2014年7月12日托福阅读真题+题目+答案：The Emergence of Civilization
Starting around 8000 B.C.E., the most extensive exploitation of agriculture occurred in river valleys, where there were both good soil and a dependable water supply regardless of the amount of rainfall. In the Near East, this happened in the Fertile Crescent, the region extending up the Nile Valley in Egypt, north through the Levant (Palestine, Lebanon, and Syria), and southeast into the Tigris and Euphrates river valleys of Mesopotamia. The richest soil was located in the deltas at the mouths of the rivers, but the deltas were swampy and subject to flooding. Before they could be farmed, they needed to be drained and irrigated, and flood-control systems had to be constructed. These activities required administrative organization and the ability to mobilize large pools of labor. In Mesopotamia, perhaps as a consequence of a period of drought, massive land-use projects were undertaken after 4000 B.C.E. to cultivate the rich delta soils of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. The land was so productive that many more people could be fed, and a great population explosion resulted. Villages grew into cities of tens of thousands of persons.
These large cities needed some form of centralized administration. Archaeological evidence indicates that the organization initially was provided by religion, for the largest building in each city was a massive temple honoring one of the Mesopotamian gods. In Uruk, for example, a 60-foot-long temple known as the White House was built before 3000 B.C.E. There were no other large public buildings, suggesting that the priests who were in charge of the temples also were responsible for governing the city and organizing people to work in the fields and on irrigation projects building and maintaining systems of ditches and dams.
The great concentration of wealth and resources in the river valleys brought with it further technological advances, such as wheeled vehicles, multicolored pottery and the pottery wheel, and the weaving of wool garments. Advances in metal technology just before 2000 B.C.E. resulted in the creation of bronze, a durable alloy (or mixture) of about 90 percent copper and 10 percent tin that provided a sharp cutting edge for weapons.
By 3000 B.C.E., the economies and administrations of Mesopotamia and Egypt had become so complex that some form of record keeping was needed. As a result, writing was invented. Once a society became literate, it passed from the period known as prehistory into the historic period. In fact, the word ―history‖ comes from a Greek word meaning ―narrative‖—people could not provide a detailed permanent account of their past until they were able to write.
The totality of these developments resulted in the appearance, around 3000 B.C.E., of a new form of culture called civilization. The first civilizations had several defining characteristics. They had economies based on agriculture. They had cities that functioned as administrative centers and usually had large populations. They had different social classes, such as free persons and slaves. They had specialization of labor, that is, different people serving, for example, as rulers, priests, craft workers, merchants, soldiers, and farmers. And they had metal technology and a system of writing. As of 3000 B.C.E., civilization in these terms existed in Mesopotamia, Egypt, India, and China.
This first phase of civilization is called the Bronze Age because of the importance of metal technology. The most characteristic Near Eastern Bronze Age civilizations, those of Mesopotamia and Egypt, were located in river valleys, were based on the extensive exploitation of agriculture, and supported large populations. Bronze was a valuable commodity in these civilizations, the copper and tin needed for its manufacture did not exist in river valleys and had to be imported. Bronze was therefore used mainly for luxury items, such as jewelry or weapons, not for everyday domestic items, which were made from pottery, animal products, wood, and stone. In particular, bronze was not used for farming tools. Thus, early civilizations based on large-scale agriculture, such as those of Mesopotamia and Egypt, were feasible only in soils that could be worked by wooden plows pulled by people or draft animals such as oxen. Other Bronze Age civilizations, however, such as those that arose in the Levant and eastern Mediterranean took advantage of their location on communication routes to pursue economies based on trade.
15. Which of the following helps explain why ―the most extensive exploitation of agriculture occurred in river valleys‖?
A. In river valleys farmers did not have to depend on rain for water.
B. The soil in river valleys did not require irrigation.
C. Swampy areas in river valleys were easy to drain.
D. The expanding populations in river valleys provided large pools of labor.
16. Why does the author mention ―a period of drought‖?
ATo help explain why the richest soils in the Near East were located in the deltas at the mouths of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers
B. To suggest a reason for undertaking the massive effort to make the deltas of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers farmable
C. To identify a condition that often affected agricultural production in Mesopotamia
D. To support the idea that mobilizing large pools of labor after 4000 B.C.E. required significant administrative organization
17. Accordingto paragraph 1, what was one result of the farming systems developed in river deltas in the Near East?
A.There was a large increase in the overall amount of food produced.
