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# In ancient Mesopotamia, prior to 2900 B.C -- Strengthen

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In ancient Mesopotamia, prior to 2900 B.C -- Strengthen [#permalink]

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27 Dec 2013, 19:42
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In ancient Mesopotamia, prior to 2900 B.C., wheat was cultivated in considerable quantities, but After 2900B.C., production of that grain began to decline as the production of barley increased sharply.Some historians who study ancient Mesopotamia content that the decline in wheat production was due to excessive irrigation, lack of drainage, and the consequent accumulation of salt residues in the soil.

Which one of the following, if true, most help to support the historian's contention concerning the reasons for the decline in wheat production in ancient Mesopotamia?
A) The cultivation of barley requires considerably less water than does the cultivation of wheat.
B) Barley has much greater resistance to the presence of salt in soil than does wheat.
C) Prior to 2900 B.C., barley was cultivated along with wheat, but the amount of barley produced was far less than the amount of wheat produced.
D) Around 2900 B.C., a series of wheat blights occurred, destroying much of the wheat crop year after year.
E) Literary and archaeological evidence indicates that in the period following 2900B.C., barley became the principal grain in the diet of most of the inhabitants of Mesopotamia.

OA to follow....
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Last edited by joshnsit on 28 Dec 2013, 03:09, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: In ancient Mesopotamia, prior to 2900 B.C -- Strengthen [#permalink]

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27 Dec 2013, 22:13
i agree .....straight B).......
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Re: In ancient Mesopotamia, prior to 2900 B.C -- Strengthen [#permalink]

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28 Dec 2013, 08:05
Hi Josh,

This is a pretty simple one.

The paragraph states that after 2900 Wheat production declined and barley production rose

It says the reason for that is the high salt in the soil.

Question is then which answer strengthens.

B states that barley is better at growing in soil with more salt. This is clear support for the explanation as to why wheat went down and barley went up.

Thus B is correct.

James
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Re: In ancient Mesopotamia, prior to 2900 B.C -- Strengthen [#permalink]

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28 Dec 2013, 08:52
my assessment is as follows-

A) The cultivation of barley requires considerably less water than does the cultivation of wheat. IRRELEVANT...ANYWAY then why did barley grow better...after water increased?
B) Barley has much greater resistance to the presence of salt in soil than does wheat. Correct... Supports the fact that Salt could have affected wheat production...
C) Prior to 2900 B.C., barley was cultivated along with wheat, but the amount of barley produced was far less than the amount of wheat produced.IRRELEVANT
D) Around 2900 B.C., a series of wheat blights occurred, destroying much of the wheat crop year after year. weakener.... gives alternate cause...
E) Literary and archaeological evidence indicates that in the period following 2900B.C., barley became the principal grain in the diet of most of the inhabitants of Mesopotamia. [color=#ed1c24]irrelevant[/color]

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Re: In ancient Mesopotamia, prior to 2900 B.C -- Strengthen [#permalink]

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28 Dec 2013, 11:27
Why is C wrong?

I think C states that wheat and barley grew together but production of wheat was greater than barley. So some other factors must have made the increase in barley productivity. All the causes are stated in the argument.

In B only one such example is brought forward that is "resistance of barley to salt in the soil"

I think C is better suited. Correct me if i am wrong

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Re: In ancient Mesopotamia, prior to 2900 B.C -- Strengthen [#permalink]

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28 Dec 2013, 17:27
sayansarkar wrote:
Why is C wrong?

I think C states that wheat and barley grew together but production of wheat was greater than barley. So some other factors must have made the increase in barley productivity. All the causes are stated in the argument.

In B only one such example is brought forward that is "resistance of barley to salt in the soil"

I think C is better suited. Correct me if i am wrong

Hello sayansarkar

I'm glad to help. Your reasoning for C is incorrect because you did not determine a correct conclusion.

Conclusion is: the decline in wheat production was due to excessive irrigation, lack of drainage, and the consequent accumulation of salt residues in the soil.

To strengthen the conclusion, you need to demonstrate why those reasons above made the production of wheat decline. B clearly states that wheat couldn't grow in high salt soil but barley could do so --> Clearly, B strengthens the conclusion.

