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Metal rings recently excavated from seventh-century settlements in the

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Metal rings recently excavated from seventh-century settlements in the western part of Mexico were made using the same metallurgical techniques as those used by Ecuadorian artisans before and during that period. These techniques are sufficiently complex to make their independent development in both areas unlikely. Since the people of these two areas were in cultural contact, archaeologists hypothesize that the metallurgical techniques used to make the rings found in Mexico were learned by Mexican artisans from Ecuadorian counterparts.

Which of the following would it be most useful to establish in order to evaluate the archaeologists' hypothesis?


(A) Whether metal objects were traded from Ecuador to western Mexico during the seventh century

(B) Whether travel between western Mexico and Ecuador in the seventh century would have been primarily by land or by sea

(C) Whether artisans from western Mexico could have learned complex metallurgical techniques from their Ecuadorian counterparts without actually leaving western Mexico.

(D) Whether metal tools were used in the seventh-century settlements in western Mexico

(E) Whether any of the techniques used in the manufacture of the metal rings found in western Mexico are still practiced among artisans in Ecuador today

OG2017 Diagnostic V69 P34

Verbal Question of The Day: Day 194: Critical Reasoning


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Metal Rings

Step 1: Identify the Question

The words useful to establish in order to evaluate in the question stem indicate that this is an Evaluate the Argument question.

Step 2: Deconstruct the Argument

Metal rings: 7c W. Mex same tech as Ec 7c + b4

Tech complex; prob not dev ind

Hyp: E dev first, M learn

Abbreviate heavily. You’ll only be on this problem for a couple of minutes; your short-term memory can retain the idea that “prob not dev ind” means “probably not developed independently.”

The archaeologists mentioned in the argument hypothesize that the Es developed this technology first because the technique was used in E earlier than the period in which the recently-found metal rings were made in M.

[b]Step 3: Pause and State the Goal[/b]

On Evaluate questions, the goal is to find an answer choice that could “swing” the argument in two directions, either strengthening the argument or weakening it. A choice that can either strengthen or weaken the argument gives you a good way to evaluate whether the argument is valid.

Step 4: Work from Wrong to Right

(A) CORRECT. If metal objects were traded from E to M in the relevant timeframe, then it is at least somewhat more likely that the Es also passed along information regarding how to manufacture these objects. That would strengthen the argument. On the other hand, if such objects were not traded, then it is somewhat less likely that the Es taught the Ms how to manufacture the metal—if they weren’t trading at all, or if the Ms didn’t find the metal rings interesting enough to trade for, then it’s less likely that the Es would have an opportunity to teach the Ms how to make these rings. This would weaken the argument. Since this choice could either strengthen or weaken, it is correct.

(B) How people from the two cultures may have traveled does not impact whether the Es might have taught the Ms this particular technique. What matters is that they did interact with one another in some way, not by what method they traveled.

(C) The Ms could have learned the techniques from Es traveling to M. The Ms also could have learned the techniques by traveling to E. Either way, this choice does not provide additional information to help determine whether the initial hypothesis (that Es taught Ms this process) is valid.

(D) The argument doesn’t depend upon whether the metal rings were created from metal tools or tools made of other materials. Nor does it specify whether the metal rings were intended as tools or were for some other purpose, such as jewelry. The question of tools is irrelevant to whether the Es taught the Ms the technique in question.

(E) The argument does not hinge upon the future use of the techniques in question. It claims only that the Es taught the Ms these techniques at some point in or prior to the seventh century.

Originally posted by kimmyg on 05 Oct 2005, 07:49.
Last edited by Bunuel on 24 Oct 2018, 04:59, edited 6 times in total.
Renamed the topic and edited the question.
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Re: Metal rings recently excavated from seventh-century settlements in the  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Jan 2018, 01:39
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Since we are trying to evaluate the archaeologists' hypothesis, let's start by identifying that hypothesis: "the metallurgical techniques used to make the rings found in Mexico were learned by Mexican artisans from Ecuadorian counterparts."

Great, now let's break down the reasoning that supports that hypothesis:

  • Metal rings were recently found in the ruins of 7th-century settlements in the western part of Mexico.
  • Those rings were made using the same techniques as those used by Ecuadorian artisans before and during the 7th century. So it is likely (though not certain) that the Ecuadorians were using those techniques before the people in western Mexico.
  • The techniques used to make the rings are pretty complex, so it's unlikely that the techniques were developed independently in each location. If we had been talking about some simple process, it would be possible that each civilization developed the process on their own. But in this case, it is more likely that only ONE of the two cultures developed the techniques.
  • The people of western Mexico were in cultural contact with the people of Ecuador. Therefore, it is possible that the groups learned from one another.

