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抹大拉石刻震动圣经考古界

更新时间:2016-1-3 9:15:41 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

A Carved Stone Block Upends Assumptions About Ancient Judaism
抹大拉石刻震动圣经考古界

BEIT SHEMESH, Israel — The carved stone block is about the size of an occasional table. It has held its secrets for two millenniums. Whoever engraved its enigmatic symbols was apparently depicting the ancient Jewish temples.

以色列贝特谢梅什——这块石头只有一张小桌般大小,但它已经保守了两千年的秘密。不管是谁雕刻了这些神秘符号,他描绘的显然是一座古犹太圣殿。

But what makes the stone such a rare find in biblical archaeology, according to scholars, is that when it was carved, the Second Temple still stood in Jerusalem for the carver to see. The stone is a kind of ancient snapshot.

圣经考古界认为这块石头是一个珍稀的发现,因为在它被雕刻的时候,第二圣殿仍然矗立在耶路撒冷。既然雕刻者可以见到圣殿,那么该石就是圣殿的一个古代的快照。

And it is upending some long-held scholarly assumptions about ancient synagogues and their relationship with the Temple, a center of Jewish pilgrimage and considered the holiest place of worship for Jews, during a crucial period, when Judaism was on the cusp of the Christian era.

这块石头颠覆了一些学者长期以来持有的关于古代犹太教会堂及其与犹太圣殿的关系的学术假设。在那个关键时期,犹太教是基督教的分支出发点,而犹太圣殿是他们的朝圣中心,是犹太人崇拜中最神圣的地方。

Known as the Magdala Stone, the block was unearthed in 2009 near the Sea of Galilee in northern Israel, where a resort and center for Christian pilgrims was going to be built. Government archaeologists are routinely called in to check for anything old and important that might be destroyed by a project, and in this case they discovered the well-preserved ruins of a first-century synagogue and began excavating.

这块石头被称为抹大拉石。2009年,它出土于以色列北部的加利利海附近。当时那里正在建一个度假村和基督教朝圣的中心,政府的考古学家经常被电话叫去检查任何可能被施工破坏的古的和重要的东西。在这种情况下,他们发现了一个公元1世纪的犹太教会堂的保存完好的遗址,并开始挖掘。

The site turned out to be the presumed hometown of Mary Magdalene, one of Jesus’s most faithful followers. The dig also revealed an ancient marketplace and fishermen’s quarters along with the synagogue.

根据推测,发掘地点就是抹大拉的玛利亚的家乡。玛利亚是耶稣最忠实的追随者之一。除犹太教会堂外还挖出了一个古老的市场和若干渔民宿舍。

Experts have raised the tantalizing possibility that Jesus may have taught in the synagogue when he was in Galilee. A local coin found in a side room was minted in A.D. 29, when Jesus is thought to have been alive.

专家们认为,当耶稣在加利利的时候,他很有可能在这座犹太教会堂布过道。在一个侧室里找到了一个公元29年铸造的当地硬币,公元29年是耶稣在世的时候。

But for some scholars, the Magdala Stone was the real eye-opener.

但是在一些学者看来,抹大拉石头是真正的大开眼界。

“I approached the stone, and I could not believe what I was seeing,” said Rina Talgam, a Hebrew University of Jerusalem professor specializing in ancient art of the Middle East. Israel Antiquities Authority archaeologists had asked her to visit the site to view Magdala’s mosaics and frescoes, but when she first saw the stone, “they said I stood there for three hours.”

“我走近石头,我简直不敢相信我的眼睛,”丽娜·塔甘,耶路撒冷希伯来大学专门研究古代中东艺术的教授说。以色列文物局考古人员让她到现场去观看抹大拉的镶嵌画和壁画,但是她第一眼就看了石头,“他们说我在那里站了三个小时。”

Ms. Talgam concluded that she was looking at a three-dimensional depiction of the Temple of Herod, including its most sacred inner sanctum, known as the Holy of Holies.

