Official26 托福阅读 Passage3 Sumer and the First Cities of the Ancient Near East文本+题目原文+答案解析【雷哥托福】2019-06-25 10:57:04 发布 来源：雷哥托福 阅读量:3147
TPO26 托福阅读 Passage3 Sumer and the First Cities of the Ancient Near East文本+题目原文+答案解析
Sumer and the First Cities of the Ancient Near East
The earliest of the city states of the ancient Near East appeared at the southern end of the Mesopotamian plain, the area between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in what is now Iraq. It was here that the civilization known as Sumer emerged in its earliest form in the fifth millennium. At first sight, the plain did not appear to be a likely home for a civilization. There were few natural resources, no timber, stone, or metals. Rainfall was limited, and what water there was rushed across the plain in the annual flood of melted snow. As the plain fell only 20 meters in 500 kilometers, the beds of the rivers shifted constantly. It was this that made the organization of irrigation, particularly the building of canals to channel and preserve the water, essential. Once this was done and the silt carried down by the rivers was planted, the rewards were rich: four to five times what rain-fed earth would produce. It was these conditions that allowed an elite to emerge, probably as an organizing class, and to sustain itself through the control of surplus crops.
It is difficult to isolate the factors that led to the next development—the emergence of urban settlements. The earliest, that of Eridu, about 4500 B.C.E., and Uruk, a thousand years later, center on impressive temple complexes built of mud brick. In some way, the elite had associated themselves with the power of the gods. Uruk, for instance, had two patron gods—Anu, the god of the sky and sovereign of all other gods, and Inanna, a goddess of love and war—and there were others, patrons of different cities. Human beings were at their mercy. The biblical story of the Flood may originate in Sumer. In the earliest version, the gods destroy the human race because its clamor had been so disturbing to them.
It used to be believed that before 3000 B.C.E. the political and economic life of the cities was centered on their temples, but it now seems probable that the cities had secular rulers from earliest times.[■]Within the city lived administrators, craftspeople, and merchants (Trading was important, as so many raw materials, the semiprecious stones for the decoration of the temples, timbers for roofs, and all metals, had to be imported.)[■]An increasingly sophisticated system of administration led in about 3300 B.C.E. to the appearance of writing. [■]The earliest script was based on logograms, with a symbol being used to express a whole word. [■]The logograms were incised on damp clay tablets with a stylus with a wedge shape at its end. (The Romans called the shape cuneus and this gives the script its name of cuneiform.) Two thousand logograms have been recorded from these early centuries of writing. A more economical approach was to use a sign to express not a whole word but a single syllable. (To take an example: the Sumerian word for “head” was “sag.” Whenever a word including a syllable in which the sound “sag” was to be written, the sign for “sag” could be used to express that syllable with the remaining syllables of the word expressed by other signs.) By 2300 B.C.E. the number of signs required had been reduced to 600, and the range of words that could be expressed had widened. Texts dealing with economic matters predominated, as they always had done; but at this point works of theology, literature, history, and law also appeared.
Other innovations of the late fourth millennium include the wheel, probably developed first as a more efficient way of making pottery and then transferred to transport. A tablet engraved about 3000 B.C.E. provides the earliest known example from Sumer, a roofed boxlike sledge mounted on four solid wheels. A major development was the discovery, again about 3000 B.C.E., that if copper, which had been known in Mesopotamia since about 3500 B.C.E., was mixed with tin, a much harder metal, bronze, would result. Although copper and stone tools continued to be used, bronze was far more successful in creating sharp edges that could be used as anything from saws and scythes to weapons. The period from 3000 to 1000 B.C.E., when the use of bronze became widespread, is normally referred to as the Bronze Age.
TPO26托福阅读 Passage3 Sumer and the First Cities of the Ancient Near East 题目
Question 1 of 13: Which of the following is NOT mentioned in paragraph 1 as a disadvantage of the Mesopotamian plain?
A. There was not very much rainfall for most of the year.
B. Melting snow caused flooding every year.
C. The silt deposited by rivers damaged crops.
D. Timber, stone and metals were not readily available.
Question 2 of 14: According to paragraph 1, which of the following made it possible for an elite to emerge?
