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# Archaeologists working in the Andes Mountains recently excavated a bur

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Archaeologists working in the Andes Mountains recently excavated a bur  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 05 Nov 2018, 02:47
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Archaeologists working in the Andes Mountains recently excavated a buried 4,000-year-old temple containing structures that align with a stone carving on a distant hill to indicate the direction of the rising sun at the summer solstice. Alignments in the temple were also found to point toward the position, at the summer solstice, of a constellation known in Andean culture as the Fox. Since the local mythology represents the fox as teaching people how to cultivate and irrigate plants, the ancient Andeans may have built the temple as a religious representation of the fox.

Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument is based?

(A) The constellation known as the Fox has the same position at the summer solstice as it did 4,000 years ago.

(B) In the region around the temple, the summer solstice marks the time for planting.

(C) The temple was protected from looters by dirt and debris built up over thousands of years.

(D) Other structural alignments at the temple point to further constellations with agricultural significance.

(E) The site containing the temple was occupied for a significant amount of time before abandonment.

Verbal Question of The Day: Day 276: Critical Reasoning

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The Official Guide for GMAT Verbal Review 2018
Practice Question
Critical Reasoning
Question no. 144

Originally posted by AbdurRakib on 14 Jun 2017, 12:19.
Last edited by Bunuel on 05 Nov 2018, 02:47, edited 2 times in total.
Renamed the topic and edited the question.
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Re: Archaeologists working in the Andes Mountains recently excavated a bur  [#permalink]

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09 May 2018, 21:45
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The conclusion is that "the ancient Andeans may have built the temple as a religious representation of the fox." How does the author arrive at that conclusion?

• Archaeologists recently excavated a buried 4,000-year-old temple in the Andes Mountains.
• The temple contains "structures that align with a stone carving on a distant hill to indicate the direction of the rising sun at the summer solstice." - Don't worry if you don't understand the meaning of "solstice." Even without knowing the definition, we can infer that the author is referring to some specific time of the year. What's important is that the temple-makers were apparently aware of the sun's position at that specific time when they built those structures.
• "Alignments in the temple were also found to point toward the position, at the summer solstice, of a constellation known in Andean culture as the Fox." - If the temple-makers constructed some structures related to the position of the sun at the summer solstice, then it would make sense that other structures in the temple are related to the summer solstice. Now we have some other structures pointing to the position of the Fox constellation at the summer solstice. This is evidence (not proof) that the temple-makers designed these structures with the Fox constellation's position in mind.
• "Local mythology represents the fox as teaching people how to cultivate and irrigate plants." - The fox was obviously an importantly animal to the people of that culture.

So we have evidence that the temple-makers took the summer-solstice position of celestial bodies into account when designing the temple. Some temple structures point towards the position of the Fox constellation, and the fox was an important animal to those people. This suggests that "the ancient Andeans may have built the temple as a religious representation of the fox."

Notice that the conclusion contains the word may. The author is not trying to PROVE that the temple was built as a religious representation of the fox. The author is simply arguing that, based on the evidence cited in the passage, this may have been the case.

Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument is based?

Quote:
(A) The constellation known as the Fox has the same position at the summer solstice as it did 4,000 years ago.

The conclusion is based on the finding that the temple has alignments pointing towards the position, at the summer solstice, of a constellation.

But this finding is based on the CURRENT alignments. The temple was built 4,000 years ago. What if the constellation has shifted over the course of the last 4,000 years? In that case, the alignment found by the archaeologists would be different than the alignment that existed when the Andeans built the temple. Thus, we would not be able to use the CURRENT alignment to make conclusions about the intentions of the Andeans 4,000 years ago.

Without this assumption, the evidence is clearly undermined, so hang on to (A).

Quote:
(B) In the region around the temple, the summer solstice marks the time for planting.

This may or may not be true, but it is not a required assumption. The author argues that the temple was built to represent the fox. The author is not trying to argue that the temple served a specific agricultural function. Eliminate (B).

Quote:
(C) The temple was protected from looters by dirt and debris built up over thousands of years.

Sure, it is possible that looters moved some of the structures around, but that doesn't make this a required assumption. Even if looters had entered the temple and removed some objects, the structures referred to in the passage could still have their same positions. Eliminate (C).

