含有〈考古〉标签的文章(2)

[译文]历史学家如何确定年代?

We know less about the ancient world than we think we do
我们对古代世界的认识,比我们以为的要少

作者:James Hannam @ 2015-1-9
译者:沈沉(@你在何地-sxy)
校对:Tankman
来源:Quodlibeta,http://bedejournal.blogspot.jp/2015/01/we-know-less-about-ancient-world-than.html

On 15 June 763BC, a near total eclipse of the sun was visible over a swathe of the Near East. As luck would have it, the event was noted in the official list of Assyrian high officials. This record provides the earliest absolute and uncontroversial date in ancient history. Using lists of kings and the chronicles of ev(more...)

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We know less about the ancient world than we think we do 我们对古代世界的认识,比我们以为的要少 作者:James Hannam @ 2015-1-9 译者:沈沉(@你在何地-sxy) 校对:Tankman 来源:Quodlibeta,http://bedejournal.blogspot.jp/2015/01/we-know-less-about-ancient-world-than.html On 15 June 763BC, a near total eclipse of the sun was visible over a swathe of the Near East. As luck would have it, the event was noted in the official list of Assyrian high officials. This record provides the earliest absolute and uncontroversial date in ancient history. Using lists of kings and the chronicles of events, historians have counted the years back from this date to construct the chronology of ancient history. 公元前763年的6月15日,在近东的大片地区都能看到一次近似日全食。幸运的是,这一事件被记录在了亚述国高官的官方系年表【译注:即名年官表,亚述以一年一任的“名年官”之姓名纪年,记录当年发生的重大事件】中。这一文献为我们提供了古代历史上最早的无争议的绝对日期。历史学家们利用历代国王名表和大事记,从这一日期开始倒排年代,已经构造出古代史的编年次序。 Radiocarbon analysis (which measures the decay of carbon 14, an unstable isotope) and the predicable styles of pottery found in digs both provide corroborating evidence. Dating the layers of archaeological remains from the artefacts found within them is called stratigraphy and can yield quite precise results. The vast amount of pot shards that has been unearthed allows archaeologists to use statistical methods to screen out random noise and anomalous samples that have found their way into the wrong strata. 放射性碳分析(该方法测量的是碳-14这种不稳定同位素的衰变)和出土陶器可确认的风格,均提供了佐证。从出土的人工制品来测定这些制品所在的考古遗迹各地层的年代,这叫做考古地层学,由此得出的结论相当准确。大量发掘出的陶器碎片,使得考古学家能够利用统计方法排除那些混入错误地层的随机噪声和异常样本。 Of course, pottery and radiocarbon methods need to be calibrated to produce absolute dates. This has been done using samples of wood whose age can be determined by matching patterns of tree rings, a technique called dendrochronology. We can count back sequences of tree rings from the present day, all the way to 2000BC. By carbon dating the oldest samples of wood, we can tie the tree ring record to the results from carbon 14 decay. 当然,陶器和放射性碳方法也需要经过校正,才能得出确切日期。我们现在通过木头样本来做校正,这些木头的年龄可以通过与树木样本的年轮模式进行对照来确定,这种技术叫做树轮年代学。我们现在可以从今天倒推树木年轮的序列,一直推到公元前2000年。通过对最早的木头样本进行碳年代测定,我们就可以将树木的年轮档案和碳-14的衰变结果结合起来。 By 1990, all these clues had yielded a multi-dimensional jigsaw which fitted together to almost everyone’s satisfaction. There were a few heretics like Peter James, who suggested in his book Centuries of Darkness that the conventional chronology included two hundred additional years around 1000BC. Thus remains that were conventionally dated to 1050BC actually occurred in 850BC. Although James’s book is an excellent read, it fails to convince. 到1990年为止,上述所有线索加起来构成了一个多维度的拼图,相互吻合,几乎能让所有人满意。当然也有一些异端,如Peter James曾在其著作《黑暗数世纪》中提出,传统的编年学在公元前1000年前后额外多出了200年。因此传统上定为公元前1050年的遗迹实际上产生于公元前850年。尽管James的书是一本优秀读物,但并不能让人信服。 