世界上25个最神秘的考古大发现 (1)
The 25 Most Mysterious Archaeological Finds on Earth (1)
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2019-12-13 16:19
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火星译客

Introduction

简介

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Puzzling ancient finds have a way of captivating the public, perhaps because it's just too easy to dream up interesting explanations for how and why things exist.

或许是因为人们总是很容易给世间万物存在的方式和原因找个有趣的解释,所以古代发现总是格外的吸引人。

These 25 archaeological discoveries have left people in awe — and left scientists scratching their heads — year after year.

以下25个考古大发现一直让世人们心生敬畏,科学家们也摸不到头脑。

Stone spheres in Costa Rica

哥斯达黎加巨型石球

Mysterious stone spheres dot the Pre-Colombian Chiefdom Settlements of the Diquis in Costa Rica, which is now a World Heritage site.

Giant stone spheres — some dating as far back as A.D. 600 — pepper the Diquis Delta of southern Costa Rica. Known locally as Las Bolas ("The Balls"), these monuments were the works of a Pre-Colombian civilization, and most are made from gabbro, a rock that forms from molten magma. The people who carved the stones into their perfectly spherical shapes likely did so using other small stones, according to archaeologists who study the ancient rocks.

巨型石球的历史可追溯到公元600年,它们分布在哥斯达黎加南部的第奎斯三角洲。当地人称之为Las Bolas (“球”)属于前哥伦比亚文明遗迹。制作这些石球的大部分原料是由熔岩浆形成的辉长岩。据研究古代石头的考古学家指出,将这些石头打造成完美球状的人很可能是使用了其他的小石头。

Many non-experts have speculated that the so-called Diquis Spheres were used for astronomical purposes, while others think they may have pointed the way to significant places. The truth is that no one knows for sure. The Chibchan people who once populated Costa Rica and other parts of Central America vanished in the wake of the Spanish conquest, and the purpose of the spheres vanished with them, John W. Hoopes, an anthropologist at the University of Kansas, told JSTOR Daily in January 2016. 

许多非专家猜测这些所谓的第奎斯大球可能是出于天文学用途,还有其他人认为这些球体可能指出通往某些重要地方的道路。事实上谁也不能肯定它们的用途。美国堪萨斯大学考古学家Johon W.Hoopes 于2016年一月刊JSTOR Daily提到,曾居住于哥斯达黎加的奇布查族人和中美洲的其他部落居民在西班牙人踏上他们的领土时就消失了,这些球体的用途也因此不得而知。

Antikythera mechanism

安提基特拉机械

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Like something from a fantastical treasure movie, the discovery of the Antikythera Mechanism remains a major archaeological head-scratcher.

就像奇妙的寻宝电影中的情节一样,安提基特拉机械的发现在考古界依然是一个未解之谜。

Found in the sunken wreckage of a Greek cargo ship that is at least 2,000 years old, the circular bronze artifact contains a maze of interlocking gears and mysterious characters etched all over its exposed faces. Originally thought to be a kind of navigational astrolabe, archaeologists continue to uncover its uses and now know that it was, at the very least, a highly intricate astronomical calendar.

人们在一艘至少有两千年历史的希腊沉船中发现了这个机械,这个圆形的铜制机械上包含着错落的联锁齿轮,表面刻满了神秘的字符。起初考古学家认为这是一种航海星盘,但是随着对它用途的研究,现如今我们知道它其实是一个高度精密的天文日历。

It is still the most sophisticated device ever found from that period, preceding the next appearance of similar devices by 1,000 years.

它依然是当时那个时期所发现的最复杂的仪器,一千年以后才出现了和它类似的机械。

Cleopatra's tomb

埃及艳后的陵墓

Marc Antony and Cleopatra

Cleopatra VII was the last of a series of rulers called the Ptolemies who ruled Egypt between 305 and 30 B.C. Much is known about her intelligence, beauty and romantic relationships (she had children with both Julius Caesar and Mark Antony), but one fact about Cleopatra is still shrouded in mystery — her burial place.

克娄巴特拉七世是托勒密王朝(公元前305年-公元前30年)的最后一位统治者。人们都知道她的智慧,美貌以及恋爱关系(她和凯撒大帝和马克安东尼都有孩子),但是她的陵墓依然是一个迷。

Cleopatra and Antony both committed sui/cide after their former ally, Octavian, defeated them at the Battle of Actium in 31 B.C. The two were buried together at a site that the writer Plutarch (A.D. 45-120) described as a "lofty and beautiful" monument, located near a temple of the Egyptian goddess Isis. But exactly where this tomb is located remains a mystery. If anyone ever finds the lovers' tomb, there's a chance it might be empty, as grave robbery was not uncommon in ancient times, according to archaeologists.   

