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China’s contact with the West began long before Marco Polo

Archaeologists say inspiration for the Terracotta Warriors, found at the Tomb of the First Emperor near today's Xian, may have come from Ancient Greece.

据考古学家表示,制作秦始皇陵兵马俑的灵感可能来自于古希腊。

They also say ancient Greek artisans could have been training locals there in the Third Century BC.

他们同样表示说,古希腊工匠可能在公元前三世纪的时候就已经在中国训练工人了。

Polo's 13th Century journey to China was the first to be well-documented.

公元13世纪,马可波罗中国行是第一次详细记录的中西方交流事件。

However, Chinese historians recorded much earlier visits by people thought by some to have been emissaries from the Roman Empire during the Second and Third Centuries AD.

但是中国史学家们则记录下了更早一些的西方来使事件,一些人认为这些在公元2-3世纪来访的人是罗马帝国的使者。

"We now have evidence that close contact existed between the First Emperor's China and the West before the formal opening of the Silk Road. This is far earlier than we formerly thought," said Senior Archaeologist Li Xiuzhen, from the Emperor Qin Shi Huang's Mausoleum Site Museum.

秦始皇陵遗址博物馆高级考古学家李秀珍(音)表示说:"我们现在有证据表明,秦朝和西方的密切关系要早于丝绸之路的正式开通。这要比我们之前所设想的时代早得多。"

A separate study shows European-specific mitochondrial DNA has been found at sites in China's western-most Xinjiang Province, suggesting that Westerners may have settled, lived and died there before and during the time of the First Emperor.

据另一项研究表明,新疆一些考古遗址发现了西方人独有的线粒体DNA,这表明在秦朝就已经有西方人定居、居住、并死亡在中国。

Farmers first discovered the 8,000 terracotta figures buried less than a mile from the tomb of China's first emperor Qin Shi Huang in 1974.

1974年,几个农民第一次在秦始皇陵不到一英里的地方发现了掩埋的8000兵马俑。

However there was no tradition of building life-sized human statues in China before the tomb was created. Earlier statues were simple figurines about 20cm (7.9ins) in height.

但是在秦始皇陵修建之前,中国没有建造真人大小人偶雕塑的传统。在那之前的一些雕塑都非常简约,一般大约20厘米(约合7.9英寸)高。

To explain how such an enormous change in skill and style could have happened, Dr Xiuzhen believes that influences must have come from outside China.

为解释为何会发生如此巨大的技术和风格变化,李秀珍认为一定是受到了来自中国以外地区的影响。

"We now think the Terracotta Army, the Acrobats and the bronze sculptures found on site have been inspired by ancient Greek sculptures and art," she said.

她说道:"我们现在任何在秦始皇陵发掘出的兵马俑、杂技佣、以及青铜雕塑都是受到了古希腊雕塑和艺术的启发。"

Prof Lukas Nickel from the University of Vienna says statues of circus acrobats recently found at the First Emperor's tomb support this theory.

来自维也纳大学的卢卡斯教授表示说,最近在秦始皇陵发掘出的马戏杂技雕塑可以支持这一理论。

He believes the First Emperor was influenced by the arrival of Greek statues in Central Asia in the century following Alexander the Great, who died in 323BC.

他认为在亚历山大大帝(死于公元前323年)之后,希腊的雕塑传到了中亚地区,而秦始皇正是受到了这些雕塑的影响。

"I imagine that a Greek sculptor may have been at the site to train the locals," he said.

他说道:"我想,当时应该有一名古希腊雕塑家在秦始皇陵修建地点训练当地匠人。"

Other discoveries include new evidence that the First Emperor's tomb complex is much bigger than first thought and 200 times bigger than Egypt's Valley of the Kings.

考古学家们还发现了其他一些证据,例如秦始皇陵墓葬群要比起初设想的大得多,比埃及的国王谷大200倍。

They also include the mutilated remains of women, believed to have been high-ranking concubines of the First Emperor, and the skull of a man with a crossbow bolt embedded in it.

考古学家们还发现了一些残缺不全的女性遗骸,他们认为那是秦始皇身份高贵的嫔妃;他们还发现了一个男性头骨,一支弩箭深嵌其中。

The skull is believed to have belonged to the First Emperor's eldest son, thought to have been killed along with others during a power struggle after the emperor's death.

考古学家们认为这个头骨属于秦始皇长子扶苏,一般认为在秦始皇死后,扶苏也在权利争夺中死亡。

Source: BBC

2016-10-14

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