塔甘女士说,那三个小时她一直在看希律王圣殿的三维图像,其中包括最神圣的密室,被称为至圣所。

She has since spent years deciphering and interpreting the symbols that adorn the stone and researching the possible implications of the discovery.

从那以后她花了几年时间破译和解读石头上的装饰性符号和研究这个发现的可能含义。

Experts have long believed that in the period before Herod’s Temple was destroyed in A.D. 70, synagogues were used as a general place of assembly and learning, something like a neighborhood community center. The more formal conception of a synagogue as a sacred space reserved for religious ritual was thought to have developed later, in the Jewish diaspora after the Temple had been destroyed.

专家们一直认为,在希律王圣殿于公元70年被毁之前的时期,犹太教会堂是聚会和学习的地方,就像今天的邻里社区中心一样。犹太教会堂用作执行宗教仪式的正式神圣场所的概念出现较晚,是在圣殿被毁后,在犹太人大流散的时期发展起来的。

But the Magdala Stone was found in the center of the old synagogue, and Ms. Talgam said it might have been intended to give the space an aura of holiness “like a lesser temple” even while Herod’s Temple still existed.

但抹大拉石被发现位于一座老犹太教会堂的中心,塔甘女士说,这可能是为了给这地方一个神圣的光环,使它“像个小圣殿”,这是在希律王圣殿仍然存在的时候。

Other scholars have come to the same view. Elchanan Reiner, a retired professor of Jewish history at Tel Aviv University, said that the stone was probably intended to represent the place where God, or the holy spirit of God, was believed to reside and that its placement in the middle of the synagogue “gives new meaning to that public building.”

其他学者也得出了同样的观点。埃查南·莱纳,特拉维夫大学的犹太史退休教授说,此石可能标示着上帝或圣灵居住的地方。它在犹太教会堂的中心位置“给这幢公共建筑赋予了新的含义。”

For Jews living in Galilee in those days, Jerusalem was a substantial journey away. Mr. Reiner noted that, though there could be only one Temple, the stone would have brought a suggestion of it to the synagogue in Magdala. “It brings that community closer to, and further from, Jerusalem at the same time,” he said.

对于当时生活在加利利地区的犹太人来说,耶路撒冷相当远。莱纳先生指出,虽然圣殿只有一个,但是此石给抹大拉的犹太教会堂带来圣殿的意蕴。“它使这里的人们更贴近耶路撒冷,同时也使得耶路撒冷进一步向外延伸。”他说。

One side of the stone has what experts say is an unusual feature for the time: a carving of a seven-branch menorah. A candelabra of that kind is described in the Bible and is believed to have stood in the Temple, and it emerged as a Jewish symbol of hope for redemption centuries later, according to David Mevorah, senior curator for Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine archaeology at the Israel Museum.

专家说,石头的一个侧面有不同寻常的石刻图案:七支的连灯烛台。圣经中记载那样的烛台只有圣殿里才有。几百年之后,这烛台逐渐变成犹太人希望救赎的象征,以色列博物馆负责古希腊罗马和拜占庭考古的高级馆员大卫·米沃拉说。

During the annual eight-day festival of Hanukkah, which began on Sunday evening, Jews light a nine-branch menorah to commemorate the rededication of the Second Temple after a successful revolt against the Syrian-Greek Seleucid empire in 165 B.C.

犹太人的光明节是从星期日夜晚开始持续八天的节日,此时他们点燃九支的连灯烛台以纪念第二圣殿奉献使用,这是在公元前165年对叙利亚-希腊塞琉古帝国的成功的起义后。

But there would have been no need for a symbol of redemption in first-century Magdala, Mr. Mevorah said. “The Temple exists,” he said. “Everything is functioning. So why would there be a symbol of the Temple here? It raises questions about the role of the synagogue at that time.”

