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# Bog bodies, most of them dating from between 500 BCE and 100 CE, have

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Bog bodies, most of them dating from between 500 BCE and 100 CE, have  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 17 Oct 2019, 22:10
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New Project RC Butler 2019 - Practice 2 RC Passages Everyday
Passage # 395, Date: 17-Oct-2019
This post is a part of New Project RC Butler 2019. Click here for Details

Bog bodies, most of them dating from between 500 BCE and 100 CE, have been found across northwestern Europe. They are remarkably well preserved in many cases, sometimes down to wrinkles and scars on their leathery, reddish-brown skin. They have not been kept intact in the same way as Egyptian mummies, deliberately embalmed through painstaking human technique, but have likely been perpetuated by an accident that archaeologists who study the Iron Age might call a happy one.

The wetlands in which the bodies are found are exclusively sphagnum moss bogs. These exist in temperate climes where the winter and early spring weather is cold, leaving the water in the bogs below 40°F during those months, and the bogs are all near sources of salt water. Together these elements create the perfect environment for the preservation of skin and internal organs.

The biochemistry of preservation in bogs has several components. Both the cold temperatures and dense peat from the moss, which constitutes a mostly anaerobic environment, prevent significant bacterial growth in the water. As layers of moss die and deteriorate in the water, they create humic acid, also known as bog acid; the acidic environment further inhibits bacteria. Interestingly, this acid often erodes the bones of bog bodies, leaving only the skin and organs, in a process quite the opposite of that which acts upon bodies outside of bogs. The dead layers of moss also release sphagnan, a carbohydrate that attaches itself to the skin of the bodies, preventing rot and water damage.

Besides bodies, bogs have also preserved books, boats, and even bread and “bog butter”—waxy dairy- or meat-based substances sometimes found stored in barrels in the bogs, which likely served as the equivalent of Iron Age refrigerators, preserving food just as they preserve human skin. Much can be learned about our ancestors from the Iron Age and even earlier due to the unique ability of sphagnum moss bogs to preserve so thoroughly that which has fallen into them: scholars have studied such diverse features of early human life as medical conditions like arthritis and parasitic infection, diet, and how far from home people traveled. The bogs offer a fascinating window into the past.

Spoiler: :: OA
A

1. According to the passage, all of the following conditions are conducive to the preservation of bog bodies EXCEPT

(A) long winters
(B) low air temperatures
(C) proximity to salt water
(D) cool water
(E) sphagnum moss

Spoiler: :: OA
C

2. The primary purpose of the passage is to

(A) explain the ways in which bog bodies are different from other preserved bodies, such as mummies
(B) challenge the position that the preservation of bodies in bogs is probably the result of intentional effort
(C) discuss the characteristics of sphagnum moss bogs that allow bodies to be found in a condition that permits unique study
(D) argue that scholars would not understand significant aspects of human life during the Iron Age had bog bodies not been discovered
(E) analyze the differences between sphagnum moss bogs and the types of environments in which bodies decay

Spoiler: :: OA
D

3. In the context of the passage as a whole, the third paragraph serves primarily to

(A) evaluate the relative importance of the elements discussed in the second paragraph
(B) provide support for an argument presented in the fourth paragraph about the significance of the subject of the passage
(C) outline the creation of the environment that produces the effect that is the topic of the passage
(D) elaborate on the mechanisms underlying an effect achieved by elements introduced in the second paragraph
(E) explain the prominence of a particular academic discipline in the study of the topic of the passage

Spoiler: :: OA
E

4. According to the passage, bacterial growth is inhibited by all of the following EXCEPT

(A) an anaerobic environment
(B) the presence of sphagnum moss
(C) breakdown of layers of dead moss
(D) cold water temperature
(E) release of sphagnan from dead moss

Source: Kaplan Prep Plus 2020

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Last edited by SajjadAhmad on 17 Oct 2019, 22:10, edited 1 time in total.
Updated - Complete topic (1038).
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Re: Bog bodies, most of them dating from between 500 BCE and 100 CE, have  [#permalink]

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18 Oct 2019, 07:52
+1 Kudos to posts containing answer explanation of all questions
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Re: Bog bodies, most of them dating from between 500 BCE and 100 CE, have  [#permalink]

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18 Oct 2019, 20:21

Posted from my mobile device
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Re: Bog bodies, most of them dating from between 500 BCE and 100 CE, have  [#permalink]

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18 Oct 2019, 23:15
1
Parhikrit wrote:

Posted from my mobile device

Here is question with all the answer choices.

4. According to the passage, bacterial growth is inhibited by all of the following EXCEPT

(A) an anaerobic environment
(B) the presence of sphagnum moss
(C) breakdown of layers of dead moss
(D) cold water temperature
(E) release of sphagnan from dead moss

It is a simple straight forward question that we can solve by looking for detail in the paragraph but note the "except" at the end of the question. So we have to look for the choice that doses not fulfill bacterial inhibition.
The answer is E as the release of sphagnan from dead moss does not inhibit bacterial growth rather it stops the rotting of bog.
Re: Bog bodies, most of them dating from between 500 BCE and 100 CE, have   [#permalink] 18 Oct 2019, 23:15