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# Numerous Ancient Mayan cities have been discovered in the

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Numerous Ancient Mayan cities have been discovered in the [#permalink]

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11 Oct 2011, 09:14
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Numerous Ancient Mayan cities have been discovered in the Yucatan peninsula in recent decades. The ruins lack any evidence of destruction by invading forces, internal revolts, or disease and appear simply to have been abandoned. Some archaeologists have theorized that the cities were abandoned due to a severe drought known to have occurred in the region between 800 and 1000 AD

Which of the following if true most strongly supports the archaeologists' theory?

A. Ample archaeological evidence of Mayan Peasant revolts and city-state warfare exists, but such events could never result in the permanent abandonment of cities.

B. No monumental inscriptions created after 900 AD have been found in these cities, but inscriptions dating before that time have been found in abundance.

C. studies of Yucatan Lake sediment cores provide conclusive evidence that a prolonged drought occurred in the region from 800 to 1000 AD

D. climatic studies have documented cycles of intermittent drought in the Yucatan peninsula dating from the present to at least 7000 years ago.

E. The Mayan City, Uxmal, was continuously inhabited from 500-1500 AD

[Reveal] Spoiler: Confused
I'm confused by the OA ! I thought it should have been C
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
If you have any questions
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Re: Numerous Ancient Mayan cities have been discovered in the [#permalink]

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20 May 2014, 07:58
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georgepaul0071987 wrote:
Numerous Ancient Mayan cities have been discovered in the Yucatan peninsula in recent decades. The ruins lack any evidence of destruction by invading forces, internal revolts, or disease and appear simply to have been abandoned. Some archaeologists have theorized that the cities were abandoned due to a severe drought known to have occurred in the region between 800 and 1000 AD

Which of the following if true most strongly supports the archaeologists' theory?

A. Ample archaeological evidence of Mayan Peasant revolts and city-state warfare exists, but such events could never result in the permanent abandonment of cities.
B. No monumental inscriptions created after 900 AD have been found in these cities, but inscriptions dating before that time have been found in abundance.
C. studies of Yucatan Lake sediment cores provide conclusive evidence that a prolonged drought occurred in the region from 800 to 1000 AD
D. climatic studies have documented cycles of intermittent drought in the Yucatan peninsula dating from the present to at least 7000 years ago.
E. The Mayan City, Uxmal, was continuously inhabited from 500-1500 AD

JusTLucK04 wrote:
I choose C..Although I am incorrect..But I would like to point out that: In a real GMAT question are there 2 or more strengtheners such that one strengthens more than the other..As per what I have read..such is not the case..It is always 1 strengthener..and other neutrals,weakeners or irrelevants

Experts please vouch for the above

Dear JusTLucK04 & georgepaul0071987
I'm happy to respond.

First of all, JusTLucK04, it is NOT true that GMAT CR strengthener questions often have two strengtheners, one better than the other. That is a relatively rare pattern. I would say they often have one or two weakeners, just as a weakener questions will have one or two strengtheners.

Veritas questions often are very good. Here, I don't like the diction mistake
... the cities were abandoned due to a severe drought ...
That's a classic diction mistake that would be wrong on the GMAT SC. See:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2013/gmat-idiom ... nsequence/

Now, to the argument. It is uncertain why they cities are empty --- it is possible that they were abandoned, because other things that would empty a city don't tally with the evidence. The drought is already known. According to the prompt, the occurrence of the drought is already beyond a shadow of a doubt.

(B) gives a new corroborating piece of evidence
(C) tells us something of which we are already sure

An answer that tells us something that we already know adds zilch to the argument. That's why (C) is wrong. This, of course, is what DexDee already astutely pointed out above.

Does all this make sense?
Mike
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Re: Numerous ancient mayan cities [#permalink]

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11 Oct 2011, 09:19
Archeologist's theory consists of two parts:
- the reason for abandonment
- the period of abandonment

option B provides evidence for only the 2nd part of theory
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Re: Numerous ancient mayan cities [#permalink]

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11 Oct 2011, 17:10
I pick option B.

B vs C.

The question premise clearly says that the drought is known to have occurred between 800 to 1000 AD. C simply reinstates the same fact. What we are looking for is the confirmation that the settlement was abandoned during said period. B is perfect.
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Re: Numerous Ancient Mayan cities have been discovered in the [#permalink]

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28 Dec 2011, 01:11
B is the answer. C provides evidence of the occurrence of a drought between 800 and 1000 AD. But it cannot be inferred from C that the drought CAUSED the abandonment of the city.
B provides evidence that no monumental inscriptions were found after 900 AD. This increases the likelihood that there was a drought around 900 AD, thus supporting the conclusion. The strengthener just needs to increase the likelihood of the conclusion. That is exactly what B does in this case - increase the likelihood of the conclusion that the supposed drought caused the abandonment of the city.

Hope this helps.
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Re: Numerous Ancient Mayan cities have been discovered in the [#permalink]

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28 Dec 2011, 16:08
I too initially chose C,Here is my reasoning

From B..The Drought may have occurred before 800 AD, which weakens the conclusion....

From C, Though it may not be the best answer,but among options it looks the best........because we are sure that a drought occurred between 800 AD to 1000 AD, which supports the conclusion

Plz correct me if i am wrong...

