NCE4-L01 Finding fossil man 发现化石人PPT

Why are legends handed down by storytellers useful?

We can read of things that happened 5,000 years ago in the Near East,where people first learned to write.But there are some parts of the world where even now people cannot write.The only way that they can preserve their history is to recount it as sagas——legends handed down from one generation of storyteller to another.These legends are useful because they can tell us something about migrations of people who lived long ago,but none could write down what they did.Anthropologists wondered where the remote ancestors of the Polynesian peoples now living in the Pacific Islands came from.The sagas of these people explain that some of them came from Indonesia about 2,000 years ago.

But the first people who were like ourselves lived so long ago that even their sagas, if they had any,are forgotten.So archaeologists have neither history nor legends to help them to find out where the first ‘modern men’ came from.

Fortunately,however,ancient men made tools of stone,especially flint,because this is easier to shape than other kinds.They may also have used wood and skills,but these have rotted away.Stone does not decay,and so the tools of long ago have remained when even the bones of the men who made them have disappeared without trace.

ROBIN PLACE Finding fossil man

New words and expressions 生词和短语

fossil man (title)

adj. 化石人

recount

v. 叙述

saga

n. 英雄故事

legend

n. 传说,传奇

migration

n. 迁移,移居

anthropologist

n. 人类学家

archaeologist

n. 考古学家

ancestor

n. 祖先

Polynesian

adj.波利尼西亚(中太平洋之一群岛)的

Indonesia

n. 印度尼西亚

flint

n. 燧石

rot

n. 烂掉

參考译文:

我们可以阅读5000年前发生在近东地区的事情,那里的人最早学会书写文字。然而,世界上有些地方至今那里的人们不会书写文字。他们保存其历史的唯一方式是靠家族传说的叙述──即由讲故事 的人一代传给下一代的传说。这些传说是有用的,因为它能告诉我们,那些生活在很久以前,但没人能用文字写下其做过什么事的人们的迁移情况。人类学家想知道现在住在太平洋岛屿的波利尼西亚人遥远的祖先是从哪里来的,这些人的家族传说解释说,他们中有些是2000年从印度尼西亚来的。

但那些最初与我们相似的人们生活得太久远,以至连其传说──如果他们有过传说──也已被忘却。因此既无历史也无传说可以帮考古学家找出最初的“现代人”是从哪里来的 。

不过,幸而古代人制造石器工具,尤其是燧石,因为它比其它种类的石头更容易成型。他们也可能使用木和兽皮,但这些东西都烂掉了。石头不会腐烂,因此当工具制造者的骨头已经消失无踪之后,这些很久以前的工具仍然留存。

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