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骨骼标本的秘密

Whose Bones Are These? Investigating A Classroom Skeleton

有一具陈旧的骨骼标本悬挂在
There’s an old skeleton hanging in the art room
宾州伊利当地一所高中的美术室里
of this high school\u00a0in Erie, Pa.
这具标本不是塑料
It isn’t plastic.
而是由一个真人的骨骼制作而成的
It’s made of real bones that belonged to a real person.
但没人知道他是谁
But no one knows who that person was.
美术老师丽热夫人并不知情
Not the art teacher, Mrs. Leasure.
“我不知道他是从哪里来的它在这儿可能陈列了有100年了”
“I have no idea where he came from.\u00a0It could have been here for 100 years.”
维埃拉校长也不明真相
Not the principal, Mr. Vieira.
“相传这具标本来自恒河”
“The lore is that it came from the Ganges.”
根据骨骼结构 我们一直听到人们说它是一位男性
“We consistently hear that it’s male basedon the bone structure.”
我的朋友艾丽莎·纳德沃尼也不知道
And not my friend Elissa Nadworny.
她在这念的高中 现在和我一起在NPR工作
She went to school here and now she works with me at NPR.
当我发现我的母校有一具真人骨骼标本时
When I found out my school had a human skeleton,
我想发掘出有关它的一切信息
I wanted to find out everything I could about it.
所以我们《臭鼬熊》决定来看看
So here at Skunk Bear we decided to
科学能根据这些骨头告诉我们什么
see what science could tell us about these bones
在电视上他们常常以这样一个东西开头
On TV they always start with one thing:
“她的DNA” “DNA” “DNA样本” “DNA”
“ Her DNA ” “ DNA ” “ DNA sample ” “ DNA”
所以我们把标本带给一位DNA专家进行鉴定
So we took the skeleton to a DNA expert
他是史密森尼国家自然历史博物馆的
at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History Dr.
罗根·基斯特勒博士
Logan Kistler
我们问道:“您可以从这具古老的骨骼中提取DNA吗?”
and asked,”Can you get DNA from an old skeleton?”
“这大概会花费大约”
“ It’s probably going to take
“四到六周进行实验和分析”
four to six weeks of lab work and analysis,
“大约会花费接近5000美元” 好的
might cost up to about $5,000.” OK,
所以不做DNA鉴定了
so no DNA analysis.
我们需要找到一位只需要通过观察就能
We needed to find someone who could tell us something
告诉我们标骨骼相关情况的人
by just looking at the bones.
所以我们回到了伊利——前往梅西赫斯特大学
So we went back to Erie – to Mercyhurst University
在这儿我们碰到了丹尼斯·德克迈特
where we met Dennis Dirkmaat.
他以研究骨头为生
He reads bones for a living,
与执法机关共事 鉴定与犯罪相关的遗骸
working with law enforcement to identify remains associated with crimes.
一副骨骼中蕴藏着大量的信息
There’s a lot of information to be told from the skeleton.
他召集了一些同事来精确测量我们的骨骼标本
He called in some colleagues to measure every inch of our skeleton.
首先 骨骼是否和大家认为的一样是男性呢?
First up – is this skeleton a man like everyone thinks?
“我们通常从骨盆开始测量”
“We usually start with the pelvis.”
为了便于生育女性的骨盆一般更宽
Females have broader pelvises to make childbirth easier.
但这具标本的骨骼有些难以界定
But this pelvis is kind of hard to interpret\u00a0–
它的宽窄程度属于中间值
it’s somewhere in the middle.
但身体的其他部位有更多的线索
But there are more clues in other parts of the body.
一个非常明显的标志就是乳突
A very clear marker is the mastoid process.
这是颚肌与头盖骨相连处的骨隆起
That’s the bony bump where the jaw muscles attach to the skull.
男性有更大的颚肌因此隆起也比女性更大
Men have bigger jaw muscles so they have bigger bumps than women.
这具骨骼的隆起很小
And this skeleton has a small bump.
除此之外还有其他线索:
And there are other clues too:
眼窝的形状
the shape of the eye sockets
眉脊和颅骨后面的弧度
the brow ridges the curve at the back of the skull
所有这些特征都表明了这是女性
