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剑桥雅思13Test3Passage3阅读原文翻译 Whatever happened to the Hara […]


剑桥雅思13Test3Passage3阅读原文翻译 Whatever happened to the Harappan Civilisation 哈拉帕文明的衰落



剑桥雅思13Test3Passage3阅读答案解析 Whatever happened to the Harappan Civilisation 哈拉帕文明衰落的原因

剑桥雅思13 Test3 Passage3阅读原文翻译


The Harappan Civilisation of ancient Pakistan and India flourished 5,000 years ago, but a thousand years later their cities were abandoned. The Harappan Civilisation was a sophisticated Bronze Age society who built ‘megacities’ and traded internationally in luxury craft products, and yet seemed to have left almost no depictions of themselves. But their lack of self-imagery – at a time when the Egyptians were carving and painting representations of themselves all over their temples – is only part of the mystery.



‘There is plenty of archaeological evidence to tell us about the rise of the Harappan Civilisation, but relatively little about its fall,’ explains archaeologist Dr Cameron Petrie of the University of Cambridge. ‘As populations increased, cities were built that had great baths, craft workshops, palaces and halls laid out in distinct sectors. Houses were arranged in blocks, with wide main streets and narrow alleyways, and many had their own wells and drainage systems. It was very much a “thriving” civilisation”. Then around 2100 BC, a transformation began. Streets went uncleaned, buildings started to be abandoned, and ritual structures fell out of use. After their final demise, a millennium passed before really large-scale cities appeared once more in South Asia.

“有充足的考古证据告诉我们哈拉帕文明的崛起,但相比之下,很少有关于其衰落的证据”,剑桥大学考古学家Cameron Petrie博士解释到。“随着人口增长,他们建造起大型浴池、手工艺品作坊、宫殿和会堂分布于不同区域的城市。房屋按照街区布置,配备宽阔的主干道和狭窄的小巷。许多有着自己的水井和排水系统。它是一个十分繁荣的文明。随后,在公元前2100年左右,情况开始发生变化。街道不再干净,建筑物开始被遗弃,仪式建筑不再被使用。在它们最终衰落之后,过了一千年才有真正的大型城市再次出现在南亚地区。


Some have claimed that major glacier-fed rivers changed their course, dramatically affecting the water supply and agriculture; or that the cities could not cope with an increasing population, they exhausted their resource base, the trading economy broke down or they succumbed to invasion and conflict; and yet others that climate change caused an environmental change that affected food and water provision. ‘It is unlikely that there was a single cause for the decline of the civilisation. But the fact is, until now, we have had little solid evidence from the area for most of the key elements,’ said Petrie. ‘A lot of the archaeological debate has really only been well-argued speculation.’



A research team led by Petrie, together with Dr Ravindanath Singh of Banaras Hindu University in India, found early in their investigations that many of the archaeological sites were not where they were supposed to be, completely altering understanding of the way that this region was inhabited in the past. When they carried out a survey of how the larger area was settled in relation to sources of water, they found inaccuracies in the published geographic locations of ancient settlements ranging from several hundred metres to many kilometres. They realised that any attempts to use the existing data were likely to be fundamentally flawed. Over the course of several seasons of fieldwork they carried out new surveys, finding an astonishing 198 settlement sites that were previously unknown.

Petrie领导的研究团队,与印度贝拿勒斯印度教大学的Ravindanath Singh一起,在他们调查的早期发现许多考古遗址并不位于他们应该在的地方。这完全文章来自老烤鸭雅思改变了人们对于该区域曾经聚居方式的理解。当他们调查完更大区域与水资源的关系之后,他们发现已经发布的古老定居点的位置存在着几百米到几千米不等的误差。他们意识到,任何使用现存数据的尝试可能从根本上就是存在缺陷的。在几个季度的实地考察中,他们进行了新的调查,令人惊讶地发现了198个之前不为人知的聚居地。


Now, research published by Dr Yama Dixit and Professor David Hodell, both from Cambridge’s Department of Earth Sciences, has provided the first definitive evidence for climate change affecting the plains of north-western India, where hundreds of Harappan sites are known to have been situated. The researchers gathered shells of Melanoides tuberculata snails from the sediments of an ancient lake and used geochemical analysis as a means of tracing the climate history of the region. ‘As today, the major source of water into the lake is likely to have been the summer monsoon,’ says Dixit. ‘But we have observed that there was an abrupt change about 4,100 years ago, when the amount of evaporation from the lake exceeded the rainfall – indicative of a drought.’ Hodell adds: ‘We estimate that the weakening of the Indian summer monsoon climate lasted about 200 years before recovering to the previous conditions, which we still see today.’

如今,一项由剑桥大学地球科学系的Yama Dixit博士和Divid Hodell教授发布的研究提供了气候变化影响西北部印度平原的切实证据。那里曾经是数百个哈拉帕定居点的所在地。研究者们在一个古代湖泊的沉积物中发现了瘤拟黑螺的贝壳,并使用地球化学的分析方法来追溯该地区的气候历史。“正如今天一样,涌入湖泊的水源似乎主要来自夏季季风”,Dixit说。“但我们观察到,4100年前曾有过一次突然的变化。当时湖泊的蒸发量超过了降水量。这预示着干旱的发生”。Hodell补充到:“我们估计,印度夏季季风气候的减弱持续了大约200年,随后才恢复到之前的、我们如今仍能看到的状况。


It has long been thought that other great Bronze Age civilisations also declined at a similar time, with a global-scale climate event being seen as the cause. While it is possible that these local-scale processes were linked, the real archaeological interest lies in understanding the impact of these larger-scale events on different environments and different populations. ‘Considering the vast area of the Harappan Civilisation with its variable weather systems,’ explains Singh, ‘it is essential that we obtain more climate data from areas close to the two great cities at Mohenjodaro and Harappa and also from the Indian Punjab.’



Petrie and Singh’s team is now examining archaeological records and trying to understand details of how people led their lives in the region five millennia ago. They are analysing grains cultivated at the time, and trying to work out whether they were grown under extreme conditions of water stress, and whether they were adjusting the combinations of crops they were growing for different weather systems. They are also looking at whether the types of pottery used, and other aspects of their material culture, were distinctive to specific regions or were more similar across larger areas. This gives us insight into the types of interactive networks that the population was involved in, and whether those changed.



Petrie believes that archaeologists are in a unique position to investigate how past societies responded to environmental and climatic change. ‘By investigating responses to environmental pressures and threats, we can learn from the past to engage with the public, and the relevant governmental and administrative bodies, to be more proactive in issues such as the management and administration of water supply, the balance of urban and rural development, and the importance of preserving cultural heritage in the future.’


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