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2019-12-10 16:29


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  真题来源:2015-8-22CN The Upper Paleolithic Revolution

  P1: The Old Stone Age is the earliest period of human development and the longest phase of mankind’s history. It was not till around 30 thousand years ago (or 30 “kya") that the archaeological record reveals the emergence of technical and social advances, which comprised new technologies, hunting techniques, human burials, and an artistic tradition of astonishing competency. This dramatic change was known as the Upper Paleolithic Revolution. It had been traditionally argued that the Upper Paleolithic Revolution was an archaeological phenomenon exclusive to Eurasia. The absence of equivalent evidence in other regions suggested that a fundamental change had occurred in human intellectual development around 40 kya in Europe. However, the recent discovery in the Blombos Cave in South Africa of a block of decorated ochre and then sets of shell beads, dated to around 77 kya, opened up the debate. This supports other evidence of more versatile stone implements and bone tools found in Africa from the same period. Now the Upper Paleolithic Revolution is regarded as the most noticeable evidence for the evolution of modern human behavior.

  •P2: Two further questions follow. First, what was happening to the human cognitive process during the 40,000 years or so from innovative usage of stone in the Blombos Cave to the flourishing of human creativity in Europe? Second, during the Pleistocene a series of momentous climatic events occurred—was climate change then a component? The question of whether the sudden transition seen in Europe was built on earlier developments in Africa has been addressed at length by anthropologists Sally McBrearty and Alison Brooks. They argue that the whole issue of the Upper Paleolithic Revolution stems from a profound Eurocentric bias and a failure to appreciate the depth and breadth of the African archaeological record.

  In fact, many South African archaeological sites show that the revolution occurred in Africa during the Middle Paleolithic—tens of thousands of years before they appeared in Europe. This is supported by evidence of using new stone tools like the blade and microlithic technology. Replication has shown that blades from the time required a high level of skill to make due to their shape, indicating a higher level of hominid complexity. At the same time, exploitation of aquatic resources began to prosper.

  •P3: Contrasted with this view of a spontaneous leap in cognition among ancient 一 humans, some authors like Alison S. Brooks, primarily working in African archaeology, point to the gradual accumulation of modern behaviors, starting well before the 50,000 year benchmark of the Upper Paleolithic Revolution models. The extraordinary range of rock art in Australia adds great weight to the idea that artistic creativity was part and parcel of the intellectual capacity of modem humans that migrated out of Africa around 70 kya For the time being, the emergence of Modern humans in sub-Saharan Africa, socio-economic dynamism that caused their expansion through the Nile Valley into the Near East, and then a migration along the southern route of Asia as far as Australia is the most plausible scenario, though it still leaves much to be desired from future archaeological research.

  •P4: The question of the sudden emergence of creative activity that appears to constitute the Upper Paleolithic Revolution falls to the ground. The obvious explanation is that the gap between African developments and the subsequent better-known European events is a matter of the limitations of the archaeological record. This does not altogether cover the question of why there was the sudden flowering of creativity at the beginning of the Upper Paleolithic in Europe.

  It may be that earlier creative efforts have either been lost in or have yet to emerge from the mists of time. Recent finds of decorative pierced shells dating from 43 kya or even earlier in caves in parts of western Asia near Europe may be examples of a process extending the evidence back in time. The changes in human behavior have also been attributed to the changes in climate during the period, which encompasses a number of global temperature drops. This meant a worsening of the already bitter climate which hence forced the ancestors of today's Europeans to move into a largely unpopulated region, their sudden presence in the archaeological record appearing revolutionary.


  1. Why does the author mention a block of decorated ochre and sets of shell beads?

  A. To help make the point that archaeologists regard artistic creations as the highest kind of human achievement

  B. To illustrate how the discovery of certain objects makes the discovery of certain other objects more likely

  C. To give some of the evidence that has changed archaeologists' thinking about human intellectual development

  D. To help explain why archaeologists have been slow to recognize the importance of certain evidence available to them

  2. How far back in time do the origins of the more versatile stone implements and bone tools found in Africa go

  A. To around 40 kya

  B. To around 77 kya

  C. To the time of the Upper Paleolithic Revolution

  D. To a time before modern "human” behavior had begun to evolve

  3. The word "equivalent" in the passage is closest in meaning to

  A. comprehensible

  B. concrete

  C. comparable

  D. widely debated

  4. According to paragraph 2, what do archaeologists want to know about the climate?

  A. Whether it was a reason that humans lived in caves

  B. Whether it was stable throughout that period

  C. Whether it changed in similar ways in Africa and Europe

  D. Whether it was a factor in how the human cognitive process developed

  5. According to paragraph 2, anthropologists McBrearty and Brooks argue that archaeologists' traditional understanding of the Upper Paleolithic Revolution was flawed because

  A. they underestimated available African archaeological evidence.

  B. the archaeological evidence available to them contained errors.

  C. they could not distinguish artistic creations from objects meant for practical use.

  D. they based their judgments on the limited archaeological record available at that time.

  6. Anthropologists McBrearty and Brooks consider such components of the Upper Paleolithic Revolution as blade and microlithic technology to have

  A. first emerged in the Middle Paleolithic Period, in Africa rather than in Europe

  B. emerged in Europe independently in many different places at different times

  C. first emerged in Europe, then to have been further developed in Africa

  D. been part of a similarly sudden, but earlier, cultural revolution in Africa





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