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[Requesting Review:] Palean Baskets

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[Requesting Review:] Palean Baskets [#permalink] New post 31 Jul 2017, 06:23

Woven baskets characterized by a particular distinctive pattern have previously been found only in the immediate vicinity of the prehistoric village of Palea and therefore were believed to have been made only by the Palean people. Recently, however, archaeologists discovered such a "Palean" basket in Lithos, an ancient village across the Brim River from Palea. The Brim River is very deep and broad, and so the ancient Paleans could have crossed it only by boat, and no Palean boats have been found. Thus it follows that the so-called Palean baskets were not uniquely Palean.

Write a response in which you discuss what specific evidence is needed to evaluate the argument and explain how the evidence would weaken or strengthen the argument.



The article aims to conclude that the Palaen baskets were not made solely by the Palean people, as was earlier believed. The author supports his claim by the discovery of a Palean basket in Lithos, a village separated from Palea by a deep river, whose traversal required the use of boats. The author then reaches his conclusion since there has been no evidence discovered of a Palean boat.

The first fallacy in this argument is generalisation, in particular, the use of a single possibly stray basket to make a conclusion. The finding of a widespread occurrence of Palean baskets would be the most substantial evidence to support the author’s viewpoint. This is because the existence of a single basket could be explained through other means, such as movement due to natural forces, perhaps the river itself. Alternatively, the people of Lithos could have possessed boats or other routes of transport which would have facilitated some exchange between Palea and Lithos. If indeed the Palean baskets were as widespread as the author claims, there should be plenty more of them found in Lithos.

Furthermore, the earth’s terrain evolves over the years and it would be highly erroneous to argue about the state of a river centuries back using the information of its current’s state. It may very well be possible that the topography of the land at that time was entirely different and there was no river. Even if there was a river, it would be highly subject to change depending on the season. The author would require geological evidence that during the time period of the Paleans, the river was indeed in the state as described.

Even if such evidence was found, the author would further have to substantiate the unstated assumption that there was no trade between Palea and neighbouring villages. There could have been a series of exchanges between neighbouring villages that could terminate in a widespread distribution of Palean baskets. It might have been the case that Palean baskets though found everywhere, were made specifcally by Paean people. To argue this point, the author would have to find evidence that no such trade was possible. Geological evidence might help argue that there was no way to commute between the two places. Conversely, the discovery of common patterns in other objects between these places might be a refutal of this claim.

Thus, the author would require geological and further archaeological investigation before concluding his theories about the Paean basket.
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Re: [Requesting Review:] Palean Baskets [#permalink] New post 02 Aug 2017, 02:02
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Find here on the board my answer to the same AWA.

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Re: [Requesting Review:] Palean Baskets   [#permalink] 02 Aug 2017, 02:02
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[Requesting Review:] Palean Baskets

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