公元前31年,克娄巴特拉和安东尼在亚克兴之战中被他们的前盟友屋大维打败,双双自杀。他们被合葬在埃及女神伊西斯的神庙附近,作家普鲁塔克称(公元45-公元120)之为“高尚美丽”的墓碑。但是这座坟墓究竟在哪儿依然是一个未解之谜。考古学家指出如果有人找到他们的坟墓,很可能也是空空如也,因为在古代盗墓非常常见。

Qin Shi Huang's tomb

秦始皇陵

In 1974, farmers in China's Shaanxi province accidentally unearthed one of the biggest archaeological finds of the 20th century — the life-size terracotta armyof Emperor Qin Shi Huang (259 B.C. – 210 B.C.).

1974年,中国陕西省的农民偶然间发现了20世纪最大的考古发现之一,秦始皇陵兵马俑(公元前259-公元前210)。

The intricately carved figures aren't a mystery: Historians know that the clay army was created to defend China's first emperor in the afterlife. What isn't known, however, is where exactly the emperor is buried or what treasures his burial chamber might contain. 

这些雕刻精细的人俑并不神秘,历史学家知道这支陶土军队是用于守护死后的秦始皇的。然而人们不知道的是秦始皇的坟墓究竟在哪儿,坟墓里有哪些陪葬品。

A pyramid-shaped mausoleum is located about a mile to the northeast of where the terracotta army was discovered. However, no one has actually entered the mausoleum that holds Qin Shi Huang's remains.

在兵马俑发现位置东北方向约一英里处有一座金字塔形的陵墓,但是没有人真正进入过秦始皇遗体所在的墓穴。

The first emperor's final resting place is the most opulent tomb ever constructed in China, according to ancient documents describing its construction. An underground palace, complete with a surrounding "kingdom," the mausoleum is made up of a network of caves and even included a state-of the-art drainage system. Whether archaeologists will ever have the technology they need to safely excavate the tomb (which also happens to contain extremely high levels of mercury) remains a mystery, as do the many treasures that lay inside.

据古代文献对于建造秦始皇陵的记载,秦始皇的陵墓是中国史上规模最大的陵墓。秦始皇陵是一座地下陵墓,禁卫森严。陵墓由不同的墓穴构成,甚至设有先进的排水系统。我们不知道考古学家何时可以掌握安全挖掘墓穴(陵内含有大量的水银)的技术,也不知道陵墓里都有哪些宝物。

Atlantis

亚特兰蒂斯

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The lost city of Atlantis has been discovered in the Bahamas, the Greek Islands, Cuba, and even Japan if every claim was to be believed.

如果所有声称的消息都可靠,那么巴哈马群岛,希腊群岛,古巴甚至日本都发现了消失的亚特兰蒂斯。

First described by the ancient Greek historian Plato in 360 B.C., the mythological island was supposedly a great naval power before sinking into the sea over 10,000 years ago in a catastrophic event.

公元前360年,古希腊历史学家柏拉图首次描绘了亚特兰蒂斯,这座传说中的岛屿在一万年前被大灾难毁灭沉入大海,在此之前应该是个海上强国。

Archaeologists debate the actual historical existence of the island as well as its most plausible location if it ever actually existed among the many sunken ruins discovered around the world. But even without definitive proof, Atlantis continues to engage the popular imagination like few other archaeological mysteries out there.

亚特兰蒂斯是否真实存在,如果真实存在,那么世界上发现的众多海底沉骸究竟哪个才是它最合理的位置,考古学家对此一直争论不休。但是尽管没有切实的证据,亚特兰蒂斯依然和其他考古之谜一样勾起人们无尽的想象。

Stonehenge

巨石阵

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Sprucing up an otherwise docile English field, the prehistoric monument commonly known as Stonehenge is one of the world's most famous landmarks.

使原本普通的英国田野名声大噪的史前遗迹,巨石阵是世界上最著名的地标之一。

The ring of megalithic stones was built approximately 4,000 years ago and was an impressive feat for the primitive people who constructed it but that's about all archaeologists know for sure. None of the theories on the original purpose of Stonehenge, which range from an astronomical observatory to a religious temple of healing, has ever been, well, set in stone.

巨石阵大概建造于4000年前,对于建造它的原始人们来说无疑是一项壮举,考古学家可以肯定的信息就只有这么多。关于建造巨石阵用途的说法从天文观测到宗教神庙始终都没有定论。

Ancient animal traps

古老的动物陷阱

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Low stone walls crisscrossing the deserts of Israel, Egypt and Jordan have puzzled archaeologists since their discovery by pilots in the early 20th century.

自20世纪初期飞行员们在以色列,埃及和约旦发现纵横于沙漠的低矮石墙以来,这一发现一直让考古学家困惑不已。

The chain of lines some up to 40 miles (64 kilometers) long and nicknamed "kites" by scientists for their appearance from the air date to 300 B.C., but were abandoned long ago.

这些线条链长达40英里(64公里)。早在公元前300年,根据它们从空中看起来的样子,科学家们称呼它们为“风筝”,但是这个昵称在很久以前就不用了。

The mystery might be somewhat clearer thanks to a recent study claiming that the purpose of the kites was to funnel wild animals toward a small pit, where they could easily be killed in large numbers. This efficient system suggests that local hunters knew more about the behavior of local funnel than previously thought.

