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墓地的有趣历史 – 译学馆
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墓地的有趣历史

The fascinating history of cemeteries - Keith Eggener

“我们来谈谈坟墓 蠕虫和墓志铭吧”
“Let’s talk of graves, of worms, and epitaphs”
——莎士比亚《理查二世》
– William Shakespeare, Richard II
细瘦的树木 锈迹斑斑的大门
Spindly trees, rusted gates,
破碎的石块 独自哀悼的人
crumbling stone, a solitary mourner—
一想起墓地 我们就会联想起这类场景
these things come to mind when we think of cemeteries.
但不久前 很多墓地还是热闹的地方
But not so long ago, many burial grounds were lively places,
里头有百花盛开的花园 有人群在墓石间闲逛
with blooming gardens and crowds of people strolling among the headstones.
墓地怎么变成了今天这个样子呢?
How did our cemeteries become what they are today?
一些墓地已经存在了几个世纪
Some have been around for centuries,
比如世界上最大墓地 和平谷
like the world’s largest, Wadi al-Salaam,
有超过五百万人安葬于此
where more than five million people are buried.
但大多数被视作墓地的地方形成较晚
But most of the places we’d recognize as cemeteries are much younger.
事实上 在人类历史的大部分时间
In fact, for much of human history,
我们根本就不会去埋葬逝者
we didn’t bury our dead at all.
古人为逝去亲人举行的告别式还有很多种
Our ancient ancestors had many other ways of parting with the dead loved one.
有些逝者被放在洞穴里 树上或山顶
Some were left in caves, others in trees or on mountaintops.
还有一些被沉入湖底 放漂海上
Still others were sunk in lakes, put out to sea,
象征性地被分食 或被火化
ritually cannibalized, or cremated.
这些做法有一些现在看起来很奇怪
All of these practices, though some may seem strange today,
但在当时都是对逝者的尊重
were ways of venerating the dead.
相比之下 大约12万年前人类开始土葬的时候
By contrast, the first known burials about 120,000 years ago
很可能只有犯人才会被埋掉
were likely reserved for transgressors,
这样就不必为他们举行祭奠了
excluding them from the usual rites intended to honor the dead.
但最初的坟墓 已经显示出土葬优于其他做法:
But the first burials revealed some advantages over other practices:
遗体不会被食腐动物吃掉 不会遭风吹雨打
they protected bodies from scavengers and the elements,
而且亲人也不会看到腐烂的遗体
while shielding loved ones from the sight of decay.
这些好处可能转变了古人的想法
These benefits may have shifted ancient people’s thinking
转向坟墓设计以示尊重逝者
toward graves designed to honor the dead,
于是土葬变得更普遍
and burial became more common.
有时候 墓穴中会放一些工具或仪式用品
Sometimes these graves contained practical or ritual objects,
暗示着 他们相信逝者在来世可能需要用到这些工具
suggesting belief in an afterlife where the dead may need such tools.
公墓首次出现在北非和西亚
Communal burials first appeared in North Africa and West Asia
是大约一万到一万五千年前的事
around 10 to 15,000 years ago,
和永久性定居地首次出现在这些地区 大概是同一时间
around the same time as the first permanent settlements in these areas.
这些墓地成了纪念逝者的永久性地方
These burial grounds created permanent places to commemorate the dead.
游牧的塞西亚人在草原上
The nomadic Scythians littered the steppes
杂乱地建着叫作“库尔干”的坟头
with grave mounds known as kurgans.
伊特鲁里亚人建造了广阔的城市大公墓
The Etruscans built expansive necropoles,
里头的网格状街道两侧都是坟墓
their grid-patterned streets lined with tombs.
在罗马 地下墓穴中
In Rome, subterranean catacombs
安置着骨灰瓮和完整遗骸
housed both cremation urns and intact remains.
“墓地”一词的意思是“寝室”
The word cemetery, or “sleeping chamber,”
首先使用这一词的是古希腊人
was first used by ancient Greeks,
他们在其城市边缘的墓地建造坟墓
who built tombs in graveyards at the edges of their cities.
