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[翻译]SCIENCE IN THE NEWS - Scientists: Human Footprint Found in Chile Is Oldest in Americas

更新时间:2019/5/3 8:35:19 来源:本站原创 作者:佚名

Researchers in Chile say they discovered a human footprint they believe is the oldest ever found in the Americas.

智利的研究人员表示,他们发现了他们认为的美洲历史最悠久的人类足迹。

Scientists involved in the fossil discovery said the footprint dates back at least 15,600 years. Their results are reported in a study published in the scientific journal PLOS One.

参与这一化石发现的科学家们表示,这枚足迹可以追溯到至少1.56万年前,其研究结果发表在《公共科学图书馆期刊》这本科学期刊上。

The footprint was discovered in 2011 at the Pilauco excavation site in the city of Osorno. A student from Chile’s Austral University found the footprint. Scientists worked for years to confirm whether the print could have come from a human species.

该足迹于2011年在奥索尔诺市的Pilauco考古现场被发现。来自智利南方大学的一名学生发现了这枚足迹。科学家们多年来一直在努力确认这枚足迹是否来自于人类物种。

Mario Pino is a professor and geologist at Austral University’s Institute of Earth Sciences. He helped examine the fossil. He said carbon dating methods were used to link the footprint to the same time period as plant material found in the area.

马利奥·皮诺(Mario Pino)是智利南方大学地球科学研究所的教授和地质学家。他帮助研究了该化石。他说,碳定年法发现这枚足迹同该地区发现的植物物质是同一时期。

Pino said his team used the print to estimate the general size, shape and structure of the human foot. Researchers believe it belonged to a barefoot man who weighed about 70 kilograms.

皮诺表示,他的团队利用这枚足迹来估算这只人脚的大小、形状和结构。研究人员认为它属于一位体重约70公斤的赤脚男子。

Karen Moreno is also with Austral University and a lead researcher on the project. She said the print showed evidence of clearly formed toes and a ball at the back of the foot. This would be “consistent with what would happen to (a human) who tries to walk in the mud,” Moreno said.

克伦·莫雷诺(Karen Moreno)也就职于智利南方大学,是这项研究的首席研究员。她说,这枚脚印可以看出明显的脚趾和脚后跟的圆球形。莫雷诺说:“这跟人类在泥泞中试图行走的情况一致。”

Pino said the man likely belonged to a species called Hominipes modernus, which is related to Homo sapiens. Homo sapiens is the species of human that exists today.

皮诺表示,该男子可能属于一种被称之为Hominipes modernus的物种,它跟智人(Homo sapiens)相关。

Moreno said the latest find provides some of the oldest evidence of humans in the Americas. “Little by little in South America, we’re starting to find sites with evidence of human presence,” she said. “But this is this oldest in the Americas.”

莫雷诺表示,这一最新发现为美洲人类提供了一些最古老的证据。她说:“渐渐地我们开始发现在南美洲的遗址有人类存在的证据,这是在美洲发现的最古老足迹。”

The study states that the same area in Chile has also produced fossils providing information on other animals, including early elephants and an ancestor of American horses. The digging teams have also found evidence of invertebrates, as well as different forms of ancient plant life and wood material.

该研究表明,智利同一地区挖掘出来的化石还提供了其它动物的信息,包括早期大象和美国马的祖先。挖掘团队还发现了无脊椎动物的证据,以及不同形式的古代植物和木材。

Moreno said the researchers also found stone artifacts within the same layers of soil as the footprint. This, she believes, could provide more evidence to support a theory that human settlements existed in the Americas well before a group known as the “Clovis” hunters.

莫雷诺表示,研究人员还在发现足迹的同一土壤层中找到了石头制品。她认为这些还可以提供更多证据来支持一项理论,即在克努维斯猎手很久之前,美洲大陆就有人类居住区存在。

The Clovis group was a prehistoric culture that many scientists believed were the first to arrive in North America -- about 13,000 years ago.

克努维斯种群是史前文明,很多科学家认为这是在大约13000年前第一个抵达北美的文明。

But some scientists have suggested that artifacts discovered in recent years suggest other humans might have arrived in the Americas about 1,500 years earlier.

但是一些科学家已经提出,近年来发现的人工制品表明,其它人类可能大约早1500年前就已经抵达美洲。

I’m Bryan Lynn.

Words in This Story

fossil – n. part of an animal or plant from thousands of years ago, preserved in rock

excavation – n. the act of digging in the ground to look for objects from the past

barefoot – adj. not wearing shoes or other feet coverings

consistent – adj. always behaving or happening in a similar way

mud – n. a thick liquid mixture of soil and water

artifact – n. a simple object made by people in the past

prehistoric – adj. relating to the time before people could write

glacier – n. very large area of ice that moves slowly down a slope or valley or over a wide area of land

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