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Re: Numerous Ancient Mayan cities have been discovered in the [#permalink]

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20 May 2014, 05:58
I choose C..Although I am incorrect..But I would like to point out that: In a real GMAT question are there 2 or more strengtheners such that one strengthens more than the other..As per what I have read..such is not the case..It is always 1 strengthener..and other neutrals,weakeners or irrelevants

Experts please vouch for the above
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Re: Numerous Ancient Mayan cities have been discovered in the [#permalink]

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01 Aug 2014, 03:49
mikemcgarry wrote:
georgepaul0071987 wrote:
Numerous Ancient Mayan cities have been discovered in the Yucatan peninsula in recent decades. The ruins lack any evidence of destruction by invading forces, internal revolts, or disease and appear simply to have been abandoned. Some archaeologists have theorized that the cities were abandoned due to a severe drought known to have occurred in the region between 800 and 1000 AD

Which of the following if true most strongly supports the archaeologists' theory?

A. Ample archaeological evidence of Mayan Peasant revolts and city-state warfare exists, but such events could never result in the permanent abandonment of cities.
B. No monumental inscriptions created after 900 AD have been found in these cities, but inscriptions dating before that time have been found in abundance.
C. studies of Yucatan Lake sediment cores provide conclusive evidence that a prolonged drought occurred in the region from 800 to 1000 AD
D. climatic studies have documented cycles of intermittent drought in the Yucatan peninsula dating from the present to at least 7000 years ago.
E. The Mayan City, Uxmal, was continuously inhabited from 500-1500 AD

JusTLucK04 wrote:
I choose C..Although I am incorrect..But I would like to point out that: In a real GMAT question are there 2 or more strengtheners such that one strengthens more than the other..As per what I have read..such is not the case..It is always 1 strengthener..and other neutrals,weakeners or irrelevants

Experts please vouch for the above

Dear JusTLucK04 & georgepaul0071987
I'm happy to respond.

First of all, JusTLucK04, it is NOT true that GMAT CR strengthener questions often have two strengtheners, one better than the other. That is a relatively rare pattern. I would say they often have one or two weakeners, just as a weakener questions will have one or two strengtheners.

Veritas questions often are very good. Here, I don't like the diction mistake
... the cities were abandoned due to a severe drought ...
That's a classic diction mistake that would be wrong on the GMAT SC. See:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2013/gmat-idiom ... nsequence/

Now, to the argument. It is uncertain why they cities are empty --- it is possible that they were abandoned, because other things that would empty a city don't tally with the evidence. The drought is already known. According to the prompt, the occurrence of the drought is already beyond a shadow of a doubt.

(B) gives a new corroborating piece of evidence
(C) tells us something of which we are already sure

An answer that tells us something that we already know adds zilch to the argument. That's why (C) is wrong. This, of course, is what DexDee already astutely pointed out above.

Does all this make sense?
Mike

But Mike, we don't know that the cities were abandoned because of the drought that occurred. The Archaeologists only theorized. IMO there is a difference between theory and evidence. The Scientists were just speculating. Even if the the speculation was reasonable, there wasn't any evidence!
Option C strengthens the conclusion by presenting 'that' evidence.
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Numerous Ancient Mayan cities have been discovered in the [#permalink]

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01 Aug 2014, 12:06
mahendru1992 wrote:
But Mike, we don't know that the cities were abandoned because of the drought that occurred. The Archaeologists only theorized. IMO there is a difference between theory and evidence. The Scientists were just speculating. Even if the the speculation was reasonable, there wasn't any evidence!
Option C strengthens the conclusion by presenting 'that' evidence.

Dear mahendru1992,
I'm happy to respond. Let's look carefully at the last sentence of the prompt:
Some archaeologists have theorized that the cities were abandoned due to a severe drought known to have occurred in the region between 800 and 1000 AD

The statement of causality, drought caused abandonment, is indeed part of the archaeologists' theory, their best guess. That's pure speculation, not fact. By contrast, we are told the "severe drought" itself is "known to have occurred in the region between 800 and 1000 AD." That's not part of the theory. That's agreed-upon scientific fact. Essentially, the archaeologists are saying, "We all know about that drought. We think that drought caused those folks to abandon those cities." The modifier in that last sentence, beginning with the participle "known," informs us very clearly which parts of the sentence are speculation and which are fact.

Choice (C) simply confirms this fact, a fact that was already "known" before we found out about (C).

Does all this make sense?
Mike
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Re: Numerous Ancient Mayan cities have been discovered in the [#permalink]

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01 Aug 2014, 12:24
mikemcgarry wrote:
mahendru1992 wrote:
But Mike, we don't know that the cities were abandoned because of the drought that occurred. The Archaeologists only theorized. IMO there is a difference between theory and evidence. The Scientists were just speculating. Even if the the speculation was reasonable, there wasn't any evidence!
Option C strengthens the conclusion by presenting 'that' evidence.

Dear mahendru1992,
I'm happy to respond. Let's look carefully at the last sentence of the prompt:
Some archaeologists have theorized that the cities were abandoned due to a severe drought known to have occurred in the region between 800 and 1000 AD

The statement of causality, drought caused abandonment, is indeed part of the archaeologists' theory, their best guess. That's pure speculation, not fact. By contrast, we are told the "severe drought" itself is "known to have occurred in the region between 800 and 1000 AD." That's not part of the theory. That's agreed-upon scientific fact. Essentially, the archaeologists are saying, "We all know about that drought. We think that drought caused those folks to abandon those cities." The modifier in that last sentence, beginning with the participle "known," informs us very clearly which parts of the sentence are speculation and which are fact.

Choice (C) simply confirms this fact, a fact that was already "known" before we found out about (C).

Does all this make sense?
Mike

Thanks a lot Mike! I now understand. :D
Anyways this is a 700 level question right? Or maybe even more than that?
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Re: Numerous Ancient Mayan cities have been discovered in the [#permalink]

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23 Aug 2015, 22:49
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