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# As to when the first people populated the American subcontinent is hot

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As to when the first people populated the American subcontinent is hot  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 28 Aug 2019, 04:05
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As to when the first people populated the American subcontinent is hotly debated. Until recently, the Clovis people, based on evidence found in New Mexico, were thought to have been the first to have arrived, some 13,000 years ago. Yet evidence gathered from other sites suggest the Americas had been settled at least 1,000 years prior to the Clovis. The “Clovis first” idea, nonetheless, was treated as gospel, backed by supporters who, at least initially, outright discounted any claims that suggested precedence by non-Clovis people. While such a stance smacked of fanaticism, proponents did have a solid claim: if the Clovis peoples crossed the Bering Strait 13,000 years ago, only after it had become ice-free, how would a people have been able to make a similar trip but over ice?

A recent school of thought, backed by Weber, provides the following answer: pre-Clovis people reached the Americas by relying on a sophisticated maritime culture, which allowed them to take advantage of refugia, or small areas in which aquatic life flourished. Thus they were able to make the long journey by hugging the coast as far south as to what is today British Columbia. Additionally, they were believed to have fashioned a primitive form of crampon so that they would be able to dock in these refugia and avail themselves of the microfauna. Still, how such a culture developed in the first place remains unanswered.

The Solutrean theory has been influential in answering this question, a fact that may seem paradoxical—and startling—to those familiar with its line of reasoning: the Clovis people were actually Solutreans, an ancient seafaring culture along the Iberian peninsula, who had--astoundingly given the time period--crossed into the Americas via the Atlantic ocean. Could not a similar Siberian culture, if not the pre-Clovis themselves, have displayed equal nautical sophistication?

Even if one subscribes to this line of reasoning, the “Clovis first” school still have an objection: proponents of a pre-Clovis people rely solely on the Monte Verde site in Chile, a site so far south that its location invites yet another question: What of the 6,000 miles of coastline between the ice corridor and Monte Verde? Besides remains found in network of caves in Oregon, there has been scant evidence of a pre-Clovis peoples. Nonetheless, Meade and Pizinsky claim that a propitious geologic accident could account for this discrepancy: Monte Verde was located near a peat bog that essentially fossilized the village. Archaeologists uncovered two wooden stakes, which, at one time, were used in twelve huts. Furthermore plant species associated with areas 150 miles away were found, suggesting a trade network. These findings indicate that the Clovis may not have been the first to people the Americas, yet more excavation, both in Monte Verde and along the coast, must be conducted in order to determine the extent of pre-Clovis settlements in the Americas.
1. It can be inferred from the passage that the reason the author finds the Solutrean hypothesis both startling and paradoxical is that

(A) ancient cultures were in most likelihood unable to develop such a sophisticated form of maritime transport that they were able to cross the Atlantic

(B) it supports the Clovis school of thought, and posits the existence of a capacity not commonly associated with ancient people

(C) the Clovis people had crossed from Siberia navigating across a difficult ice corridor, whereas the pre-Clovis people had sailed, with far less difficulty, across the Atlantic ocean

(D) it suggests that the pre-Clovis people had a way to circumvent the ice-corridor, yet were unlikely to have traveled as far south as modern day Chile

(E) it runs counter to one of the chief tenets of the “Clovis first” school of thought

2. According to the passage, Meade and Pizinsky address the question, “What of the 6,000 miles of coastline...”, by offering up the Monte Verde site for which of the following reasons?

(A) The Monte Verde settlement was so rudimentary that it fundamentally differs from known Clovis settlements.

(B) Monte Verde is one of the only pre-Clovis sites found between Monte Verde and the ice corridor, and thus provides compelling evidence of a pre-Clovis settlement.

(C) The circumstances that allowed scientists to discover Monte Verde were so unique that such circumstances were unlikely to have occurred in sites between Monte Verde and the ice corridor.

(D) Evidence that the Americas were settled over thousand years ago provides support for the Solutrean hypothesis, because it suggests that water travel over long distances was possible.

(E) The spread of plant species over 150 miles from the Monte Verde site indicate that there were numerous settlements throughout the Americas, beginning from the ice corridor and stretching to Monte Verde.

3. According to the passage, the existence of the refugia would have enabled pre-Clovis people to do which of the following?

