Scientists using an aerial remote-sensing method have discovered the largest and oldest-known structure built by the ancient Maya civilization — a colossal rectangular elevated platform built between 1,000 and 800 BC in Mexico’s Tabasco state.
The structure, unlike the soaring Maya pyramids at cities like Tikal in Guatemala and Palenque in Mexico erected some 1,500 years later, was not built of stone but rather of clay and earth, and likely was used for mass rituals, researchers said on June 3.
Located at a site called Aguada Fenix near the Guatemalan border, the structure measured nearly 400m wide and 1,400m long and stood 10m to 15m high. In total volume, it exceeded ancient Egypt’s Great Pyramid of Giza built 1,500 years earlier.
Photo: Reuters 照片：路透
There were no signs of sculptures depicting high-status individuals, suggesting Maya culture at this early stage was more communal and only later developed social inequality and a hierarchical society led by royalty, the researchers said. “Because it is so large horizontally, if you walk on it, it just looks like natural landscape,” said University of Arizona archaeologist Takeshi Inomata, who led the research published in the journal Nature. “But its form comes out nicely in lidar.”
Lidar, short for Light Detection and Ranging, is a remote-sensing technique that employs a pulsed laser and other data obtained flying over a site to generate three-dimensional information about the shape of surface characteristics. Nine large causeways and a series of reservoirs were linked to the structure. Some parts of the rural Aguada Fenix site today are covered with cattle ranches. Other parts are wooded.
“It is probable that many people from surrounding areas gathered for special occasions, possibly tied to calendrical cycles,” Inomata said. “The rituals probably involved processions along the causeways and within the rectangular plaza. The people also deposited symbolic objects such as jade axes in the center of the plateau.”
Photo: Reuters 照片：路透
Pets are an inseparable part of people’s lives in the modern world. About 65 percent of US households have at least one pet. On a psychological level, pet companionship can bring better psychological wellbeing; on a biological level, our furry friends can boost human immunity. According to a report in Psychology Today, a review carried out by researchers from the UK’s University of Manchester found that the companionship of pets can result in better psychological wellbeing for people with mental health conditions. The diabetes research center of the University of Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital analyzed data from over 3 million people,
A: Hello, I’d like to book a table for two please. For 7 o’clock, if possible. B: Certainly, sir. Let me see if I can fit you in. I’m afraid we’re fully booked at that time, but we do have a space at 8pm. A: No problem, 8pm will be fine. B: Thank you. I‘ve reserved you a table for two for 8pm. Just to let you know, we operate a “bring your own” policy for wine, and corkage is NT$50 per bottle. A: OK. See you later on. A: 你好，我想要訂位，兩個人，方便的話晚上七點。 B: 好的，先生。讓我看看能不能幫您安排座位。不好意思，我們那段時間的訂位滿了，不過晚上八點還有空位。 A: 沒問題，晚上八點可以。 B: 謝謝您。我幫您預約晚上八點，兩個人的座位。另外，提醒您本餐廳關於「自行帶酒」的規定，每瓶酒酌收新台幣五十元開瓶費。 A: 好的。我們晚點見。 （Edward Jones,
Let’s dine out tonight (3/5) 今晚我們去餐廳吃飯吧（三） A: Hmm. . . I can’t decide what to order. I’m hesitating between a lamb rogan josh or a beef vindaloo. B: Well, let’s order both and share the dishes. We can also order the tandoori king prawns that I was just eyeing up. A: The prawn dish will perfectly complement the bottle of Australian Chardonnay that I’ve brought along. It’s a great wine, with notes of peaches and lemongrass. B: Cool! Let’s also order some butter naan bread and pilau rice for two. A: 嗯……我無法決定要點哪一道菜。我正在猶豫要點喀什米爾羊肉咖哩，還是辛辣香料牛肉咖哩。 B: 啊，那我們兩個都點，然後分著吃吧。我們還可以點一份坦都里香料烤明蝦，我剛剛一直在看這道菜。 A: 這道明蝦應該能完美搭配我帶來的這瓶澳洲夏多內白葡萄酒。這瓶酒真的很棒哦，帶有桃子和檸檬草的香氣。 B: 酷！那我們也點一些奶油烤餅，和兩人份的香料米飯吧。 （Edward Jones, Taipei Times／台北時報章厚明譯） WARNING: Excessive consumption of alcohol can damage
Literary circles have been celebrating the legacy of late writer Eileen Chang, who would have turned 100 on Wednesday next week. Born in Shanghai, the legendary writer shot to fame in her 20s, and continued to write after moving to Hong Kong, and then the US, in the 1950s. Chang is one of the greatest female Chinese writers, and her classic works include Love in a Fallen City, The Golden Cangue, and The Red Rose and the White Rose. Many of her novels, such as Lust, Caution, were adapted into films and TV drama series. Based on Chang’s novel Aloeswood Incense