A. New crops were developed that were better suited to conditions on the Mesopotamian plain.
B. The richest individuals managed to gain control of the most valuable cropland.
C. Control over the few available natural resources made some people four to five times richer than everyone else.
D. The building of canals to increase agricultural output required organization.
Question 3 of 14: The word “sustain" in the passage is closest in meaning to
Question 4 of 14: According to paragraph 2, Eridu and Uruk are examples of urban settlements that
A. lacked the features usually found in other early urban settlements
B. developed around religious buildings
C. grew much more rapidly than most of the urban settlements found in Sumer
D. were mysteriously destroyed and abandoned
Question 5 of 14: The word “sovereign” in the passage is closest in meaning to
Question 6 of 14: According to paragraph 3, which of the following led to the appearance of writing?
A. An increasingly sophisticated administrative system
B. Coordination between secular and religious leaders
C. The large volume of trade, particularly imports
D. A rapidly expanding and changing population
Question 7 of 14: In paragraph 3, why does the author provide the information that the number of signs in use had dropped from 2,000 to 600 by 2300 B.C.E.?
A. To argue that the development of writing involved periods of growth followed by periods of decline
B. To demonstrate that earlier written texts used a larger vocabulary than later texts, which were aimed at a broader audience
C. To support the claim that the range of words expressed by logograms varied widely depending on time period and type of text
D. To provide evidence for the increased efficiency of using signs to express syllables rather than whole words
Question 8 of 14: According to paragraph 3, ancient texts most commonly dealt with
Question9 of 14：According to paragraph 4, the earliest wheels probably
A. were first developed in areas outside Mesopotamia
B. were used to make pottery
C. appeared on boxlike sledges
D. were used to transport goods between cities
Question10 of 14: The word “engraved” in the passage is closest in meaning to
Question11 of 14: Which of the sentences below best expresses the essential information in the highlighted sentence in the passage? Incorrect choices change the meaning in important ways or leave out essential information.
A. Also around 3000 B.C.E., it was discovered that mixing copper, known from about 3500 B.C.E., with tin would create a much harder metal known as bronze.
B. Although copper had been known since 3500 B.C.E in Mesopotamia, the discovery of bronze did not occur until around 3000 B.C.E.
C. Another major development around 3000 B.C.E. was the discovery that copper could be mixed with a much harder metal known as tin.
D. The development of bronze by mixing copper and tin probably occurred around 3000 B.C.E. but may have happened as early as 3500 B.C.E.
Question 12 of 14: The word “widespread” in the passage is closest in meaning to
Question 13 of 14: Look at the four squares [■] that indicate where the following sentence could be added to the passage.
City life was diverse, and the population was engaged in a variety of occupations.
Where would the sentence best fit?
A. Within the city lived administrators, craftspeople, and merchants (Trading was important, as so many raw materials, the semiprecious stones for the decoration of the temples, timbers for roofs, and all metals, had to be imported.)
B. An increasingly sophisticated system of administration led in about 3300 B.C.E. to the appearance of writing.
C. The earliest script was based on logograms, with a symbol being used to express a whole word. ■
D. The logograms were incised on damp clay tablets with a stylus with a wedge shape at its end.
Question 14 of 14: Directions: An introductory sentence for a brief summary of the passage is provided below. Complete the summary by selecting the THREE answer choices that express the most important ideas in the passage. Some sentences do not belong in the summary because they express ideas that are not presented in the passage or are minor ideas in the passage. This question is worth 2 points.
Irrigation made it possible for the civilization known as Sumer to arise on the Mesopotamian plain in the fifth millennium B.C.E.
A. The scarcity of natural resources on the plain made it necessary for a powerful elite to emerge and take charge of trade and imports.
B. The economy of each city was based on a craft such as pottery or metal working, and the city of Eridu was known for its saws, scythes and weapons.
C. Writing appeared in the form of logograms and later developed into a system using signs to represent syllables rather than whole words.
D. Priests were powerful figures in the ancient civilization and controlled the political and economic life of the cities.
