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过去的经典课文(5)

日期:2013/11/22 10:10 点击数:3979 
 

 
Unit 23 Rescuing the temple
    Read the passage to find the answer to this question: Why was the temple in danger?
ASWAN DAM
   Three of the biggest man-made projects in the world are the Great Wall of China, the Pyramids of Egypt and the Aswan High Dam, which is also in Egypt.
  The High Dam at Aswan was completed in 1970. It was built for several reasons.
 First, the River Nile used to flood large areas at the same time every year and destroyed houses and crops. The new dam controls the waters of the Nile so that they now run regularly all through the year. Second, electricity can now be made from the water which rushes through the base of the dam. Now about 20-50% of the electricity which Egypt needs is produced from this dam.
    The dam, which is the biggest in the world, is 3,830 metres long. It is 980 metres wide at the base and 40 metres wide at the top. The lake that has been made by the dam is about 500 kilometres long.
    Before they began to build the dam, people already knew that there were going to be several problems. As a result of the dam the water level of the lake was going to rise by 63 metres. It would be necessary to move 53,000 people from their villages. Also, around the area of Aswan there are a lot of important old temples, which date from about 1250 BC. These temples were in danger; when the dam was finished, many of them would be covered by the waters of the new lake.
    One of the most important temples in danger was the one at Abu Simbel. It was carved in the rock and had on the outside four large stone figures, each of which was 20 metres high. Engineers studied the problem and suggested several different plans for rescuing the temple.
 Lesson 91   THE RESCUE OF ABU  SIMBEL
    The engineers considered all the possible plans. At last, they decided to move the whole temple stone by stone and rebuild it above the water level of the new lake.
    The project lasted 4 years and cost 1 billion US dollars. In all,1700 workers and 200 other people worked on the project. First, each stone was marked with a number. The pieces of stone were then carried to the new place for the temple, 60 metres higher up the hill.
    The project was successfully completed in 1966. Today you can either fly to Abu Simbel or you can take a boat from across the lake. There, by the waters of the new lake, you can see the tall stone figures and visit the temples of the gods. The place is quiet and very beautiful. All the visitors who go there believe that it was right that the temple was rescued.
 
 
A FARMING PIONEER
China was one of the first countries in the world to study the science of farming. It was the earliest research centre for agriculture. While people in other countries in the world were trying to catch wild animals and birds and were still collecting seeds and nuts, farmers in China were developing the science of agriculture.
    One of the pioneers of farming was Jia Sixie, who lived in the sixth century AD He was born in Yidu, in Shandong Province and worked in Gaoyang, which is also in Shandong. For many years he worked in the government. Then he returned home and spent his time on research into agriculture. He collected information, studied it, did experiments and learnt from the experiences of farmers.
    He studied ways of keeping seeds. He advised farmers to choose the best seed-heads, the ones that had the best colour. Then he said that they should be hung up to dry. In the following spring, the seeds should be knocked out of the seed-heads and sown.
    He studied how to improve soil conditions. He learnt how to clean rough ground before planting crops. He pointed out that it was important to remove weeds before sowing seed in the soil. He advised farmers first to let sheep or cows walk on the land.
The animals would then destroy the weeds or eat them. The soil should also be turned over with a fork so that the weeds would be destroyed. He also said it was important to plant wheat close together. Other scientists had said that wheat should be planted with space between the plants. However, Jia Sixie did experiments and showed that his way was better.
    He wrote a book called QiMinYaoShu during the years 533--544. The book, which has 110,000 characters, is about both farming and gardening. It includes advice on the following subjects: growing green vegetables and fruit trees,keeping cows and sheep, and keeping fish in lakes. There are also instructions for making wine.
   This book was considered to be an important summary of the knowledge of farming. For centuries after Jia Sixie died, it was studied by Chinese farmers and students of farming.
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