According to the archaeologists, this evidence suggests that the Mexican artisans learned how to make the rings from the Ecuadorian artisans. What would be most useful to establish in order to evaluate the archaeologists' hypothesis?

Quote:
(A) Whether metal objects were traded from Ecuador to western Mexico during the seventh century

We know that it is unlikely that both groups developed the techniques for making the rings independently. As a result, the archaeologists believe that the people in western Mexico must have learned to make the rings from the Ecuadorians. But what if the people in western Mexico NEVER actually made the rings? What if they simply traded with the Ecuadorians for their rings? That would nullify the hypothesis, so let's hang on to this one.

Quote:
(B) Whether travel between western Mexico and Ecuador in the seventh century would have been primarily by land or by sea

It doesn't matter HOW the two groups were in contact. All that matters is that the two groups were in cultural contact. This information is irrelevant, so eliminate (B).

Quote:
(C) Whether artisans from western Mexico could have learned complex metallurgical techniques from their Ecuadorian counterparts without actually leaving western Mexico.

The archaeologists argue that the artisans from western Mexico learned the techniques from their Ecuadorian counterparts, but the archaeologists don't care about WHERE that learning took place. Whether it took place in Mexico, Ecuador, or somewhere else, the archaeologists hypothesis could still be valid. (C) can thus be eliminated.

Quote:
(D) Whether metal tools were used in the seventh-century settlements in western Mexico

We want to determine whether the artisans from western Mexico learned the techniques for making the metal rings from the Ecuadorian artisans. We have no idea what kinds of tools were used by the Ecuadorians to make those rings (maybe the tools were metal, maybe they were not), so choice (D) can be eliminated.

Quote:
(E) Whether any of the techniques used in the manufacture of the metal rings found in western Mexico are still practiced among artisans in Ecuador today

The hypothesis is only concerned with 7th-century artisans in western Mexico and whether those artisans learned how to make metal rings from Ecuadorian artisans during that time. It makes no difference whether those techniques are still used in Ecuador today, so eliminate (E).

Choice (A) is the best answer.
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Re: Metal rings recently excavated from seventh-century settlements in the  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Oct 2005, 09:21
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I'd go for A

A) That there has been communication between those two folks is undoubtful. Whether the Mexicans have imported these rings or have build them on their own can be found out by answering A. If true, it would cast doubt on the archaeologists hypothesis.

B) Out of scope, there has never been a differentiation between land and sea

C) If so... The Ecuadorians could've traveled to mexico to teach the techniques or the Mexicans could've learned them in Ecuador. It does not answer the question, whether they have learned those techniques or just have bought the metal rings

D) distortion, the stem talks about metal rings and metallurgic techniques... tools are never mentioned

E) Out of scope... the use of techniques today does not give light to the happenings in the seventh century.
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Re: Metal rings recently excavated from seventh-century settlements in the  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Mar 2013, 00:39
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Hi Score,

For answer C

(C) Whether artisans from western Mexico could have learned complex metallurgical techniques from their Ecuadorian counterparts without actually leaving western Mexico.

This doesn't actually matter. We need to know if they could learn these techniques from Ecuador, it doesn't matter where they were when they did it, it's no more likely that they got the info from travelling, from traders, etc.

But A....

(A) Whether metal objects were traded from Ecuador to western Mexico during the seventh century


This gives direct evidence for conversations between Mexico and Ecuador happening during this period, so makes it more likely that they would learn from each other.

So I'm confident A is correct.

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New post 26 Mar 2013, 07:29
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plumber250 wrote:
Hi Score,

For answer C

(C) Whether artisans from western Mexico could have learned complex metallurgical techniques from their Ecuadorian counterparts without actually leaving western Mexico.

This doesn't actually matter. We need to know if they could learn these techniques from Ecuador, it doesn't matter where they were when they did it, it's no more likely that they got the info from travelling, from traders, etc.

But A....

(A) Whether metal objects were traded from Ecuador to western Mexico during the seventh century


This gives direct evidence for conversations between Mexico and Ecuador happening during this period, so makes it more likely that they would learn from each other.

