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Later Maya occupations of the Yucatan Peninsula site called Colha have

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Joined: 05 Feb 2018
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Later Maya occupations of the Yucatan Peninsula site called Colha have  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 06 Oct 2019, 23:45
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Later Maya occupations of the Yucatan Peninsula site called Colha have undergone excavation since 1979. In 1993, researchers made the first systematic effort to document a pre-ceramic presence at the tropical, forested location. Early Colha farmers inhabited the area in two phases. There are stone tools in deeper soil layers dating from 2500 B.C. to 1700 B.C., based on radiocarbon age estimates of accompanying charcoal bits. Comparable dates come from an adjacent swamp, where pollen analysis documents forest clearance by 2500 B.C.

The pollen provides evidence for the existence of several cultivated crops soon thereafter, mainly corn and manioc, a starchy plant. From about 1400 B.C. to 1000 B.C., Colha residents made foot-shaped stone tools that were chipped and sharpened on one side. Preliminary scanning electron microscope analysis of polish on these tools suggests that inhabitants used them to cut away vegetation after controlled burning of trees, and, perhaps, also to dig.

An example of the same tool, known as a constricted uniface, also emerged last year at Pulltrouser Swamp, a Maya site 20 miles northwest of Colha with a preliminary radiocarbon date of 1300 B.C. to 1000 B.C. for the artefact. Its unusual design led researchers to suspect that Colha might have harboured an extremely early Maya population. Another sharpened stone point retrieved at Pulltrouser Swamp dates to between 2500 B.C. and 2000 B.C. Several other sites in Belize have yielded constricted unifaces, but archaeologists have been unsure of their ages and origins.

Techniques used to manufacture constricted unifaces show gradual refinement and modification in stone tools of Colha residents living after 1000 B.C. Continuity in stone tool design and manufacture suggests that pre-ceramic Maya inhabited Colha, rather than non-Maya peoples who migrated to the area and later left or were incorporated into Maya villages. ―None of us had any reason to suppose that Colha would produce a pre-ceramic Maya occupation,‖ remarks the director of excavations at Cuello, a Maya site that dates to about 1000 B.C. ―This is a bit of archaeological serendipity.‖ This is evidence of the earliest known Maya, who cleared and farmed land bordering swamps by 2,500 B.C. The earliest Central American farmers probably settled at the edges of
swampland that they had cleared and cultivated. Excavations of preceramic Colha so far have focused on quarry and field areas. However, some pottery may still show up in early residential structures.
1. The recent findings presented by the author in the passage provide new
insight into Mayan civilization because:
A. Mayans may have settled extensively throughout the Yucatan
peninsula.
B. ceramic pottery may have been used by the Mayans.
C. Mayans may have settled in regions much earlier than previously
thought.
D. stone tools were never used by the Mayans.
E. Mayans may actually be linked to Red Indians

2. In the context of the passage, the author quotes the use of the term
―archaeological serendipity‖ (line 33) to refer to:
A. the discovery of stone tools.
B. the unexpected findings that gave researchers a new understanding of
ancient settlements.
C. the method used by archaeologists to excavate ancient civilizations.
D. the Mayan‘s ability to work with their environment.
E. the possibility that Mayans may actually have used tools made of
ceramics

3. According to the information presented by the author in the passage, analysis
of the stone tools retrieved from Colha led researchers to believe all of the
following EXCEPT:
A. a population of pre-ceramic Mayans existed who used and designed
stone tools.
B. Mayans had settlements prior to 1000 B.C.
C. non-Maya peoples inhabited the area before the Mayans migrated and
took over.
D. the tools underwent various stages of development.
E. tools used by the Mayans were not only restricted to ceramic material

_________________

Originally posted by GmatWizard on 21 Oct 2018, 00:29.
Last edited by SajjadAhmad on 06 Oct 2019, 23:45, edited 1 time in total.
Updated - Complete topic (836).
Director
Joined: 05 Feb 2018
Posts: 580
Location: India
Concentration: Finance
GPA: 2.77
WE: General Management (Other)
Re: Later Maya occupations of the Yucatan Peninsula site called Colha have  [#permalink]

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21 Oct 2018, 00:31
2

Topic and Scope

- The author discusses evidence suggesting that pre-ceramic Mayan
culture existed much earlier than originally thought.

Mapping the Passage:

¶s1 and 2 discuss the Colha area and a pre-ceramic settlement that left behind stone
tools.
¶3 provides more evidence of stone tools in other areas that give clues to the Mayan
culture‘s age.
¶4 emphasizes that Maya themselves inhabited Colha and explains that Mayan culture
may date back to 2500 B.C.
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Re: Later Maya occupations of the Yucatan Peninsula site called Colha have  [#permalink]

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01 Dec 2018, 01:52

1)

A global question testing your grasp of the passages overall point. Predict: Mayans
were around long before scientists first thought. (C) fits.
(A): Out of Scope. The findings don‘t discuss the extent to which Mayans settled
throughout the Yucatan.
(B): Faulty Use of Detail. Scientists believed this in the first place; it‘s not the point
of the passage.
(D): Opposite. The passage gives evidence that stone tools were used. Another
(E): Out of scope.