(A) Access a form of sustenance on an arduous journey

(B) Find a place to dock their watercrafts so they could undertake inland exploration

(C) Develop a sophisticated maritime culture rivaling that of the Solutreans

(D) Build settlements around the coastline

(E) Access inland regions otherwise cut off to those on watercraft

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Originally posted by Gnpth on 07 Apr 2015, 07:43.
Last edited by SajjadAhmad on 28 Aug 2019, 04:05, edited 1 time in total.
Updated - Complete topic (311).
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Re: As to when the first people populated the American subcontinent is hot  [#permalink]

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24 Apr 2015, 20:41
1
the passage is not hard but the questions are hard. I can not get one correct.

the typical gmat passages are harder but the questions are not hard. this situation is opposite to the the situation of the unofficial passages, the passsages are easy and the questions are very hard.
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Re: As to when the first people populated the American subcontinent is hot  [#permalink]

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30 Jan 2017, 08:42
sayantanc2k wrote:
goforgmat wrote:

Sorry, your query is not clear. Could you specify for which question you are asking clarification for, and specifically what your query is.

Can you explain the second question. How is the answer C and not B.
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Re: As to when the first people populated the American subcontinent is hot  [#permalink]

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31 Jan 2017, 03:09
3
rishit1080 wrote:
sayantanc2k wrote:
goforgmat wrote:

Sorry, your query is not clear. Could you specify for which question you are asking clarification for, and specifically what your query is.

Can you explain the second question. How is the answer C and not B.

The question, “What of the 6,000 miles of coastline...”, indicates a discrepency in the claim of the proponents of the pre-Clovis people who cite Monte Verde site in Chile as evidence for their claim.

The response (explanation) to the question "What of the 6,000 miles of coastline...” offered by Meade and Pizinsky is given in the following part:
"Nonetheless, Meade and Pizinsky claim that a propitious geologic accident could account for this discrepancy: Monte Verde was located near a peat bog that essentially fossilized the village.".

This answer shows why scientists were unable to find evidence of existence of pre-Clovis people between the ice corridor and Monte Verde. The objective of this answer is to explain the discrepency. In this answer, the fact that Monte Verde is the one of the only pre-Clovis sites found between Monte Verde and the ice corridor is not used as an evidence to prove the existence of pre-Clovis people, rather this answer explains why Monte Verde is the one of the only pre-Clovis sites found between Monte Verde and the ice corridor

Hence B is wrong, and C is correct.
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Re: As to when the first people populated the American subcontinent is hot  [#permalink]

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12 Jan 2018, 09:34
The primary purpose of the passage is to

A evaluate three theories and describe how the last theory is the most valid
B suggest that the evidence found at Monte Verde indicates the existence of a pre-Clovis people
C explore a variety of arguments and counterarguments as they relate to an issue that is no longer contentious
D illustrate how the “Clovis first” proponents, in attempting to undermine the work of proponents of the pre-Clovis school, are most likely incorrect in their views.
E discuss an ongoing dispute between two irreconcilable schools of thought regarding the peopling of the Americas

OA is E
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Re: As to when the first people populated the American subcontinent is hot  [#permalink]

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12 Jan 2018, 09:54
According to the passage, the existence of the refugia would have enabled pre-Clovis people to do which of the following?

A Access a form of sustenance on an arduous journey
Find a place to dock their watercrafts so they could undertake inland exploration
Develop a sophisticated maritime culture rivaling that of the Solutreans
Build settlements around the coastline
Access inland regions otherwise cut off to those on watercraft

OA is A
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Re: As to when the first people populated the American subcontinent is hot  [#permalink]

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05 Feb 2018, 23:05
2
Just to know...........
What is the subject of verb 'have', marked red, here?

Even if one subscribes to this line of reasoning, the “Clovis first” school still have an objection: proponents of a pre-Clovis people rely solely on the Monte Verde site in Chile, a site so far south that its location invites yet another question: What of the 6,000 miles of coastline between the ice corridor and Monte Verde?
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Re: As to when the first people populated the American subcontinent is hot  [#permalink]

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06 Jun 2018, 16:25
Mahmud6 wrote:
Just to know...........
What is the subject of verb 'have', marked red, here?

Even if one subscribes to this line of reasoning, the “Clovis first” school still have an objection: proponents of a pre-Clovis people rely solely on the Monte Verde site in Chile, a site so far south that its location invites yet another question: What of the 6,000 miles of coastline between the ice corridor and Monte Verde?

Hello Mahmud,
In your query, the subject of "have" is "Clovis first school". Here school is a group noun which the passage is telling that it's a combination of ideas. In previous paragraphs, it's mentioned as "a recent school of thought". So it's a group noun(Ex-The Team, The Army etc) which can have both singular and plural verbs as per context.

