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每日跟讀#667: Prehistoric settlement in Turkey bears telltale signs of modern woes

土耳其史前遺跡 洩露現代社會問題

· 每日跟讀單元 Daily English

每日跟讀#667: Prehistoric settlement in Turkey bears telltale signs of modern woes

Overcrowding. Violence. Infectious diseases. Environmental degradation. It may sound like the worst of modern mega-cities.

過度擁擠、暴力、傳染性疾病、環境惡化,這聽起來就像是最惡劣的現代巨型都市。

But people encountered these very same problems when the first large settlements were being established millennia ago as humans began to swap a nomadic hunter-gatherer existence for a lifestyle centered on farming, scientists said on June 17, based on findings from a prehistoric site in south-central Turkey.

不過,科學家在六月十七日指出,根據土耳其中南部一處史前遺址發現的證據顯示,人們早在幾千年前建立最初的大型聚落時,就遭遇過這些類似的問題,人類當時正開始從遊牧式狩獵採集的生活型態轉換成農牧為主的生活方式。

The researchers examined 742 human skeletons unearthed at the prehistoric ruins of Catalhoyuk, inhabited from 9,100 to 7,950 years ago during a pivotal time in human evolution, for clues about what life was like at one of the earliest sizable settlements in the archeological record. At its peak, 3,500 to 8,000 people lived there, with the researchers calling it a “proto-city.”

研究人員檢驗「加泰土丘」史前遺跡出土的七百四十二具人類骨骸,希望能找到線索,拼湊出人類當初在這處大型聚落中生活的樣貌。加泰土丘是考古紀錄中年代最早的一處大型聚落遺址,人類在九千一百年前到七千九百五十年前居住於此,當時正好是人類演化的關鍵時刻。在巔峰時期,當地約有三千五百到八千位居民,研究人員遂稱此地為一個「原始城市」。

The residents experienced a high rate of infections, as seen in their teeth and bones, probably caused by diseases spreading in crowded conditions amid challenges to proper hygiene, the researchers said. Overcrowding may have contributed to interpersonal violence. Many skulls bore evidence of healed fractures to the top or back of the cranium, some with multiple injuries.

研究人員表示,居民的牙齒跟骸骨顯示他們遭到感染的比例相當高,可能是因為擁擠的生活條件,難以維持良好衛生,使得疾病於其中散播。過度擁擠也可能導致人與人之間發生暴力行為。證據在於,許多頭骨在頭蓋骨上方或後腦處可見癒合後的骨裂痕跡,有些頭骨還有多處損傷。

The shape of these injuries indicates they may have been caused by hard clay balls found at Catalhoyuk that researchers suspect were used as projectiles from a sling weapon. “A key message that people will take from these findings is that our current behaviors have deep roots in the history of humankind,” said Ohio State University biological anthropologist Clark Spencer Larsen, who led the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

從形狀研判,這些損傷可能是遭到堅硬的黏土球體撞擊而導致。研究人員懷疑,在加泰土丘發現的黏土球當時可能被用來當作投石器或彈弓的子彈。「人們從這些發現中獲得的關鍵訊息就是,我們目前的行為模式在人類歷史中有著很深的根源,」俄亥俄州立大學的生物人類學家克拉克‧史賓瑟‧拉爾森這麼說,他是這篇發表於《美國國家科學院院刊》研究的主持人。

“The people living in this community faced challenges of life in settlements addressing fundamental issues: what to eat, who produces the food, how is the food distributed, what are the social norms for division of labor, the challenges of infection and infectious disease in settings where there is limited sanitation, the strategy of interpersonal relationships involving animosity in some instances,” Larsen added.

拉爾森補充指出:「住在這個社群中的人們,當時在聚落生活中面臨解決基礎問題的挑戰:要吃什麼、誰負責做東西吃、食物如何分配、分工的社會規範是什麼、感染和傳染性疾病在環境衛生受限的情況下帶來的挑戰,以及在某些場合中當人際關係牽涉到敵意時該採取的策略。」

As the world emerged from the last Ice Age, with warmer conditions conducive to crop domestication, there was a shift from foraging to farming beginning 10,000 to 12,000 years ago among people in numerous places. The people grew crops including wheat, barley and rye and raised sheep, goats and eventually cattle. Some homes boasted wall murals, and other art included stone figurines of animals and corpulent women.

在一萬到一萬兩千年前,隨著世界從上一次冰河時期中浮現,加上較溫暖的氣候條件有助於人工培植農作物,世界各地的人們開始從搜尋食物轉為從事農業。加泰土丘當地人類種植的作物包括小麥、大麥、裸麥,也會飼養綿羊、山羊,最後甚至還有牛。有些家屋裡繪有壁畫,其他藝術品則包含主題為動物或是豐滿女性的石雕像。

Catalhoyuk’s residents lived in clay brick structures akin to apartments, entering and exiting through ladders that connected the living areas of houses to the roofs. After death, residents were buried in pits dug into the floors of the homes.

加泰土丘的居民住在由黏土磚砌成的建築結構,類似公寓的模樣,只不過進出是靠連接屋內起居空間和屋頂的階梯。居民過世後,其他人會在家屋的地板底下挖洞,將他們埋葬於其中。

Catalhoyuk, measuring about 13 hectares, was continuously occupied for 1,150 years and appears to have been a largely egalitarian community. It was eventually abandoned, perhaps because of environmental degradation caused by the human population and a drying climate that made farming there harder, the researchers said.

加泰土丘面積約十三公頃,持續有人居住長達一千一百五十年之久,看起來像是一個大致上平等的社群。研究人員表示,當地最後被放棄的原因可能是因為人口數量導致環境惡化,而逐漸乾燥的氣候也讓農業變得較難進行。

Source article: http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/lang/archives/2019/07/07/2003718231/2

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