C, however, just shows that other factors made the increase in barley production. I absolutely agree wth you this point. But are you sure factors making the increase of barley production were the same as those making the decline of wheat production. Absolutely not. They might or might not be. Thus, C can't strengthen the conclusion.

Hope it helps.
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Re: In ancient Mesopotamia, prior to 2900 B.C -- Strengthen [#permalink]

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28 Dec 2013, 20:56
semwal wrote:
my assessment is as follows-

A) The cultivation of barley requires considerably less water than does the cultivation of wheat. IRRELEVANT...ANYWAY then why did barley grow better...after water increased?
B) Barley has much greater resistance to the presence of salt in soil than does wheat. Correct... Supports the fact that Salt could have affected wheat production...
C) Prior to 2900 B.C., barley was cultivated along with wheat, but the amount of barley produced was far less than the amount of wheat produced.IRRELEVANT
D) Around 2900 B.C., a series of wheat blights occurred, destroying much of the wheat crop year after year. weakener.... gives alternate cause...
E) Literary and archaeological evidence indicates that in the period following 2900B.C., barley became the principal grain in the diet of most of the inhabitants of Mesopotamia. [color=#ed1c24]irrelevant[/color]
Good break-down. I was confused between b/c/d, though with selection of B initially. Realized D as clear weakener with semwal's comments.

@sayansarkar,
If Barley production was 100Qunitals and wheat production was 1Quintal, then argument for Barley growth and Wheat decline holds.
If Barley production was 1Qunital and wheat production was 100Quintals, then also argument for Barley growth and Wheat decline still holds.
I just realized that because relative production will never impact the force of this argument, so statement C really doesn't matter much and thus becomes irrelevant. Hope this solves your predicament on C.

OA is B
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The path is long, but self-surrender makes it short; the way is difficult, but perfect trust makes it easy.

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Re: In ancient Mesopotamia, prior to 2900 B.C -- Strengthen [#permalink]

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22 Feb 2014, 08:54
semwal wrote:
my assessment is as follows-

A) The cultivation of barley requires considerably less water than does the cultivation of wheat. IRRELEVANT...ANYWAY then why did barley grow better...after water increased?
B) Barley has much greater resistance to the presence of salt in soil than does wheat. Correct... Supports the fact that Salt could have affected wheat production...
C) Prior to 2900 B.C., barley was cultivated along with wheat, but the amount of barley produced was far less than the amount of wheat produced.IRRELEVANT
D) Around 2900 B.C., a series of wheat blights occurred, destroying much of the wheat crop year after year. weakener.... gives alternate cause...
E) Literary and archaeological evidence indicates that in the period following 2900B.C., barley became the principal grain in the diet of most of the inhabitants of Mesopotamia. [color=#ed1c24]irrelevant[/color]

Hi Sir can you please suggest me why option A is incorrect as one of the reason for stopping wheat cultivation was excessive irrifgation required so if barley required less water than y not A...I am confused between A and B...Please help

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Re: In ancient Mesopotamia, prior to 2900 B.C -- Strengthen [#permalink]

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22 Feb 2014, 08:57
semwal wrote:
my assessment is as follows-

A) The cultivation of barley requires considerably less water than does the cultivation of wheat. IRRELEVANT...ANYWAY then why did barley grow better...after water increased?
B) Barley has much greater resistance to the presence of salt in soil than does wheat. Correct... Supports the fact that Salt could have affected wheat production...
C) Prior to 2900 B.C., barley was cultivated along with wheat, but the amount of barley produced was far less than the amount of wheat produced.IRRELEVANT
D) Around 2900 B.C., a series of wheat blights occurred, destroying much of the wheat crop year after year. weakener.... gives alternate cause...
E) Literary and archaeological evidence indicates that in the period following 2900B.C., barley became the principal grain in the diet of most of the inhabitants of Mesopotamia. [color=#ed1c24]irrelevant[/color]

Hi Sir
I think even A is related to the conclusion and strengthing it since we know that conclusion states taht excessive irrigation was also a cause to stop wheat cultivation so probably barley requires less water and so its cultivation is being done...i am confused between A and B...B looks equally covincing...Please help

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Re: In ancient Mesopotamia, prior to 2900 B.C -- Strengthen [#permalink]

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22 Feb 2014, 19:25
AnmolKukreja wrote:
semwal wrote:
my assessment is as follows-