E. The earliest city states had one or more patron gods and were built around central temple complexes.
F. The development of the wheel and the creation of bronze were important innovations in Sumer.
TPO26托福阅读Passage3 Sumer and the First Cities of the Ancient Near East 真题解析
Question 1 of 14
解析：这是一道基于第一段的反向事实信息题，属于分散列举。A项对应Rainfall was limited；B项对应the annual flood of melted snow；D项对应There were few natural resources, no timber, stone, or metals；排除法选C，C项与Once this was done and the silt carried down by the rivers was planted矛盾。
Question 2 of 14
解析：根据关键词elite，定位到第一段最后一句话，大意是“这些条件促使精英阶级产生，他们作为组织阶级，通过控制多余粮食来维持阶级”，定位到上文出现“条件”的句子，the organization of irrigation, the building of canals to channel。精英阶级控制多余粮食，而产生大量粮食的条件是运河的建造，对应D。原文只是说作物的量增加了，没有说品种改良，排除A；文中未比较人与人之间财富的多少，排除B和C。
Question 3 of 14
Question 4 of 14
解析：定位词Eridu and Uruk，定位句The earliest, that of Eridu, about 4500 B.C.E., and Uruk, a thousand years later, center on impressive temple complexes built of mud brick，B项是对temple complexes（庙宇建筑群）的同义改写；A、C、D在文中均没有依据。
Question 5 of 14
解析：sovereign，君主；近义词是master，主人。根据sovereign of all other gods前面的the god of the sky可以推断出近义词是master。counselor，顾问；defender，守卫者；creator，创造者。
Question 6 of 14
解析：用the appearance of writing定位到An increasingly sophisticated system of administration led in about 3300 B.C.E. to the appearance of writing，A正确。
Question 7 of 14
解析：根据题干的时间词先定位到By 2300 B.C.E. the number of signs required had been reduced to 600，括号里面的解释部分也是一个举例。定位到括号前的A more economical approach was to use a sign to express not a whole word but a single syllable，D项是对这句话的同义改写。注意学习not but和rather than的相互替换句型。根据定位句中的a more economical approach可知writing的发展是进步的，没有periods of decline，排除A；B项中的broader audience在文中没有依据；C项中的depending on time period and type of text在文中没有依据。
Question 8 of 14
解析：根据关键词ancient texts定位到Texts dealing with economic matters predominated，C正确
Question 9 of 14
解析：根据关键词the earliest wheels定位到第四段第1句，the wheel, probably developed first as a more efficient way of making pottery，B项正确。原文只有in Mesopotamia没有outside，排除A；原文是boxlike sledge mounted on four solid wheels，排除C；D项错在增加了无关信息between cities，并且原文and then transferred to transport说明最早wheels不是作交通工具用。最高级the earliest wheels的定位很重要。
Question 10 of 14
Question 11 of 14
解析：通过理解句子大意和逻辑找与原句匹配的选项。保持逻辑和主干，原句去掉插入部分变为：A major development was the discover that if copper was mixed with tin, a much harder metal, bronze, would result. A项包含了逻辑关系的比较级和主句的核心意思。B项出现了although让步逻辑，错误。C项缺少主句核心bronze。D项增加了but转折逻辑。简化题首先逻辑要对，其次重要信息不能省略，然后进行核对。有时候副词的程度不能改变。另外请注意and句的改写，and后面的内容非常重要，一般是改写的方向，不能忽略。and前面可以忽略 ，故选A。
Question 12 of 14
解析：widespread，普遍的，广泛的；近义词是common。根据when the use of bronze became widespread, is normally referred to as the Bronze Age的前后逻辑关系，也可以确定widespread在此处是common的意思。
Question 13 of 14
解析：插入句的大意是“城市生活很多元，人们从事不同的职业”，这是一个概括写法，A处后的Within the city lived administrators, craftspeople, and merchants是对a variety of occupations的展开具体举例。插入句和A处后句子的关系是从概括到具体。
Question 14 of 14
A项逻辑错误，根据第一段后3句的描述可知是农业增加导致精英的出现，而不是scarcity of natural resources； B项错在Eridu出现在第二段，saws, scythes and weapons出现在第四段且指的是Sumer；D项错在原文未提及牧师。