Over 1,100 years ago, an international crew of men set sail on a perilous journey. They are returning home from Tang Dynasty China with rare ceramics and gold, created by ninth-century Chinese craftsmen, desired by the rest of the world. For centuries, China has traded with the West over land, via the Silk Road. They traveled safely from the Middle East, all the way to China. But on their return voyage, they made a fateful decision. Here, off the coast of Indonesia, the reef-filled waters are so deadly that ancient sailors called the area the Treacherous Bay.
Tilman Walterfang was lured here in the late 1990s, in search of undersea treasure. An engineer by trade in his native Germany, Walterfang maintains a lifelong passion for ancient art. He comes to Indonesia on a quest for big discoveries. Local fishermen find a mound of ceramics on the seabed. Based on the designs, they appear to have been created between 600 and 900AD, in Tang China. Walterfang hires Mike Flecker, an Australian maritime archaeologist, to manage the excavation. The whole vessel was buried. It had 1,100 years of sediment accumulated on top of that.
Underneath the coral covering are countless jars stacked to the brim with bowls, plates, vases and jewelry. The team recovers some 60,000 pieces, mostly ceramics, but also precious items of gold, silver and bronze. There’s nothing written, there aren’t any archaeological reports. Ancient records tell of Arab and Persian fleets that traversed Asian seas, but no such boat from the time has ever been found.
This one was covered by a layer of sand that prevented worms from attacking the wood. Every element of the wreck is potential evidence that the Maritime Silk Route existed. A bronze mirror bears a compelling clue, with the inscription: “Smelted one hundred times in the city of Yangzhou on the Yangtze river in December 758.” Without a doubt, the treasure is from Tang Dynasty China. Radiocarbon analysis dates fragments of the wooden hull to between 700 and 900 AD. During that era, only Arab and Indian craftsmen were building ocean-going ships of this type. The wooden fragments provide crucial evidence of the boat’s origins. Afzilia Africana is a hardwood once prized by the ancient Arab boat builders. The wood is found across Africa, from Senegal to Uganda. If it’s a timber coming from Africa, it’s far more likely that it was just transported the short distance up to Yemen or Oman and the vessel was built there.
Eating glutinous rice balls during the Lantern Festival Lunar New Year celebrations traditionally conclude with the Lantern Festival, which is on the 15th day of the first lunar month. With every household decorated with lanterns and streamers, the Lantern Festival can be seen as an extended New Year celebration. Lighting lanterns during the Lantern Festival can be traced to the Western Han Dynasty in China. The 15th day of the first lunar month is the first full moon of the year, and has the significance of a new start. People light lanterns to pray for a bumper harvest in the coming
A: The Lantern Festival, which is the 15th day of the first lunar month, will be here the day after tomorrow. Maybe we can go to the Taiwan Lantern Festival! B: Good idea. Where will this year’s main lantern be? A: The main lantern — a “Jade Rabbit” in a spacesuit — will be displayed at the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall in Taipei. B: I also want to go to the Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival in New Taipei City. I’ve always wanted to experience releasing sky lanterns myself. A: Sky lantern releases are scheduled for this Sunday
你叫什麼名字？ What’s your name? 對話 Dialogue 馬可：你好！你叫什麼名字？ Make: Nǐ hǎo! Nǐ jiào shénme míngzi? 小實：我叫小實，你呢？ Xiaoshi: Wǒ jiào Xiǎoshí, nǐ ne? 馬可：我叫馬可。 Make: Wǒ jiào Mǎkě. 小實：馬可，你是美國人嗎？ Xiaoshi: Mǎkě, nǐ shì Měiguó rén ma? 馬可：我是美國人，你也是美國人嗎？ Make: Wǒ shì Měiguó rén, nǐ yěshì Měiguó rén ma? 小實：不是，我是臺灣人。很高興認識你。 Xiaoshi: Búshì, wǒ shì Táiwān rén. Hěn gāoxìng rènshì nǐ. 馬可：我也很高興認識你。 Make: Wǒ yě hěn gāoxìng rènshì nǐ. 翻譯 Translation Mark: Hello! What’s your name? Xiaoshi: My name is Xiaoshi, and you? Mark: My name is Mark. Xiaoshi: Mark, are you American? Mark: Yes, I am. Are you American too? Xiaoshi: No, I’m Taiwanese. Nice to meet you. Mark: Nice to meet you too. 單字片語 Vocabulary 1. 叫(jiào) to be called 2. 什麼 (shénme) what 3. 呢 (ne) a (question)
The US state of Colorado is renowned as a destination for outdoor activities. The impressive Rocky Mountains, which cut through the state, are the focus of these pastimes, which include hiking and climbing. In Ouray, a town in southwestern Colorado, “ice climbing” is at the center of winter festivities. Every January since 1996, the town has held the Ouray Ice Festival. Its goal is to expose more people to the thrill of ice climbing. The site of this exciting event is the Ouray Ice Park. The park, which fills a river gorge, features over a hundred different routes where expert ice