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托福阅读真题+题目+答案:Egypt Circa 3100 B.C.

来源:原创作品 | 2019-10-16404

托福阅读真题+题目+答案:EgyptCirca3100B.C.ThecityofMemphis,locatedontheNilenearthemoderncityofCairo,wasfoundedaround3100B.C.,asthefirstcapitalofarecentlyunitedEgypt.ThechoiceofMemp

托福阅读真题+题目+答案:Egypt Circa 3100 B.C.

The city of Memphis, located on the Nile near the modern city of Cairo, was founded around 3100 B.C., as the first capital of a recently united Egypt. The choice of Memphis by Egypt’s first kinds reflects the site’s strategic importance. First, and most obvious, the apex of the Nile River delta was a politically opportune location for the state’s administrative center, standing between the united lands of Upper and Lower Egypt and offering ready access to both parts of the country. The older predynastic (pre- 3100 B.C.) centers of power. This and Hierakonpolis, were too remote from the vast expanse of the delta, which had been incorporated into the unified state. Only a city within easy reach of both the Nile valley to the south and the more spread out, difficult terrain to the north could provide the necessary political control that the rulers of early dynastic Egypt (roughly 3000-2600 B.C.) required.

The region of Memphis must have also served as an important node for transport and communications, even before the unification of Egypt. The region probably acted as a conduit for much, if not all, of the river-based trade between northern and southern Egypt. Moreover, commodities (such as wine, precious oils, and metals) imported from the Near East by the royal courts of predynastic Upper Egypt would have been channeled through the Memphis region on their way south. In short, therefor, the site Memphis offered the rulers of the Early Dynastic Period an ideal location for controlling internal trade within their realm, an essential requirement for a state-directed economy that depended on the movement of goods.

Equally important for the national administration was the ability to control communications within Egypt. The Nile provided the easiest and quickest artery of communication, and the national capital was, again, ideally located in this respect. Recent geological surveys of the Memphis region have revealed much about its topography in ancient times. It appears that the location of Memphis may have been even more advantageous for controlling trade, transport, and communications than was previously appreciated. Surveys and drill cores have shown that the level of the Nile floodplain has steadily risen over the last five millenniums. When the floodplain was much lower, as it would have been in predynastic and early dynastic ties, the outwash fans (fan-shaped deposits of sediments) of various wadis (stream-beds or channels) that carry water only during rainy periods) would have been much more prominent features on the east bank. The fan associated with the Wadi Hof extended a significant way into the Nile floodplain, forming a constriction in the vicinity of Memphis. The valley may has narrowed at this point to a mere three kilometers, making it the ideal place for controlling river traffic.

Furthermore, the Memphis region seems to have been favorably located for the control not only of river-based trade but also of desert trade routes. The two outwash fans in the area gave access to the extensive wadi systems of the eastern desert. In predynastic times, the Wadi Digla may have served as a trade route between the Memphis region and the Near East, to judge from the unusual concentration of foreign artifacts found in the predynastic settlement of Maadi. Access to, and control of , trade routes between Egypt and the Near East seems to have been a preoccupation of Egypt’s rulers during the period of state formation. The desire to monopolize foreign trade may have been one of the primary factors behind the political unification of Egypt. The foundation of the national capital at the junction of an important trade route with the Nile valley is not likely to have been accidental. Moreover, the Wadis Hof and Digla provided the Memphis region with accessible desert pasturage. As was the case with the cities of Hierakonpolis and Elkab, the combination within the same area of both desert pasturage and alluvial arable land (land suitable for growing crops) was a particularly attractive one for early settlement, this combination no doubt contributed to the prosperity of the Memphis region from early predynastic times.


托福阅读真题题目:

1. The word “vast” in the passage is closet in meaning to

A. fertile

B. huge

C. unique

D. irregular


2. According to paragraph 1, why was Memphis a better choice for the capital of a united Egypt than either This or Hierakonpolis?

A. Memphis was in a better location for maintaining administrative control.

B. Memphis had long been a regional administrative center by the time Egypt was united.

C. This and Hierakonpolis had never actually been incorporated into the unified state.

D. Egyptian rulers had failed to keep political control over This and Hierakonpolis in predynastic times.


3. It can be inferred from paragraph 1 that one consequence of the unification of Egypt was

A. the reduction of the strategic importance of older centers of power

B. the opportunity for the recently united Egypt to become economically self-sufficient

C. the increase in political tensions between the rulers of Upper and Lower Egypt

D. the reduction of Egypt’s dependence upon the Nile for trade and communications


4. Which of the following best describes how paragraph 1 is organized?

A. Two simultaneous developments are described, as well as the reasons why neither one would have occurred without the other.