Quote:
(D) Other structural alignments at the temple point to further constellations with agricultural significance.

If the temple structures point to no other constellations besides the Fox constellation, then it is reasonable to conclude that the temple may have been built to represent the fox. However, if the temple pointed to multiple constellations, then it is less likely that the temple was built to represent the fox in particular. In fact, (D) seems to suggest that the temple-makers were more concerned with agriculture in general than with the fox.

So (D) might weaken the argument. Regardless, it is certainly not a required assumption. Eliminate (D).

Quote:
(E) The site containing the temple was occupied for a significant amount of time before abandonment.

The amount of time that the temple was occupied is irrelevant to the argument. Eliminate (E).

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Re: Archaeologists working in the Andes Mountains recently excavated a bur  [#permalink]

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14 Jun 2017, 20:46
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AbdurRakib wrote:
The Official Guide for GMAT Verbal Review 2018
Practice Question
Critical Reasoning
Question no. 144

Archaeologists working in the Andes Mountains recently excavated a buried 4,000-year-old temple containing structures that align with a stone carving on a distant hill to indicate the direction of the rising sun at the summer solstice. Alignments in the temple were also found to point toward the position, at the summer solstice, of a constellation known in Andean culture as the Fox. Since the local mythology represents the fox as teaching people how to cultivate and irrigate plants, the ancient Andeans may have built the temple as a religious representation of the fox.

Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument is based?
A. The constellation known as the Fox has the same position at the summer solstice as it did 4,000 years ago.
B. In the region around the temple, the summer solstice marks the time for planting.
C. The temple was protected from looters by dirt and debris built up over thousands of years.
D. Other structural alignments at the temple point to further constellations with agricultural significance.
E. The site containing the temple was occupied for a significant amount of time before abandonment.

Based on the position of constellation now, the argument is making a conclusion that andeans may have built the temple as a religious representation of the fox ..but to make this prediction one need to be sure of whether the position of constellation was same 4000 yrs ago as it is now ....This pre-thinking leads to A as answer .
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Re: Archaeologists working in the Andes Mountains recently excavated a bur  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 24 Apr 2018, 08:25
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snjainpune wrote:
Hello Verbal Experts,

Could you please explain this question in detail why A is correct and why other options are wrong?

Thanks.

Quote:
Archaeologists working in the Andes Mountains recently excavated a buried 4,000-year-old temple containing structures that align with a stone carving on a distant hill to indicate the direction of the rising sun at the summer solstice. Alignments in the temple were also found to point toward the position, at the summer solstice, of a constellation known in Andean culture as the Fox. Since the local mythology represents the fox as teaching people how to cultivate and irrigate plants, the ancient Andeans may have built the temple as a religious representation of the fox.

Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument is based?

(A) The constellation known as the Fox has the same position at the summer solstice as it did 4,000 years ago.
(B) In the region around the temple, the summer solstice marks the time for planting.
(C) The temple was protected from looters by dirt and debris built up over thousands of years.
(D) Other structural alignments at the temple point to further constellations with agricultural significance.
(E) The site containing the temple was occupied for a significant amount of time before abandonment.

Awesome, nightblade354! I'll take a shot at this, too... but only because I wrote this two days ago and got distracted before hitting the "submit" button. Bad Ninja.

The conclusion is that "the ancient Andeans may have built the temple as a religious representation of the fox." This conclusion is based on the finding that the temple has alignments pointing towards the position, at the summer solstice, of a constellation.

But this finding is based on the CURRENT alignments. The temple was built 4,000 years ago. What if the constellation has shifted over the course of the last 4,000 years? In that case, the alignment found by the archaeologists would be different than the alignment that existed when the Andeans built the temple. Thus, we would not be able to use the CURRENT alignment to make conclusions about the intentions of the Andeans 4,000 years ago.

I hope that helps!
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Originally posted by GMATNinja on 09 Nov 2017, 15:46.
Last edited by GMATNinjaTwo on 24 Apr 2018, 08:25, edited 1 time in total.
fixed typo
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Re: Archaeologists working in the Andes Mountains recently excavated a bur  [#permalink]

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04 Sep 2018, 16:59
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Conclusion - the ancient Andeans may have built the temple as a religious representation of the fox.

