2014年6月21日托福阅读真题+题目+答案：Climate Change and the Natufian People
The so-called Natufian culture inhabited what is now the Middle East between approximately 14,000 and 11,500 years ago. This period is commonly split into two subperiods, Early Natufian (14,000 to 13,000 years ago) and Late Natufian (13,000 to 11,500). The Natufians were hunter-gatherers who relied primarily on gazelle, although they also cultivated some cereal grains. During the early period at least, they lived year-round in villages in built stone houses. Like all human beings, their way of life depended on the climate. Around 13,000 years ago, their climate began to change, becoming colder and drier, a period known as the Younger Dryas.
We know that times were hard in the increasingly arid landscapes of the Younger Dryas, but quite how hard remains unclear. The droughts certainly caused many ponds and rivers to disappear completely and the larger lakes to shrink in size. The people who lived in the south, in today’s deserts of the Negev and the Sinai, were most likely hit the hardest. They returned to a completely transient hunter-gatherer way of life, moving from place to place. Survival required improved hunting weapons: game (animals hunted for food) had become scarce, and consequently, success had become essential when a kill was possible. And so we see the invention of the Harif point, a new kind of arrowhead.
Further north, the impact of the Younger Dryas may have been less severe. Yet survival still required more than just a return to the ancient mobile hunter-gatherer lifestyle, especially as there were now many more people needing food than had been the case during earlier periods, when the Natufians lived in permanent dwellings. One response was to hunt a much wider range of animals than before, and hence we find in Late Natufian settlements the bones of many small-game species as well as larger, ever-present gazelle.
Another response to the changing climate was to continue, and perhaps expand the cultivation of plants. Wild cereals were particularly hard hit by the Younger Dryas owing to a decrease in the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere. This diminution, carefully documented from air bubbles trapped in Antarctic ice, inhibited their photosynthesis and markedly reduced their yields. Consequently, whatever cultivation practices had begun during the Early Natufian period—weeding, transplanting, watering, pest control—may now have become essential to secure sufficient food. And these may have created the first domesticated strains.
This appears to be what happened at the village of Abu Hureyra just before its abandonment. When the archaeologist Gordon Hillman studied the cereal grains from the site, he found a few grains of rye from plants that had undergone the transition into domestic forms. When dated, they were shown to lie between 11,000 and 10,500 B.C.—the oldest domesticated cereal grain from anywhere in the world. Along with these grains, Hillman found seeds from the weeds that typically grow in cultivated soil. And so it appears that, as the availability of wild plant foods declined due to the onset of the Younger Dryas, the Abu Hureyra people invested an ever greater amount of time and effort in caring for the wild rye and by doing so unintentionally transforme it into a domestic crop. But even this could not support the village—it was abandoned as people were forced to return to a mobile lifestyle, perhaps carrying pouches of cereal grain. The domesticated rye of Abu Hureyra reverted to its wild state.
The geographical range of the Late Natufians also changed. With their increased interest in plant cultivation, the Late Natufians drifted away from the depleted woodlands where their forebears once flourished. They were drawn to the alluvial soils (soils deposited by rivers) of the valleys, not only those of the River Jordan, but also those found by the great rivers of the Mesopotamian plain and in the vicinity of lakes and rivers throughout the Middle East. Large expanses of these rich, fertile soils became available as the rivers and lakes struck during the Younger Dryas Wild, but cultivated, cereals grew well in such soil, especially when close to the meager springs, ponds, and streams that survived the arid conditions.
1. Which of the following can be inferred from paragraph 2 about why game became scarce during the Younger Dryas?
A. The development of new weapons in the south improved the Natufians’ hunting successes.
B. Human settlement in the south destroyed the resources that allowed game animals to survive.
C. Animals died or moved away as their sources of drinking water dried up.
D. Animals were scared away by the Natufians’ rapid movement from place to place. Paragraph 2 is marked with an arrow [→]
2. In paragraph 2, why does the author mention the Harif point?
A.To support the idea that the Younger Dryas required Natufians to hunt in new ways
B. To illustrate how humans had begun to protect their settlements during the Younger Dryas
C. To contrast the settled lifestyle of villages with the transient lifestyle of hunter-gathers
D. To explain the process by which ancient people invented arrowheads
3. According to paragraph 3, what did the Natufians do to feed their increasing population during the Younger Dryas?
A.They began to trade food products with other people in neighboring areas.
