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VOA慢速英语[科学报道]亚洲巨石阵--老挝石罐平原

2016-05-11    来源:普特英语编辑部    【      美国外教 在线口语培训
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A new group of human remains has been uncovered on the Plain of Jars in Laos. They are believed to date back to the Iron Age, some 2,500 years ago.
 
The Plain of Jars is in the central Lao province of Xieng Khouang. The area covers hundreds of kilometers in which can be found thousands of ancient stone jars. They are grouped together at about 100 sites.
 
The Plain of Jars has been a puzzle for archaeologists—scientists who study prehistoric people and their culture.
 
A joint research team from Australia and Laos found the remains.
 
Dougald O’Reilly teaches archaeology at Australian National University. He led the field work in Laos.
 
“This is one of the great enigmas of the Jars’ sites,” he said. “These massive stone jars – some of them weighing up to 10 metric tons, that have been dragged eight to 10 kilometers from a quarry site and set up in groups.”
 
Little is known about the people who made the jars. What did the jars hold? How and why did people place them where they did?
 
O’Reilly said a central question that needs to be answered is who created the stone jars. There are no known sites offering answers to the ethnicity and identity of the people who made them.
 
The latest field work uncovered an ancient burial ground in an area known as Site 1, in Xieng Khouang Province. It has more than 300 stone jars, stone discs and markers.
 
The scientists uncovered different burial methods. They include burial of whole bodies, the burying of bones grouped together, and bones placed inside ceramic vessels and then buried.
 
Louise Shewan of Monash University in Australia led one of the teams involved in the field work. Archaeologist Thonglith Luangkhoth, of the Lao Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, also led a research team.
 
Thonglith told Lao media the newly uncovered remains were found about eight kilometers from the center of Phonsavanh district.
 
“This discovery marks a significant milestone since archaeological excavations began in the area in the 1930s in collaboration with a French archaeologist,” he said.
 
Dougald O’Reilly said the researchers hope to get really good information from the find.
 
“With our research, because we’ve been able to uncover a fair amount of human bone – we’ve got seven burials and four probable burials with ceramic jars – so a total of 11 mortuary contexts.”
 
He said they are excited to have the opportunity to work at one of South East Asia’s more important—and probably least understood archaeological sites.
 
Scientists will do isotopic and chemical tests on the remains. They may provide information on the ethnicity of the people connected to the sites.
 
O’Reilly said it is possible that the Lao sites may be linked to similar jar sites in India.
 
The Australian Research Council is paying for the project. It will continue over five years with field work in Laos and some in northeastern India as well.
 
The effort may soon provide answers to one of Southeast Asia’s greatest cultural mysteries.
 
I’m Anne Ball.
(文本来源于普特论坛[report整理] SENEWS-2016-04-12)

 

 老挝石罐平原最近发现一组人类遗骸,科学家坚信遗骸可以追溯至2500年前的铁器时代。

石罐平原位于老挝中部的川圹省,平原绵延约数百公里,遍布着成千上万的古石罐,石罐遗址总共约100处。

对于研究史前人类及文化的考古科学家,石罐平原是个未解之谜。

澳大利亚和老挝联合研究小组发掘了遗址。

Dougald O’Reill在澳大利亚国立大学教考古学,他主导了老挝的实地考察。

他说:“这是石罐遗迹未解之谜之一,这些巨型石罐(其中一些重达10公吨,)”,被搬到采石场8-10公里外的地方,并成堆矗立。

对于石罐的制作者,我们知之甚少。石罐用来盛放何物?人们放置石罐的方式和原因是什么?石罐的制作地点又在哪里?

O’Reilly称亟待解决的核心问题是是谁建造了石罐群。针对这点,尚未发现可以表明石罐制作者的种族和身份的遗址。

近期,实地考察工作者在川圹省 “一号”遗址发掘了古代墓地,里面藏有300多个石罐、石盘及标记符号。

科学家发现了不同的埋葬方式,包括整个躯体的埋葬,尸骨归类后埋葬,尸骨置于陶罐容器后再埋葬。

澳大利亚莫纳什大学的Louise Shewan负责了实地考察相关的一个组,考古学家Thonglith Luangkhoth工作于老挝新闻部及文化旅游部,他也组织了一个研究小组。

Thonglith告诉老挝媒体,最新发现的人类遗骸距丰沙湾区八千米左右。

“这个地区的考古挖掘自20世纪30年代,和一名法国考古学家合作开始,这次发现标志着意义重大的里程碑。”

Dougald O’Reilly称研究人员希望从这次发现中得到有利信息。

“通过调查研究,我们已经能够发掘大量的人类遗骸---我们发现七处墓葬,四处可能和陶罐安置有关的墓葬---所以总共有11处可供研究。”

他表示他们很兴奋,能有机会在东南亚如此重要且知之甚少的考古遗址工作。

科学家们将对遗骸进行同位素测试和化学测试。遗骸可能提供一些与遗址相关的种族地位的信息。

O’Reilly称老挝石罐平原遗址可能和印度相似的石罐遗迹相关。

澳大利亚研究协会为这个项目提供经费。老挝和印度东北部部分地区的实地考察工作将超过五年。

这些努力不久将揭开东南亚最大文化未解之谜的面纱。

我是Anne Ball.



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