Nonetheless, it has now turned out that the conventional chronology was not as secure as everybody else thought. While James was convinced ancient history was two centuries too long, new evidence has begun to pile up in the opposite direction: it now looks like the conventional chronology is up to 150 years too short. To put it another way, a cataclysm that everyone thought occurred in 1500BC actually happened before 1620BC. The event in question was the massive eruption of the island of Thera in the Aegean Sea. 尽管如此,现已发现,传统的编年学确实不如大家曾认为的那样可靠。James坚信古代史多出了200年,但新积累的证据却逐渐偏向另一个方向。如今看来,传统的编年学似乎短了多达150年。换句话说,过去人人都以为发生于公元前1500年的一次灾变实际发生于公元前1620年以前。这里所说的事件就是爱琴海锡拉岛的一次大规模火山爆发。 Conventional chronology dated the end of Minoan age in Crete to 1450BC. Archaeologists assumed that the Thera eruption (on the modern island of Santorini) and its resulting tsunami had destroyed the Minoan fleet leaving them vulnerable to raiders from the mainland. Certainly, the havoc wrought by the volcano can clearly be seen across the Eastern Mediterranean. When Thera exploded, it blasted 60 cubic kilometres of rock into the atmosphere which settled over Asia Minor. 传统编年学将克里特岛米诺斯文明的终结时间定在公元前1450年。考古学家猜测,锡拉岛的火山爆发(发生于今天的圣托里尼岛上)及其导致的海啸摧毁了米诺斯的舰队,使之难以抵挡来自大陆的入侵者。当然,由这次火山爆发导致的破坏在整个东地中海地区都清晰可见。锡拉爆发时,曾将60立方千米的岩石冲入空中,落在小亚细亚。 The resulting layer of ash and pumice is used to date the sites where it is observed. And the eruption had other effects. Sulphur dioxide released by the volcano spread across the northern hemisphere and fell to earth as acid rain, or more significantly as acid snow. At the poles, not all of that snow has yet melted and, from the 1990s, it provides a new strand of evidence to date the eruption. 由此产生的火山灰和浮石组成的地层,被用来确定地层中遗址的年代。这次火山爆发还有其他影响。火山中释放出来的二氧化硫席卷北半球,以酸雨或更厉害时以酸雪的形式降落地面。在极地地区,这些雪至今都还没有完全融化。从1990年代开始,这些降雪就为测定该次火山爆发的年代提供了一条新的证据链。 Ice cores, drilled from the icecap of central Greenland, record the depth of each annual snowfall. The ice holds within it information on the constitution of the atmosphere going back tens of thousands of years. Like tree rings, each layer can be counted so as to give an absolute rather than relative date. 从格陵兰岛中部的冰盖中钻孔取出的冰芯,记录着每年降雪的深度。这些冰中包含有过去数万年间大气成分的信息。跟年轮一样,每一层冰都可以数出来,因此能给出绝对年代,而非相对年代。 Big volcanic eruptions show up as spikes in the sulphur-content of the annual fall of snow: Krakatau in 1886; Tombura in 1815; Vesuvius in AD79. Despite the presence of literate civilisations in Egypt, the Levant and Babylon, no written record of the Thera eruption exists, but the ice cores should overcome that deficiency and provide an absolute date for the cataclysm. 大型火山爆发就表现为年度降雪中硫含量的突然增加。如1886年喀拉喀托火山爆发,1815年坦博拉火山爆发,以及公元79年维苏威火山爆发。尽管当时埃及、黎凡特和巴比伦都已产生能够书写文字的文明,但锡拉岛火山爆发并没有成文记录留存下来。不过,冰芯应该能够克服这一不足,为我们提供此次灾难的确切年代。 Actually, the fact that the Thera event went unrecorded is less surprising than it seems. Mankind has been remarkably unobservant of enormous volcanic eruptions. An event in 1257AD, less than 800 years ago, is indelibly imprinted into both the Greenland and Antarctic ice cores. It was greater in size even than Tombora and thus the largest eruption in the last ten thousand years. But remarkably, no one knows where it happened. Only in 2012 has Mt Rinjani in Indonesia emerged as a likely candidate. Another big eruption, as recent as 1809, remains unidentified. 实际上,锡拉事件没有留下成文记录并没有初看上去那么异常。人类对于大型火山爆发历来特别粗心。在不到800年前,公元1257年发生了一次火山爆发,确凿无疑地体现于格陵兰岛和南极的冰芯中。它在规模上甚至比坦博拉爆发还大,因此是过去一万年间最大的火山爆发。但是,引人注目地是,没人知道它发生于何地。直到2012年,印度尼西亚的林加尼火山才得以成为备选答案。另外一次大型火山爆发,晚至1809年,至今身份不明。 