2)

Go back to the last paragraph to review the phrase in context. The director of the
excavations states that they didn‘t expect what they found at the settlement and
were lucky to have found it; in other words it was serendipity. (B) encapsulates
this.
(A): Faulty Use of Detail. This is a piece of evidence that helped to prove the
conclusions referred to in the phrase.
(C): Out of Scope. The researcher using the phrase is concerned with unexpected
findings, not methods used to reach those findings.
(D): Out of Scope. This is never mentioned in the passage as a concern of the
researchers or as a conclusion based on the evidence.
(E): Out of scope.

3)

Locate the part of the passage dealing with stone tools to eliminate wrong answer
choices quickly, keeping an eye out for an answer choice that doesn‘t fit with the
overall point of the passage. Even without elimination, (C) jumps out: the point of
the evidence in the passage is to show that Mayans were indigenous to the area;
(A): Opposite. This is a primary conclusion drawn from the evidence in ¶3.
(B): Opposite. Another conclusion from the stone tools, and the point of the
passage.
(D): Opposite. Another conclusion supported by ¶3.
(E): Opposite. This can be inferred from the passage.

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Re: Later Maya occupations of the Yucatan Peninsula site called Colha have  [#permalink]

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03 Dec 2018, 03:30
I did not understand the passage one bit. Can someone please highlight the main points of the passage and map them to make the passage easier to understand.
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Re: Later Maya occupations of the Yucatan Peninsula site called Colha have  [#permalink]

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03 Dec 2018, 06:53
2
GittinGud wrote:
I did not understand the passage one bit. Can someone please highlight the main points of the passage and map them to make the passage easier to understand.

Later Maya occupations of the Yucatan Peninsula site called Colha have undergone excavation since 1979. In 1993, researchers made the first systematic effort to document a pre-ceramic presence at the tropical, forested location. Early Colha farmers inhabited the area in two phases. There are stone tools in deeper soil layers dating from 2500 B.C. to 1700 B.C., based on radiocarbon age estimates of accompanying charcoal bits. Comparable dates come from an adjacent swamp, where pollen analysis documents forest clearance by 2500 B.C.

Writing : New research is done on a site. This research is first of its kind for some reasons. findings
(please read the "first systematic effort" part carefully because there may be a question on this)

The pollen provides evidence for the existence of several cultivated crops soon thereafter, mainly corn and manioc, a starchy plant. From about 1400 B.C. to 1000 B.C., Colha residents made foot-shaped stone tools that were chipped and sharpened on one side. Preliminary scanning electron microscope analysis of polish on these tools suggests that inhabitants used them to cut away vegetation after controlled burning of trees, and, perhaps, also to dig.

Writing : findings and implications (no need to write the details)

An example of the same tool, known as a constricted uniface, also emerged last year at Pulltrouser Swamp, a Maya site 20 miles northwest of Colha with a preliminary radiocarbon date of 1300 B.C. to 1000 B.C. for the artefact. Its unusual design led researchers to suspect that Colha might have harboured an extremely early Maya population. Another sharpened stone point retrieved at Pulltrouser Swamp dates to between 2500 B.C. and 2000 B.C. Several other sites in Belize have yielded constricted unifaces, but archaeologists have been unsure of their ages and origins.

Writing : In earlier paragrapgh some finding were providied.. an example of this finding is presneted and what are its implications in archeological world.)

Techniques used to manufacture constricted unifaces show gradual refinement and modification in stone tools of Colha residents living after 1000 B.C. Continuity in stone tool design and manufacture suggests that pre-ceramic Maya inhabited Colha, rather than non-Maya peoples who migrated to the area and later left or were incorporated into Maya villages. ―None of us had any reason to suppose that Colha would produce a pre-ceramic Maya occupation,‖ remarks the director of excavations at Cuello, a Maya site that dates to about 1000 B.C. ―This is a bit of archaeological serendipity.‖ This is evidence of the earliest known Maya, who cleared and farmed land bordering swamps by 2,500 B.C. The earliest Central American farmers probably settled at the edges of
swampland that they had cleared and cultivated. Excavations of preceramic Colha so far have focused on quarry and field areas. However, some pottery may still show up in early residential structures.

writing: what are the possible implications of the techniques used to maunfacture such tools are presneted. These findings actually are UNEXPECTED and GIVE a NEW INSIGHT .

Para summary : recent research on an excavation site is discussed. The possible implications of the research are presented
Purpose : To discuss the implications of a novel research
Type: Detailed and Implicative
Questions expected : details , why implcatiuons are important, what is so special about this research, modifier detailed questions (look tricky but all you have to do is pick the right word and look for its synonym in ans choice)

This is type 4 of most common passages found on GMAT. Such passages are provided to test your timing skills and how much importance you give to the text. If you go on and try to understand each word in a detail passage ,youre commiting suicide.
suggestion : start learning patterns on GMAT RC becasue a GMAT purposely throws a detailed passage at the end of the test so that you will be forced to spend more time on the passage but be smart and just read for key sentences.
Re: Later Maya occupations of the Yucatan Peninsula site called Colha have   [#permalink] 03 Dec 2018, 06:53
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