bacteria were irradiated with UV light, which limited their biofilm forming capability. A quantitative decrease in attachment of individual, sessile bacteria and in attached, microcolony occupied areas was easily determined within the apparent biofilms with increasing UV dose. WEFS microscopy is an ideal tool for providing rapid quantitative data on biofilm formation. © 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

Luderschmidt J.,RheinMain University | Haubner N.,RheinMain University | Lehmann S.,RheinMain University | Dorner R.,RheinMain University
Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics) | Year: 2013

Interactive surfaces (IS) like digital tabletop systems offer a cornucopia of input possibilities like touch gestures or interaction with physical objects. Additionally, multiple users can interact simultaneously allowing for a collaborative setting. These aspects have increased the complexity of designing such interfaces as compared to WIMP interfaces. However, existing UI design approaches fall short of taking these aspects into account and existing design approaches for IS focus on software development. We introduce the EMIL environment that allows authors of design teams to create multi-touch and tangible user interfaces. In its core, EMIL consists of a software framework that provides interaction components (for instance, widgets like images or maps as well as interaction concepts like gestures) that are especially suited for IS. Authors like UI designers collaboratively create software prototypes directly at the IS without the need to write code. For this purpose, they use and adapt the components of the software framework in an authoring application. Authors collect and retrieve information about the interaction components in a knowledge database employing a tablet computer app. In a qualitative evaluation interview, EMIL has been well received by a design team of an advertising agency. © 2013 Springer-Verlag.

Reiche S.,RheinMain University | Sparke K.,RheinMain University
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2015

Skills shortage due to the demographic change is a major future concern in horticultural vocations. Horticulture's weaknesses in the competition for young employees are the image of this profession, comparable low remuneration and working conditions with physical strain. A central competitive edge in this context is job commitment. The aim of this project was the development of a management information system for effectively measuring, managing and developing job commitment. Today's commitment research is based on the importance performance analysis, a method to identify gaps between target and actual business. A paper and pencil study among n=446 vocational school and technical college students of German horticulture was conducted. Respondents were asked for overall commitment and importance and satisfaction of 32 aspects of different subjects of working conditions. The results are displayed in a management grid. The resulting grid quadrants were named "motivators", "opportunities", "necessities" and "possible savings". It can be shown that most aspects in the necessities quadrant perform above average. Motivators to increase job commitment are predominantly aspects of the topics "work activities" and "superior/head", whereas satisfaction especially of the "superior/head" aspects is average or under average. An important insight is that many aspects in the opportunities quadrant perform below average. These aspects belonging to leadership and organisation in horticultural companies can be regarded as lost occasions because improvements in these areas are economical and only dependent on behavioural changes in management. Altogether, the approach offers perspectives for advances in job commitment to strengthen the horticultural sector for the competition for qualified workers.

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