I was completely confused just observing the complex language used - mosaics,motifs,sepphoris.
If you are confused with complex words, then use variables in place of these. Instead of thinking Sepphoris every time it appears, think City X.
As i was not able to prethink any answers,so i directly went to the options.
If you are not able to prethink, it means you have not understood the passage well. Spend some more time with the passage. The mistake that most people make while doing practice is that they practice as if they are in an exam hall. You should stimulate exam hall environment when you are giving Mocks, not when you are learning concepts or just practicing. So, you should have spent more time in understanding the passage. Also, it is a virtuous circle - once you spend time to understand complex arguments, the next time you encounter a similar complex argument, you'll take lesser time.
Conclusion is : the mosaics of Sepphoris were very likely created by traveling artisans from some other part of the Roman empire
I was only able to eliminate option D on first look as the passage mentioned about several and not all identifiable animal species.
I tried the negation test and eliminated choice A : even if mosaics are composed of stones found in Sepphoris area, they could still be built by
travelling artisans. B too : even if belonged to single native region then can be created by travelling artisans.
I was confused between C and E and chose C(didnt apply any reason though). E is the correct answer
Could you please explain via E GMAT 3 step process how to resolve this question.
Also, it took me around 3 minutes with this question as i had to first understand the complex argument and then try negation test.
Is there any other choices other than A that can be eliminated before applying the negation test to save time.
Here's my analysis of the argument. I think it's difficult to eliminate any other choice except D without using negation test because none of the other choices are so glaringly out of context.Understanding the passage
This also means simplifying the passage.
1. Excavations of the Roman city of Sepphoris have uncovered numerous detailed mosaics depicting several readily identifiable animal species : a hare, a partridge, and various Mediterranean fish
2. Oddly, most of the species represented did not live in the Sepphoris region when these mosaics were created
3. Since identical motifs appear in mosaics found in other Roman cities, however
4. the mosaics of Sepphoris were very likely created by traveling artisans from some other part of the Roman Empire
1. Excavation of City X have uncovered mosaics of some animal species
2. Most of those animal species did not live in X when these mosaics were created
3. Identical mosaics appear in other Roman cities (Remember X is also a Roman city)
4. Conclusion: the mosaics were created by artisans who came from other Roman cities (where these animals could have been present during the time when these mosaics were created)
Can you understand the logical flow of the argument? Why does the author think that the mosaics were created by artisans from other Roman cities and not by artisans of City X? The reason is that the animals whose mosaics were found in X did not exist in City X when these mosaics were created. So, if the animals were not there, how could have artisans of City X created mosaics of such animals? Right?
Therefore, the author concludes that these mosaics were created by artisans from other Roman cities.Prethinking
What is the conclusion?
The mosaics were very likely created by artisans from some other part of Roman empire
What is the most basic assumption?
The assumption is that the mosaics were not likely created by artisans of City X.
Now, we can get to more specific assumptions by thinking of scenarios in which artisans of City X could have developed these mosaics. The assumption would be all these scenarios do not exist. Right?
If these scenarios exist (i.e. aritsans of City X artisans could have created mosaics), then the conclusion breaks down. Therefore, the assumption will be that none of these scenarios exist.
We need not think of any specific scenario. Pre-thinking till this part is perfectly fine. Analysis of option statements
A. The Sepphoris mosaics are not composed exclusively of types of stones found naturaly in the Sepphoris area. – It is talking about composition of mosaics. Even if these mosaics were exclusively built from Sepphoris stones, they could have been built by travelling artisans. So, even if this statement is negated, the conclusion does not break down. So, this is incorrect.
b. There is no single region to which all the species depicted in the Sepphoris mosaics are native. – Again, use negation. If there is a single region, say City Y, to which all the species in the mosaics are native, can’t these mosaics be built by travelling artisans? Even if that were so, these mosaics could still have been built by travelling artisans, possibly from City Y. So, again, conclusion does not shatter.
c. No motifs appear in the Sepphoris mosaics that do not also appear in the mosaics of some other Roman city. – Given the option statements use very relevant terms here, I would again use negation to test whether this can be the correct choice or not.
The negation is:
There are some motifs that appear in the Sepphoris mosaics but that do not also appear in the mosaics of some other Roman city.
This means that some motifs are exclusively there in Sepphoris city. But can’t traveling artisans built these motifs or mosaics only in Sepphoris? Yes, they could have. Traveling artisans could have built such motifs only in Sepphoris. In this case too, the conclusion does not break down.
d. All of the animal figures in the Sepphoris mosaics are readily identifiable as representations of known species.Now, this is applicable for both traveling and local artisans. So, option D does not affect the conclusion (that these mosaics were created by traveling artisans) or our basic assumption (that these mosaics were not built by local artisans)
e. There was not a common repertory of mosaic designs with which artisans who lived in various parts of the Roman Empire were familiar. – Negate this.
The negation of this statement is:
There was a common repertory of mosaic designs with which artisans who lived in various parts of the Roman Empire were familiar
If there was a common repertory of mosaic designs with which artisans of Sepphoris were familiar, then mosaics could have been created by artisans of Sepphoris even though such animals were not present at that time. The local artisans could have just taken inspiration from the common repertory.
So, when this option statement is negated, we have a scenario in which local artisans may have created the mosaics. In this case, we cannot say that mosaics were very likely created by traveling artisans.
So, the conclusion breaks down. Therefore, option E is the correct choice.
Does it help?