Official 29 Passage 3


Characteristics of Roman Pottery


According to paragraph 2, which of the following is NOT true of Roman vessels?

Click on an oval to select your answer. To choose a different answer,

click one different oval.

  • A
    They were good containers for liquids.
  • B
    Their shapes allowed for easy stacking and storing.
  • C
    They sometimes had shiny surfaces.
  • D
    Their true age is immediately apparent.
正确答案: D

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  • 原文
  • 译文
  • The pottery of ancient Romans is remarkable in several ways. The high quality of Roman pottery is very easy to appreciate when handling actual pieces of tableware or indeed kitchenware and amphorae (the large jars used throughout the Mediterranean for the transport and storage of liquids, such as wine and oil). However, it is impossible to do justice to Roman wares on the page, even when words can be backed up by photographs and drawings. Most Roman pottery is light and smooth to the touch and very tough, although, like all pottery, it shatters if dropped on a hard surface. It is generally made with carefully selected and purified clay, worked to thin-walled and standardized shapes on a fast wheel and fired in a kiln (pottery oven) capable of ensuring a consistent finish. With handmade pottery, inevitably there are slight differences between individual vessels of the same design and occasional minor blemishes (flaws). But what strikes the eye and the touch most immediately and most powerfully with Roman pottery is its consistent high quality.

    This is not just an aesthetic consideration but also a practical one. These vessels are solid (brittle, but not fragile), they are pleasant and easy to handle (being light and smooth), and, with their hard and sometimes glossy (smooth and shiny) surfaces, they hold liquids well and are easy to wash. Furthermore, their regular and standardized shapes would have made them simple to stack and store. When people today are shown a very ordinary Roman pot and, in particular, are allowed to handle it, they often comment on how modern it looks and feels, and they need to be convinced of its true age.

    As impressive as the quality of Roman pottery is its sheer massive quantity. When considering quantities, we would ideally like to have some estimates for overall production from particular sites of pottery manufacture and for overall consumption at specific settlements. Unfortunately, it is in the nature of the archaeological evidence, which is almost invariably only a sample of what once existed, that such figures will always be elusive. However, no one who has ever worked in the field would question the abundance of Roman pottery, particularly in the Mediterranean region. This abundance is notable in Roman settlements (especially urban sites) where the labor that archaeologists have to put into the washing and sorting of potsherds (fragments of pottery) constitutes a high proportion of the total work during the initial phases of excavation.

    Only rarely can we derive any "real" quantities from deposits of broken pots. However, there is one exceptional dump, which does represent a very large part of the site`s total history of consumption and for which an estimate of quantity has been produced. On the left bank of the Tiber River in Rome, by one of the river ports of the ancient city, is a substantial hill some 50 meters high called Monte Testaccio. It is made up entirely of broken oil amphorae, mainly of the second and third centuries A.D. It has been estimated that Monte Testaccio contains the remains of some 53 million amphorae, in which around 6,000 million liters of oil were imported into the city from overseas. Imports into imperial Rome were supported by the full might of the state and were therefore quite exceptional-but the size of the operations at Monte Testaccio, and the productivity and complexity that lay behind them, nonetheless cannot fail to impress. This was a society with similarities to modern ones-moving goods on a gigantic scale, manufacturing high-quality containers to do so, and occasionally, as here, even discarding them on delivery.

    Roman pottery was transported not only in large quantities but also over substantial distances. Many Roman pots, in particular amphorae and the fine wares designed for use at tables, could travel hundreds of miles-all over the Mediterranean and also further afield. But maps that show the various spots where Roman pottery of a particular type has been found tell only part of the story. What is more significant than any geographical spread is the access that different levels of society had to good-quality products. In all but the remotest regions of the empire, Roman pottery of a high standard is common at the sites of humble villages and isolated farmsteads.

  • 古罗马的陶器在诸多方面成就惊人。 当把玩古罗马陶制餐具或厨房用具和双耳陶罐(遍及整个地中海地区用以运输或储存酒或油之类液体的大型陶罐)时,人们对其良好的质量赞不绝口。 尽管有照片和画像的记录,却无法轻易的对罗马陶器做出公正评价。 绝大部分罗马陶器都很轻很光滑也很坚韧,尽管,像所有陶器一样,当撞到坚硬地面时也容易破碎。 它们一般由精心筛选和净化后的粘土在快速旋转的圆盘上制成壁薄而形状标准的坯子,然后放入陶器窑中烧结,并确保一气呵成。 由于是手工制作,同一型号的陶器难免有微小差别和瑕疵。 但罗马陶器让人瞠目结舌的最直接最有力的是它那一以贯之的高质量。

    这不仅是审美的考虑也有实用之处。 这些容器都很坚硬(脆却并不易碎),很优雅也很好用(质轻而光滑),其表面坚硬而有时带有光泽。它们很适合盛放液体也很易清洁。而且,它们形状规则且标准,极易堆放储藏。 当将这些陶器展示给今天的人们,并允许他们把玩时,他们常常认为其形状和手感如此现代以至于很难相信其实际年龄。

    和其高质量一样让人印象深刻的是罗马陶器的巨大的数量。 当确定数量时,我们常喜欢去评估某一陶器生产地点生产陶器的总量以及某地居民对陶器的消费总量。 不幸的是,考古证据本质上只能是历史存在的一个样本,因而由此得到的数据并不可靠。 但是,那些曾经在现场工作过的人绝不会怀疑罗马陶器的数量,尤其是在地中海地区。 陶器数量的罗马人聚集区(尤其是城市遗址)家喻户晓。在那些遗址上考古学家们在挖掘的第一阶段不得不花费很大比例的劳动力去清洗和整理陶器碎片。

    从陶罐碎片堆中我们很难推算出真正的数量。 但也有例外。有一处遗址出土的陶器代表了其曾经的陶器消费的很大一部分,因此可以据此推测出其数量。 罗马第伯尔河左岸上一座古代城市码头的旁边有一座约50米高的小山,叫做Monte Testaccio. 该山全部由公元二到三世纪的油罐碎片组成。 据估计,Monte Testaccio山上约有5300万只油罐并由此从海外进口了约60亿升的油。 向罗马帝国的进口由国家全力支持,因此也非常例外----但是Monte Testaccio的制作规模及其背后的生产力和复杂性却绝对不容忽视。 这是一个与现代人有相似之处的社会,他们大规模地搬运货物,制造高质量的集装箱,有时甚至在交货时丢弃这些货物。

    罗马陶器不仅运输数量庞大而且其运输距离遥远。 很多罗马陶罐,尤其是双耳陶罐和桌上餐具可能被运输了几百英里----遍及整个地中海乃至更远。 但是显示各种罗马陶器出土地点的地图只是故事的一部分。 比地理上的广阔分布更重要的是社会的不同阶层都能够使用这种高质量的陶罐。 在帝国的几乎所有的偏远地区,高质量的罗马陶器在古老偏远的村庄田野中都随处可见。
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    A选项用liquids对应到原文第二句话:...they hold liquids well and are easy to wash.内容和A吻合;

    B选项用stacking and storing定位到原文第三句: Furthermore, their regular and standardized shapes would have made them simple to stack and store.内容和B选项吻合;

    C选项用shiny surfaces对应到原文第二句话:...with their hard and sometimes glossy (smooth and shiny) surfaces...内容和C选项吻合;

    D选项用true age对应到原文的最后一句:...they often comment on how modern it looks and feels, and they need to be convinced of its true age.这句话说一眼看上去这个pot是非常现代化的。但实际很古老了。因此 its true age 并不明显。D错误。所以应该选择D