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# A tree s age can be determined by counting the annual growth

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A tree s age can be determined by counting the annual growth [#permalink]  13 Feb 2008, 05:02
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A tree’s age can be determined by counting the annual growth rings in its trunk. Each ring represents one year, and the ring’s thickness reveals the relative amount of rainfall that year. Archaeologists successfully used annual rings to determine the relative ages of ancient tombs at Pazyryk. Each tomb was constructed from freshly cut logs, and the tombs builders were constrained by tradition to use only logs from trees growing in the sacred Pazyryk Valley.

Which one of the following, if true, contributes most to an explanation of the archaeologists’ success in using annual rings to establish the relative ages of the tombs at the Pazyryk site?

(A) The Pazyryk tombs were all robbed during ancient times, but breakage of the tombs seals allowed the seepage of water, which soon froze permanently, thereby preserving the tombs’ remaining artifacts.
(B) The Pazyryk Valley, surrounded by extremely high mountains, has a distinctive yearly pattern of rainfall, and so trees growing in the Pazyryk Valley have annual rings that are quite distinct from trees growing in nearby valleys.
(C) Each log in the Pazyryk tombs has among its rings a distinctive sequence of twelve annual rings representing six drought years followed by three rainy years and three more drought years.
(D) The archaeologists determined that the youngest tree used in any of the tombs was 90 years old and that the oldest tree was 450 years old.
(E) All of the Pazyryk tombs contained cultural artifacts that can be dated to roughly 2300 years ago.

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Re: CR (Pazyryk site) [#permalink]  13 Feb 2008, 07:21
Expert's post
C

Determination of relative ages means that archaeologists can successfully compare rings of one log with rings of another log. The rings are characterized by thickness depended on the amount of rainfalls. Therefore, an answer have to explain how archaeologists could find rings of two distinct logs that corresponding to the same year.

(A) The Pazyryk tombs were all robbed during ancient times, but breakage of the tombs seals allowed the seepage of water, which soon froze permanently, thereby preserving the tombs’ remaining artifacts. - out
(B) The Pazyryk Valley, surrounded by extremely high mountains, has a distinctive yearly pattern of rainfall, and so trees growing in the Pazyryk Valley have annual rings that are quite distinct from trees growing in nearby valleys. - irrelevant comparison.
(C) Each log in the Pazyryk tombs has among its rings a distinctive sequence of twelve annual rings representing six drought years followed by three rainy years and three more drought years. - the best
(D) The archaeologists determined that the youngest tree used in any of the tombs was 90 years old and that the oldest tree was 450 years old. - it gives nothing.
(E) All of the Pazyryk tombs contained cultural artifacts that can be dated to roughly 2300 years ago. - archaeologists could determine relative ages, not absolute ages.
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Re: CR (Pazyryk site) [#permalink]  13 Feb 2008, 07:24
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Re: CR (Pazyryk site) [#permalink]  13 Feb 2008, 07:37
(A) The Pazyryk tombs were all robbed during ancient times, but breakage of the tombs seals allowed the seepage of water, which soon froze permanently, thereby preserving the tombs’ remaining artifacts. [This has nothing to do with the age calculation – eliminate it]

(B) The Pazyryk Valley, surrounded by extremely high mountains, has a distinctive yearly pattern of rainfall, and so trees growing in the Pazyryk Valley have annual rings that are quite distinct from trees growing in nearby valleys. [Enticing, but nothing that is specific to age calculation. More over, comparison among tree rings is out of scope – eliminate it]

(C) Each log in the Pazyryk tombs has among its rings a distinctive sequence of twelve annual rings representing six drought years followed by three rainy years and three more drought years. [This helps to calculate age – hold it]

(D) The archaeologists determined that the youngest tree used in any of the tombs was 90 years old and that the oldest tree was 450 years old. [The conclusion of youngest and oldest doesn’t help – eliminate it]

(E) All of the Pazyryk tombs contained cultural artifacts that can be dated to roughly 2300 years ago. [Cultural artifacts is not mentioned in the argument – eliminate it]

Re: CR (Pazyryk site)   [#permalink] 13 Feb 2008, 07:37
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