近期这个谜团可能稍稍明朗,一项研究显示,这些风筝的用途应该是将野兽汇集在一个小地方,这样有利于捕获到更多野兽。这种高效的系统表示当地的捕猎者比我们之前想象的更加熟悉当地动物的行为。

Nazca lines

纳斯卡线条

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From the ground, the Nazca Lines of Peru are nothing spectacular. However, seen from the air, from which they were first spotted by commercial aircraft in the 1920s and 30s, they are staggering.

从地面上看,秘鲁的纳斯卡线条着实平淡无奇,但是如果像20世纪20年代和30年代人们坐在商用飞机上从天空俯瞰,纳斯卡线条则令人震惊。

Archaeologists agree the enormous shapes there are hundreds of them, ranging from geometric lines to complicated depictions of animals, plants and imaginary figures were made over 2,000 years ago by people of the pre-Inca Nazca culture, who simply removed the red surface pebbles to reveal the lighter earth below in designs of their choice.

考古学家们一致认为这数百个巨大的图形是2000多年前由古纳斯卡人绘制的,这些图形中既有简单的几何线条,也有动物、植物和想象中的形象这类复杂的描绘。古纳斯卡人绘制图案时只是将地表红色的石头去掉,显现出下面的的浅色土地。

Just why they did it remains enigmatic, prompting conspiracy theorists to float ideas about alien landings and ancient astrology. The lines were more likely to have been a ritual communication method with the Nazca's deities, say archaeologists.

他们绘制线条的意图依然是个迷,一些阴谋论者浮想联翩说是外星人降落和古老的占星术。但是考古学家表示,这些线条很可能是古纳斯卡人用来和神明沟通的一种仪式方法。

The Great Pyramids

胡夫金字塔

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Even the information that archaeologists do know about the Great Pyramids of Egypt is enormously fascinating, to say nothing about what still might be uncovered.

即使考古学家对于埃及金字塔的发现已经令人十分惊喜,但是和未知相比这些发现不值一提。

Built almost 5,000 years ago in what is now Cairo, the three-pyramid complex with the largest, Khufu, dominating the site is a testament to the ancient Egyptians' reverence for their Pharaohs and the intricacies of their belief in the afterlife.

埃及最大的金字塔,胡夫金字塔建造于大约5000年前,位于现今的开罗,无疑是当地最显著的地标。金字塔证明了古埃及人对于法老的无上崇敬以及来世的至高信仰。

Archaeologists are still discovering new tunnels and shafts built within the pyramids, and are still searching for clues on who built the great monuments, how and why, even today.

直至今天考古学家仍在挖掘通往金字塔内新的隧道和竖井,同时仍在研究究竟是谁建造了这一伟大的遗迹,如何建造又是为何建造。

Shroud of Turin

都灵圣体裹尸布

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Perhaps no archaeological discovery is more debated than the enigmatic Shroud of Turin, which many believe to be the burial shroud of Jesus Christ. This long piece of twill cloth bears traces of blood, as well as the darkened imprint of a man's body.

或许没有任何一个考古发现比都灵圣体裹尸布更具争议性,许多人认为它是包裹耶稣尸体的布。这块长型的斜纹布上有斑斑血迹和一个男子身体的深色印记。

The Catholic Church officially recorded the existence of the shroud in A.D. 1353, which is when the cloth showed up in a church in Lirey, France. But the legend of the shroud dates back to A.D. 30 or 33. According to that legend, the shroud was transported from Judea (now southern Palestine) to Edessa, Turkey, and later to Constantinople (now called Istanbul). When crusaders sacked Constantinople in A.D. 1204, the cloth was moved to Athens, Greece, where it was allegedly held until A.D. 1225.

据天主教堂官方记载,这块布于公元1353年首次出现在法国里昂的教堂里,但是这块布的传奇可追溯到公元30年或33年。据说这块布从朱迪亚(现巴勒斯坦南部)被运送到土耳其的埃德萨,后来又到君士坦丁堡(现伊斯坦布尔)。公元1204年,十字军将君士坦丁堡洗劫一空,这块布又被运送到了希腊雅典,据说一直保存到公元1225年。

It wasn't until the 1980s that researchers got their hands on the cloth to try to determine its true age using radiocarbon dating. They determined that the alleged burial cloth of Jesus was actually created between A.D. 1260 and A.D. 1390. In other words, the scientists determined that the cloth is most likely a medieval forgery. However, critics of this research argue that the scientists may have dated newer portions of the shroud that were stitched together centuries after Jesus' death, which would explain why the shroud seems "newer" than it really is.

直到20世纪80年代,研究人员才得以通过放射性碳测年方法来测定这块布的真实年龄。他们得出结论这块布其实是在公元1260年到公元1390年之间制造的。也就是说科学家们认为这块布更有可能是中世纪的伪造物。然而对于这项研究的批评者争论道科学家们很可能只是检测了织物上比较新的部分,也就是耶稣死后几个世纪被缝纫在这块布上的,这也解释了为什么这块布看起来要比它真正存在的时间更新。

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