A) The cultivation of barley requires considerably less water than does the cultivation of wheat. IRRELEVANT...ANYWAY then why did barley grow better...after water increased?
B) Barley has much greater resistance to the presence of salt in soil than does wheat. Correct... Supports the fact that Salt could have affected wheat production...
C) Prior to 2900 B.C., barley was cultivated along with wheat, but the amount of barley produced was far less than the amount of wheat produced.IRRELEVANT
D) Around 2900 B.C., a series of wheat blights occurred, destroying much of the wheat crop year after year. weakener.... gives alternate cause...
E) Literary and archaeological evidence indicates that in the period following 2900B.C., barley became the principal grain in the diet of most of the inhabitants of Mesopotamia. [color=#ed1c24]irrelevant[/color]

Hi Sir
I think even A is related to the conclusion and strengthing it since we know that conclusion states taht excessive irrigation was also a cause to stop wheat cultivation so probably barley requires less water and so its cultivation is being done...i am confused between A and B...B looks equally covincing...Please help

ANMOL
THE DECLINE OF WHEAT HAPPENED BECAUSE OF EXCESSIVE IRRIGATION , POOR DRAINAGE AND CONSEQUENT SALT FORMATION IN SOIL( NOT CONDUSIVE TO WHEAT GROWTH).
"A" says " The cultivation of barley requires considerably less water than does the cultivation of wheat. "
The stimulus says "wheat production declined due to excessive irrigation------ amongst other causes"---- means other crop did well as it could sustain those conditons so that even while wheat production declined the other crop production increased.....
BUT "A" SAYS SOMETHING ELSE--- that barley also needs less water like wheat----then why did barley production increase. As per this, there may be other cause for wheat reduction and barley increase... AND NOT EXCESSIVE IRRIGATION!!!! But this breaks down the conclusion and therefore is a weakener rather than a strengthner......

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Re: In ancient Mesopotamia, prior to 2900 B.C -- Strengthen [#permalink]

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28 Feb 2014, 05:54
semwal wrote:
AnmolKukreja wrote:
semwal wrote:
my assessment is as follows-

A) The cultivation of barley requires considerably less water than does the cultivation of wheat. IRRELEVANT...ANYWAY then why did barley grow better...after water increased?
B) Barley has much greater resistance to the presence of salt in soil than does wheat. Correct... Supports the fact that Salt could have affected wheat production...
C) Prior to 2900 B.C., barley was cultivated along with wheat, but the amount of barley produced was far less than the amount of wheat produced.IRRELEVANT
D) Around 2900 B.C., a series of wheat blights occurred, destroying much of the wheat crop year after year. weakener.... gives alternate cause...
E) Literary and archaeological evidence indicates that in the period following 2900B.C., barley became the principal grain in the diet of most of the inhabitants of Mesopotamia. [color=#ed1c24]irrelevant[/color]

Hi Sir
I think even A is related to the conclusion and strengthing it since we know that conclusion states taht excessive irrigation was also a cause to stop wheat cultivation so probably barley requires less water and so its cultivation is being done...i am confused between A and B...B looks equally covincing...Please help

ANMOL
THE DECLINE OF WHEAT HAPPENED BECAUSE OF EXCESSIVE IRRIGATION , POOR DRAINAGE AND CONSEQUENT SALT FORMATION IN SOIL( NOT CONDUSIVE TO WHEAT GROWTH).
"A" says " The cultivation of barley requires considerably less water than does the cultivation of wheat. "
The stimulus says "wheat production declined due to excessive irrigation------ amongst other causes"---- means other crop did well as it could sustain those conditons so that even while wheat production declined the other crop production increased.....
BUT "A" SAYS SOMETHING ELSE--- that barley also needs less water like wheat----then why did barley production increase. As per this, there may be other cause for wheat reduction and barley increase... AND NOT EXCESSIVE IRRIGATION!!!! But this breaks down the conclusion and therefore is a weakener rather than a strengthner......

Thanks for your reply but i am still confused....if wheat was production is declined as it requires more water ,and if barley requires less water then why cant A be responsible for barleys' rise in production...could not follow you...it would be great if you could explain again specifically

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Re: In ancient Mesopotamia, prior to 2900 B.C -- Strengthen   [#permalink] 28 Feb 2014, 05:54
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