B. Large pools of labor became available to perform administrative tasks.
C. The soil in these deltas grew much richer.
D. The number of farming villages surrounding cities increased.
18. According to paragraph 2, the fact that temples appear to have been the only large public buildings in Mesopotamian cities has been interpreted as evidence that these cities
A.needed some form of central administration
B. were initially administered by priests
C.were all governed from Uruk
D. had difficulty organizing workers for building projects
19. The word "durable" in the passage is closest in meaning to
A.existing for a long time without significant damage
B difficult to produce
C. recently discovered
D. extremely useful
20. Paragraph 3 indicates that technological advances affected all of the following EXCEPT
B. clothing manufacture
C. warfare and hunting
D. the distribution of wealth and resources
21. According to paragraph 4, why was writing invented?
A.To reduce unnecessary social complexity
B.To keep economic and administrative records
C. To record oral historical narratives
D. To help people better understand their own past
22. The word "defining" in the passage is closest in meaning to
23. According to paragraph 5, all of the following are true of the first civilizations EXCEPT:
A.Their soldiers and priests also worked as farmers.
B. Their populations were divided into different social classes.
C. They had developed technologies for working with metals.
D.They were typically administered from large cities.
24. The word "domestic" in the passage is closest in meaning to
25. According toparagraph 6, why was bronze not used for farming tools in Bronze Age civilizations of the Near East?
A.Wooden farming tools were more effective in the soils of the region.
B. Bronze farming tools would have deteriorated quickly in the climate.
C. Bronze was too expensive to use for farming tools.
D. People had not yet discovered how to make farming tools out of bronze.
26. According to paragraph 6, which of the following was true of at least some civilizations of the Bronze Age?
A.They did not develop urban centers with large populations.
B. They did not use metals to make bronze.
C. They had an economy that was not based on agriculture.
D. They did not use bronze for luxury items such as jewelry.
Paragraph 6 This first phase of civilization is called the Bronze Age because of the importance of metal technology. The most characteristic Near Eastern Bronze Age civilizations, those of Mesopotamia and Egypt, were located in river valleys, were based on the extensive exploitation of agriculture, and supported large populations. ■ Bronze was a valuable commodity in these civilizations, the copper and tin needed for its manufacture did not exist in river valleys and had to be imported. ■Bronze was therefore used mainly for luxury items, such as jewelry or weapons, not for everyday domestic items, which were made from pottery, animal products, wood, and stone. ■In particular, bronze was not used for farming tools. ■Thus, early civilizations based on large-scale agriculture, such as those of Mesopotamia and Egypt, were feasible only in soils that could be worked by wooden plows pulled by people or draft animals such as oxen. Other Bronze Age civilizations, however, such as those that arose in the Levant and eastern Mediterranean took advantage of their location on communication routes to pursue economies based on trade.
27. Look at the four squares [■] that indicate where the following sentence can be added to the passage.
This significantly limited the availability of bronze.
Where would the sentence best fit?
28. 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.
After 4000 B.C.E., organized drainage and flood-control projects in the Fertile Crescent allowed cultivation of river deltas and led to large population increases. ● ● ●
1.Before the rise of large cities with complex economies, there had been no need for any kind of administrative structure to organize workers, and thus religion tended to be the only source of authority.
2.By 3000 B.C.E., a number of agricultural societies had emerged as civilization characterized by large cities, centralized administrations, specialization of labor, class divisions, metal technology, and writing.
3.Although river-valley societies had to import the metals for making bronze, the first phase of civilization is known as the Bronze Age because of the importance of metal technology in these societies.
4.Large cities functioned as administrative centers, creating a concentration of wealth and resources that stimulated technological advances, such as the invention of writing and the creation of bronze.
5.For a culture to be considered a civilization, it must have independently invented its own form of writing and become generally literate, thereby moving from prehistory into the historic period.
6.The creation of bronze made it possible for civilizations based on large-scale agriculture to be located far away from the river valleys.