So I'm confident A is correct.

James


Why are you focusing on where they were and where they did it. This is just an extra piece of information that does not affect the essential piece of information in C which is whether they learned the technique. I understand that by saying that they learned it without leaving Mexico, we exclude the possibility that they learnt it from ecuadorians in other ways for example by visiting Ecuador or etc. Yet, I still find answer C overall to be more relevant than answer A. Since when exchange of products means exchange of skills to make the products, especially that we are talking about "complex techniques". Conversations between the two people is an assumption. Maybe in the question stem they could have hinted at this but they did not. Net, I think this question is just annoyingly unclear.
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Re: Metal rings recently excavated from seventh-century settlements in the  [#permalink]

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New post 07 May 2014, 08:16
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score780 wrote:
Why are you focusing on where they were and where they did it. This is just an extra piece of information that does not affect the essential piece of information in C which is whether they learned the technique. I understand that by saying that they learned it without leaving Mexico, we exclude the possibility that they learnt it from ecuadorians in other ways for example by visiting Ecuador or etc. Yet, I still find answer C overall to be more relevant than answer A.


Hi,

Let's look at below two questions:

Did you score 750 on GMAT?

Did you score 750 on GMAT in Mexico?

Would both questions help you in finding out whether the person has scored 750 on GMAT or not?

The answer is No. While the answer to the first question will obviously help you in determining whether the person has scored 750 on GMAT or not, the answer to the second question may not. If the answer to the second question is no, we have no clue whether the person did not score 750 on GMAT or he scored 750 but not in Mexico.

So, we can't really ignore part of questions to understand their meaning.

Now, let's look at option C:

(C) Whether artisans from western Mexico could have learned complex metallurgical techniques from their Ecuadorian counterparts without actually leaving western Mexico.

This is similar as saying "whether you can score more than 750 on GMAT without taking an classes". This is different from saying "whether you can score more than 750 on GMAT". The latter question is more about your capability to score 750 while the former question is more about your dependence on classes to score more than 750.

Similarly, option C is concerned about whether artisans could have learnt those techniques without leaving western Mexico. Now, we understand that learning inside or outside Mexico is irrelevant for us. Therefore, option C is irrelevant and incorrect.

score780 wrote:
Since when exchange of products means exchange of skills to make the products, especially that we are talking about "complex techniques". Conversations between the two people is an assumption.


Now, the highlighted part is wrong here. Conversation between the two groups is not an assumption here. The passage very clearly states that "the people of these two areas were in cultural contact".

Now, coming to option A as to why it is correct

The conclusion is "the metallurgical techniques used to make the rings found in Mexico were learned by Mexican artisans from Ecuadorian counterparts."

This is based on the premise that "Metal rings recently excavated form seventh-century settlements in the western part of Mexico were made using the same metallurgical techniques as those used by Ecuadorian artisans before and during that period."

Now, what if Mexican artists didn't even create these metal rings. What if these metal rings were actually created by Ecuadorian artisans and then brought through trade in Mexico? In that case, can we say that Mexican artists learnt techniques from Ecuadorian counterparts? No. In that case, we would be even doubtful whether Mexican artists knew about the techniques or not.

So, option A is on the same lines as our questions above. Therefore, it is correct.

Hope this helps!

Thanks,
Chiranjeev
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Re: Metal rings recently excavated from seventh-century settlements in the  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Apr 2017, 19:56
kimmyg wrote:
Metal rings recently excavated form seventh-century settlements in the western part of Mexico were made using the same metallurgical techniques as those used by Ecuadorian artisans before and during that period. These techniques are sufficiently complex to make their independent development in both areas unlikely. Since the people of these two areas were in cultural contact, archaeologists hypothesize that the metallurgical techniques used to make the rings found in Mexico were learned by Mexican artisans from Ecuadorian counterparts.

Which of the following would it be most useful to establish in order to evaluate the archaeologists' hypothesis?

(A) Whether metal objects were traded from Ecuador to western Mexico during the seventh century
(B) Whether travel between western Mexico and Ecuador in the seventh century would have been primarily by land or by sea
(C) Whether artisans from western Mexico could have learned complex metallurgical techniques from their Ecuadorian counterparts without actually leaving western Mexico.
(D) Whether metal tools were used in the seventh-century settlements in western Mexico
(E) Whether any of the techniques used in the manufacture of the metal rings found in western Mexico are still practiced among artisans in Ecuador today

OG2017 Diagnostic V69 P34


Metal Rings
 
Step 1: Identify the Question

The words useful to establish in order to evaluate in the question stem indicate that this is an Evaluate the Argument question.

