Did Animal Herders Build the Silk Road?
2017-03-13 22:03:11

In the ancient world, the East and West may have been linked by nomads.(1)

These were people who traveled with their herd animals in search of good feeding grounds.(2)

That is the finding of new research about the ancient trade path known as the Silk Road.(3)

The recent findings were published in the journal Nature.(4)
最近的调查结果发表在自然 》 杂志。

The study suggests that herders were not separated from the development of the great civilizations of Asia and Europe.(5)

Instead, they were important actors in forming the trade path that crossed the world’s largest land mass.(6)

The Silk Road was an ancient trade route that may have developed as early as 2,300 years ago. It was not really one road.(7)
丝绸之路是可能已经早在 2300 多年前的古代贸易路线。它不是一条路。

Rather, it was a number of paths connecting many places between the cities of Xi’an, China, in the east and Genoa, Italy, in the west.(8)

But traders traveling along this long land route faced a huge barrier standing in their way: the mountains of Central Asia.(9)
但交易员沿着这条漫长的陆地线路旅游面临着一个巨大的障碍站在他们的方式︰ 中亚山区。

These mountains include the Pamir and Tian Shan ranges. They are nearly as tall as the Himalayas, the world’s highest mountain range.(10)

Michael Frachetti is an anthropologist at Washington University in St. Louis. He was an author of the recent study.(11)
迈克尔 Frachetti 是在圣路易斯华盛顿大学的人类学家。他是研究的作者近年来。

He says those mountains were a “pretty scary barrier” to traders bringing goods through Central Asia.(12)

Researchers have been looking for a long time for the routes ancient Silk Road traders used.(13)

They have often followed the easiest paths between cities along the way.(14)

But Frachetti thought, “That makes sense if your destination is the other side.”(15)
但 Frachetti 认为,"这有道理是否您的目的地是的另一面。

He asked the question, “But what if that’s not your destination?”(16)

The routes of herders suggest different Silk Road paths(17)

Herding communities have lived in the mountains of Central Asia for thousands of years.(18)

They follow paths up and down the mountains to find food for their flocks as the seasons change.(19)

“Their number-one priority isn’t taking the easiest path,” Frachetti says. “Their number-one priority is feeding their animals along the way.”(20)
"他们的第一优先事项并不以最简单的路径,"Frachetti 说。"他们的第一优先喂养他们一路走来的动物"。

As they traveled from pasture to pasture, they would meet, trade and even marry members of other communities.(21)
当他们旅行牧场地,他们会满足、 贸易和甚至嫁给其他社区的成员。

Their meetings are like festivals, he said.(22)

They meet, goods are exchanged and connections are formed.(23)
他们满足、 商品交换和形成了连接。

Early on, Frachetti’s research did not deal with the Silk Road. He studied herding communities in Kazakhstan.(24)
在早期,Frachetti 的研究并不处理丝绸之路。他研究了羊群的社区,在哈萨克斯坦。

He developed an idea of how, during ancient times, communities in that area moved through the mountains from the highlands in summer to the lowlands in winter.(25)

He made maps of herding paths in these areas.(26)

Comparing research shows links between trade and herding(27)

Frachetti did not get a lot of interest in his earlier research.(28)
Frachetti 得不到很多他的早期研究的兴趣。

“And people kind of smiled and said, ‘That’s a nice way to think about herding.’ And that’s literally where it sat for 11 or more years.”(29)
"和人种笑着说,'这是很好的办法,想放牧'。这就是从字面上坐 11 或更多年的地方。

Then, Tim Williams at University College London mapped 258 known Silk Road sites.(30)
然后,伦敦大学学院的蒂姆 · 威廉姆斯映射 258 著名的丝绸之路遗迹。

Frachetti and his colleagues compared their map of herding paths with Williams’ map of Silk Road sites. He found that they matched well.(31)
Frachetti 和他的同事比较了羊群的路径与威廉姆斯的站点的地图,丝绸之路的地图。他发现他们很好匹配。

“There’s kind of a moment of truth where you say, ‘Okay, how much do they intersect?’ And the intersection was surprising,” he said.(32)

The research suggests that before traders crossed Asia in caravans, there was a network of interconnected communities through the mountains.(33)

This later became an important part of the Silk Road.(34)

Dan Rogers is with the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. He says the new research is important in two ways.(35)
丹 · 罗杰斯是与史密森国家自然历史博物馆。他说,新的研究是重要的两种方式。

He says it shows how traders got through mountains to help develop an important trade route. But it also changes ideas about nomads.(36)

The research creates a much more complex “picture” of Central Asia, he says.(37)

Frachetti says the next step is to search for more evidence to connect the sites that both groups of researchers have found.(38)
Frachetti 说下, 一步是寻找更多的证据来连接两组研究人员已经发现的站点。

He calls the new findings “a model against isolationism.”(39)

The Silk Road connected very different civilizations, Frachetti said. But it did this by bringing together nomads.(40)
丝绸之路连接非常不同的文明,Frachetti 说。但这样做是通过汇集到游牧民族。

“Through interactions with culturally diverse populations, a greater aggregate civilization arose.”(41)

That, he said, is a pretty powerful idea.(42)

I’m Mario Ritter.(43)

And I'm Jill Robbins.(44)

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