Shipwreck finds earliest astrolabe 沉船中發現世上最早航海星盤

The earliest astrolabe - a type of navigational tool - has been found

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文字稿

一個從一艘沉船中挖掘出的史前器物可能是目前世上發現的最早用於導航的工具。海洋考古學家說這個物體是一個“星盤”,海員在航行中用它測量太陽的高度,以確定所在位置。這個星盤是在1503年在印度洋暴風雪期間沉沒的一艘葡萄牙船艦中找到的。請聽報導。

The slim bronze disc was discovered during the excavation of the Esmeralda shipwreck – a Portuguese vessel that was exploring the Indian Ocean when it sank in a storm in 1503.

The object is decorated with a royal coat of arms, but laser scanning also revealed faint etchings around its edges, each separated by five degrees. It confirms that this is an astrolabe – an instrument used by mariners to measure the height of the sun above the horizon, enabling them to navigate the seas.

Only around one hundred of these items have been found, and this one most likely dates to the late fifteenth century, making it the earliest known example by several decades.

詞匯表

bronze 銅的,青銅的
disc 圓盤,盤狀物
excavation 挖掘,發掘
shipwreck 沉船
vessel 船,艦
sank(使)沉沒了
is decorated with 用…裝飾
royal coat of arms 皇家紋章
laser scanning 激光掃描
revealed 顯示出了,揭露了
faint 微弱的;不清晰的
etchings 蝕刻圖案
astrolabe 星盤(天文測量儀器)
mariners 水手
horizon 地平線
dates 推算出制造時間

測驗

請聽報道並回答下列問題。

1. How was the slim bronze disc discovered?

2. True or false: Faint etchings can be easily seen with the naked eye around the disc’s edges.

3. What is an astrolabe used for?

4. True or false: Around one hundred of these items have been found, and all of them are the earliest known astrolabes.

答案

1. How was the slim bronze disc discovered?
The slim bronze disc was discovered during the excavation of the Esmeralda shipwreck – a Portuguese vessel that was exploring the Indian Ocean when it sank in a storm in 1503.

2. True or false: Faint etchings can be easily seen with the naked eye around the disc’s edges.
False. According to the article, it was laser scanning that revealed faint etchings around its edges, each separated by five degrees.

3. What is an astrolabe used for?
The astrolabe is an instrument used by mariners to measure the height of the sun above the horizon, enabling them to navigate the seas.

4. True or false: Around one hundred of these items have been found, and all of them are the earliest known astrolabes.
False. While it is true that around 100 of these items have been found, this one most likely dates to the late fifteenth century, making it the earliest known example by several decades.

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