在中世纪的欧洲城市
In medieval European cities,
基督教堂院落是安葬逝者的稀有开放空间
Christian churchyards provided rare, open spaces that accommodated the dead,
但这些空间也会用来举行市集等活动
but also hosted markets, fairs, and other events.
牧民甚至会在里面放牛
Farmers even grazed cattle in them,
他们相信牛吃了墓地的草就会产更甜的奶
believing graveyard grass made for sweeter milk.
城市伴随着工业革命发展起来
As cities grew during the industrial revolution,
大型郊区墓地取代了较小的城市教堂院落
large suburban cemeteries replaced smaller urban churchyards.
比如 占地110英亩的巴黎拉雪兹神父公墓
Cemeteries like the 110-acre Père-Lachaise in Paris
占地72英亩的马萨诸塞州坎布里奇奥本山公墓
or the 72-acre Mt. Auburn in Cambridge, Massachusetts
它们都是绿意盎然的花园 里头充满刻石和华丽的墓碑
were lushly landscaped gardens filled with sculpted stones and ornate tombs.
曾经为有钱有势者预留的奢侈品
Once a luxury reserved for the rich and powerful,
(后来)中产和工人阶级也能有自己独立标记的坟墓了
individually marked graves became available to the middleand working classes.
人们去墓地 除了参加葬礼之外
People visited cemeteries for funerals,
也是为了庆祝周年纪念日 假期
but also for anniversaries, holidays,
即便只是下午出门活动 人们也会来到墓地
or simply an afternoon outdoors.
到了十九世纪后期
By the late 19th century,
随着越来越多公园和植物园的出现
as more public parks and botanical gardens appeared,
前往墓地的游人开始变少
cemeteries began to lose visitors.
今天 很多古老墓地早已变得人迹罕至
Today, many old cemeteries are lonely places.
一些墓地正通过旅游 音乐会等活动 把游客吸引回来
Some are luring visitors back with tours, concerts, and other attractions.
但即使要复兴旧公墓
But even as we revive old cemeteries,
我们也在重新思考墓葬的未来
we’re rethinking the future of burial.
伦敦 纽约 香港等城市的墓地快要用完了
Cities like London, New York, and Hong Kong are running out of burial space.
即使是在空间较多的地方
Even in places where space isn’t so tight,
被墓地永久占用的土地
cemeteries permanently occupy land
也不能用来种植或进行发展
that can’t be otherwise cultivated or developed.
传统土葬需要消耗金属 石头 混凝土等材料
Traditional burial consumes materials like metal, stone, and concrete,
导致泥土和地下水受到毒性化学物质污染
and can pollute soil and groundwater with toxic chemicals.
随着对土葬有关环境成本的意识的增强
With increasing awareness of the environmental costs,
人们一直在寻找替代方法
people are seeking alternatives.
很多人改用火葬和相应做法
Many are turning to cremation and related practices.
除了这些较传统的形式之外
Along with these more conventional practices,
人们的遗体现在还能发射到太空
people can now have their remains shot into space,
为树木施肥
used to fertilize a tree,
或者用来制作首饰 烟花 甚至纹身墨
or made into jewelry, fireworks, and even tattoo ink.
在未来 这类做法可能会完全替代土葬
In the future, options like these may replace burial completely.
墓地是我们最熟悉的纪念逝者的形式
Cemeteries may be our most familiar monuments to the departed,
但是怀念和尊重逝者的方法不断变化
but they’re just one step in our ever-evolving process
而墓地只不过是其中一种形式而已
of remembering and honoring the dead.
凡是生物都会死亡
All living things die,
但有可能复活吗?
but is resurrection possible?
一个生物和一具遗骸的区别又是什么呢?
And what’s the actual difference between a living creature and a dead body anyway?
看看这个视频就知道了
Check out this lesson to find out.

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墓地的前世今生

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审核员 V

视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8HegwRtbDSU

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