The secret recipe for ancient mummification 古埃及木乃伊的製作秘方

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本集內容

The secret recipe for ancient mummification 古埃及木乃伊的製作秘方

學習要點

和 “抗腐蝕 stop deterioration” 有關的詞彙

邊看邊答

Which three ingredients are mentioned as part of the embalming recipe?

文字稿

Fabric fragments of ancient history. These 6,000-year-old pieces of linen contain the chemical secret of mummification. The Egyptian mummy – the body preserved as a vessel for the eternal soul – is an icon of this ancient civilisation.

這些布料碎片歷史久遠。這些有六千年之久的布塊中含有關於木乃伊製作的化學秘密。古埃及木乃伊的身體被保存為容器,從而讓靈魂永存,它是這個古老文明的一大象徵。

It’s been resurrected in many a Hollywood film. But far from Egypt’s great tombs, here in a storage facility for Bolton Museum in Northern England, the ancient Egyptians’ embalming recipe has finally come to light, contained in textiles in the collection.

木乃伊在眾多好萊塢大銀幕上 “起死回生”。但在離埃及法老墓甚遠的英格蘭北部,在這個為博爾頓博物館貯存藏品的設施裡,古埃及人的進行防腐處理的方法終於得以揭曉,答案就藏在這批木乃伊的紡織物中。

Dr Stephen Buckley, University of York
With things like these textiles that don’t look much to look at at all… but you do the chemistry, and suddenly they become hugely significant to our human past, and really gets to the heart of what they were about at this time through the science, which you simply can’t tell by looking. So really, the science brings this material to life.

史蒂芬·巴克利博士 英國約克大學
“這些一眼看上去並沒有什麼價值的紡織物…但一旦研究其化學成分,就會發現它們對研究人類歷史來說非常重要,我們通過科學的方法抓住了那個時代的精髓,光憑肉眼是看不到這一點的。所以,是科學給這些材料賦予了生命。”

The recipe they revealed, an embalming liquid containing plant extracts, was probably mixed in a base of sesame oil.

研究人員們發現的秘方是一種含植物提取物的防腐液體,其中混入的主要成份可能是芝麻油。

You can actually still find some of those key ingredients from that embalming recipe today. So this is one of them – gum arabic, which is a plant-based confectioner’s gum that’s on sale in Egypt. And this – this is a really key ingredient – this is pine resin, antibacterial to prevent the body from decaying.

“直至今日,人們其實還可以找到防腐秘方中的部分主要原料。其中一種是阿拉伯膠,它是一種以植物為主要成分的糖膠,在埃及有售。而松脂真的是極為重要的原料,它可通過抗菌防止身體腐蝕。”

The same mixture of substances was found on this intact mummy from 3,500BC showing that the process is much older than previously thought.

科學家們還在這具完好無損的木乃伊身上發現了同樣的混合物,它製作於公元前3500年,這表明製作木乃伊這一慣例要比此前人們認知的更早。

Pierrette Squires, Bolton Museum
Pushing the timeline of mummification back by 1,500 years, it shows to us that it wasn’t just at the point where mummification we know was very popular: it was happening much earlier.

皮艾爾瑞特·斯奎爾斯 英國博爾頓博物館
“該發現把製作木乃伊的習俗向前推了1500年,這說明該做法不僅出現在我們認為木乃伊製作已經很普及的時代,而是更早。”

So, who knows what secrets scientists will unearth next in the storeroom of a local museum? 

那麼,誰知道下次科學家在某座地方博物館的儲物間裡又會發現什麼樣的秘密呢?

詞彙

preserved 被保存

embalming (用化學物質)進行防腐處理

antibacterial 抗菌的、殺菌的

prevent something from decaying 防止某物被腐蝕

intact 完好無損的

你知道嗎?

While excavating ancient Egyptian pyramids, archaeologists have discovered 3,000-year-old honey in the tombs. It is still perfectly edible!

考古學家在開鑿古埃及金字塔時發現墓穴中藏有三千年的蜂蜜。蜂蜜在被發現時竟然還是可食用的!

問題答案

Gum arabic, pine resin and a base of sesame oil are the three ingredients mentioned.

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影片連結 (提示:影片中含有木乃伊的畫面,可能引起部分人的不適。)

BBC 英語教學