Excavation of the ancient city of Kourion on the island of Cyprus revealed a pattern of debris and collapsed buildings typical of towns devastated by earthquakes. Archaeologists have hypothesized that the destruction was due to a major earthquake known to have occurred near the island in A.D. 365.
Which of the following, if true, most strongly supports the archaeologists’ hypothesis?
(A) Bronze ceremonial drinking vessels that are often found in graves dating from years preceding and following A.D. 365 were also found in several graves near Kourion.
(B) No coins minted after A.D. 365 were found in Kourion, but coins minted before that year were found in abundance.
(C) Most modern histories of Cyprus mention that an earthquake occurred near the island in A.D. 365.
(D) Several small statues carved in styles current in Cyprus in the century between A.D. 300 and 400 were found in Kourion.
(E) Stone inscriptions in a form of the Greek alphabet that was definitely used in Cyprus after A.D. 365 were found in Kourion.
Hi Mike, I am not able to understand the difference between option B & C. As per "MarkSullivan" the earthquake must had happend in A.D. 365 but option B can also mean that earthquake happened in 364 or any year prior to A.D. 365. In option C the word "Near" is the cause of concern. Can you kindly explain where am i wrong. Waiting for your valuable inputs. Regards, FameMarkSullivan
indeed gave a very good explanation for this post. Fame
, one BIG GMAT CR idea ---- the evidence given in the prompt is non-negotiably true
. We just have to accept it as fact. In this particular prompt, one such fact is "a major earthquake
[was] known to have occurred near the island in A.D. 365
." For the purpose of analyzing this question, that is gospel truth, beyond all debate. Because the evidence is non-negotiably true, any answer choice that either re-affirms the evidence or directly contradicts the evidence is not correct
directly restates the fact given in the prompt --- the only thing added is that apparently this earthquake is mentioned in modern histories of Cyprus. Both the prompt and (C)
use the word "near" in precisely the same way --- the epicenter was not on
the island, but near
the island. Answer (C)
restates the evidence of the prompt ---> automatically wrong.
By contrast, (B)
introduces a completely new line of thinking, which dovetails nicely with the rest of the argument. I believe you didn't read careful what MarkSullivan
said. He said: "Here we have artifacts before the date in question, but not after the date in question. This would definitely support the hypothesis that the earthquake occurred in A.D. 365
." In other words, the town of Kourion was making coins in 362, in 362, in 364 --- perfectly fine coin manufacturing in all those years. Then the earthquake strikes in 365, so no more coins. Choice (B)
clearly says: "coins minted before that year were found in abundance
", which implies --- plenty of coins from 362 & 363 & 364. In other words, plenty of coins right up until the earthquake.
More to the point, you are calling everything
into question. That's sloppy thinking. You are not being precise in the way you approach CR. The evidence is absolutely unquestionable. One piece of evidence is: the earthquake was known to occur in 365. That's beyond doubt. There is absolutely no ambiguity about the date of the earthquake, so any attention to the date of the earthquake is entirely besides the point.
The conclusion of the argument is NOT
that an earthquake occurred in 365. The existence of that earthquake at that date is simply presented as fact, beyond debate. The conclusion is that the town of Kourion was suddenly destroyed in that earthquake. That's where your attention should be, not on the date of the earthquake.
GMAT CR is NOT
about questioning everything. Distractor answers, like (C)
here, are designed to get you puzzling about things that are actually beyond debate. You have to get into the habit of recognizing that all the evidence given is true and absolutely beyond question. Otherwise, the distractor answers will continue to trap you.
Magoosh Test Prep