Return to site

Solving a 30,000-year-old human riddle

解密三萬年前人類之謎

· 每日跟讀單元 Daily English

In an effort to solve the riddle of whether humans made the long journey from Taiwan to Okinawa in Japan more than 30,000 years ago, Japan’s National Museum of Nature and Science announced on May 24 a joint study with Taiwan’s National Museum of Prehistory to make a test journey in mid June in the seas approximately 30 km off the coast of Taiwan in a bamboo raft.

為解開逾三萬年前人類是否從台灣遠渡沖繩之謎,日本國立科學博物館五月二十四日宣布將與國立台灣史前文化博物館合作,六月中旬在台灣外海約三十公里試航竹筏。

Human bones dating to the Palaeolithic discovered in Okinawa have DNA characteristic of people from Southeast Asia. It is therefore thought that these people possibly originated from the south. Some archaeologists believe that prehistoric humans made the trip across the sea to Okinawa from Taiwan, which was joined at the time to the Asian mainland.

在沖繩所發現到的舊石器時代人骨有目前在東南亞人骨DNA的特徵,因此被認為可能是來自南方。有考古學家研判,可能這些史前人類是從當時與亞洲大陸連結的台灣藉由航海遠渡沖繩。

Last July the research team made a test journey between Okinawa’s Yonaguni and Iriomote-jima islands, traveling roughly 70 km in a thatched boat. The trip was originally set for 2019, to travel between Yonaguni Island and Taiwan — a journey of 110km at the shortest point — but it was decided to first make a short trial journey to carry out tests, including for the influence of the Kuroshio Current en route.

研究團隊去年七月在沖繩的與那國島至西表島之間,以草船試航約七十公里。原本預定二○一九年實施與那國島與台灣之間(最短距離是一百一十公里)的試航,但為了調查航路途中黑潮的影響等,決定先實施短程試航。

Since Taiwan cannot grow reeds suitable for making thatched rafts, next month’s trial journey will be carried out in a raft, approximately 10 meters long, 80 cms wide and able to hold five people, made of bamboo grown in Taiwan. The plan is to set off in the bamboo raft from Taiwan’s southeast coast to a point 30 kms offshore, which is expected to take at least 10 hours.

因為台灣並沒生長適合造船的草,所以下個月試航是以生長在台灣的竹子所打造長約十公尺、寬約八十公分、可載五人的竹筏進行實驗。計畫從台灣東南方沿岸划竹筏到距離三十公里遠的離島,預估至少要十個小時。

In addition to testing the influence of the Kuroshio Current, this trial bamboo raft journey is also designed to test the raft’s durability and stability, as well as capacity, in terms of how many people and how much food it can hold.

這次的竹筏試航,除了要調查黑潮的影響之外,也調查竹筏的耐久性、安定性、可搭載多少人與食物等。

According to Yousuke Kaifu, who is leading the research team, “We want to see what the buoyancy and speed of the bamboo raft is like. People 30,000 years ago would not have had many tools, and we would really like to find out from this trial journey how exactly they would have been able to cross the Kuroshio.”

研究團隊的負責人海部陽介表示,「想調查竹筏能有多少浮力、速度如何。三萬年前的人應該沒有充足的道具,究竟是如何跨越黑潮的 ,很想藉由試航,一探究竟。」

The research team will use the data obtained from June’s test journey to decide the route and details of the plan for the 2019 journey.

研究團隊將以六月試航所得資料為根據,再決定二○一九年試航路線、計畫細節等。

Source article: http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/lang/archives/2017/05/28/2003671407

All Posts
×

Almost done…

We just sent you an email. Please click the link in the email to confirm your subscription!

OK