外研版选修七 M6 英语课文 Module 6 Reading and Vocabulary Part 1 The Amazing Caves of Zhoukoudian Zhoukoudian is a small village about 50 kilometres south-west of Beijing. In the 1920s, archaeolo gists
discovered some prehistoric human bones there which changed China's knowledge of its hist ory. They came from an unknown species of man and were the first evidence of primitive human li fe in China thousands of years ago. The remains were ... three teeth! In 1929, a complete skull was also discovered. Eventually, archaeologists found almost 200 items, including six skulls and more than 150 teeth. These discoveries proved the existence of a human s pecies who lived in the area between 700,000 and 200,000 years ago. Four sites where Beijing Man and his relations lived were discovered on the northern face of Dragon Bone Hill (Longgushan). They lived in the limestone ca ves in the area. However, the life span of Beijing Man was short. About 70% of the people probably died before th e age of 14. Fewer than 5% lived to the age of 50. Even so, they were quite sophisticated. Ashes w ere found alongside the fossils which showed they used fire for cooking food and also for light, wa rmth and protection from wild beasts. This is the earliest evidence of the use of fire anywhere in th e world. They also made tools of bones and sharpened stones. Unfortunately, when Japan invaded China in 1937, excavations at the Beijing Man Site stopped and most of the fossils disappeared, in cluding a Beijing Man skull. They have never been found. After the People's Republic of China w as established in 1949, the work started again and Zhoukoudian became an important tourist attrac tion. Zhoukoudian was listed as a world heritage site in December 1987. It has not only given us import ant information about prehistoric Asian societies, but also has provided amazing evidence about th e process of evolution.
At the Suzhou conference in June 2004, one of the delegates praised China's work on heritage site s, "China has done excellent work in protecting world heritage, both tangible and intangible." Tan gible cultural heritage includes museums and monuments — things you can see and touch. But what is intangible cultural heritage? Intangible cultural heritage, which is also called living cultural heritage, consists of the following features: 1 Oral Heritage This includes languages, spoken literature, music, dance, games, customs and knowledge of traditi onal craftwork. It also includes the cultural places where popular and traditional cultural activities take place (for example, sites for story-telling and festivals, etc.).
2 Living Human Treasures Living human treasures are people who have the knowledge and skills required for the cultural tra ditions of their society. 3 Endangered Languages Endangered languages are languages spoken by only a few people and languages which are not ta ught to new inhabitants of the region. For example, there are nearly 60 languages in Australia whic h are endangered, or are disappearing. 4 Traditional Music of the World Musical traditions around the world form part of the intangible heritage of mankind in the same w ay as monuments and natural sites. For example, Kunqu opera, was founded before the Ming Dyn asty (1368–1644) in Kunshan, near Suzhou. UNESCO added Kunqu to its intangible heritage list in 2001
Chinese Cultural Heritage Bid for UNESCO
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and the Mid-Autumn Festival could be listed on the director y of world intangible cultural heritage if a bid to UNESCO is successful. They could join the Chinese arts of Guqin Music and Kunqu Opera as "world intangible heritages" . UNESCO has 47 items on the world heritage list, including Chinese Kunqu Opera and Guqin Mus ic. Every two years the directory is enlarged by giving each country the chance to recommend one candidate. No discrimination is made against countries which make regular bids, so although the process is lo ng, there is a strong possibility that TCM and the Mid-Autumn Festival will be accepted. While th e bid is going through, the state government allocates funds for each item's protection. The application for TCM would highlight the fact that traditional Chinese medicine is a culture tha t has existed for thousands of years. If TCM is accepted on the UNESCO list, doctors and practitio
ners would advocate both its advantages and its legal status abroad. The theories and experiences of old TCM practitioners would continue to be collected, and treatment would be extended into ot her areas of medicine, such as research into the AIDS virus and malaria. But some people feel that there needs to be a compromise between the term "heritage" which suggests something old-fashio ned, and the fact that TCM is still developing as a medical science. Mid-Autumn celebrations reflect Chinese cultural traditions. With more than 50 million Chinese li ving and working overseas, the Mid-Autumn Festival reminds them of their Chinese origins and w ould help to unite Chinese people all over the world. Plans for a seminar of experts on the festival have been announced, which will recommend symbolic ambassadors to promote the bid. Other examples of China's intangible cultural heritage include the ancient art of Shaolin kung fu, t he world's longest epic poem of Tibetan King Gesser, and Chen-style Tai Chi. UNESCO's agenda for the world's tangible and intangible heritage is also to act as a warning syste m for sites which are at the mercy of redevelopment, pollution or even the effects of tourism, and cultural activities which are in danger. UNESCO undertakes to take sites off the World Heritage lis t if their present state is threatened by an absence of protection. Getting accepted on the list is the result not simply of a subjective recommendation by interested g roups, but of cultural diplomacy by governments and a thorough understanding of the bureaucratic system of UNESCO. In return, UNESCO recognises the autonomy of provincial, federal and state cultural organisations, but offers support and guidance when requested.
Santa Fe's Living Treasures
The Living Treasures Program originated in Santa Fe, New Mexico in the USA in 1984 and has no w spread to dozens of other communities across the country. It started when a Santa Fe organisation called the Network for the Common Good was established. The idea was to celebrate the lives of members of the older generation. "Older people are easily f orgotten or ignored in a country like the USA," said Robin Rodar, one of the organisers. "Youth an d new things seem more important to a lot of people." This isn't the way with other cultures. In New Mexico, older people from Hispanic and native Am erican cultures preserve their traditions and languages. The extended family is important and gran dparents are respected. This is also true in Asian cultures. In fact, the Santa Fe organisers got the i dea for the Living Treasures Program from a Japanese tradition of honouring folk artists. Twice a year, in spring and autumn, the program honours three older New Mexicans. They are ask ed to give a long interview — an oral history — which is taped and preserved at the Santa Fe Public Library. A photographer spends a day with eac h living treasure and the photographs are also displayed at the library. Then there is a ceremony to which the whole town is invited. Everyone meets at the Museum of In
ternational Folk Art. Friends and neighbours of the living treasures tell stories. After everyone else has spoken, the living treasures give a speech. "It's just amazing," said Robin Rodar's husband, Sa m. "The ceremony holds the community together." The living treasures are honoured for their achievements in many different areas of life. It might b e in their working life: medicine, education, the environment, architecture, literature and journalis m; and it might be because of their contribution to the cultural and social life of the area: art, musi c, theatre, farming, sport, etc.; or it might be because they have such good stories to tell about "the old days"
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