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考古学家利用雷达在空中勘测古文明遗迹

kira86 于2018-10-11发布 l 已有人阅读

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Scanning Ancient Civilizations from the Skies

从天空勘测古老文明遗迹

If there's a fifth Indiana Jones movie, Indy might want to use one of the hottest new tools revolutionizing archaeology: LiDAR, or Light Detection and Ranging, which allows archaeologists to survey ancient sites from the skies.

假如印第安那·琼斯电影(《夺宝奇兵》系列电影的主角,共四部)出第五部的话,那印第安纳·琼斯或许想要使用最热门的新工具之一来革新考古学,那就是激光雷达探测器,又称光探测和测距,这个工具可以让考古学家从天空勘测古代遗址。

Think of an impressionistic painting, the closer you look at the painting, you see the brush strokes. When you pull away, suddenly it's obviously the face of a woman in a park. You know, your brain can interpolate that stuff better at a distance.

“(在大脑里)想象一幅印象派画作,你距离这幅画越近,你就越会注意这幅画的笔触;而当你离画越远,突然间,就会明显看到公园里一个女人的脸。你知道在稍远处你的大脑可以更好的插入补充。”

Marcello Canuto, an archaeologist at Tulane University.

杜兰大学的考古专家马塞洛·卡努托表示到。

LiDAR allows us to see these small little features that close up look like little pieces of data that we're not sure what to do with, but when you zoom out, there it is, clear as day.

“激光雷达让我们可以看到这些小特征,对这些小特征近距离特写就好像我们不知该如何处理的小数据,可一旦当你将之缩小,就会将之看得一清二楚。”

The technology works like radar, but shoots laser pulses instead of radio waves, to 3-D map a landscape. In 2016 it was used to map over 800 square miles of Guatemalan jungle, including the area around the famous tourist site Tikal. Canuto remembers when he and his colleagues first saw the footage.

这项技术的工作原理类似雷达,但发射的是激光脉冲而不是无线电波,从而绘制出三维立体地形图。在2016年,利用这项技术绘制了800多平方英里的危地马拉丛林地图,还绘制了著名旅游景点蒂卡尔周围区域的地形图。卡努托回想起他和他同事首次看到这段录像时的情景。

One hour went into two, went into three. We just lost track of time. It got dark outside, we were just open mouthed, we couldn't believe what we were seeing.

“一个小时过去了,两个小时过去了,三个小时过去了。我们忘了时间。外面天黑了,我们只是(惊讶得)张着嘴,简直不敢相信我们所看到的东西。”

What they discovered, after careful analysis, were buildings in areas they'd already excavated. And big landscape-level features, like canals and roads, bridges, ditches and walls.

经过仔细分析,他们发现那是他们已经挖掘过地区的建筑。还有如运河、道路、桥梁、沟渠和围墙等大型景观级的地理特征。

It was a very humbling moment for all of us. To be able to think, wow, that was under our feet the whole time and we didn't recognize it. Overall, the density of structures suggests a population of somewhere between seven and 11 million people in the region, more than 1000 years ago - which aligns with previous estimates.

“对我们所有人来说,那是一个非常谦卑的时刻。会有‘哇哦,这些一直在我们脚下,然而我们却没认出来’这样的想法。”总体而言,建筑物的密度表明该区域人口大约在700万到1100万人之间,已有1000多年历史,而这些都与之前的估计相符。

Maps, photos and a catalog of what they found are in the journal Science.

地图、照片以及他们所发现遗迹名目都发表在《科学》杂志上。

Nearly 100 years ago, the famous aviators Anne and Charles Lindbergh flew over some of the same swaths of jungle, taking photographs from the sky, partly in hopes of aiding archaeologists. "It was very early appreciated that under the jungle canopy there was a lot to see. If we could only see through the jungle canopy." Now, we can. And it's a foundation, Canuto says, for an entirely new era in archaeology.

约100年前,著名的飞行员安妮和查尔斯·林白夫妇飞跃了同一片丛林,并从空中拍照,部分原因是希望能帮助到考古学家。“很早就认识到,如果我们能够透过丛林树冠观察的话,丛林树冠下其实掩盖了许多可看的东西。”如今,我们终于能做到这一点了。卡努托表示到,这为全新的考古学时代奠定了基础。

(小e英语Jewel翻译,欢迎捉虫!)

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