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科学美国人:墨西哥洞穴的一些新发现

发表时间:2020-10-03 08:43作者:Scientific American来源:Scientific American网址:http://www.jidu95.com


This is Scientific American — 60-Second Science, I'm Emily Schwing.


这里是科学美国人——60秒科学,我是埃米莉.施温。


Sometimes, discoveries seem so simple.


有时候,发现是如此简单。


"You know, basically we found a bunch of holes in the ground. "


“你知道,我们发现了地下的一些洞穴。”


That's Eduard Reinhardt.


那是爱德华.莱因哈特。


He's an archaeologist and geologist at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada.


爱德华.莱因哈特是加拿大安大略省McMaster大学的一位考古地质学家。


"But ultimately very important holes in the ground. "


“但最终发现,它们是一些非常重要的洞穴。”


Reinhardt and colleagues believe they've found some of the first clear evidence of mining activity in a system of caves in Quintana Roo, on the Yucatan Peninsula.


莱因哈特和同事们认为,他们在Yucatan半岛的Quintana Roo洞穴系统中发现了首个清晰矿石开采活动的证据。


The find dates back to between 10 and 12, 000 years ago.


这一发现可以追溯到10000到12000年前。


"So these are some of the very early people that have come and migrated to the Americas via the Bering Strait. "


“这些是早期人类通过白令海峡迁徙到美洲的痕迹。”


But getting to what remains of these miners and the tools they left is a challenge.


但是要找到开采人员的痕迹以及他们遗留的工具是一个挑战。


"Like, as cave divers, you gotta be so careful you don't get lost. "


“例如,像洞穴潜水人员,你需要很小心,避免迷失方向。”


These cave systems, in Mexico, which were once dry, are now completely filled with water, thanks to a warming climate and sea levels that rose over time.


这些墨西哥的洞穴系统,以前是干枯的,但现在,由于在温暖的气候下海平面不断上升,都充满了水。


Winding passageways are narrow and dark, and the walls are made of unforgiving limestone, porous and with sharp edges.


蜿蜒的通道又窄又暗,墙是由石灰岩构成,多孔并带有尖锐的边缘。


Reinhardt says the water that filled the caves has preserved everything.


莱因哈特说道,洞穴中满是水保护了所有的痕迹。


"It's basically almost like somebody working at a factory, they turned the lights off, they went away and nobody ever came back. "


“这就像人们在一个工厂里工作,他们关上灯,走了后就再也没回来。”


When divers started telling Reinhardt about what they were seeing inside the cave, he decided to go for a dive himself.


当潜水人员告诉莱因哈特他们在洞穴里所看见的事物时,莱因哈特打算亲自下潜看看。


He found concentrations of charcoal—meaning that the people who walked here thousands of years ago probably used fire to light their way.


他发现高浓度的木炭——意味着人们在几千年前经过这儿时,可能使用火把照明,


And there are stone cairns, which Reinhardt believes the people built as navigation markers.


里面还有石堆碑,莱因哈特认为人们使用它作为导航标志。


Reinhardt also says lots of tools remain.


莱因哈特还说,有很多工具保留在那里,


And they were made from the stalagmites that hung from the cave ceiling.


它们都是由悬挂在洞穴天花板的石笋制成的。


". . . they were breaking off and then using as hammers.


“人们折断石笋,用它作锤子。


So you can see the percussion marks where they were banging up, breaking up the stone on the bottom. "


所以你可看到敲打石头的痕迹,他们在敲打它,打碎底部的石头。”


The discovery is in the journal Science Advances.


这一发现发布在《科学前进》杂志上。


So, what were these ancient people mining and prospecting for?


这些古人采矿和勘探是为了什么?


"There was a little bit of sediment still on the wall of the pit.


“在坑上还有一点沉淀物。


So I grabbed a vial, my sample vial, and grabbed some of this sediment.


所以我拿了一个小瓶,一个样品小瓶,采集了一点沉淀物样品。


And underwater the red light gets attenuated, so it looked kind of brown and I was thinking well, maybe it's ochre, you know, I was thinking about that, but it's like, well, it looks kind of cruddy, I don't think that's what it is.


在水下,红光比较暗,看上去像是棕色。我在想,也许是赭色,你知道,我也在想这个,但它看起来有点粗糙,我觉得那不是它本来的样子。


But then i got out of the cave and into the sunlight, and it was just like this spectacular bright, bright red.


但是当我离开洞穴回到阳光下时,它就是很明亮的颜色,亮红色。


So then I knew that that's what they were after. "


所以我知道它们是什么了。”


Ochre.


这是赭石,


It's among the earliest known pigments employed by humans—and it's got many uses: for sunscreen, to preserve animal skins, in burials and ceremonies.


是在早期人类使用的颜料之一,它有很多用处:用于太阳镜、用于保存动物皮毛,在葬礼和庆典上也会使用到。


And people still use it even today in artwork.


现在人们仍在艺术品上使用它。


"It's a prominent and used geomaterial, if you will, throughout the time period.


“你要知道,这是非常典型、整个人类时期都使用的岩土材料,


And dates to usage for thousands of years prior to Paleo-Indians around the world. "


可以追溯到远在几千年之前的古印度人。“


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