It is currently 24 Mar 2017, 23:47
My Tests

Close

GMAT Club Daily Prep

Thank you for using the timer - this advanced tool can estimate your performance and suggest more practice questions. We have subscribed you to Daily Prep Questions via email.

Customized
for You

we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History

Track
Your Progress

every week, we’ll send you an estimated GMAT score based on your performance

Practice
Pays

we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History

Not interested in getting valuable practice questions and articles delivered to your email? No problem, unsubscribe here.

many anthropologists assumed that the environment of what is

  Question banks Downloads My Bookmarks Reviews Important topics  
Author Message
TAGS:
SVP
SVP
User avatar
Joined: 07 Jun 2014
Posts: 1586
GRE 1: 323 Q167 V156
WE: Business Development (Energy and Utilities)
Followers: 27

Kudos [?]: 468 [0], given: 101

many anthropologists assumed that the environment of what is [#permalink] New post 28 Apr 2016, 09:55
Expert's post
00:00
A
B
C
D
E

Difficulty:

  5% (low)

Question Stats:

0% (00:00) correct 0% (00:00) wrong based on 0 sessions
Until recently, many anthropologists assumed that the environment of what is now the southwestern United States shaped the social history and culture of the region’s indigenous peoples. Building on this assumption, archaeologists asserted that adverse environmental conditions and droughts were responsible for the disappearances andmigrations of southwestern populations from many sites they once inhabited.

However, such deterministic arguments fail to acknowledge that local environmental variability in the Southwest makes generalizing about that environment difficult. To examine the relationship between environmental variation and sociocultural change in the Western Pueblo region of central Arizona, which indigenous tribes have occupied continuously for at least 800 years, a research team recently reconstructed the climatic, vegetational, and erosional cycles of past centuries. The researchers found it impossible to provide a single, generally applicable characterization of environmental conditions for the region. Rather, they found that local areas experienced different patterns of rainfall, wind, and erosion, and that such conditions had prevailed in the Southwest for the last 1,400 years. Rainfall, for example, varied within and between local valley systems, so that even adjacent agricultural fields can produce significantly different yields.

The researchers characterized episodes of variation in southwestern environments by frequency: low-frequency environmental processes occur in cycles longer than one human generation, which generally is considered to last about 25 years, and high frequency processes have shorter cycles. The researchers pointed out that low-frequency processes, such as fluctuations in stream flow and groundwater levels, would not usually be apparent to human populations. In contrast, high-frequency fluctuations such as seasonal temperature variations are observable and somewhat predictable, so that
groups could have adapted their behaviors accordingly. When the researchers compared sequences of sociocultural change in the Western Pueblo region with episodes of low- and high-frequency environmental variation, however, they found no simple correlation between environmental process and sociocultural change or persistence.

Although early Pueblo peoples did protect themselves against environmental risk and uncertainty, they responded variously on different occasions to similar patterns of high-frequency climatic and environmental change. The researchers identified seven major adaptive responses, including increased mobility, relocation of permanent settlements, changes in subsistence foods, and reliance on trade with other groups. These findings suggest that groups’ adaptive choices depended on cultural and social as well as environmental factors and were flexible strategies rather than uncomplicated
reactions to environmental change. Environmental conditions mattered, but they were rarely, if ever, sufficient to account for sociocultural persistence and change. Group size and composition, culture, contact with other groups, and individual choices and actions were — barring catastrophes such as floods or earthquakes — more significant for a population’s survival than were climate and environment.


9. The passage is primarily concerned with
A explaining why certain research findings have created controversy
B pointing out the flaws in a research methodology and suggesting a different approach
C presenting evidence to challenge an explanation and offering an alternative explanation
D elucidating the means by which certain groups have adapted to their environment
E defending a long-held interpretation by presenting new research findings

[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
C


10. Which of the following findings would most strongly support the assertion made by the archaeologists mentioned in line 3?
A A population remained in a certain region at least a century after erosion wore away much of the topsoil that sustained grass for their grazing
animals.
B The range of a certain group’s agricultural activity increased over a century of gradual decrease in annual rainfall.
C As winters grew increasingly mild in a certain region, the nomadic residents of the region continued to move between their summer and
winter encampments.
D An agricultural population began to trade for supplies of a grain instead of producing the grain in its own fields as it had in the past.
E A half century of drought and falling groundwater levels caused a certain population to abandon their settlements along a riverbank.

