Silk Road Transported Goods–and Disease

听写于:2016-10-6 12:2 用时:68:10 正确率:91% 错词:43个


For thousand thousands of years, what’s called the Silk Road was a group of lands land and sea trade routes that connected the Far East with South Asia, Africa, the Middle East , and southern Europe. Of course, when humans travel , they carry their pathogens with them. So scientists and historians have wondered if the Silk Road was a transmission route , not just for goods, but for infectious disease.

Now we have the first hard evidence of ancient Silk Road travelers spreading their infections. The find comes from a 2000-year-old 2,000-year-old latrine , that had first been excavated in 1992. The report is in the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports.

So the site is a relate relay station on the Silk Road in northwest China. It’s just to the eastern end of the Tarim Basin, which is a large and varied arid area . It’s just to the east of the Taklamakan desert, and not far from the Gobi Desert. So this is a dry part of China.

Piers Mitchell, a paleopathologist , at the University of Cambridge, and one of the study’s authors, along with a his student Ivy Yeh and colleagues in China.

In the latrine, archaeologists found used hygiene sticks rap wrapped with clothescloth. These were used for what you think they were used for.

This escalation excavation was great . because the clothes were cloth was still preserved in and the fezzes which feces was still adherent to the clothes cloth on some of the sticks. So the archaeologists tagged archaeologist kept these sticks in the museum. And so my Ph. D. student, Ivy Yeh, who is the who’s first author of on the paper. , she went out to China took some scrapings from the fezzes feces adherent to the clothes cloth. So we were then able to analyze that down the microscope when she brought it back to Cambridge.

Where they found legs eggs from parasites - including one from a liver fluke.

And that’s the exciting one because that’s only found in East eastern and southern China and in Korea. , where they have marched the marshy areas that would have the right snails and the right fish.

The fluke needs snails and fish for its lifecycle. , but there were no such snails or fish in this dry region of China. So the unlucky travelers traveler who harbored the parasite had to have transported the disease to that spot.

Well , firstly it tells us that people were doing a very long journey, journeys along the long Silk Road . and you might think that’s obvious. But no one really knew how long people were traveling. Some people may have been trading, don’t need to go only going short distances selling their goods on to the next person. And so the goods might have gone all over the way on along the Silk Road, but people might not. But we know that some people were doing huge distances.

Secondly , it shows that you know this was, would be a viable route for the spread of those other infectious diseases like Bubonic plague , and leprosy , and anthrax . that people had previously been suggested might have been spread between East Asia and Europe along the Silk Road. Because bone modern genetic analyses have just shown similarities between the strains of one end and the other.

Mitchell says there is there’s much more work to be done to better understand the spread of diseases around the world. Perhaps from analyzing skeletons - or various other kinds of remains - to be found along the Silk Road.


几千年前, 有个被称为丝绸之路的地方就是一段陆地和海洋上的贸易路线图,贯穿远东和南亚,中东以及欧洲南部。 当然,那时候人们在旅途中也是会携带者病菌的。所以,科学家和历史学家早就好奇,是不是丝绸之路不仅仅是贸易通商之路,还是传染性疾病的传播之旅阿。


所以这个位点是一个中国西北部丝绸之路上的一个驿站。它通往塔里木盆地的东部末端,是通往塔克拉玛干沙漠东部的一片较大的草木荒芜地区, 离戈壁滩不是很远。所以这里是中国的一块非常干燥的土地。

这是Piers Mitchell,剑桥大学的一位古生物病理学家,也是这项研究的作者之一,其它参与者是他的学生Piers Mitchell,和中国的一些同事。在这个公厕里,考古学家们发现了使用过的包裹着布料的卫生棒。这些东西就是你想象中的需要用到的那些东西。

这次挖掘的意义重大,因为,织物的保存还是完好的,而粪便仍然还粘附在棒子上的布料上的某些地方。所以考古学家们把这样的一些棍子保存在了博物馆里。并且因此我的博士生Ivy Yeh, 他就是这篇文章的第一作者,她就去中国从那些布料上刮下了一些粪便样品。当她回到剑桥之后,我们才能用显微镜观察分析。他们发现了一些寄生虫的卵——包括一种肝吸虫。

因为这种东西只在东部和南部的中国以及韩国存在,所以这个发现还是令人兴奋的。那些地区 都有沼泽地区,里面生存着合适的宿主蜗牛和鱼类。这种肝吸虫的生活史中需要蜗牛和鱼类,但是在这些干燥的中国地区是没有这类蜗牛和鱼类的。所以,被寄生的这些不幸的旅行者们不得不把这种疾病带到了这个站点。


第二点,这表明,这是,也许是传播像 Bubonic plague腺鼠疫,麻风病和炭疽热等其它类传染性疾病的一个可行的途径,这些疾病人们以前曾经假设过也许就是在中亚和欧洲地区沿着丝绸之旅开始流行传播的。因为现代遗传分析已经显示出在这条路一端和另外一端的菌株之间的遗传相似性。

Mitchell 表示,还有很多工作需要做,这样将有助于更好的理解全世界的疾病传播情况。或许是通过分析遗迹残骸骨架——或者其它种类的残留物——未来在丝绸之路上所发现的那些东西,就可以了解了。

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Chaochen Wang 王 超辰
Assistant Professor

All models are wrong, but some are useful.

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