B. They began hunting a wider range of animals.
C. They tried to hunt mostly the larger animals.
D. They moved south where there were more animals. Paragraph 3 is marked with an arrow [→]
4. According to paragraph 4, air bubbles in Antarctic ice are evidence of which of the following during the Younger Dryas period?
A.Areduction in atmospheric carbon dioxide
B. An increase in the number of weeds
C. Improvements in cultivation of plants
D. Greater use of pest controls Paragraph 4 is marked with an arrow [→]
5. The word “inhibited” in the passage is closet in meaning to
6. The word “sufficient” in the passage is closet in meaning to
7. In paragraph 5, why does the author described the archaeologist’s findings at Abu Hureyra?
A. To identify the best-known Natufian village
B. To question the idea that wild grains were first domesticated more than 11,000 years ago
C. To challenge the idea presented in paragraph 4 that earlier cultivation practices became essential for Natufian survival during the Younger Dryas
D. To provide evidence supporting the theory presented in paragraph 4 about how wild plants became domesticated Paragraph 5 is marked with an arrow [→]
8. According to paragraph 5, what was one response of the people of Abu Hureyra to the onset of the Younger Dryas?
A.They began collecting a wider variety of wild grains.
B. They began cultivating crops at sites outside Abu Hureyra.
C. They developed special pouches for storing and carrying cereal grain.
D. They spent more energy and time cultivating their rye crop. Paragraph 5 is marked with an arrow [→]
9. According to paragraph 5, what happened to the domesticated rye left at Abu Hureyra?
A.It developed a number of different strains.
B. It became wild again.
C. It became extinct.
D. It could no longer be used as food. Paragraph 5 is marked with an arrow [→]
10. The word “flourished” in the passage is closet in meaning to
11. The phrase “drawn to” in the passage is closet in meaning to
B. attracted toward
C. impressed by
D. surrounded by
12. According to paragraph 6, why did the Natufians move to river valleys during the Younger Dryas?
A.Plants grew better in the fertile soil next to bodies of water.
B. The Natufians followed the game animals there.
C. The Natufians used the rivers as their means of transportation.
D. The valleys had more woodlands, which the Natufians needed for home building. Paragraph 6 is marked with an arrow [→]
Paragraphs1 and 2 The so-called Natufian culture inhabited what is now the Middle East between approximately 14,000 and 11,500 years ago. This period is commonly split into two subperiods, Early Natufian (14,000 to 13,000 years ago) and Late Natufian (13,000 to 11,500). The Natufians were hunter-gatherers who relied primarily on gazelle, although they also cultivated some cereal grains. ■During the early period at least, they lived year-round in villages in built stone houses. Like all human beings, their way of life depended on the climate. ■Around 13,000 years ago, their climate began to change, becoming colder and drier, a period known as the Younger Dryas.■We know that times were hard in the increasingly arid landscapes of the Younger Dryas, but quite how hard remains unclear. ■The droughts certainly caused many ponds and rivers to disappear completely and the larger lakes to shrink in size. The people who lived in the south, in today’s deserts of the Negev and the Sinai, were most likely hit the hardest. They returned to a completely transient hunter-gatherer way of life, moving from place to place. Survival required improved hunting weapons: game (animals hunted for food) had become scarce, and consequently, success had become essential when a kill was possible. And so we see the invention of the Harif point, a new kind of arrowhead.
13. Look at the four squares [■] that indicate where the following sentence could be added to the passage. As long as the climate remained moderate, the Natufians were able to thrive by remaining in their villages.
Where would the sentence best fit? Click on a square [■] to add the sentence to the passage.
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 answer choices 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. Drag your choices to the spaces where they belong. To review the passage, click on View Text.
About 13,000 years ago, a colder and drier period known as the Younger Dryas caused the Natufian people to alter their lifestyle. ● ● ●
1.As lakes and rivers dried up, Natufians abandoned their settlements in some areas and became mobile hunters, developing new, more efficient hunting weapons to improve their success in the hunt.
2.Cereal yields dropped when the air became excessively concentrated with carbon dioxide, which impaired photosynthesis.
3.In one Natufian village, an archaeologist found the oldest-known domesticated cereal grain, dating from more than 14,000 years ago.
4.A major contribution of Natufian culture to early civilization was the invention of a new arrowhead called the Harif point.
5.With wild grains no longer plentiful, the Natufians had to invent better cultivation techniques, resulting in new domesticated varieties.
6.The climate change forced some Late Natufians to move away from their former woodland homes and inhabit the fertile lands left by the receding rivers and lakes. .