2015年12月9日托福阅读真题+题目+答案：The British Economy Under the Roman Empire
Following the Roman Empire conquering the area in the first century A.D., there is a great deal of archaeological evidence for the economic growth of the British Isles. Prior to this event, the economy of the British Isles, which was based on manufacturing, was centered mainly on the household and on craft skills, and where the best quality and greatest range of goods were largely a monopoly of the tribal aristocracies. This was the nature of the economy which lasted in regions of Britain that were unconquered by the Roman Empire, even though some Roman products were utilized in such areas. The majority of these Roman artifacts were glass vessels, pots, as well as small metal objects that were dispersed over a vast region. They perhaps held a symbolic value and were not necessarily used for their originally designed purposes. The spread of Roman objects beyond Roman Britain does not seem to have happened on an enormous scale. In areas where artifacts are more numerous, it is likely due to gift giving during close interactions between the Roman government and the tribes.
In regions that experienced direct economic control under the Romans, however, economic growth is clearly notable. There was an enormous increase in the number and variety of goods in circulation and the range of settlements in which they were found. This is clearly true in the overwhelming majority of excavated sites in Roman Britain, with the only exceptions being some rural regions that continued the pre-Roman, Iron Age pattern. The majority of sites resulted in the discovery of an abundance of iron, glass, and pottery, and good quantities of copper alloys, lead, tin, silver, and occasionally gold. For example, the humble iron nail is found in numbers not repeated until the Industrial Revolution.
The technology levels and range of the manufacturing of these objects also developed alongside the sheer increase in their quantity. During the Iron Age, the typical household objects were usually manufactured using a low technology of craft manufacture. Later, this changed to more specialized and larger-scale production methods. During this time, specialized workers could utilize equipment manufactured through'time and resource investments. In these regions, small-scale workshops used by specialized craftsmen betoken full-time employment in this work. Regardless of the large increase in the scale of manufacturing, there is little evidence of major growth in the size of productive units. We are left with the impression of an economy still based on small-scale craft production.
Where we do see an important change is in the removal of any exclusive association between the best traditional craftsmen and the governing elite. The powerful could show off their status in new ways, particularly by using Roman architecture and domestic decoration, but the traditional classes of decorative metalwork manufacture no longer seem to have been under the control of the tribal leaders. Rich objects from a wide range of archaeological sites imply the deterioration of this monopoly. There are a number of contributing factors. The control of precious metals moved to the imperial government immediately after the conquest, and gold and silver were also removed from circulation when captured as booty during the invasion. Similarly, changes in taste and the fashions of wealth and status display were stimulated by the arrival of new things like Roman dress, architecture, and sculpture.
These changes in manufacture were accompanied by increased distances over which many goods were transported to their consumers. ■ The bulk of pottery and other items originated locally, during the Iron Age; but after the Roman invasion, these objects had been produced over a far greater range of distances. ■ In this way, vast regions of the Roman province were incorporated into a society where there was wide access to material wealth. _ New changes in manufacturing production were coupled with huge increase in the importation of goods from elsewhere in the empire. ■ These commodities, which included Mediterranean foodstuffs such as olive oil as well as comparatively low-value objects such as decorated pottery, also achieved a wide distribution and are found in many different types of site.
1 • 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) Prior to the Roman conquest, the majority of manufacturing was focused on supplying the aristocratic tribal households.
(B)Before the first century A.D., the manufacturing economy was not as developed as it would become under the Roman Empire,but there was a vast range of articles available to the aristocracy.
(C)Before the Roman conquest, the majority of manufacturing in the British Isles was mostly devoted to household product! with the highest quality products monopolized by the tribal aristocracies.
(D)The pre-Roman British society was ruled by tribal aristocracies and evolved with a focus on high-quality craftsmanship of household goods.
2. The word lasted in the passage is closest in meaning to
(C) was copied
(D) was presented
3. The word dispersed in the passage is closest in meaning to
4. According to paragraph 1, the presence of a multitude of Roman products in the regions of Britain that were not under Roman was caused by
(A) the trade of goods between traveling Roman craftspeople through Britain and local inhabitants
(B) gifts Roman government officials provided to local tribes due to close relationships with the tribes and their officials
(C) trade between centers of manufacturing in Roman Britain and in centers in other regions of the Roman Empire
(D) the settlement of a high number of Roman people in regions around the Roman Britain province
5. Paragraph 2 mentions all of the following as evidence of Roman Britain’s economic development EXCEPT
(A) a rise in the variety of products available
(B) a growth in the quantity of settlements where products became available
(C) an increase in the diversity of materials uncovered at archaeological sites
(D) a rise in the rural population
6. In paragraph 2，the author talks about the iron nail in order to
(A) imply that most products manufactured were considered to be practical or useful
(B) illustrate that iron was a key player in Britain’s economy before the Roman invasion
(C) give support for the statement that there was much economic activity in Britain following the Roman conquest
(D) prove that archaeologists have underestimated the degree of the Roman conquest on the British economy
7. According to paragraph 3，manufacturing in the period of Roman economic control over the British was characterized by
(A) specialized production techniques
(B) a growth in the productive units’ size
(C) the creation of workshops that hired a large number of staff
(D) the utilization of simple equipment for the making of household items
8. Paragraph 3 suggests which of the following statements about craft manufacture in Roman Britain?
(A) Workers did not have to invest much resources and time in the production of crafts.
(B) A number of domestic products was increasingly being made using iron.
(C) Workshops remained small despite the rise in production.
(D) Production thrived although craftspeople continued to use old-fashion production techniques.
9. The word Similarly in the passage is closest in meaning to
10. Paragraph 4 discusses all of the following as reasons for the breakdown of the tribal leaders’ monopoly in decorative metalwork manufacture EXCEPT
(A) the tribal leaders’ reduced influence within their communities
(B) the effect of Roman culture on the elite’s display of wealth and status
(C) the removal of gold and silver from circulation
(D) the Roman government，s control of precious metals
11. The word huge in the passage is closest in meaning to
12. The author mentions olive oil and decorated pottery to support the claim that
(A) the inhabitants of Roman Britain had access to daily and specialty products
(B) the rise in product manufacture caused a notable increase in waste material
(C) a number of commodities were manufactured in Britain prior to the Roman conquest
(D) imported goods had become a common feature of Roman Britain’s economy
13. Look at the four squares [■] that indicate where the following sentence could be added to the passage.
Furthermore, this provincial society was itself economically integrated with markets beyond its borders.
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 they express ideas that are not presented in the passage or are minor ideas in the passage. This question is worth 2 points.
The British Isles’ economy experienced significant changes after the Roman conquest. Answer Choice
(A) British craftspeople slowly stopped producing items that generally were of little practical value in favor of the manufacturing of household products.
(B) Manufacturers invested an increased amount of resources and time towards developing specialty equipment.
(C) The production of goods still remained small scale，but the exclusive relationship between the governing elite and the best craftsmen broke down.
(D) Trade goods manufactured in Roman Britain were spread throughout the Roman Empire.
(E) The number and variety of goods found at sites in Roman Britain as well as the development of sophisticated manufacturing processes are evidence of economic development under the Romans.
(F) Roman Britain experienced a rise in product imports from elsewhere in the empire.