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托福TPO-32 Lecture 1(上)

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Listen to part of a lecture in an archaeology class.

听一段节选自考古学课堂的讲座。

One of the important aspects of the field of archaeology...one of the things that excites me about the field...is that seemingly insignificant things can suddenly change the way we think about a culture.

考古学领域中重要的方面之一……使我对这一领域感兴趣的一点是看似无关紧要的事情能突然改变我们对文化的看法。

We are always making new discoveries that have the potential to challenge widely held beliefs.

我们总是有新的发现,它有可能完全挑战我们持有的信念。

Take something like the banana, for example. It turns out that this ordinary fruit may be forcing scientists to rewrite major parts of African history!

以香蕉举例。结果是这种普通的水果可能迫使科学家重写非洲历史的主要部分!

We know the bananas were introduced to Africa via Southeast Asia.

我们知道香蕉是通过东南亚引入非洲的。

香蕉植物岩1.jpg

And until recently, we thought we knew when they were introduced—about 2,000 years ago.

直到最近,我们也以为我们知道它们是什么时候被引进的,大约2000年前。

But discoveries in Uganda, that's in Eastern Africa, are throwing that into question.

但是在东非乌干达的一些发现却开始使它陷入质疑。

Scientists studying soil samples there discovered evidence of bananas in sediment that was 5,000 years old!

研究那里土壤样品的科学家发现了5000年前香蕉沉淀物的证据。

Now, let me explain that it's not easy to find traces of ancient bananas.

现在让我解释一下,找到古代香蕉的踪迹不是那么容易。

The fruit is soft and doesn't have any hard seeds that might survive over the ages.

这种水果很软,而且没有任何硬的种子能使它存活多年。

So after 5,000 years, you might think there would be nothing left to study.

因此5000年后,你可能会以为没有任何东西可以研究了。

Well, fortunately for archaeologists, all plants contain what are called phytoliths in their stems and leaves.

但是对于考古学家来说,很幸运的是所有的植物在它们的茎和叶子上都有一种被称为植物岩的物质。

Phytoliths are microscopic structures made of silica, and they do not decay.

植物岩是由二氧化硅形成的微小结构,而且它们不腐烂。

When plants die and rot away, they leave these phytoliths behind.

当植物死掉或者腐烂的时候,它们会留下植物岩。

Because different plants produce differently shaped phytoliths, scientists can identify the type of plant from ancient remains.

因为不同种植物会产生形状不同的植物岩,科学家可以从这种古老的残余物质判断是哪种植物遗留下来的。

So, those scientists in Uganda, dug down to sediments that were 5,000 years old.

因此在乌干达的科学家挖到5000年前的沉淀物。

And what do you think they found? Banana phytoliths!

你们猜他们发现了什么。香蕉植物岩!

重点单词   查看全部解释    
insignificant [.insig'nifikənt]

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adj. 无关紧要的,可忽略的,不重要的,无用的

 
rot [rɔt]

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n. 腐烂,腐蚀,败坏
v. 腐烂,使 ...

 
microscopic ['maikrə'skɔpik]

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adj. 显微镜的,极小的,微观的

 
decay [di'kei]

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v. (使)衰退,(使)腐败,腐烂
n. 衰退

联想记忆
survive [sə'vaiv]

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vt. 比 ... 活得长,幸免于难,艰难度过

联想记忆
challenge ['tʃælindʒ]

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n. 挑战
v. 向 ... 挑战

 
potential [pə'tenʃəl]

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adj. 可能的,潜在的
n. 潜力,潜能

 
contain [kən'tein]

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vt. 包含,容纳,克制,抑制
vi. 自制

联想记忆
archaeology [.ɑ:ki'ɔlədʒi]

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n. 考古学,古迹,文物

联想记忆
identify [ai'dentifai]

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vt. 识别,认明,鉴定
vi. 认同,感同身

 

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