How The Earth Was Made
The series of HOW THE EARTH WAS MADE travels the globe to reveal the geological processes that have shaped our planet. We will look at a single location and examine how the features that we see today have formed over millions of years—whether by colliding continents, volcanic eruption or the abrasive power of vast ice sheets. These processes, which intimately affect the way we live today, have been lost in the mists of time. Using the clues that were left behind, combined with expert evidence from geologists in the field, this series rolls back the millennia to see how the slow but immensely powerful forces of geology have shaped our world.
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…gets word that in 2009, archeologists have made an important discovery that supports the river theory. Stone tools found not far from the side of the mega-lake in Tunisia, the first step is to identify the shoreline of the ancient lake.
-Uh, now, this is, looks good. So, you got some freshwater mollusks.
These tiny shells are a good sign of the lake, now he searches for what may have been drinking the water when the mega-lake existed.
-We have a, what looks like a, part of a jawbone, of a small herbivore, you see, three teeth running along there, looks something of a gazelle.
So animals must have existed here in the desert when it was green.
-Ok, so we got a, a stone tool here, it’s become blunted and they retouched it with a lot of very fine flakes of the edge. A fact that we got stone tools and we got dead animals, suggests hunting, and this was the animal that was being hunted. And then we got water, so people sitting around a water hole, waiting for animals to come to drink, and then killing them, eating them, leaving them behind.
It’s an important find, a Stone Age tool shows people lived on the shore of this ancient lake, and 90,000 years ago was a turning point, not just in the story of the Sahara, but in the history of humanity itself. We are all descended from one group of people in East Africa, the birthplace of human kind, sometime between 80,000 and 120,000 years ago, modern human started the long journey out of Africa. No one knows for certain what route they took. The prevailing view is that that Sahara was impassable, so humans left East Africa and traveled to the coast, then cross a land-bridge into the Arabian Peninsula. But Drake suspects that if the mega-lakes were fed by a river system, it would have created a green corridor across the burning sands.
-So our ancestors could have followed this river systems, gone around the lakes, followed the next river system, around the next lake, and the next river system and the last lake. And then they’ll be in North Africa. And it’ll be simple for them to just move out. A lake is a good story, the rivers plus the lake is a very concrete story.
To find proof of his theory, Drake heads to one of the few areas in the desert where water still flows – an oasis.
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