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The question of when the first people populated the American subcontin

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The question of when the first people populated the American subcontin  [#permalink]

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New Project RC Butler 2019 - Practice 2 RC Passages Everyday
Passage # 99, Date : 22-MAR-2019
This post is a part of New Project RC Butler 2019. Click here for Details


The question of when the first people populated the American subcontinents is hotly debated. Until recently, the Clovis people, based on evidence found in New Mexico, were thought to have been the first to have arrived, some thirteen thousand years ago. Yet evidence gathered from other sites suggests the Americas had been settled at least one thousand years prior to the Clovis people's arrival. The "Clovis-first" idea, nevertheless, was treated as gospel, backed by supporters who, at least initially, outright discounted any claims that suggested precedence by non-Clovis people. While such a stance smacked of fanaticism, proponents did have a solid claim: if the Clovis crossed the Bering Strait thirteen thousand years ago, only after it had become ice-free, how would others have been able to make a similar trip but over ice?

A recent school of thought, backed by Weber, provides the following answer: pre-Clovis people reached the Americas by relying on a sophisticated maritime culture, which allowed them to take advantage of refugia, or small areas in which aquatic life flourished. Thus, they were able to make the long journey by hugging the coast as far south as what is today British Columbia. Additionally, they were believed to have fashioned a primitive form of crampon so that they would be able to dock in these refugia and avail themselves of the microfauna. Still, such a theory raises the question as to how such a culture developed.

The Solutrean theory has been influential in answering this question, a fact that may seem paradoxical—and startling—to those familiar with its line of reasoning: the Clovis people were actually Solutreans, an ancient seafaring culture along the Iberian peninsula, who had—astoundingly, given the time period—crossed into the Americas via the Atlantic Ocean. Could a similar Siberian culture, if not the pre-Clovis people themselves, not have displayed equal nautical sophistication?

Even if one subscribes to this line of reasoning, the "Clovis-first" school still has an objection: proponents of a pre-Clovis people rely solely on the Monte Verde site in Chile, a site so far south that its location raises the question: what of the six thousand miles of coastline between the ice corridor and Monte Verde? Besides remains found in a network of caves in Oregon, there has been scant evidence of a pre-Clovis people.

Nevertheless, Meade and Pizinsky claim that a propitious geologic accident could account for this discrepancy: Monte Verde was located near a peat bog that essentially fossilized the village. Archaeologists uncovered two of the wooden stakes, which, at one time, were used in twelve huts. Furthermore, plant species associated with areas one hundred and fifty miles away were found, suggesting a trade network. These findings indicate that the Clovis may not have been the first to populate the Americas, yet more excavation, both in Monte Verde and along the coast, must be conducted in order to determine the extent of pre-Clovis settlements in the Americas.
1. In the context in which it appears, the phrase "avail themselves of" most nearly means

A. locate
B. exploit
C. regard
D. fathom
E. distribute

Spoiler: :: OA
B


2. It can be inferred from the passage that the reason the author finds the Solutrean hypothesis both startling and paradoxical is that

A. ancient cultures were most likely unable to develop such a sophisticated form of maritime transport that they were able to cross the Atlantic
B. it supports the Clovis school of thought and posits the existence of a capacity not commonly associated with ancient people
C. the Clovis people had crossed from Siberia navigating across a difficult ice corridor, whereas the pre-Clovis people had sailed, with far less difficulty, across the Atlantic Ocean
D. it suggests that the pre-Clovis people had a way to circumvent the ice corridor, yet were unlikely to have traveled as far south as modern day Chile
E. it runs counter to one of the chief tenets of the "Clovis-first" school of thought

Spoiler: :: OA
B


3. It can be most reasonably inferred from the passage that, in regard to the manner in which the Monte Verde village was preserved,

A. unless evidence of other pre-Clovis people was fossilized the same way it was in Monte Verde, archaeologists will be unable to determine the extent of the settlement of pre-Clovis people
B. major discoveries can sometimes result from random processes in the environment
C. plant species can offer valuable clues into the origin of other pre-Clovis settlements
D. sites dated from slightly after the period of the Clovis people did not offer archaeologists such a trove of information
E. archaeologists are unlikely to find any other significant evidence of pre-Clovis people unless they venture as much as one hundred and fifty miles from the site

Spoiler: :: OA
B



4. If it is true that a trade network between pre-Clovis people had been established, then which of the following could be expected to be found at settlements near Monte Verde?