但是,在公元1世纪的抹大拉并不需要救赎的象征,米沃拉先生说。“圣殿在那里,”他说。“一切都正常。那么,为什么会这里会有圣殿的象征?这引起了人们对犹太教会堂当时的角色的疑问。”

The Magdala Stone is about the right size for laying down a Torah scroll, so it might have been used as liturgical furniture, Ms. Talgam said. After it was found, a similar stone was unearthed in a synagogue from the Byzantine period in nearby Horvat Kur, and that, too, was decorated with what appear to be schematic depictions of Temple iconography.

抹大拉石的尺寸正好适合摆放犹太律法纸卷,所以它可能是作礼拜的用具,塔甘女士说。此石发现之后,类似的石头在霍瓦特·库尔的犹太教会堂出土,此处从拜占庭时期起就是犹太教会堂,那块石头也装饰着代表圣殿的简化符号。

In contrast to the current tensions over the contested site in Jerusalem that is revered by Jews as the Temple Mount, where the ancient temples once stood, and by Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary, the Magdala project has emphasized religious harmony. The land belongs to a Roman Catholic religious order, the Legionaries of Christ, and the archaeologists who are managing the dig and who found the stone are Dina Avshalom-Gorni, an Israeli Jew, and Arfan Najar, a Muslim.

现在耶路撒冷局势紧张,原来建有圣殿的地方,犹太人尊为圣殿山,穆斯林也把那里当作神圣禁地。可是抹大拉考古发掘却强调了宗教和谐。这里的土地属于一个罗马天主教宗教团体:基督圣母军。主持发掘并且发现了抹大拉石的是考古学家迪娜·阿沙龙-戈尔尼,一个以色列犹太人,和阿凡•纳加尔,一个穆斯林。

Even so, there is some fear of zealotry. The stone on public display at Magdala now is a close replica; the original is locked up in the Israel Antiquities Authority’s storage warehouse in Beit Shemesh.

即便如此,还是担心狂热分子。在抹大拉公开展出的抹大拉石头,是一个高仿副本;原件锁在贝特谢梅什以色列文物管理局的仓库里。

According to Ms. Talgam’s interpretation, there are more signs of the Temple to be seen on the stone. Sacred utensils are depicted in the order in which they would have appeared. A square shape below the menorah may represent the sacrificial altar, with large oil and water containers shown on either side. Engraved steps, arches and columns refer to the architecture of the Temple.

据塔甘女士判断,从石头上还看出圣殿的更多意象。神器按它们出现的顺序排列。连灯烛台下面的一个方形物可能代表了祭坛,两边都有大的盛油和水的容器。石刻的台阶,拱门和柱子表现了圣殿的建筑。

The professor suggested that the 12-leaf rosette on top of the stone might have echoed a motif on the veil that divided the Temple’s main sanctuary from the Holy of Holies.

这位教授认为,在石头顶上的12叶莲座可能是重复把圣殿的主圣所与至圣所分开的纱帷的基本图案。

On the side of the stone that Ms. Talgam believes represents the inner sanctum, the carvings suggest the lower portion of a chariot, with flashes of fire beneath its wheels — possibly illustrating the seat of God residing in the earthly Temple. The upper half, or God himself, she said, would have been in heaven.

塔甘女士认为石头侧面代表了内部密室,雕刻显示一部战车的下部,车轮下火光闪烁——可能这是上帝在地上的圣殿里的座位。上半部分,或上帝本人,她说,本来是在天堂。

Ms. Talgam said the first century was a period of debates within Judaism, a factor she said must be considered in interpreting the stone.

塔甘女士说,公元1世纪是犹太教内部争论不休的一个时期,这个因素在解释石刻时必须考虑进去。

Archaeologists can be no less quarrelsome. “There will be disputes” of her interpretation of the stone, Ms. Talgam said. “But that is the way it should be.”

考古学家也没有少争吵。对于她的解释“将会有争论”,塔甘女士说。“但是这不奇怪,本应如此。”

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