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# Determining the authenticity of purported pre-Columbian

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Determining the authenticity of purported pre-Columbian [#permalink]

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08 Sep 2006, 23:23
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Determining the authenticity of purported pre-Columbian artifacts is never easy. Carbon-14 dating of these artifacts is often impossible due to contamination by radioactive palladium (which occurs naturally in the soils of Central and South America). However, historians and anthropologists have evolved two reliable criteria, which, utilized in combination, have proven effective for dating these artifacts. First, because authentic pre-Columbian artifacts characteristically occur in a coarse, granular matrix that is shifted by major earthquakes, they often exhibit the unique scratch patterns known as gridding. In addition, true pre-Columbian artifacts show a darkening in surface color that is caused by centuries of exposure to the minute amounts of magnesium in the soil of the Americas.

The criteria above would be LEAST useful in judging the authenticity of which of the following?
(A) An ax head of black obsidian, unearthed from a kitchen midden
(B) A pottery bowl with a red ocher design, found in the ruins of a temple
(C) A set of gold ear weights, ornamented with jasper pendants
(D) A black feather cape from a kingâ€™s burial vault
(E) A multicolored woven sash found near the gravesite of a slave
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08 Sep 2006, 23:57
D

"feather cape" can't get scratches.
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09 Sep 2006, 00:01
the thing which i didn't like about this CR is that it expects readers to understand fairly uncommon words (at least IMHO) like
obsidian, ocher, jasper, sash ...
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09 Sep 2006, 00:06
iced_tea wrote:
the thing which i didn't like about this CR is that it expects readers to understand fairly uncommon words (at least IMHO) like
obsidian, ocher, jasper, sash ...

That is very true. One may be in doubt between D and E.
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09 Sep 2006, 00:13
ps_dahiya wrote:
iced_tea wrote:
the thing which i didn't like about this CR is that it expects readers to understand fairly uncommon words (at least IMHO) like
obsidian, ocher, jasper, sash ...

That is very true. One may be in doubt between D and E.

actually after looking up the meaning of those words - this CR seems very easy as all the wrong choices can be eliminated if we keep in mind scratch pattern and darkening.

Also, without knowing all the meanings - going by just colors - its between A and D
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09 Sep 2006, 02:46
ps_dahiya wrote:
D

"feather cape" can't get scratches.

D for the same reason..also vault may block magnesium from contaminating feather cape.
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10 Sep 2006, 08:45
D - feather was in king's vault and so is unaffected by scratch patterns from earthquakes and is also untouched by soil.
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10 Sep 2006, 09:46
(D) A black feather cape from a kingâ€™s burial vault

No scratches on a feather cape.. and cannot darken a black color anymore..
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10 Sep 2006, 22:25
OA is D
10 Sep 2006, 22:25
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