By 2000, the Greenland ice cores had revealed that Thera could not have happened when everyone thought it had. The most likely anomaly in the ice dated from 1640BC, but this turned out to be from a volcano in Alaska. At the same time, carbon dating an olive tree buried in the Aegean eruption yielded a date of around 1620BC. Sulphur traces in the ice have been found that correspond to this date, although they are not as strong as might be expected. 到2000年时,格陵兰岛的冰芯已经揭示,锡拉火山爆发不可能发生于此前人们所设想的年代。冰层中最有可能的一次异常发生于公元前1640年,但这源于阿拉斯加的一座火山。同时,通过对在此次爱琴海火山爆发中被掩埋的一颗橄榄树进行碳年代测定,得出的年代大概是公元前1620年。冰层中也发现了与这一年代吻合的硫磺痕迹,只是不如预期的那么强烈。 Now, the dendrochronologists have piled in. The Thera eruption would have caused unusually cold weather which stunted plant growth across the globe. Evidence from bristlecone pines in the western United States, oak trees in Ireland and Swedish pines all point to a cold snap in 1627BC. This is consistent with what we’d expect from a big volcano blowing its top in the Mediterranean. Evidence from the Antarctic ice cores should be in shortly, but for a northern hemisphere volcano, this is unlikely to be conclusive. 现在,树轮年代学家挤进来了。锡拉火山爆发应该会导致不同寻常的寒冷天气,从而会妨碍全球范围内树木的生长。美国西部的狐尾松、爱尔兰的橡树和瑞典的松树所提供的证据,都表明公元前1672年出现了一次突然的寒冷期。这与我们对地中海地区一次大型火山爆发的预期后果相吻合。来自南极地区冰芯的证据应该很快就会出现,但这对一场发生于北半球的火山爆发而言,恐怕并不具有结论性。 The lack of a definitive date for the Thera disaster is frustrating, but we can now be reasonably sure it occurred 120 years earlier than thought. The implications of this for ancient history are immense. The chronology of the New Kingdom of Egypt was thought to be rock solid. Finding that they need to find room for a dozen more decades has been too disconcerting for Egyptologists to tackle so far. There is a good chance that the extra years belong in a period after the well-documented New Kingdom called the Third Intermediate Period. 找不到锡拉岛灾难发生的确切年代,这令人沮丧。不过,我们现在可以合理地确信,它的发生,比原先所设想的要早120年。这对于古代史意义重大。埃及新王国时期的编年次序曾被认为如磐石一般确切。自从埃及学家发现他们需要找出空隙来摆放这多出来的100多年,就一直仓皇不安、无从下手。很有可能,多出来的这些岁月属于文献详实的新王国以后的一段时期,即“第三中间期”。 For historians of Babylonia, the crisis has been less existential. Absolute dates for the second half of the second millennium are based on ancient observations of the planet Venus. We know from modern calculations that a particular configuration of Venus recorded during the eighth year of the reign of a certain King Ammisaduqa must have occurred in 1702BC, 1646BC, 1582BC or 1550BC. 对于研究巴比伦王国的历史学家而言,危机尚没有那么严重。(公元前)第二个千年下半叶的确切年代,是根据古代对金星的观测记录推出来的。基于现代的推算,我们知道,文献记载中某个叫做Ammisaduqa的国王治下第8年出现的某种特定的金星形态,必定发生于以下年代之一:公元前1702年,前1646年,前1582年或前1550年。 Other events in Babylonian history, such as the reign of King Hammurabi (famous for his law code) and the sack of Babylon by the Hittites are arranged around whichever absolute date is most convenient. That some of these possible Venusian dates differ by 120 years, about the same length of time that the Thera eruption has been moved back, is highly suggestive to say the least. 巴比伦历史上的其他事件,如汉谟拉比国王(以其法典而闻名)的统治和赫梯人对巴比伦的洗劫,均参照上述确切年份中最合用的那个来排列。上述几个备选的金星日期中存在相隔120年的情况,大体上与锡拉火山爆发时间被推后的时长间隔相等,这至少可说是非常意味深长。 So, where does all this leave biblical chronology? That remains very unclear. But the redating of Thera shows that we know a lot less about when things happened in the ancient world than we thought we did. 于是,所有这些对圣经编年学而言意味着什么?这一点尚不清楚。但对锡拉火山爆发的重新追溯表明,对于古代世界中的事情何时发生,我们的认识比自认为的,要少得多。 (编辑:辉格@whigzhou) *注:本译文未经原作者授权,本站对原文不持有也不主张任何权利,如果你恰好对原文拥有权益并希望我们移除相关内容,请私信联系,我们会立即作出响应。

