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科学美国人60秒: 海滩上的历史足迹

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13,000-Year-Old Footprints Under West Coast Beach

西海岸海滩下有13,000年历史的足迹

During the last ice age, the northern half of North America was blanketed by ice. But along the Pacific coast of Canada, some land remained bare…a place where animals and plants could thrive. And humans too.

在最后的冰河时代,北美北半部被冰覆盖。但是,在加拿大太平洋沿岸,一些土地仍然是裸露的....那里是动植物兴旺的地方。还有人类也很兴旺。

Archaeologists have found stone tools and cave sites 12 to 13,000 years old in the coastal Pacific Northwest. One find was a mastodon rib with a bony weapon in it. And now scientists at the Hakai Institute and the University of Victoria have made a spectacular discovery: clay soil, trampled by human feet—the oldest footprints uncovered in North America.

考古学家在太平洋西北沿海地区,发现了12至13,000年前的石器和洞穴遗址。 这一发现是带有骨骼武器的乳齿肋骨。现在Hakai研究所和维多利亚大学的科学家们,有了一个惊人的发现:泥土被人脚践踏——这是北美发现的最古老的脚印。

Researchers were digging several feet below a modern-day beach on British Columbia's Calvert Island, about 250 miles northwest of Vancouver, when they discovered tracks. They found 29 in all. Some had toes, arches and heel prints—indicating the people who left them were probably barefoot. And using a shoe size measurement chart—like the ones you find in a shoe store—they determined that the footprints likely belonged to a child and two adults. Who lived and walked the area some 13,000 years ago.

研究人员在距离温哥华西北约250英里的不列颠哥伦比亚省卡尔弗特岛,这个岛屿的现代海滩下方挖了几英尺,当时他们发现了这些轨道。他们共发现29个。 有些是有脚趾,拱门和脚跟印迹,这就说明,离开他们的人可能是赤足的。并且,使用鞋子尺寸测量图——就像你在鞋店里发现的那样——他们确定脚印可能属于一个孩子和两个成年人。大约在13000年前,他们曾住过并走过这个地区。

The results are in the journal PLOS ONE.

这一研究结果发表在PLOS ONE杂志上。

The tracks are not in a line, like the famous Laetoli footprints in Tanzania. Instead, they're facing different directions, suggestive of people gathering. Or perhaps, the authors write, they could be the footprints of people getting out of a boat, headed towards higher and drier land. Still on the move.

轨道不在一条线上,就像坦桑尼亚着名的Laetoli足迹。相反,他们有着不同的方向,这就暗示着人们会聚会。作者写道,或许也许是人们走出船只的脚印,走向更高更干燥的土地,但仍在移动中。

13,000-Year-Old Footprints Under West Coast Beach

During the last ice age, the northern half of North America was blanketed by ice. But along the Pacific coast of Canada, some land remained bare…a place where animals and plants could thrive. And humans too.

Archaeologists have found stone tools and cave sites 12 to 13,000 years old in the coastal Pacific Northwest. One find was a mastodon rib with a bony weapon in it. And now scientists at the Hakai Institute and the University of Victoria have made a spectacular discovery: clay soil, trampled by human feet—the oldest footprints uncovered in North America.

Researchers were digging several feet below a modern-day beach on British Columbia's Calvert Island, about 250 miles northwest of Vancouver, when they discovered tracks. They found 29 in all. Some had toes, arches and heel prints—indicating the people who left them were probably barefoot. And using a shoe size measurement chart—like the ones you find in a shoe store—they determined that the footprints likely belonged to a child and two adults. Who lived and walked the area some 13,000 years ago.

The results are in the journal PLOS ONE.

The tracks are not in a line, like the famous Laetoli footprints in Tanzania. Instead, they're facing different directions, suggestive of people gathering. Or perhaps, the authors write, they could be the footprints of people getting out of a boat, headed towards higher and drier land. Still on the move.


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