Step 2: Deconstruct the Argument

Metal rings: 7c W. Mex same tech as Ec 7c + b4
Tech complex; prob not dev ind
Hyp: E dev first, M learn

Abbreviate heavily. You’ll only be on this problem for a couple of minutes; your short-term memory can retain the idea that “prob not dev ind” means “probably not developed independently.”

The archaeologists mentioned in the argument hypothesize that the Es developed this technology first because the technique was used in E earlier than the period in which the recently-found metal rings were made in M.

Step 3: Pause and State the Goal

On Evaluate questions, the goal is to find an answer choice that could “swing” the argument in two directions, either strengthening the argument or weakening it. A choice that can either strengthen or weaken the argument gives you a good way to evaluate whether the argument is valid.

Step 4: Work from Wrong to Right

(A) CORRECT. If metal objects were traded from E to M in the relevant timeframe, then it is at least somewhat more likely that the Es also passed along information regarding how to manufacture these objects. That would strengthen the argument. On the other hand, if such objects were not traded, then it is somewhat less likely that the Es taught the Ms how to manufacture the metal—if they weren’t trading at all, or if the Ms didn’t find the metal rings interesting enough to trade for, then it’s less likely that the Es would have an opportunity to teach the Ms how to make these rings. This would weaken the argument. Since this choice could either strengthen or weaken, it is correct.
(B) How people from the two cultures may have traveled does not impact whether the Es might have taught the Ms this particular technique. What matters is that they did interact with one another in some way, not by what method they traveled.
(C) The Ms could have learned the techniques from Es traveling to M. The Ms also could have learned the techniques by traveling to E. Either way, this choice does not provide additional information to help determine whether the initial hypothesis (that Es taught Ms this process) is valid.
(D) The argument doesn’t depend upon whether the metal rings were created from metal tools or tools made of other materials. Nor does it specify whether the metal rings were intended as tools or were for some other purpose, such as jewelry. The question of tools is irrelevant to whether the Es taught the Ms the technique in question.
(E) The argument does not hinge upon the future use of the techniques in question. It claims only that the Es taught the Ms these techniques at some point in or prior to the seventh century.
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Re: Metal rings recently excavated from seventh-century settlements in the  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Jun 2017, 04:12
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Metal rings recently excavated form seventh-century settlements in the western part of Mexico were made using the same metallurgical techniques as those used by Ecuadorian artisans before and during that period. These techniques are sufficiently complex to make their independent development in both areas unlikely. Since the people of these two areas were in cultural contact, archaeologists hypothesize that the metallurgical techniques used to make the rings found in Mexico were learned by Mexican artisans from Ecuadorian counterparts.

Which of the following would it be most useful to establish in order to evaluate the archaeologists' hypothesis?

The argument says that a certain metallurgical technique was prevalent in both Mexico and Ecuador in 7th Century and this MT is quite complicated hence its independent development at both places is unlikely. Hence, Mexicans must have learned this MT from their Ecuadorian counterparts since, there was some cultural contact between the two areas...


(A) Whether metal objects were traded from Ecuador to western Mexico during the seventh century
Seems a valid point. What if no metal trade was done in that cultural contact between the two places ? Conclusion will fall apart...
If metal trade was done, then there is a possibility that this MT may have been shared between the two...


(B) Whether travel between western Mexico and Ecuador in the seventh century would have been primarily by land or by sea
Whether they traveled by sea or land (or flight !!) it does NOT make any difference on whether they could have traded this MT...

(C) Whether artisans from western Mexico could have learned complex metallurgical techniques from their Ecuadorian counterparts without actually leaving western Mexico.
The argument never said that its learned at one place (mexico or ecuador) ...whichever place it may be ..we need proof that the MT was exchanged...
This option does not help us in doing that .


(D) Whether metal tools were used in the seventh-century settlements in western Mexico
Lets say yes its used...so what ???
and lets say No..then what ???
Does not touch our conclusion at all


(E) Whether any of the techniques used in the manufacture of the metal rings found in western Mexico are still practiced among artisans in Ecuador today
Again...it does not make any difference whether they use this technique now or not ...
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These techniques are sufficiently complex to make their independent development in both areas unlikely.