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[译文]首批美洲人吃鲑鱼吗?

America’s first fisherman bagged Alaskan salmon 11,500 years ago
11500年前,阿拉斯加渔民的鲑鱼

作者:Zach Zorich @ 2015-9-21
译者:沈沉(@你在何地-sxy)
校对:龟海海
来源:AAAS,http://news.sciencemag.org/plants-animals/2015/09/america-s-first-fisherman-bagged-alaskan-salmon-11500-years-ago

If you think most fish stinks after 3 days, try 11,500 years: That’s the age of salmon bones that archaeologists have uncovered at the Upward Sun River site, one of Alaska’s oldest human settlements.

如果你觉得大部分鱼放三天就会发臭,试试放11500年,考古学家在在向阳河遗址中发掘出的鲑鱼骨头就有这么古老,那里是阿拉斯加最早的人类聚居点之一。

They say the cooked bones provide the first clear evidence of salmon fishing among the earliest Americans, Paleoindians, who crossed from Siberia into Alaska ov(more...)

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America’s first fisherman bagged Alaskan salmon 11,500 years ago 11500年前,阿拉斯加渔民的鲑鱼 作者:Zach Zorich @ 2015-9-21 译者:沈沉(@你在何地-sxy) 校对:龟海海 来源:AAAS,http://news.sciencemag.org/plants-animals/2015/09/america-s-first-fisherman-bagged-alaskan-salmon-11500-years-ago If you think most fish stinks after 3 days, try 11,500 years: That’s the age of salmon bones that archaeologists have uncovered at the Upward Sun River site, one of Alaska’s oldest human settlements. 如果你觉得大部分鱼放三天就会发臭,试试放11500年,考古学家在在向阳河遗址中发掘出的鲑鱼骨头就有这么古老,那里是阿拉斯加最早的人类聚居点之一。 They say the cooked bones provide the first clear evidence of salmon fishing among the earliest Americans, Paleoindians, who crossed from Siberia into Alaska over the Bering Land Bridge more than 13,000 years ago. 他们说,这些经过烹制的骨头首次明确证实了早期美洲人的鲑鱼捕捞活动;这些古印第安人于13000多年前跨过白令陆桥,由西伯利亚进入阿拉斯加。 The finding, published online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, helps debunk the idea that America’s first fishermen relied primarily on big game for food. It also explains how they managed to survive in an ice age Arctic environment and adapt to life on a new continent. 这一发现已于今日【译注:9月21日】在线发表于《美国国家科学院院刊》,有助于驳倒认为美洲最早的渔民主要以大型猎物为捕食对象的观点。它也解释了这些人如何在冰河时期的北极世界中维持生存,并使自己适应一个全新大陆上的生活。 These days, salmon is a staple for native Alaskans, but evidence for the origins of salmon fishing has been hard to come by. Wood and rope fishing tools decompose quickly, as do salmon bones. And until recently, most researchers hadn’t been doing the kind of careful excavation necessary for discovering fragile fish skeletons. 目前,鲑鱼是阿拉斯加原住民的一种主食,不过有关鲑鱼捕捞起源的证据一直难以找到。木与绳制成的捕捞工具极易腐化,鲑鱼骨也是如此。并且,要发现易于破碎的鱼类骨骸,必须进行小心细致的发掘,而直至近期,大多数研究者都不曾做过此类发掘。 