Now as we know Something must backup our conclusion. Why the above statement is conclusion. Well this conclusion is finding for following statements.
1. Alignments in the temple were also found to point toward the position, at the summer solstice,
2. the summer solstice, of a constellation known in Andean culture as the Fox.
3. the local mythology represents the fox as teaching people how to cultivate and irrigate plants

assumption is hidden premise between conclusion and premise. One more thing a question can have multiple assumptions. pre-prase a few before POE.
1. the ancient Andeans used to build temple as a religious representation of its gods.
2. there should be some proof that the summer solstice was known in Andean culture as the Fox. if other wise this argument will fall.
3. a solid proof that the local mythology represents the fox as teaching people how to cultivate and irrigate plants.

I linked religious representation to teaching people how to cultivate and irrigate plants

Unfortunately, for me I linked the purpose of building the temple to a greater importance than knowing if temple makers were aware of in which direction sun rose or where fox was present.

---- again there can be multiple conclusion. You have to keep things open. A gmat question can be tough if there are multiple conclusion and a few are really obscure between premises.

There is a clear leap between the alignment of temple structures in first two sentences and linking religious importance of temple to fox.

Why can not a valid assumption be:
People of Andes area are atheists and used to kill fox for securing their tribes. ---- For sure this cant be an assumption.

Assumption question will normally fit one of the following categories:
A. Eliminates an alternate cause for the stated effect
B. Shows that when the cause occurs, the effect occurs
C. Shows that when the cause does not occur, the effect does not occur
D. Eliminates the possibility that the stated relationship is reversed
E. Shows that the data used to make the causal statement are accurate, or eliminates possible problems with the data

Giving you an opportunity, read these notes and find why this can't be an assumption.
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Re: Archaeologists working in the Andes Mountains recently excavated a bur  [#permalink]

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15 Jun 2017, 00:26
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AbdurRakib wrote:
The Official Guide for GMAT Verbal Review 2018
Practice Question
Critical Reasoning
Question no. 144

Archaeologists working in the Andes Mountains recently excavated a buried 4,000-year-old temple containing structures that align with a stone carving on a distant hill to indicate the direction of the rising sun at the summer solstice. Alignments in the temple were also found to point toward the position, at the summer solstice, of a constellation known in Andean culture as the Fox. Since the local mythology represents the fox as teaching people how to cultivate and irrigate plants, the ancient Andeans may have built the temple as a religious representation of the fox.

Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument is based?
A. The constellation known as the Fox has the same position at the summer solstice as it did 4,000 years ago.
B. In the region around the temple, the summer solstice marks the time for planting.
C. The temple was protected from looters by dirt and debris built up over thousands of years.
D. Other structural alignments at the temple point to further constellations with agricultural significance.
E. The site containing the temple was occupied for a significant amount of time before abandonment.

First of all, thank you for sharing these questions mate.

Now with the argument, it hinges on the constellation in the sky. Everything else is a significance based on the that constellation.
With that in mind, only answer choice A gives us the essential assumption the author needs to make to draw his conclusion i.e. The constellation was in the same place in the sky 4000 years ago, as it is today.

B - This is already mentioned in the passage, so it could be a trap answer but it's not an assumption.
C - This is Out of Context.
D - In terms of an assumption made by the author, this is irrelevant as this seems to be a fact, and it has nothing to do with the constellation.
E - Irrelevant.
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Re: Archaeologists working in the Andes Mountains recently excavated a bur  [#permalink]

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20 Jun 2017, 02:58
1
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AbdurRakib wrote:
The Official Guide for GMAT Verbal Review 2018
Practice Question
Critical Reasoning
Question no. 144

Archaeologists working in the Andes Mountains recently excavated a buried 4,000-year-old temple containing structures that align with a stone carving on a distant hill to indicate the direction of the rising sun at the summer solstice. Alignments in the temple were also found to point toward the position, at the summer solstice, of a constellation known in Andean culture as the Fox. Since the local mythology represents the fox as teaching people how to cultivate and irrigate plants, the ancient Andeans may have built the temple as a religious representation of the fox.

Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument is based?
A. The constellation known as the Fox has the same position at the summer solstice as it did 4,000 years ago. Correct. Passage has mentioned relation between summer solstice and constellation known in Andean culture as the Fox. This option ensure that constellation was positioned at the time temple was build.
B. In the region around the temple, the summer solstice marks the time for planting. Timing of plantation is not discussed in passage
C. The temple was protected from looters by dirt and debris built up over thousands of years. Out of scope
D. Other structural alignments at the temple point to further constellations with agricultural significance. New information. Not discussed in passage
E. The site containing the temple was occupied for a significant amount of time before abandonment. out of scope

IMO : A

Explanation : marked against the argument
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Re: Archaeologists working in the Andes Mountains recently excavated a bur  [#permalink]

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01 Aug 2017, 06:41
1
rocko911 wrote:
Abhishek009 wrote:
Arrived at the correct answer by negation rule...

The constellation known as the Fox doesn't have the same position at the summer solstice as it did 4,000 years ago.

Thus, the argument -

Quote:
Alignments in the temple were also found to point toward the position, at the summer solstice, of a constellation known in Andean culture as the Fox. Since the local mythology represents the fox as teaching people how to cultivate and irrigate plants, the ancient Andeans may have built the temple as a religious representation of the fox

Hence, the correct answer must be (A)

How does it weaken ? Maybe position is changed , it doesnt mean that they didnt built the temple for the Fox

Archaeologists working in the Andes Mountains recently excavated a buried 4,000-year-old temple containing structures that align with a stone carving on a distant hill to indicate the direction of the rising sun at the summer solstice. Alignments in the temple were also found to point toward the position, at the summer solstice, of a constellation known in Andean culture as the Fox. Since the local mythology represents the fox as teaching people how to cultivate and irrigate plants, the ancient Andeans may have built the temple as a religious representation of the fox.

Quote:
Archaeologists found a 4000 year old temple.
The alignments in the temple and those on a stone point toward the constellation known as the Fox. (They point at that constellation NOW)
Conclusion - Andeans may have built the temple as a religions representation of the fox. (The temple was build 4000 years ago)

We need to find the author's assumption that will strengthen the above argument. In other words, we are trying to find the missing link that will fill the gap between the premises and the conclusion in the argument above. (Look at the quote above)
Only A provides us with the premise that the fox's position in the sky was the same 4000 years ago as it is today.

Hope this helps!
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Re: Archaeologists working in the Andes Mountains recently excavated a bur  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 09 Nov 2017, 16:01
1
snjainpune wrote:
Hello Verbal Experts,

Could you please explain this question in detail why A is correct and why other options are wrong?

Thanks.

Hi snjainpune,

I'd be happy to clarify this question for you. The answer, simply, is negation, which is turning the answer into its opposite form. If the new answer destroys the argument, this is your answer for the question.

Archaeologists working in the Andes Mountains recently excavated a buried 4,000-year-old temple containing structures that align with a stone carving on a distant hill to indicate the direction of the rising sun at the summer solstice. Alignments in the temple were also found to point toward the position, at the summer solstice, of a constellation known in Andean culture as the Fox. Since the local mythology represents the fox as teaching people how to cultivate and irrigate plants, the ancient Andeans may have built the temple as a religious representation of the fox.

-- The blue is a premise, which builds up to the green, our conclusion.

Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument is based?

(A) The constellation known as the Fox has the same position at the summer solstice as it did 4,000 years ago. -- The constellation known as the Fox does not have the same position at the summer solstice as it did 4,000 years ago
(B) In the region around the temple, the summer solstice marks the time for planting. -- In the region around the temple, the summer solstice does not marks the time for planting
(C) The temple was protected from looters by dirt and debris built up over thousands of years. -- The temple was not protected from looters by dirt and debris built up over thousands of years.
(D) Other structural alignments at the temple point to further constellations with agricultural significance. -- Other structural alignments at the temple do not point to further constellations with agricultural significance
(E) The site containing the temple was occupied for a significant amount of time before abandonment.The site containing the temple was not occupied for a significant amount of time before abandonment

Based on our conclusion, "the ancient Andeans may have built the temple as a religious representation of the fox.", which one of the above destroys this argument? Option A! This says the temple may have been built for a different system, but is now pointed towards the fox. The rest of the options are, fortunately, out of scope and can thus be eliminated. Does this help?
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Originally posted by nightblade354 on 08 Nov 2017, 06:01.
Last edited by nightblade354 on 09 Nov 2017, 16:01, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Archaeologists working in the Andes Mountains recently excavated a bur  [#permalink]