I. other villages that have been preserved in a peat bog
II. plants species similar to those uncovered at Monte Verde
III. the same number of wooden stakes for supporting dwellings

A. I only
B. II only
C. III only
D. I and III only
E. II and III only
Spoiler: :: OA
B


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Originally posted by carcass on 16 Mar 2019, 00:32.
Last edited by SajjadAhmad on 06 Sep 2019, 09:06, edited 1 time in total.
Updated - Complete topic (442).
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Re: The question of when the first people populated the American subcontin  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Mar 2019, 05:40
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carcass mikemcgarry

What does the question 3 says? I did not get the question

Quote:
It can be most reasonably inferred from the passage that, in regard to the manner in which the Monte Verde village was preserved,

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Re: The question of when the first people populated the American subcontin  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Mar 2019, 21:45
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warrior 1991 I'l Try
Quote:
It can be most reasonably inferred from the passage that, in regard to the manner in which the Monte Verde village was preserved

means what can you say about how the village was preserved.
Quote:
Nevertheless, Meade and Pizinsky claim that a propitious geologic accident could account for this discrepancy: Monte Verde was located near a peat bog that essentially fossilized the village.

From this we can say that village was preserved accidentally because of a geologic activity (it was located near a peat bog). And they could discover this village beacause it was fossilized(preserved). Otherwise they could'nt have discovered it.
and the gist of option B essentially tells us the same thing.
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Re: The question of when the first people populated the American subcontin  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Jul 2019, 12:38
can some one please rate the difficulty level of this passage.

SajjadAhmad

also please help in providing OEs to Q2 and Q3.

TIA
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Re: The question of when the first people populated the American subcontin  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Jul 2019, 17:42
Hi

The difficulty levels could be tags as follow:

Question#1: 650

Question#2: 750

Question#3: 750

Question#4: 700

Overall: 700-750

PS: For Official explanations carcass may help you, unfortunately i have no access to magoosh.



Hope it helps

Mudit27021988 wrote:
can some one please rate the difficulty level of this passage.

SajjadAhmad

also please help in providing OEs to Q2 and Q3.

TIA

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Re: The question of when the first people populated the American subcontin  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Jul 2019, 00:54
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The fact that we do not have at our disposal the oE (which indeed I have) does not mean we CAN NOT answer the questions at stake.

Moreover, more often than not the OE are short-cuts which indeed confuse the students rather than explain him/her the situation.

I remember you that the strength of a community like this is to provide more insights than the OE. Turns out, often they are poor. The GMAC OE are so. For instance, SC OEs say the answer is wrong because awkward..that's it. Does it help the student ?? certainly not.

Q2

Quote:
The Solutrean theory has been influential in answering this question, a fact that may seem paradoxical—and startling—to those familiar with its line of reasoning: the Clovis people were actually Solutreans, an ancient seafaring culture along the Iberian peninsula, who had—astoundingly, given the time period—crossed into the Americas via the Atlantic Ocean. Could a similar Siberian culture, if not the pre-Clovis people themselves, not have displayed equal nautical sophistication?


--------------------------------->>

Quote:
proponents of a pre-Clovis people rely solely on the Monte Verde site in Chile, a site so far south that its location raises the question: what of the six thousand miles of coastline between the ice corridor and Monte Verde? Besides remains found in a network of caves in Oregon, there has been scant evidence of a pre-Clovis people.


In a nutshell: we DO NOT know.

Answer is B. The other choices say mainly the same thing: they were not able or not good sailors to cross the Bering Strait.

Q3

Quote:
Nevertheless, Meade and Pizinsky claim that a propitious geologic accident could account for this discrepancy:


which means we had a stumbled or at random explanation.

Look at the answer choices

A. unless evidence of other pre-Clovis people was fossilized the same way it was in Monte Verde, archaeologists will be unable to determine the extent of the settlement of pre-Clovis people
B. major discoveries can sometimes result from random processes in the environment
C. plant species can offer valuable clues into the origin of other pre-Clovis settlements
D. sites dated from slightly after the period of the Clovis people did not offer archaeologists such a trove of information
E. archaeologists are unlikely to find any other significant evidence of pre-Clovis people unless they venture as much as one hundred and fifty miles from the site

All the answer choices but B provide OTHERS explanation which is clearly wrong. If you llok at the passage and what really it states the answers are not difficult.

that's is the main problem have the non-native speakers: they do not read carefully and have difficulties to grasp.

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Re: The question of when the first people populated the American subcontin  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Aug 2019, 02:48
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Hi everyone,
This was a long passage with two very difficult questions. Took me 12:30 minutes and got 2/4 correct. Took 5:30 minutes to read, write down paragraphs summaries and main point.

