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Book Launch: A Wintry Day in Damascus: Syrian Stories an Event Presented by the Author Jonathan Holt Shannon

Set in Damascus on the eve of the revolutionary transformations that began in March 2011, A Wintry Day offers insights into everyday life in Syria, from music, art, literature, and cuisine as well as to the nuances of political resistance, state corruption and violence, the Palestinian problem, women’s issues, and the complex mosaic of peoples and social classes that make up Syrian society today. A Wintry Day is also a love story revolving around the budding romance of David and Nidal, a Palestinian journalist. It is most of all a paean to the strength and beauty of the Syrian people based on the author’s extensive experience in Syria.

  • Posted by dmmiller
  • Published: Feb 04, 2013

Professor Thomas McGovern on the Changing DNA of the Arctic Fox In Relation to Migration in the Viking Age

"CUNY faculty and graduate students in archaeology have collaborated with an international team of geneticists and biologists in a study of the arctic fox in Iceland. Prior to colonization by Viking Age settlers around AD 850, arctic foxes were the only land mammals on this mid-Atlantic island, probably arriving in early Holocene times across drift ice from Greenland. Comparison of modern Icelandic fox DNA with the ancient DNA extracted from fox bones excavated by CUNY teams from Viking Age sites in Iceland reveals that a second migration took place, probably during the drift ice periods of the "Little Ice Age" of the 17th-18th century. This collaboration among archaeologists, biochemists, and biogeographers provides an example of growing inter-disciplinary collaboration linking natural and social science. Supported by NSF Arctic Social Sciences program, CUNY archaeologists have collaborated with Scandinavian, Canadian, and UK partners in many seasons of excavation of sites in Iceland dating from the first settlement down to the 19th century and they specialize in zooarchaeology (the analysis of excavated animal bones). CUNY is a lead institution in the international North Atlantic Biocultural Organization (NABO, www.nabohome.org), which sponsors cross-disciplinary collaboration across the region. Other ongoing collaborations with aDNA researchers include investigation of the origin and spread of Viking pigs and sheep across the North Atlantic and the genetics of pre-modern codfish stocks. The CUNY team included doctoral students Seth Brewington, Frank Feeley, George Hambrecht, Ramona Harrison, Megan Hicks, Brenda Prehal, and Konrad Smiarowski who identified fox bones from Viking Age Iceland at the Hunter Zooarchaeology Laboratory directed by Prof. Tom McGovern."

  • Posted by dmmiller
  • Published: Sep 20, 2012