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05 Sep 2018, 08:54
1
souvik101990 wrote:

Verbal Question of The Day: Day 276: Critical Reasoning

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Archaeologists working in the Andes Mountains recently excavated a buried 4,000-year-old temple containing structures that align with a stone carving on a distant hill to indicate the direction of the rising sun at the summer solstice. Alignments in the temple were also found to point toward the position, at the summer solstice, of a constellation known in Andean culture as the Fox. Since the local mythology represents the fox as teaching people how to cultivate and irrigate plants, the ancient Andeans may have built the temple as a religious representation of the fox.

Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument is based?

(A) The constellation known as the Fox has the same position at the summer solstice as it did 4,000 years ago.

(B) In the region around the temple, the summer solstice marks the time for planting.

(C) The temple was protected from looters by dirt and debris built up over thousands of years.

(D) Other structural alignments at the temple point to further constellations with agricultural significance.

(E) The site containing the temple was occupied for a significant amount of time before abandonment.

Premises:
Archaeologists excavated an old temple containing structures that align with a stone carving on a distant hill to indicate the direction of the rising sun at the summer solstice. Alignments in the temple were also found to point toward the position, at the summer solstice, of a constellation known in Andean culture as the Fox.
Local mythology represents the fox as teaching people how to cultivate and irrigate plants

Conclusion: the ancient Andeans may have built the temple as a religious representation of the fox.

(A) The constellation known as the Fox has the same position at the summer solstice as it did 4,000 years ago.

This is certainly an assumption of the argument. If the Fox does not have the same position as it did 4,000 years ago, the entire argument falls apart. Then the alignments would be pointing to something else or they wouldn't be alignments pointing to something. Then the point of representation of the fox does not arise.

(B) In the region around the temple, the summer solstice marks the time for planting.

The importance of summer solstice is not discussed and is irrelevant.

(C) The temple was protected from looters by dirt and debris built up over thousands of years.

Dirt and looters are irrelevant to the argument.

(D) Other structural alignments at the temple point to further constellations with agricultural significance.

Not an assumption. Doesn't matter what the other alignments point to.

(E) The site containing the temple was occupied for a significant amount of time before abandonment.

Again, not an assumption. Even if it were not occupied, it doesn't break out argument.

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Re: Archaeologists working in the Andes Mountains recently excavated a bur  [#permalink]

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04 Feb 2020, 20:23
1
jabhatta@umail.iu.edu wrote:

Conclusion : Andeans may have built the temple as a religious representation of the fox.
Premise : Structures (within the Temple) align with the position of the fox constellation during the summer solstice

One way i thought to destroy the argument was to confirm -- if the temple was used for any other purpose (other than representing the fox constellation) ? -- Were there other objects / structures pointing towards other constellations ?

Because if there were other structures pointing towards other constellations or other stars as well -- then the conclusion breaks as the conclusion is all about declaring the temple as a representation of the "Fox" only

Enter option C...if negated

-- If the temple was not protected by robbers -- and items have been looted -- then the looters may taken objects of relevance / may have taken objects that align with other constellations other than the fox

Hence i thought -- this destroyed the argument

Thoughts ?

The conclusion doesn't say that it was built for no other purpose. Perhaps it had some other purposes too. In fact, the argument says that it has structures pointing towards the rising sun too. We have to figure out whether it was built as a religious representation of the Fox or not. Option (C) doesn't help in that but option (A) is needed. If Fox's position was different 4000 yrs ago, the temple was not built to point toward it.
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Re: Archaeologists working in the Andes Mountains recently excavated a bur  [#permalink]

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09 Feb 2020, 11:30
1
jabhatta@umail.iu.edu wrote:

Conclusion : Andeans may have built the temple as a religious representation of the fox.
Premise : Structures (within the Temple) align with the position of the fox constellation during the summer solstice

One way i thought to destroy the argument was to confirm -- if the temple was used for any other purpose (other than representing the fox constellation) ? -- Were there other objects / structures pointing towards other constellations ?

Because if there were other structures pointing towards other constellations or other stars as well -- then the conclusion breaks as the conclusion is all about declaring the temple as a representation of the "Fox" only

Enter option C...if negated

-- If the temple was not protected by robbers -- and items have been looted -- then the looters may taken objects of relevance / may have taken objects that align with other constellations other than the fox

Hence i thought -- this destroyed the argument

Thoughts ?