"The techniques used to make the rings are pretty complex, so it's unlikely that the techniques were developed independently in each location. If we had been talking about some simple process, it would be possible that each civilization developed the process on their own. But in this case, it is more likely that only ONE of the two cultures developed the techniques."

GMATNinja the above is your explanation for the mentioned part of the passage ... now the passage says that independent ( on their own) development in BOTH the regions was unlikely .. now what i dont understand is that if author is saying development was unlikely in both areas then how come is he saying that Equads knew the technique?? i mean did he learn from somewhere else??? because could NOT develop independently.. in you explanation you say that only ONE is probably the learner and the another is the teacher... BUt the author says both the regions coudl not develop independently.. this is really confusing me...please clarify,,, thankyou

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New post 01 Nov 2018, 19:02
(A) Whether metal objects were traded from Ecuador to western Mexico during the seventh century

right to the point

if yes ...then it weakens the hypothesis (traded ..no need to be made by Mexican artisans) ; If no ,it strengthens the hypothesis ( eliminates the weakening possibility )
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New post 02 Nov 2018, 06:34
AdityaHongunti wrote:
These techniques are sufficiently complex to make their independent development in both areas unlikely.

"The techniques used to make the rings are pretty complex, so it's unlikely that the techniques were developed independently in each location. If we had been talking about some simple process, it would be possible that each civilization developed the process on their own. But in this case, it is more likely that only ONE of the two cultures developed the techniques."

GMATNinja the above is your explanation for the mentioned part of the passage ... now the passage says that independent ( on their own) development in BOTH the regions was unlikely .. now what i dont understand is that if author is saying development was unlikely in both areas then how come is he saying that Equads knew the technique?? i mean did he learn from somewhere else??? because could NOT develop independently.. in you explanation you say that only ONE is probably the learner and the another is the teacher... BUt the author says both the regions coudl not develop independently.. this is really confusing me...please clarify,,, thankyou

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Let's say there is a dish made using 25 ingredients and some complex techniques. You eat the dish in a restaurant in Sweden. After a week, you go to Los Angeles and you eat the same dish there too.
What would you think? That one of them learned it from the other, right? It is very unlikely that each restaurant developed the same dish independently. Out of 1000s of ingredients, how probable is it that both chose the exact 20 and used each in exactly the same way to get the same result independently of each other? One of the restaurants must have come up with the dish, then a chef from another restaurant must have visited and learned how to make it and then made in his own restaurant too.

That is what the argument is saying - it is too complex. So Mexicans must have learned from Ecuadorians who must have come up with it (since in Ecuador, those techniques were being used before 7th century too)
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Re: Metal rings recently excavated from seventh-century settlements in the  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Nov 2018, 19:27
AdityaHongunti wrote:
These techniques are sufficiently complex to make their independent development in both areas unlikely.

"The techniques used to make the rings are pretty complex, so it's unlikely that the techniques were developed independently in each location. If we had been talking about some simple process, it would be possible that each civilization developed the process on their own. But in this case, it is more likely that only ONE of the two cultures developed the techniques."

GMATNinja the above is your explanation for the mentioned part of the passage ... now the passage says that independent ( on their own) development in BOTH the regions was unlikely .. now what i dont understand is that if author is saying development was unlikely in both areas then how come is he saying that Equads knew the technique?? i mean did he learn from somewhere else??? because could NOT develop independently.. in you explanation you say that only ONE is probably the learner and the another is the teacher... BUt the author says both the regions coudl not develop independently.. this is really confusing me...please clarify,,, thankyou

The archaeologist states that independent development of this technique in both areas is unlikely.

The archaeologist is saying that this technique could not have evolved independently in Mexico and independently in Ecuador.
This is not the same as saying that this technique could not be developed independently, period.
This is not the same as saying that this technique could not be developed independently by either culture.

Here's another example that might help: Let's say I'm throwing a party, and I invite two brothers, Bob and Mac.

If I say, "It's unlikely that both Bob and Mac show up," the unlikely outcome is, "Bob and Mac show up" — not, "Any brother shows up" or, "Either brother shows up,"

I hope this clarifies what's going on in the passage!
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Metal rings recently excavated from seventh-century settlements in the

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