P1 A debate about first people in America is introduced and a question raised about how Pre-Clovis people made it to America
P2: W's resolution and doubts about how the culture discussed arose.
P3:S'theory
P4:1st C's school objection
P5:M&P's theory but more research advocated

MP: discuss theories about Pre-Clovis populations in America

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1. In the context in which it appears, the phrase "avail themselves of" most nearly means

Pre-thinking:
Refer to P2 to infer the meaning. P2 states that pre-clovis stayed in these small areas where aquatic life occurred. To me a natural question arises: how did they eat in such condition? So have a look at the answer choices and you can easily infer that the meaning is to exploit the microfauna at their own advantage. The other choices just don't make sense with the context

A. locate
Not in line with pre-thinking. Hence incorrect

B. exploit
In line with pre-thinking. Hence correct

C. regard
Not in line with pre-thinking. Hence incorrect

D. fathom
Not in line with pre-thinking. Hence incorrect

E. distribute
Not in line with pre-thinking. Hence incorrect

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


2. It can be inferred from the passage that the reason the author finds the Solutrean hypothesis both startling and paradoxical is that

Pre-thinking:
What is startling is that they were able to cross the atlantic ocean by themselves at that time. What is paradoxical is that the culture, whose development weber couldn't explain, is the Clovis' culture (which goes against Weber idea that Clovis were not the first).

A. ancient cultures were most likely unable to develop such a sophisticated form of maritime transport that they were able to cross the Atlantic
Too generic. Hence incorrect.
Note that we are talking only about Solutreans


B. it supports the Clovis school of thought and posits the existence of a capacity not commonly associated with ancient people
This answer is correct because of two reasons:
#1 Refer to the term paradoxical: this choice addresses this term because the question "how such culture developed?" that results from Weber's study ( A study that goes against the belief that Clovis were the first people in America) finds its answer in the fact that Clovis themselves were the people belonging to that culture.

#2 It is startling that such an ancient culture crossed the atlantic ocean

Hence correct


C. the Clovis people had crossed from Siberia navigating across a difficult ice corridor, whereas the pre-Clovis people had sailed, with far less difficulty, across the Atlantic Ocean
Inconsistent. The passage does not say that pre-clovis had "far less difficulty" to cross the Atlantic than Clovis people to cross the ice corridor. Hence incorrect

D. it suggests that the pre-Clovis people had a way to circumvent the ice corridor, yet were unlikely to have traveled as far south as modern day Chile
Nothing of the sort is suggested. Hence incorrect

E. it runs counter to one of the chief tenets of the "Clovis-first" school of thought
No it does not. Paradoxically it goes into the same direction.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


3. It can be most reasonably inferred from the passage that, in regard to the manner in which the Monte Verde village was preserved,

Pre-thinking:
Refer to last paragraph to answer this question.
1st: MV was fossilized
2nd: 2 wooden stakes were found
3rd: plants were found in other sites suggesting a trade
This evidence suggests that Clovis may have not been first but more excavation is needed


A. unless evidence of other pre-Clovis people was fossilized the same way it was in Monte Verde, archaeologists will be unable to determine the extent of the settlement of pre-Clovis people
This answer choice is too extreme and none of the information in P4 would suggest this as a requirement. Hence incorrect

B. major discoveries can sometimes result from random processes in the environment
M&P discovery is indeed a major discovery. And if you focus on the wording in the the very first lines of the last paragraph you will run into the adjective "propitious" used to indicate that this discovery was random.
Hence this is the correct choice


C. plant species can offer valuable clues into the origin of other pre-Clovis settlements
This information cannot be inferred because the evidence cited is useful, according to the passage, to determine the existence of other populations, not settlements. Hence incorrect

D. sites dated from slightly after the period of the Clovis people did not offer archaeologists such a trove of information
Cannot be inferred. Hence incorrect

E. archaeologists are unlikely to find any other significant evidence of pre-Clovis people unless they venture as much as one hundred and fifty miles from the site
Cannot be inferred. Hence incorrect

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


4. If it is true that a trade network between pre-Clovis people had been established, then which of the following could be expected to be found at settlements near Monte Verde?

Pre-thinking
We need to analyze the statements first

I. other villages that have been preserved in a peat bog
Not really. There is no relation between Monte Verde settlement and other settlements in terms of the peat bog

II. plants species similar to those uncovered at Monte Verde
Of course. Plants are what was traded so it makes sense to find Monte Verde's plants in other settlements.

III. the same number of wooden stakes for supporting dwellings
There is no reason to believe this.

A. I only
Incorrect

B. II only
correct


C. III only
Incorrect


D. I and III only
Incorrect


E. II and III only
Incorrect

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Re: The question of when the first people populated the American subcontin   [#permalink] 16 Aug 2019, 02:48
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