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选自美国小学六年级语文课本《TERRA COTTA》

(2009-10-16 17:27:17)
标签:

美国小学课本

课文

秦始皇

terra

cotta

英语阅读

技巧方法

教育

  One cool morning in 1974, some /Chinese farmer set out with their shovels across their shoulders. /they were going to work on the well they had been digging. They spoke and laughed pleasantly among themselves as they walked, but when they reached the site of the well, they became more serious. Each man set his shovel into the soil and began to work quietly. Talking took energy away from the difficult task.

  1974年的一个寒冷的早上,一些中国农民扛着铁锹出发了。准备去一个已经开挖的井边干活。他们边走边说笑,但是当他们到达这口井的时候,他们变认真了,每个人都把自己的铁锹放在了地里并且很安静的干活。因为说话会在劳动中消耗能量。

  After some time had passed, however, one of the men cried out. “Look at this!” he exclaimed. The others gathered around, intrigued.

   然而,过了一段时间,其中一个人叫了起来:“看!”他惊呼道。其他人也围拢过来,引起了他们的极大兴趣。

  “What is it? ” asked one of the men.

  这是什么?其中一人问道。

  “It is a bit of pottery,” answered anther.

  这可能是一块陶器,另一人答道。

 “Why, it looks like a face,” said the first man. “Perhaps it is part of a statue. We had better report this”

 “哎呀,它看起来像个脸。”站在最前面的人说道。“也许它是雕塑的一部份,我们最好马上上报”

 Hearing about what the farmers had found, the government sent a team of archeologists to excavate the well. As they began to explore the site, the archeologists found life-sized clay figures. There were warriors, horses, and chariots. Ultimately, over 7,000 statues were uncovered.

  听到这些农民的发现,政府派了一队考古学家去发掘该井。随着发掘的深入,专家们发现了许多真人大小的黏土人物。

  Those farmers toiling at the well did not know it, but they had stumbled onto one of the world’s most amazing archeological discoveries. Who made these elaborate statues, and why?

  那些农民们长期辛苦地劳动在井旁,却不知道这些是什么。但是他们绊到了世界上最令人惊奇的考古发现上。谁,为什么制造了这些精美雕塑?

  For answers, we must look back more than 2,000 years. At that time, China was ruled by Qin Shi Huang, its first emperor, who had become ruler when he was only 13 years old!

  要回答这些问题,我们必须回到两千年前。在那时,中国被秦始皇统治,他是中国的第一个皇帝,当他年仅十三岁的时候他就成了统治者!

  Although Qin was not a kind ruler, he was very strong and effective. Under his rule, the Great Wall of China was begun. Qin regulated trade throughout China and built roads to connect many cities. He improved communications by making sure the Chinese used a common language and a uniform system of writing.

  Qin was very powerful and wealthy and lived a lavish life. He could have anything he wanted. Indeed, the entire country and all within it were under his control. But in spite of his wealth and power, Qin was still a human being, and like all people, he began to grow old. As he aged, he grew fearful of death and began to search for a way to extend his life. He asked his advisors to help him. But even his wisest counselors could not stop the march of time.

  At last, Qin accepted the fact that he could not live forever. He decided that he would create a magnificent tomb. Inside, he would provide all the things he had enjoyed in life. Of course, as emperor, he needed an army. So he had his artists mold thousands of warriors from a type of clay called terra cotta.

  This was an amazing project. No two of the soldiers were alike. Each one was an individual, with a face and expression_r different from the others. The artists even gave the statues different hairstyles.

  The soldiers were wearing a variety of uniforms showing differences in rank. There were foot soldiers, archers, and generals. Also, the soldiers varied in height with the tallest being over 6 feet 2 inches tall! All the soldiers were outfitted with real weapons.

  Once the soldiers were finished, they were placed in battle formation in front of Qin’s burial place. Qin believed that the soldiers would protect him in the afterlife.

  In addition to the soldiers, there were terra-cotta acrobats in the tomb. The emperor wanted these for entertainment. There were also many servants to wait on him. Life-sized horses and other animals crafted from clay were placed in the tomb along with clay fruits and vegetables. It seems that Emperor Qin thought of everything!

  It is difficult to imagine the amount of time, effort, and talent required to create this enormous tomb. Its wonders lay hidden from public view for many centuries. The statues, once painted in lifelike colors, faded to their natural clay hue. The weapons that once armed the soldiers disappeared. Most likely, they were stolen from the tomb many hundreds of years ago. At some point in time, the wooden roof over the tomb collapsed, and many of the figures were broken.

  Archeologists are working to rebuild the figures. They search carefully for tiny fragments and glue the figures together with great care. They want to make sure that each figure is restored perfectly.

  Huge buildings now cover the entire site. These protect the figures from exposure to wind, sun, and rain that could damage the statues.

  While hundreds of people work at the site, thousands more come to visit the terra-cotta army every day. It is exciting for people to see these artifacts from the past. However, tourists can accidentally harm the figures. Simply touching or breathing on old and fragile artifacts can create damage.

  Also, along with crowds of people come food and litter. These items provide a breeding ground for bacteria and mold, which can cause great harm to the figures.

  Scientists want tourists to be able to see the figures, but they also want to protect this amazing site. As they continue to explore and learn about the figures, they are working to find ways for tourists to visit the figures without causing harm.

  Perhaps someday you will be able to travel to China to visit the terra-cotta warriors. You will see them standing in neat rows, still guarding Emperor Qin, still bravely facing the centuries.

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