Take another look at (C):
Quote:
(C) The temple was protected from looters by dirt and debris built up over thousands of years.

(C) specifies exactly how the temple was protected from looters -- by a buildup of dirt and debris. Does that HAVE to be true in order for the argument to be valid?

Not necessarily -- maybe the temple was protected in some other way (snake pits? pressure-triggered booby traps? massive rolling boulders?). Because the argument doesn't depend the temple being protected specifically by dirt and debris, we can't say that the argument is based on the information in (C).

I hope that helps!
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Re: Archaeologists working in the Andes Mountains recently excavated a bur  [#permalink]

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20 Jun 2017, 07:47
Arrived at the correct answer by negation rule...

The constellation known as the Fox doesn't have the same position at the summer solstice as it did 4,000 years ago.

Thus, the argument -

Quote:
Alignments in the temple were also found to point toward the position, at the summer solstice, of a constellation known in Andean culture as the Fox. Since the local mythology represents the fox as teaching people how to cultivate and irrigate plants, the ancient Andeans may have built the temple as a religious representation of the fox

Hence, the correct answer must be (A)

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Re: Archaeologists working in the Andes Mountains recently excavated a bur  [#permalink]

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01 Aug 2017, 06:15
Abhishek009 wrote:
Arrived at the correct answer by negation rule...

The constellation known as the Fox doesn't have the same position at the summer solstice as it did 4,000 years ago.

Thus, the argument -

Quote:
Alignments in the temple were also found to point toward the position, at the summer solstice, of a constellation known in Andean culture as the Fox. Since the local mythology represents the fox as teaching people how to cultivate and irrigate plants, the ancient Andeans may have built the temple as a religious representation of the fox

Hence, the correct answer must be (A)

How does it weaken ? Maybe position is changed , it doesnt mean that they didnt built the temple for the Fox

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Re: Archaeologists working in the Andes Mountains recently excavated a bur  [#permalink]

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03 Nov 2017, 23:28
Hello Verbal Experts,

Could you please explain this question in detail why A is correct and why other options are wrong?

Thanks.
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Re: Archaeologists working in the Andes Mountains recently excavated a bur  [#permalink]

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01 Jun 2018, 07:13
Question Stem (too much to absorb in less time but its possible):-

1) 4,000-year-Old Temple helps to indicate the direction of the rising sun at the summer solstice
2) 4,000-year-Old Temple helps to indicate, at the summer solstice, a constellation known in Andean culture as the Fox.
3) Andean culture represents the fox as teaching people how to cultivate and irrigate plants

Conclusion:- the ancient Andeans may have built the temple as a religious representation of the fox (i.e. as teaching people how to cultivate and irrigate plants)

Assumption:- without which you cannot have the aforesaid conclusion.

Negated option:-

(A) The constellation known as the Fox does not have the same position at the summer solstice as it did 4,000 years ago. Point no. 2 above speaks about alignment. Significance of temple is lost as it does not help in indicating the constellation at summer solstice. If this is the case then the same conclusion cannot be drawn. i.e. - pokes a hole in the conclusion.

Other options:-

(B) In the region around the temple, the summer solstice marks the time for planting. - out of scope (conclusion is not about identifying the timing of summer solstice)

(C) The temple was protected from looters by dirt and debris built up over thousands of years. - out of scope

(D) Other structural alignments at the temple point to further constellations with agricultural significance. - out of scope

(E) The site containing the temple was occupied for a significant amount of time before abandonment. - out of scope

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Re: Archaeologists working in the Andes Mountains recently excavated a bur  [#permalink]

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04 Sep 2018, 16:23

I had a few deviations from above reasoning w.r.t. argument understanding and woud like to have your two cents.

Quote:
Archaeologists working in the Andes Mountains recently excavated a buried 4,000-year-old temple containing structures that align with a stone carving on a distant hill to indicate the direction of the rising sun at the summer solstice. Alignments in the temple were also found to point toward the position, at the summer solstice, of a constellation known in Andean culture as the Fox.

Here are my short notes:
Structures in temple point to:
a. rising sun
b. Fox
Whether same structures present to sun and fox is irrelevant to the argument.

