In Swartkans territory, archaeologists discovered charred : GMAT Critical Reasoning (CR)
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# In Swartkans territory, archaeologists discovered charred

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In Swartkans territory, archaeologists discovered charred [#permalink]

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02 Oct 2005, 21:13
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15. In Swartkans territory, archaeologists discovered charred bone fragments dating back 1 million years. Analysis of the fragments, which came from a variety of animals, showed that they had been heated to temperatures no higher than those produced in experimental campfires made from branches of white stinkwood, the most common tree around Swartkans.
Which of the following, if true, would, together with the information above, provide the best basis for the claim that the charred bone fragments are evidence of the use of fire by early hominids?
(A) The white stinkwood tree is used for building material by the present-day inhabitants of Swartkans.
(B) Forest fires can heat wood to a range of temperatures that occur in campfires.
(C) The bone fragments were fitted together by the archaeologists to form the complete skeletons of several animals.
(D) Apart from the Swartkans discovery, there is reliable evidence that early hominids used fire as many as 500 thousand years ago.
(E) The bone fragments were found in several distinct layers of limestone that contained primitive cutting tools known to have been used by early hominids.
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02 Oct 2005, 22:07
Tough one... I think it is E...
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02 Oct 2005, 22:31
hmm...this is sure tough. I think D?
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02 Oct 2005, 22:38
All other answer choices leave open the possibility that a forest fire could have charred the animal bones (Except D which is out of scope and post dates the discovery, therefore irrelevant).

E suggests that the animals were slaughtered, skinned, fileted, etc. before cooking.

E.
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03 Oct 2005, 02:32
By POE, it has to be E...go E go...
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03 Oct 2005, 06:53
Betwen D and E,

D is not totally convincing, because it ssays 0.5 million years and the question is for 1 million years

E, it is far fetching to assume they cut the meat before cooking..they could have eaten it raw after cutting....

with all that said I still choose E...
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03 Oct 2005, 14:14
E.The answer that fits should show a link about the use of fire to cook and the homonoids. The charred remains and the cutting tools together in the same layer of lime stone implies that the cutting tools used by homonoids and the charred bones come from the time period thus linking that the homonoids and the charred bones come from the same period.Also it is given that the bones have been charred at a temperature that a normal camp fire would reach. This implies that the homonoids might have cooked food by using fires that were very similar to the present day camp fires.A very plausible explanation and the only one which comes close to answering the question.
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03 Oct 2005, 16:41
A real tough one! By POE, its E!
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03 Oct 2005, 17:28
E is the best choice as it suggests that the animals were most probably consumed by the hominids. The fact that the bones are charred and yet buried in the same distinct layer of limestone suggests that the animals were cooked using fire by early hominids.

The remaining choices can be ruled out:
(A) The white stinkwood tree is used for building material by the present-day inhabitants of Swartkans.
- not relevant

(B) Forest fires can heat wood to a range of temperatures that occur in campfires.
- does not strengthen conclusion

(C) The bone fragments were fitted together by the archaeologists to form the complete skeletons of several animals.
- not relevant

(D) Apart from the Swartkans discovery, there is reliable evidence that early hominids used fire as many as 500 thousand years ago.
- Too restrictive. The passage asks for early hominids which might mean farther than 500 thousand years back.

E for me.
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04 Oct 2005, 03:36
E for me too
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04 Oct 2005, 11:28
E For me too by POE
04 Oct 2005, 11:28
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# In Swartkans territory, archaeologists discovered charred

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