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# Archaeologists hypothesize that an eleventh-century Byzantine church

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Re: Archaeologists hypothesize that an eleventh-century Byzantine church [#permalink]
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­Archaeologists hypothesize that an eleventh-century Byzantine church in what is now Turkey was constructed in two distinct sections, separated by decades. They analyzed pigments from frescoes painted on walls in the two sections and confirmed the presence of different mineral compounds in each section's pigments. Additionally, the relatively rare ultramarine violet appears in only one section.Which of the following would it be most useful to determine in evaluating the archaeologists' hypothesis?

The archaeologists' hypothesis, basically the conclusion of the argument, is the following:

an eleventh-century Byzantine church in what is now Turkey was constructed in two distinct sections, separated by decades

The support for the hypothesis is the following:

the presence of different mineral compounds in each section's pigments

the relatively rare ultramarine violet appears in only one section

We see that the archaeologists have reasoned that, since the pigments used in decorating the two sections are different in key ways, the sections were constructed at different times.

Simply put, the archeologists have reasoned that different pigments are connected to different times of construction.

Which of the following would it be most useful to determine in evaluating the archaeologists' hypothesis?

This is an Evaluate question, and the correct answer will be the one such that different answers to the question is presents will weaken or strengthen the case for the hypothesis.

A) Whether stylistic differences indicate that in any other Byzantine church two sections were painted by different painters

To me, this choice is the trickiest one since I wonder whether it helps with determining whether the sections were painted at different times or by different painters.

At the same time, we can eliminate this choice for a few reasons.

One is that different painters and different times are not mutually exclusive or necessarily connected. After all, the sections of the church could have been painted by different painters at the same time, or by different painters at different times. So, even if we knew for sure whether the sections of the church in question were painted by different painters, we still would not know whether they were painted at different times.

Another clue that this choice is incorrect is that it mentions "stylistic differences" rather than differences in pigments. If we think about it, we don't really know that there were "stylistic differences" between the ways the two sections were painted. It could be that they were painted in the same style with pigments that differed in composition but not in stylistic effect.

In addition, this choice is about "any other Byzantine church." So, the answer doesn't clearly indicate whether different painters painted this church. After all, of course, it's likely that in many cases in the world, differrent painters painted different sections of one building in different styles. OK, great, but what about here?

Finally, choice (E) clearly makes or breaks the argument. So, if we have any doubts about which choice to choose, we can safely choose (E) over this one.

Eliminate.

B) Whether the paint pigments found in the section of the church thought to have been built later were still in use one or more centuries after the time at which the church is thought to have been built

This choice is tricky since it does involve time, in that it's about whether the pigments were in use "centuries after the time at which the church is thought to have been built."

At the same time, if we consider this choice carefully, we see that information on whether the pigments were still in use centuries later doesn't indicate when the pigments were used to decorate this church. After all, information on whether the pigments were used after the church was built does not indicate when the church was painted or built.

The two facts have basically no connection.

Eliminate.

C) Whether ultramarine violet was commonly used in the region where the church is located

The answer to this question does not help with evaluating the argument.

After all, information on whether ultramarine violet was commonly used does not  indicate when it was used.

So, the fact that it was or was not commonly used would not help with determining whether the sections were constructed decades apart.

Eliminate.

D) Whether the mineral compounds found in the pigments in the church occurred naturally in the region where it is located

Regardless of whether the mineral compounds occurred naturally in the region in which the church is located, they may or may not have been used at different times.

After all, someone could have found and used the mineral compounds at the same time or at different times regardless of where the minerals were found.

So, the answers to this question have no effect on the case for the hypothesis.

Eliminate.

E) Whether eleventh-century Byzantine churches typically were decorated at or around the time of their construction

The answers to this question make or break the argument.

After all, the support for the hypthesis that the two sections were constructed decades apart is that the two sections are decorated differently. So, basically, the researchers have assumed that decoration is connected to time of construction.

So, if the answer to this question is no, eleventh-century Byzantine churches typically were NOT decorated at or around the time of their construction, then the argument is wrecked.

After all, in that case, the fact that the pigments are different in the two section likely means nothing about when the two sections were constructed since the pigments likely would not have been used at the time of construction anyway. In short, a no answer to this question indicates that there's likely no connection between pigments and time of construction. So, a no answer makes the support for the hypothesis very weak.

On the other hand, if the answer to this question is yes, eleventh-century Byzantine churches typically WERE decorated at or around the time of their construction, then the argument is a little stronger. After all, that information helps to confirm that there is a connection between the pigments used to decorate the sections and the times of construction of the two sections.

So, the answer to this question would be useful in evaluating the archaeologists' hypothesis.

Keep.

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Archaeologists hypothesize that an eleventh-century Byzantine church [#permalink]
MartyMurray Don't you think we are making a mild assumption here that fresco s were created to decorate the chruches ?

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Re: Archaeologists hypothesize that an eleventh-century Byzantine church [#permalink]
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sayan640 wrote:
MartyMurray Don't you think we are making a mild assumption here that fresco s were created to decorate the chruches ?

­Not really.

Here's what a fresco is:

A fresco is a type of wall painting. The term comes from the Italian word for fresh because plaster is applied to the walls while still wet.

We see that, by definition, a fresco is a form of decoration of walls or ceilings.
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Re: Archaeologists hypothesize that an eleventh-century Byzantine church [#permalink]
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Thank you marty , you are just awesome..
MartyMurray wrote:
sayan640 wrote:
MartyMurray Don't you think we are making a mild assumption here that fresco s were created to decorate the chruches ?

­Not really.

Here's what a fresco is:

A fresco is a type of wall painting. The term comes from the Italian word for fresh because plaster is applied to the walls while still wet.

We see that, by definition, a fresco is a form of decoration of walls or ceilings.

­
Re: Archaeologists hypothesize that an eleventh-century Byzantine church [#permalink]
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