Quote:
Since the local mythology represents the fox as teaching people how to cultivate and irrigate plants, the ancient Andeans may have built the temple as a religious representation of the fox.

Keyword: since marks premise and the clause following coma is the conclusion.

I linked religious representation to teaching people how to cultivate and irrigate plants

Unfortunately, for me I linked the purpose of building the temple to a greater importance than knowing if temple makers were aware of in which direction sun rose or where fox was present.

There is a clear leap between the alignment of temple structures in first two sentences and linking religious importance of temple to fox.

Why can not a valid assumption be:
People of Andes area are atheists and used to kill fox for securing their tribes.
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Re: Archaeologists working in the Andes Mountains recently excavated a bur  [#permalink]

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20 Oct 2018, 04:45

Argument Construction

Situation A recently excavated 4,000-year-old temple contains structures that point toward the positions at the summer solstice of both the rising sun and a constellation known in local culture as the Fox. Local mythology represents the Fox as teaching people how to cultivate and irrigate plants.

Reasoning What must be true in order for the argument's premises to suggest that the temple was built to religiously represent the fox? The argument's premises are all observations about current conditions: the current alignment at the summer solstice of the temple relative to the sunrise and to the constellation known as the Fox, the current local name for a constellation, and current local mythology. To support the conclusion about the temple's original purpose, the argument has to assume that all these conditions may still be essentially the same as they were 4,000 years ago when the temple was built.

Option A is Correct. If the constellation's position at the summer solstice relative to the temple is different from what it was 4,000 years ago, the temple must not have been aligned to point toward it when it was built. In that case, the argument's justification for associating the temple with that constellation and with the fox is undermined.

Why are B to E wrong?

B - This does not have to be assumed for the argument to succeed, though if true, it might strengthen the argument by providing additional evidence associating the temple with the mythological fox as a teacher of agriculture. But the argument could be just as strong if the solstice were instead associated with agricultural activities other than planting.

C - Even if the temple was not protected from looters, the conditions described in the argument's premises may still be the same as they were 4,000 years ago.

D - This is not assumed. Additional structural alignments pointing to different constellations associated with mythological beings other than the fox might weaken or even undermine the argument's justification for associating the temple with the fox specifically.

E - The argument makes no assumption regarding how long the temple was occupied, or even regarding whether the temple was ever occupied.
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Re: Archaeologists working in the Andes Mountains recently excavated a bur  [#permalink]

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16 Sep 2019, 21:39
I wish more CR questions had explanations by both GMATNinja and nightblade354
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Re: Archaeologists working in the Andes Mountains recently excavated a bur  [#permalink]

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07 Jan 2020, 09:30
AbdurRakib wrote:
Archaeologists working in the Andes Mountains recently excavated a buried 4,000-year-old temple containing structures that align with a stone carving on a distant hill to indicate the direction of the rising sun at the summer solstice. Alignments in the temple were also found to point toward the position, at the summer solstice, of a constellation known in Andean culture as the Fox. Since the local mythology represents the fox as teaching people how to cultivate and irrigate plants, the ancient Andeans may have built the temple as a religious representation of the fox.

Before looking at options: If so much is dependent on the position of structures inside the temple and the temple itself has been excavated after 4000 years, It is obvious to doubt that the position must have changed. So that has to be our make or break situation. And since the conclusion specifically relies on the Fox we will more focus on that.

Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument is based?

(A) The constellation known as the Fox has the same position at the summer solstice as it did 4,000 years ago. - Perfect. Let's check out the other options.

(B) In the region around the temple, the summer solstice marks the time for planting. - But these are sort of two independent events. You could point to Fox for religious purpose and the other stone for making out the time. Establishing the link between the two is not the assumption we need.

(C) The temple was protected from looters by dirt and debris built up over thousands of years. - We are more concerned about the position than about the dirt.

(D) Other structural alignments at the temple point to further constellations with agricultural significance. - Our assumption cannot rely on other structural alignments. Out Of Focus.

(E) The site containing the temple was occupied for a significant amount of time before abandonment. - Out Of Focus again. Has got nothing to do with the argument.
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Re: Archaeologists working in the Andes Mountains recently excavated a bur   [#permalink] 07 Jan 2020, 09:30

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