[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
E


11. The fact that “adjacent agricultural fields can produce significantly different yields” (lines 16–17) is offered as evidence of the
A unpredictability of the climate and environment of the southwestern United States
B difficulty of producing a consistent food supply for a large population in the Western Pueblo region
C lack of water and land suitable for cultivation in central Arizona
D local climatic variation in the environment of the southwestern United States
E high-frequency environmental processes at work in the southwestern United States

[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
D


12. It can be inferred from the passage that which of the following activities is NOT an example of a population responding to high-frequency environmental processes?
A Developing watertight jars in which to collect and store water during the rainy season
B Building multistory dwellings in low-lying areas to avoid the flash flooding that occurs each summer
C Moving a village because groundwater levels have changed over the last generation
D Trading with other groups for furs from which to make winter clothes
E Moving one’s herds of grazing animals each year between summer and winter pastures

[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
C



Practice Test Questions
Question: 9-12
Page: 448- 450

_________________

Sandy
If you found this post useful, please let me know by pressing the Kudos Button

Try our free Online GRE Test

SVP
SVP
User avatar
Joined: 07 Jun 2014
Posts: 1586
GRE 1: 323 Q167 V156
WE: Business Development (Energy and Utilities)
Followers: 27

Kudos [?]: 468 [0], given: 101

Re: many anthropologists assumed that the environment of what is [#permalink] New post 28 Apr 2016, 10:00
Expert's post
Description

The passage describes research that bears on a presumed historical relationship between environmental variation and sociocultural change among indigenous people of the southwestern United States. The author mentions in the first paragraph that many anthropologists believed until recently that environmental variations explain changes in the human populations of the region. The passage then goes on to point out studies that show problems with this explanation, including the lack of generally applicable characterizations of the environment in the region and lack of correlation between environmental changes and sociocultural changes. In the final paragraph the author mentions an alternative explanation in researchers’ findings suggesting that responses to environmental changes varied according to differing factors such as group size and composition, culture, contact with other groups, and individual choices.


Question 9

As the description above indicates, Choice C is the best answer: the passage introduces an explanation, presents evidence that challenges it, and offers an alternative explanation. The passage does not mention the creation of controversy or discuss flaws in research methodology; therefore, Choices A and B are incorrect. Although the passage reports findings that different groups used different adaptive responses to environmental conditions, there is no focus on the adaptations used by particular groups, so Choice D is incorrect. The passage presents recent research findings but not in defense of a long-held interpretation; therefore, Choice E is incorrect.

Question 10

The archaeologists mentioned in line 3 asserted that adverse environmental conditions caused southwestern populations to move or disappear. The question asks which finding would support this assertion.

Choices A, B, and C all describe populations that did not move away or disappear in the face of environmental changes, and hence are all incorrect. Choice D is incorrect because it does not mention a change in environmental conditions and therefore cannot support an assertion about the effects of changing environmental conditions.

Choice E is the best answer: it mentions an adverse environmental change (a long drought) that caused a population to leave the site it had inhabited, which would support the archaeologists’ assertion that such environmental changes caused such population changes.

Question 11

Choice D is the correct answer: the second paragraph says rainfall variations between local valleys cause different agricultural yields between adjacent fields and gives this as an example of how climate is not uniform within the Southwest but rather can vary significantly from place to place. Choice A is incorrect: while such variability might give rise to unpredictability, that is not how the difference in agricultural yields is being used as evidence in the passage. Choices B and C are incorrect: the passage does not make or report a claim about feeding large populations, nor does it assert that central Arizona lacks land suitable for cultivation. Choice E is incorrect: a discussion of highand low-frequency processes occurs in the third paragraph, but the author does not present geographic differences in rainfall and agricultural yield as either a high- or a
low- frequency environmental process.

Question 12

The phrasing of the question indicates that all but one of the answer choices are examples of a population responding to a high-frequency environmental process. You are asked to choose the one answer choice that does not provide such an example. Choices A, B, D, and E are incorrect because they all present responses to high-frequency environmental processes: developing water-storage jars to adapt to seasonal rainfall variations,
adapting dwellings in response to seasonal flooding, trading to acquire clothing in adaptation to seasonal temperature variations, and moving grazing herds seasonally.

Choice C is the best answer: the passage mentions fluctuations in ground water levels as a low-frequency process (lines 21–22); moving a village because of a change that takes place over the course of a generation is not a response to a high-frequency process.
_________________

Sandy
If you found this post useful, please let me know by pressing the Kudos Button

Try our free Online GRE Test

Re: many anthropologists assumed that the environment of what is   [#permalink] 28 Apr 2016, 10:00
Display posts from previous: Sort by

many anthropologists assumed that the environment of what is

  Question banks Downloads My Bookmarks Reviews Important topics  


cron

GRE Prep Club Forum Home| About| Privacy Policy| Terms and Conditions| GRE Prep Club Rules| Contact

Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group and phpBB SEO

Kindly note that the GRE® test is a registered trademark of the Educational Testing Service®, and this site has neither been reviewed nor endorsed by ETS®.