But building on recent work that suggests big-game hunting was just one part of a “broad-spectrum” strategy among America’s first people, researchers have begun searching for other remains. These include creatures like migratory waterfowl, small mammals, and salmon that would have been part of a more seasonally based diet. 但近期的研究提出,捕杀大型猎物可能只是早期美洲人“宽谱”策略【编注:指将较多种类的食物来源纳入食谱的取食策略,生物学的最优取食理论以一组条件因子来解释或推测动物在特定约束条件下如何选择最优食谱宽度,参见wikipadia词条:optimal foraging theory。】的一部分,有鉴于此,研究者近来已开始搜寻其它残骸。其中包括迁徙性的水禽,小型哺乳动物及鲑鱼等生物,它们都可能构成一个更为季节性的食谱的一部分。 Archaeological sites across the Bering Strait region—including Siberia—support this idea, says John Hoffecker, a University of Colorado, Boulder, archaeologist who specializes in the region. 科罗拉多大学波德分校专门研究这一区域的考古学家John Hoffecker说,遍及白令海峡地区——包括西伯利亚——的考古遗址为上述看法提供了依据。 But finding ancient salmon leftovers has been a challenge. “It’s difficult to capture ancient fishing because of the nature of fish bones—they’re small, fragile bones,” says Carrin Halffman, a biological anthropologist at the University of Alaska (UA), Fairbanks, and the lead author of the new study. And if archaeologists do turn up any fishy remains, she says, it’s hard to know just what kind of fish it was. 不过,寻找古代鲑鱼残留物一直是个挑战。“古代渔猎活动的发现之难源于鱼骨的特性——这种骨头小而脆”,阿拉斯加大学费尔班克斯分校的生物人类学家Carrin Halffman如是说,她是上述研究的发起人。她还说,即便考古学家确实发现了一丁点鱼类残骸,也很难知道那到底是何种鱼类。 As the team tried to find out how the people at Upward Sun River used the resources of the nearby Tanana River, they carefully excavated parts of the site, sifting soil through fine-meshed screens. In the same fire pit where they found the buried remains of two infants, they discovered the salmon bones. 在尝试查明向阳河的人们如何利用附近的塔纳纳河资源时,这个团队小心地发掘了这一遗址的部分区域,用网眼细小的筛子翻检泥巴。在同一个火坑中,他们找到了两具婴儿遗骨,还发现了这些鲑鱼骨头。 Analyzing DNA in a piece of uncooked fish bone, Halffman and her team found that it was chum salmon (Oncorhynchus keta), a hefty fish that weighs 5 to 10 kilograms and grows roughly 60 centimeters long. Thousands of chum salmon still swim up the Tanana River every summer to spawn, and the run remains a central cultural event for the indigenous Athabascan people who live there today. 通过对一份未经烹制的鱼骨进行DNA分析,Halffman及其团队发现它是大马哈鱼(学名Oncorhynchus keta),这是一种重达5-10公斤、长约60公分的大型鱼类。直至今日,每年夏天仍有成千上万大马哈鱼沿塔纳纳河溯游产卵,而且这种洄游至今仍是当地原住民阿萨巴斯卡人的一项核心文化活动。 But could the find be evidence for the beginnings of this annual ritual? It was possible that the salmon were not part of the annual saltwater-to-freshwater migration, but instead were freshwater fish that lived in the river their entire lives. To find out, Halffman analyzed carbon and nitrogen isotopes in the fish bones. Because different versions of the two elements—both with different weights—are found in varying concentrations in seawater and fresh water, that compositions is reflected in the fish bones. 