All the features here indicate that this is female.
当我们到这之前 我们都很肯定
When we walked in here we thought for sure this guy,
这是男性 好的
this is a male. OK….
下个问题……她是年轻人还是老年人呢?
next…. was she young or old?
为了估测年龄
To get an age,
德克迈特的团队观察了骨骼融合的地方 瞧
Dirkmaat’s team looked at places where the skeleton’s bones had fused. See…
我们刚出生时约有300根分开的骨头
we’re born with about 300 separate bones.
但到了40岁左右 我们只有206根了
but around the time we hit 40 we only have 206.
这是因为在我们生命的某些时期 一些骨头会融合在一起
That’s because at specific times in our lives certain bones fuse together.
颅骨前部的两块骨板在我们一岁的时候就融合在了一起
Two plates at the front of the skull fuse in our first year.
我们的肱骨在十几岁时就开始融合
Our upper arm bone fuses in our teens.
然后是锁骨
And then there’s the clavicle.
这一条细小的缝告诉我们
There’s a little line there that tells us
它正在融合中
that it’s in the process of fusing.
这可能是一个20岁到30岁的人
This is probably somebody 20 to 30
大概25岁左右吧 哇哦
probably mid-20s. Wow.
我没有想到她会如此年轻
I wasn’t expecting it to be that young. Next,
接着……她的身高
her height.
德克迈特的团队
Dirkmaat’s team took a few bone
取得了几块骨头的测量数据用以计算她身高
measurements and used them to calculate how tall she was.
计算结果显示她稍稍超过5英尺高
This one came out just a little above 5 feet. ADAM:
亚当:你多高?
How tall are you? ELISSA:
艾丽莎:我五尺三
I’m 5-3. ADAM:
亚当:和你很像啊
This is sort of like almost you ELISSA:
我知道 这让我有点儿毛骨悚然
I know it’s really freaking me out.
另一个生物特征档案四大特征之一
The other aspect of the big four in our biological profile
就是血统
is the ancestry.
德克迈特的团队将她头部的测量数据
Dirkmaat’s team compared her head measurements to a digitized database
与来自世界各地的头骨数字化数据库进行比对
of skulls from around the world.
另一个惊喜是——
And another surprise – the computer program
电脑程序表明这个颅骨最像是一位日本女性
says this skull looks most like a Japanese female.
但不确定因素有很多
But there’s a lot of uncertainty here.
所以德克迈特最多只能说:
And the most Dirkmaat will say is:
“它可能是亚洲人”
“It’s probably Asian.”
就此我们逐渐构建出一个鲜活的生命
So we’re starting to build a life story.
这是一个有着亚洲血统的年轻女性
This is a young woman who\u00a0has Asian ancestry.
所以下一个问题是 她从哪里来?
So the next question is where is she from?
她是在我们找到她的伊利附近长大的吗?
Did she grow up near Erie where we found her?
或者她曾经生活在日本吗?或者…
Or could she have lived in Japan? OR…
像是校长听过的在恒河附近吗?
near the Ganges like the principal heard?
我做了一些调查研究 结果是
Well I did some research and it turns out
许多医学院 艺术学院和高中的
that a lot of skeletons in medical schools,
骨骼标本事实上都来自印度
art schools and high schools actually came from India.
有一种阴暗
There was a shady –
但合法的遗体贸易在19世纪的印度和
but legal – trade in human remains between India and the West that started
西方之间存在
in the 1800s.
那么我们能不能判断这个骨架是因为这种交易
So can we tell if this skeleton got here
而被带到这里来的呢?
as part of that bone trade?
这些骨头可能还隐藏着更多的线索
These bones probably hold more clues.
而它们只是深深的隐藏在了原子里
They’re just hidden, deep down, in their very atoms.
所以我们把一块很小的骨头送到了
So we sent off a very tiny piece of bone to
一个地质化学实验室 看看他们能告诉我们什么
a geochemistry lab to see what they couldtell us.
你好 我是来自宾州的道格•肯尼特
“Hello this is Doug Kennett calling from Penn State.”
你好 嗨 道格
“Hello!””Hey Doug.”
肯尼特拿到了我们样本
Kennett is the guy who got our sample,
然后把它浸在酸里
dunked it in acid,
