Official 41 Passage 3


Trade and Early State Formation


What is the role of paragraph 5 in relation to paragraph 4?

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  • A
    It restates the hypothesis presented in paragraph 4 and reinforces it with further evidence.
  • B
    It presents evidence that the hypothesis discussed in paragraph 4 confuses cause and effect.
  • C
    It presents a critical assessment of the hypothesis presented in paragraph 4.
  • D
    It explains how the hypothesis discussed in paragraph 4 was initially formulated.
正确答案: C

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  • Bartering was a basic trade mechanism for many thousands of years; often sporadic and usually based on notions of reciprocity, it involved the mutual exchange of commodities or objects between individuals or groups. Redistribution of these goods through society lay in the hands of chiefs, religious leaders, or kin groups. Such redistribution was a basic element in chiefdoms. The change from redistribution to formal trade-often based on regulated commerce that perhaps involved fixed prices and even currency-was closely tied to growing political and social complexity and hence to the development of the state in the ancient world.

    In the 1970s, a number of archaeologists gave trade a primary role in the rise of ancient states. British archaeologist Colin Renfrew attributed the dramatic flowering of the Minoan civilization on Crete and through the Aegean to intensified trading contacts and to the impact of olive and vine cultivation on local communities. As agricultural economies became more diversified and local food supplies could be purchased both locally and over longer distances, a far-reaching economic interdependence resulted.Eventually, this led to redistribution systems for luxuries and basic commodities, systems that were organized and controlled by Minoan rulers from their palaces. As time went on, the self-sufficiency of communities was replaced by mutual dependence. Interest in long-distance trade brought about some cultural homogeneity from trade and gift exchange, and perhaps even led to piracy. Thus, intensified trade and interaction, and the flowering of specialist crafts, in a complex process of positive feedback, led to much more complex societies based on palaces, which were the economic hubs of a new Minoan civilization.

    Renfrew's model made some assumptions that are now discounted. For example, he argued that the introduction of domesticated vines and olives allowed a substantial expansion of land under cultivation and helped to power the emergence of complex society. Many archaeologists and paleobotanists now question this view, pointing out that the available evidence for cultivated vines and olives suggests that they were present only in the later Bronze Age. Trade, nevertheless, was probably one of many variables that led to the emergence of palace economies in Minoan Crete.

    American archaeologist William Rathje developed a hypothesis that considered an explosion in long-distance exchange a fundamental cause of Mayan civilization in Mesoamerica. He suggested that the lowland Mayan environment was deficient in many vital resources, among them obsidian, salt, stone for grinding maize, and many luxury materials. All these could be obtained from the nearby highlands, from the Valley of Mexico, and from other regions, if the necessary trading networks came into being.Such connections, and the trading expeditions to maintain them, could not be organized by individual villages. The Maya lived in a relatively uniform environment, where every community suffered from the same resource deficiencies. Thus, argued Rathje, long-distance trade networks were organized through local ceremonial centers and their leaders. In time, this organization became a state, and knowledge of its functioning was exportable, as were pottery, tropical bird feathers, specialized stone materials, and other local commodities.

    Rathje's hypothesis probably explains part of the complex process of Mayan state formation, but it suffers from the objection that suitable alternative raw materials can be found in the lowlands. It could be, too, that warfare became a competitive response to population growth and to the increasing scarcity of prime agricultural land, and that it played an important role in the emergence of the Mayan states.

    Now that we know much more about ancient exchange and commerce, we know that, because no one aspect of trade was an overriding cause of cultural change or evolution in commercial practices, trade can never be looked on as a unifying factor or as a primary agent of ancient civilization. Many ever-changing variables affected ancient trade, among them the demand for goods. There were also the logistics of transportation, the extent of the trading network, and the social and political environment. Intricate market networks channeled supplies along well-defined routes. Authorities at both ends might regulate the profits fed back to the source, providing the incentive for further transactions. There may or may not have been a market organization. Extensive long-distance trade was a consequence rather than a cause of complex societies.

  • 以货易货是几千年的基本贸易机制;经常不定时发生,它通常基于互惠的概念,涉及个人或团体之间相互交换的商品或物品。 这些商品在社会中的分配掌握在首领、宗教领袖或亲属集团中。 这种再分配是首领权威的基本元素。 从再分配到正式贸易的变化通常基于增加的政治与社会的复杂性,与古代世界中国家的发展有密切联系(正式贸易通常是基于受管制的贸易,也许涉及固定的价格,甚至货币)。

    在20世纪70年代,许多考古学家认为贸易在古代国家的崛起中起了主要作用。 英国考古学家柯林Renfrew,将克里特岛及穿过爱情海的米诺斯文明的惊人的兴起归功于加剧的贸易来往和当地对于橄榄和葡萄的栽培。 随着农业经济变得更加多样化,当地的粮食供应可以在本地购买,也可以在较远的地方购买,一个影响深远的经济相互依赖相应产生。最终,这导致针对奢侈品和基本商品的再分配系统的产生,这种系统由宫殿里的克里特统治者组织并控制。 随着时间的推移,社区的自给自足被相互依赖所取代。 长距离贸易的利益通过贸易和礼物交换带来了文化的同质化,甚至导致文化的抄袭。 因此,在一个复杂的正面反馈过程中,加强的贸易和互动以及兴起的专业手艺,导致了在宫殿基础上更复杂的社会,而宫殿是新的米诺斯文明的经济中心。

    伦弗鲁模型做出的一些假设在当今受到了质疑。 例如,他声称葡萄和橄榄的引进和栽培使得可耕地发生了巨大的扩张,帮助推动了更加复杂社会的出现。 现在许多考古学家和古植物学家质疑了这一观点,指出现有证据显示葡萄和橄榄的栽培在铜器时代晚期才出现。 无论如何,贸易可能是导致斯克里特宫廷经济出现的众多因素之一。

    美国考古学家威廉Rathje提出了一种假设,认为远距离交易的爆发是中美洲玛雅文明兴起的主要原因。 他推测,玛雅的低地环境缺乏很多重要的资源,其中包括黑曜石、盐、磨玉米的石头以及许多奢侈材料。如果必要的贸易网络建立起来,所有这些都可以从附近的高地、从墨西哥的山谷、以及其他地区获得。这样的贸易以及商队是不能由个别村庄组织的。玛雅人生活在一个相对单一的环境中,每个社区都遭受同样的资源缺乏。 因此,Rathje认为,长距离贸易网由当地的仪式中心和他们的领导人来组织。 后来,该组织成为一个政府,已确认的功能就是出口贸易,如陶器、热带鸟的羽毛、专业的石材和其他本地的商品。

    雷斯杰的假设可能部分解释了玛雅国家形成的复杂过程,但它也遭受质疑,因为可替代原料可以在低地获得。 对于人口增长和优良农业土地的日益稀缺,战争也有可能成为替代性反应,从而在玛雅国家的出现中发挥了重要作用。

    现在,我们知道了更多关于古代交换和商业,我们知道,因为没有一个贸易的方面是导致文化变迁和商业实践演变的一个压倒性的因素,所以贸易不能被看作是古代文明的单一原因或主要动力。 许多不断变化的变量影响了古代贸易,其中包括对货物的需求。 也包括物流运输,贸易网络的程度,以及社会和政治环境因素。 错综复杂的市场网络渠道引导供应走向明确的路线。 两边的权威机构可能会将利润返回给源头供应者,刺激了更多的交易。 一个市场组织有可能存在,也有可能不存在。 大量长途贸易是复杂社会的结果而非原因。
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