B. A hypothesis is presented, and then points in favor of that hypothesis as well as points against it are discussed.

C. A major event is described, and then the most obvious effects of that event are presented.

D. A decision is described, and then one likely motivation for that decision is presented.


5. According to paragraph 2, when did Egypt import goods from the Near East?

A. Once internal trade was fully controlled from Memphis

B. Not until early dynastic Egypt established its state-directed economy

C. As early as predynastic times

D. Only when local supplies of those goods had been completely used up


6. 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. Thus in Memphis, the rulers of the Early Dynastic Period were ideally placed to control internal trade, which they had to do in order to run their economy.

B. Therefore the rulers of the Early Dynastic Period thought Memphis was the ideal location for trade with nearby countries.

C. In short, a state-directed economy like that of the Early Dynastic Period requires choosing a single location to which goods can be moved-Memphis, in this case

D. In sum, then, a state-directed economy first developed during Egypt’s Early Dynastic Period because Memphis was an ideal location for controlling trade.


7. The word “appreciated” in the passage is closest in meaning to

A. proposed

B. understood

C. approved

D. expected


8. According to paragraph 3, recent research into the topography of the Memphis region in ancient times suggests which of the following?

A. The level of the Nile floodplains was much higher in predynastic and dynastic times than in later times.

B. The sediment deposits of wadis were not as noticeable in predynastic and dynastic times than in later times.

C. The Nile valley at the point of Memphis was narrower in predynastic and dynastic times than it was in later times

D. Frequent rainy periods may have caused a significant reduction of trade traffic during the predynastic and dynastic times.


9. The word “vicinity” in the passage is closest in meaning to

A. center

B. fields

C. city

D. surrounding area


10. According to paragraph 4, which of the following is NOT a reason Memphis was chosen as the capital of a united Egypt?

A. It was at the junction of a major trade route with the Nile valley.

B. It was near land that could be used for animal grazing and for growing crops.

C. The nearby outwash fans led into wadis that could be used as desert trade routes.

D. Since foreign traders had settled in nearby Maadi, trade between the two cities could be established.


11. The phrase “to have been accidental” in the passage is closest in

A. to have gone wrong

B. to have been helpful

C. to have occurred by chance

D. to have made a difference


12. In paragraph 4, why does the author mention the cities of Hierakonpolis and Elkab?

A. To give an indication of the level of prosperity that Memphis is thought to have enjoyed from its earliest days

B. To compare the Memphis region to them in terms of their similar combinations of characteristics providing advantages for early settlement

C. To identify the models that the founders of Memphis followed in laying out the national capital

D. To suggest that the combination of desert pasturage and alluvial arable land in the same area was very common



The region of Memphis must have also served as an important node for transport and communications, even before the unification of Egypt.  The region probably acted as a conduit for much, if not all, of the river-based trade between northern and southern Egypt.  Moreover, commodities (such as wine, precious oils, and metals) imported from the Near East by the royal courts of predynastic Upper Egypt would have been channeled through the Memphis region on their way south.  In short, therefor, the site Memphis offered the rulers of the Early Dynastic Period an ideal location for controlling internal trade within their realm, an essential requirement for a state-directed economy that depended on the movement of goods.

13. Look at the four squares [] that indicate where the following sentence could be added to the passage.

While considerations of political power and ease of administration were decisive in choosing the location of the new capital, the site clearly had other advantages.

Where would the sentence best fit?


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 the express ideas that are not presented in the passage or are minor ideas in the passage. This question is worth 2 points.

Around 3100 B.C. Memphis was chosen for its strategic importance to be the first capital of a recently united Egypt.

Answer Choices

A. River-based trade from northern Egypt and imported goods going south all passed through the Memphis region, making Memphis an ideal location for controlling trade.

B. Recent geological surveys suggest that the topographical features of the Memphis region made it particularly well-suited for controlling communications and trade.

C. The rulers of unified Egypt enjoyed a monopoly over foreign trade because all such trade was required to go through the Wadi Digla, to which the rulers controlled all access.

D. After Memphis became the capital city, river-based trade along the Nile gained in importance, while land-based desert trade declined in importance.

E. The Nile, despite a constriction of its valley near Memphis, was the most advantageous route for communication and travel once the floodplain had begun to rise.

F. While the location of Memphis was agriculturally favorable, it was particularly attractive because it enabled Egypt’s rulers to control trade moving through the desert from the Near East.


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