但这一发现是否就是这种年度仪式的起源证据呢?另有一种可能性存在:鲑鱼过去并非每年定期从咸水洄游到淡水,而是终生存活于河流中的淡水鱼。为了查明这一点,Halffman分析了鱼骨中的碳、氮同位素。因为这两种元素的不同同位素——其重量各不相同——在海水和淡水中分别有着不同的富集度,而这一成分差异会体现在鱼骨中。 The bones that Halffman analyzed had higher ratios of heavier carbon and nitrogen isotopes, meaning the fish had lived in the ocean and must have been caught during a spawning run. “What we’re looking at is probably the beginnings of the utilization of salmon,” says Ben Potter, an archaeologist at UA Fairbanks, and a co-author of the study. 在Halffman所分析的鱼骨中,较重的碳、氮同位素占比更大,这意味着这些鱼曾经生活于海洋,必定是在产卵洄游时被人捕捞的。阿拉斯加大学费尔班克斯分校的考古学家、本研究的共同作者Ben Potter说:“我们看到的可能是鲑鱼被人利用的开端。” The discovery boosts the view of Paleoindians as generalists who ate a variety of foods, Hoffecker says. “I don’t think it was possible for people to occupy these environments without this broad-based diet and without this kind of high-tech economy,” he says. Hoffecker说,这一发现为古印第安人是饮食种类繁多的多面手这一观点提供了支撑。“如果没有这种宽泛的食谱,没有这种高技术的经济,我不认为这些人有可能占领这样的自然环境”。 Herb Maschner, an Arctic archaeologist at the University of South Florida in Tampa, agrees and says the careful excavation methods and analysis serve as a good example of what archaeologists need to do to answer questions about ancient people living in central Alaska where the conditions for preserving bones and artifacts are “notoriously” bad. 坦帕市南佛罗里达大学的北极考古学家Herb Maschner对此表示赞同并说,骨头和人工制品在阿拉斯加中部地区的保存环境之恶劣“臭名昭著”,为了回答与生活于此地的古代人有关的问题,考古学家要怎么做?这种细心的发掘方法和分析为此树立了一个良好典范。 Potter and the other researchers are already busy answering other questions. Eventually, they say, the abundance of salmon and the ability to store fish allowed the indigenous people of the Pacific Northwest to settle in large permanent villages, a lifestyle that typically requires agriculture. Potter及其他研究者已经开始忙于回答其它问题。他们说,鲑鱼数量之丰富以及储存鱼类的能力,最终让太平洋西北地区的原住民得以定居于大型永久性村落,而这种生活方式通常要求农业的出现。 The team suspects that salmon fishing became more important over time as big game became scarcer in central Alaska, an idea they hope to test with further excavations. For now, little is known about salmon fishing in the period between 11,500 and 1000 years ago, but Upward Sun River gives the research team a start. Potter says: “You need that beginning to see how the end came about.” 该团队推测,随着阿拉斯加中部地区大型猎物日益稀少,鲑鱼捕捞的重要性可能也日益增加,团队并希望能通过进一步的发掘来验证这一想法。目前而言,人们对于从11500年前到1000年前这一时期的鲑鱼捕捞活动所知甚少,但向阳河给了这个研究团队一个起点。Potter说:“欲知晓终点如何而来,你需要这个开端。” (编辑:辉格@whigzhou) *注:本译文未经原作者授权,本站对原文不持有也不主张任何权利,如果你恰好对原文拥有权益并希望我们移除相关内容,请私信联系,我们会立即作出响应。

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