燃烧成气体 然后在这个巨大的机器中对其分子分类
burned it into a gas and sorted its molecules in this giant machine.
信不信由你 就这样我们能知道她是从哪里来的
Believe it or not, that gave us a clue about where she came from…
从她所吃的食物得知
by telling us what she ate.
这是一句古老的谚语-人如其食
This is sort of an old adage that you are what you eat.
如果你生活在一个人们会吃很多
If you live where they eat a lot
用玉米做的食物的地方
of stuff made from corn,
就像在宾夕法尼亚州 那么你的骨头会有一个化学特征
like in Pennsylvania, your bones have one chemical signature.
如果不是吃的玉米 而是某种陆地动植物的混合物
No corn, but a certain mix of land plants and animals,
就像你在亚洲大陆发现的一样 是另一个不同的特征
like you’d find in continental Asia, a different signature.
如果你吃很多的海鲜
And if you eat a lot of seafood,
就像你在日本的时候就会吃很多
like you probably would in Japan,
那么又会不一样 因此…
different again. So…
这具骨骼到底告诉了我们什么呢?
what did the bones tell us?
这个女人的饮食看起来是这样的
This woman’s diet looked like this.
可能不是岛屿或海岸环境
“Probably not an island or a coastal environment,
所以肯定是一个生活在印度 巴基斯坦和中欧亚大陆的人
so certainly consistent with someone livingin India, Pakistan, Central Eurasia.”
所以她可能来自于恒河区域
So she could have come from the Ganges region.
她也可能是通过骨骼贸易
And she could have been transported
被送到了美国
to the U.S. via this bone trade
但是时间要对的上才行
but only if the dates line up.
骨骼贸易发生的时候她已经死了吗
Did she die when this bone trade was happening?
肯尼特的第一步是寻找化学时间戳
Kennett’s first step was to look fora chemical time stamp.
在20世纪50年代 核试验使全世界
Back in the 1950s nuclear testing flooded the world
浸润在大量的放射性碳元素中
with huge amounts of radioactive carbon.
我们称之为大气层中的炸弹钉
“We call it a bomb spike in the atmosphere.”
任何经历过它的人 或是在这之后出生的人
And anyone who lived through it, or was born after it,
他们的骨头里都含有大量的放射性碳
has lots of that radiocarbon in their bones.
但在我们的样本中 肯尼特并没有找到这样的记号
But in our sample, Kennett didn’t\u00a0find this marker.
所以我们可以肯定地说 这个人在1955年以前就死了
So we can say definitively that this person did not live after 1955.
不过 他能够识别出一些更为微妙的记号
But he was able to read more subtle markers
来找出她生活的年代
to figure out when she did live.
这个人最有可能生活在1875年到1920年之间
The most likely interval that this individual lived was between 1875 and 1920.
所以它大致符合骨骼贸易期间
So it kind of fits right in that timeline
骨骼运送到美国来的时间线
that these skeletons would be coming to the U.S.
想起来很奇怪
And it’s so weird to think
在这一开始 它基本上是
that like at the\u00a0beginning of this process, it was basically
绳子上的一堆骨头
a pile of bones on a string.
随着你越发深入的了解它 它就变成了一个真的人
And then the more you learn about it, it becomes this real person.
所有这些新的信息都指向了一系列非常棘手的问题
All\u00a0this new information just underlinesa bunch of really tricky questions.
像这样的骨架应该在教室里使用吗?
Should skeletons like these be usedin classrooms at all?
如果不是的话 我们应该如何让他们得到安息?
And if not, how should we lay them to rest?
实验室的测试结果永远不会告诉我们
No lab test can tell us what any
这些人曾经的信仰
of these people believed in
或者是他们所向往的
or what they would have wanted.

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视频概述

带你从一堆骨头开始,去了解它的前世今生

听录译者

收集自网络

翻译译者

肥子鱼

审核员

审核员BZ

视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJ7A6Nw0My4

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