Not an expert, you can counter my thought process if wrong.
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Re: As to when the first people populated the American subcontinent is hot  [#permalink]

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06 Jun 2018, 17:29
1
GMATNinja GMATNinjaTwo

Hi GMATNinja,
I was wondering could you please explain Q3? I got that one wrong and choose option B instead of option A based on the following statement from the passage: "Additionally, they were believed to have fashioned a primitive form of crampon so that they would be able to dock in these refugia and avail themselves of the microfauna. Doesn't this say that they docked their boats in the refugia and then used microfauna themselves? Did I misunderstand this statement?
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Re: As to when the first people populated the American subcontinent is hot  [#permalink]

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05 Aug 2018, 10:02
Gnpth wrote:

As to when the first people populated the American subcontinent is hotly debated. Until recently, the Clovis people, based on evidence found in New Mexico, were thought to have been the first to have arrived, some 13,000 years ago. Yet evidence gathered from other sites suggest the Americas had been settled at least 1,000 years prior to the Clovis. The “Clovis first” idea, nonetheless, was treated as gospel, backed by supporters who, at least initially, outright discounted any claims that suggested precedence by non-Clovis people. While such a stance smacked of fanaticism, proponents did have a solid claim: if the Clovis peoples crossed the Bering Strait 13,000 years ago, only after it had become ice-free, how would a people have been able to make a similar trip but over ice?

A recent school of thought, backed by Weber, provides the following answer: pre-Clovis people reached the Americas by relying on a sophisticated maritime culture, which allowed them to take advantage of refugia, or small areas in which aquatic life flourished. Thus they were able to make the long journey by hugging the coast as far south as to what is today British Columbia. Additionally, they were believed to have fashioned a primitive form of crampon so that they would be able to dock in these refugia and avail themselves of the microfauna. Still, how such a culture developed in the first place remains unanswered.

The Solutrean theory has been influential in answering this question, a fact that may seem paradoxical—and startling—to those familiar with its line of reasoning: the Clovis people were actually Solutreans, an ancient seafaring culture along the Iberian peninsula, who had--astoundingly given the time period--crossed into the Americas via the Atlantic ocean. Could not a similar Siberian culture, if not the pre-Clovis themselves, have displayed equal nautical sophistication?

Even if one subscribes to this line of reasoning, the “Clovis first” school still have an objection: proponents of a pre-Clovis people rely solely on the Monte Verde site in Chile, a site so far south that its location invites yet another question: What of the 6,000 miles of coastline between the ice corridor and Monte Verde? Besides remains found in network of caves in Oregon, there has been scant evidence of a pre-Clovis peoples. Nonetheless, Meade and Pizinsky claim that a propitious geologic accident could account for this discrepancy: Monte Verde was located near a peat bog that essentially fossilized the village. Archaeologists uncovered two wooden stakes, which, at one time, were used in twelve huts. Furthermore plant species associated with areas 150 miles away were found, suggesting a trade network. These findings indicate that the Clovis may not have been the first to people the Americas, yet more excavation, both in Monte Verde and along the coast, must be conducted in order to determine the extent of pre-Clovis settlements in the Americas.
1. It can be inferred from the passage that the reason the author finds the Solutrean hypothesis both startling and paradoxical is that

(A) ancient cultures were in most likelihood unable to develop such a sophisticated form of maritime transport that they were able to cross the Atlantic

(B) it supports the Clovis school of thought, and posits the existence of a capacity not commonly associated with ancient people

(C) the Clovis people had crossed from Siberia navigating across a difficult ice corridor, whereas the pre-Clovis people had sailed, with far less difficulty, across the Atlantic ocean

(D) it suggests that the pre-Clovis people had a way to circumvent the ice-corridor, yet were unlikely to have traveled as far south as modern day Chile

(E) it runs counter to one of the chief tenets of the “Clovis first” school of thought

2. According to the passage, Meade and Pizinsky address the question, “What of the 6,000 miles of coastline...”, by offering up the Monte Verde site for which of the following reasons?

(A) The Monte Verde settlement was so rudimentary that it fundamentally differs from known Clovis settlements.

(B) Monte Verde is one of the only pre-Clovis sites found between Monte Verde and the ice corridor, and thus provides compelling evidence of a pre-Clovis settlement.

(C) The circumstances that allowed scientists to discover Monte Verde were so unique that such circumstances were unlikely to have occurred in sites between Monte Verde and the ice corridor.

(D) Evidence that the Americas were settled over thousand years ago provides support for the Solutrean hypothesis, because it suggests that water travel over long distances was possible.

(E) The spread of plant species over 150 miles from the Monte Verde site indicate that there were numerous settlements throughout the Americas, beginning from the ice corridor and stretching to Monte Verde.

3. According to the passage, the existence of the refugia would have enabled pre-Clovis people to do which of the following?

(A) Access a form of sustenance on an arduous journey

(B) Find a place to dock their watercrafts so they could undertake inland exploration

(C) Develop a sophisticated maritime culture rivaling that of the Solutreans

(D) Build settlements around the coastline

(E) Access inland regions otherwise cut off to those on watercraft

Can some please explain how is option B the right answer for question 1? What the clovis school of thought and how is it supported by the statement in the passage?

Also it would be great if someone could explain the 3rd paragaph and the purpose of this paragraph.
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Re: As to when the first people populated the American subcontinent is hot  [#permalink]

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06 Sep 2018, 15:52
Adding one more question to the lot

The primary purpose of the passage is to

A.evaluate three theories and describe how the last theory is the most valid
B. suggest that the evidence found at Monte Verde indicates the existence of a pre-Clovis people
C. explore a variety of arguments and counterarguments as they relate to an issue that is no longer contentious
D. illustrate how the “Clovis first” proponents, in attempting to undermine the work of proponents of the pre-Clovis school, are most likely incorrect in their views.
E. discuss an ongoing dispute between two irreconcilable schools of thought regarding the peopling of the Americas
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Re: As to when the first people populated the American subcontinent is hot  [#permalink]

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06 Sep 2018, 15:56

Official explanation for primary purpose question

The primary purpose of the passage is to describe two sides to an ongoing debate. The passage sides with the pre-Clovis side and elaborates on its findings.

(A) is wrong because only two theories are mentioned in an issue. The Solutrean theory is not being evaluated but is mentioned because the two theories that are being evaluated both invoke it.

(B) is wrong because the purpose is not only to argue in favor of Monte Verde.

(C) is wrong because of “no longer contentious.”

(D) is incorrect since the purpose is not to invalidate the Clovis first school.

(E) is correct because it describes the debate between the two schools. While the passage seems to fall on the side of the pre-Clovis, the main purpose of the passage is not to advocate the pre-Clovis viewpoint over the Clovis first school.
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Re: As to when the first people populated the American subcontinent is hot  [#permalink]

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06 Sep 2018, 16:01

Official Explanation for Q3

The passage states that the refugia were “small areas in which aquatic life flourished.” The very next sentence says, “Thus they were able to make the long journey.” Since they took advantage of the aquatic life abounding in the refugia, we can safely go with answer (A).

(B) is incorrect because the passage does not mention inland exploration.

(C) is tempting because it restates something from another part of the passage. It does not, however, answer the question.

(D) is wrong because there is no mention of building settlements.

(E) is wrong because there is mention of accessing inland areas via a watercraft.
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Re: As to when the first people populated the American subcontinent is hot  [#permalink]

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06 Sep 2018, 16:02

Official Explanation for Q2

The last paragraph is structured in such a way that it presents the Clovis school’s objections to the pre-Clovis, and then the author’s rebuttal to these objections. The primary objection is there is no evidence of the pre-Clovis people in the Americas. That is there is 6,000 miles of unaccounted for coastline, once the pre-Clovis people supposedly sailed south from the refugia. Why is there no evidence? In of itself, the existence of the Monte Verde site doesn’t account for the absence of any other settlements. However, the reason that the Monte Verde is the only site—that is the unique circumstances (“…a propitious geological accident could account for the discrepancy…”)—help counter the objection from the “Clovis first” school. (C) tidily sums up this idea.

(A) is incorrect because we don’t know anything about Clovis settlements. In any case, the pre-Clovis school disputes the very existence of Monte Verde, not the fact that it was rudimentary.

(B) is consistent with the details of the passage. But (B) is not how Meade and Pizinky address the objection of the “Clovis first” school.

(D) is incorrect on a few levels. First off, the Solutrean hypothesis is specifically used to account for Clovis, not for pre-Clovis people. Second, the question is focused on the Monte Verde site, not on water travel.

(E) The passage never mentions that the mere spread of plant species 150 miles could account for settlements throughout the Americas.
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06 Sep 2018, 16:02
1

Official Explanation for Q1

The Solutrean hypothesis, which is used by the Clovis first school, is now being used by the pre-Clovis to give their ice-corridor story more credibility. This is paradoxical because the Clovis first school is having their own theories used to undermine their claims.

(A) is not correct because the author does not disagree with the Solutrean hypothesis

The author finds the Solutrean hypothesis startling because “astoundingly given the time period--crossed into the Americas.”

(C) is wrong because the author never mentions that the Clovis had an easier time crossing the Atlantic

(D) may be startling but does not address the paradoxical aspect of the question

(E) is partially correct in that it provides the paradoxical aspect, since the Solutrean hypothesis has been used by the pre-Clovis. (E) does not address the startling aspect.
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