Official 14 Passage 1


Pastoralism in Ancient Inner Eurasia


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.

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  • A
    Despite the fact that wealth is relatively evenly distributed in pastoral societies, gender inequality still exists because only men can acquire military skills and social status.
  • B
    Inequalities of gender existed in pastoralist societies until most communities began to require women to possess the same skills as men and take part in the military.
  • C
    Inequalities of gender in pastoralist societies were caused by steep hierarchies of wealth and differences in military training between men and women.
  • D
    In pastoral societies, gender inequality is comparatively mild because wealth is relatively evenly distributed and women have to learn most of the same skills that men do.
正确答案: D

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  • Pastoralism is a lifestyle in which economic activity is based primarily on livestock. Archaeological evidence suggests that by 3000 B.C., and perhaps even earlier, there had emerged on the steppes of Inner Eurasia the distinctive types of pastoralism that were to dominate the region's history for several millennia. Here, the horse was already becoming the animal of prestige in many regions, though sheep, goats, and cattle could also play a vital role. It is the use of horses for transportation and warfare that explains why Inner Eurasian pastoralism proved the most mobile and the most militaristic of all major forms of pastoralism. The emergence and spread of pastoralism had a profound impact on the history of Inner Eurasia, and also, indirectly, on the parts of Asia and Europe just outside this area. In particular, pastoralism favors a mobile lifestyle, and this mobility helps to explain the impact of pastoralist societies on this part of the world.

    The mobility of pastoralist societies reflects their dependence on animal-based foods. While agriculturalists rely on domesticated plants, pastoralists rely on domesticated animals. As a result, pastoralists, like carnivores in general, occupy a higher position on the food chain. All else being equal, this means they must exploit larger areas of land than do agriculturalists to secure the same amount of food, clothing, and other necessities. So pastoralism is a more extensive lifeway than farming is. However, the larger the terrain used to support a group, the harder it is to exploit that terrain while remaining in one place. So, basic ecological principles imply a strong tendency within pastoralist lifeways toward nomadism (a mobile lifestyle). As the archaeologist Roger Cribb puts it, "The greater the degree of pastoralism, the stronger the tendency toward nomadism." A modern Turkic nomad interviewed by Cribb commented: "The more animals you have, the farther you have to move."

    Nomadism has further consequences. It means that pastoralist societies occupy and can influence very large territories. This is particularly true of the horse pastoralism that emerged in the Inner Eurasian steppes, for this was the most mobile of all major forms of pastoralism. So, it is no accident that with the appearance of pastoralist societies there appear large areas that share similar cultural, ecological, and even linguistic features. By the late fourth millennium B.C., there is already evidence of large culture zones reaching from Eastern Europe to the western borders of Mongolia. Perhaps the most striking sign of mobility is the fact that by the third millennium B.C., most pastoralists in this huge region spoke related languages ancestral to the modern Indo-European languages. The remarkable mobility and range of pastoral societies explain, in part, why so many linguists have argued that the Indo-European languages began their astonishing expansionist career not among farmers in Anatolia (present-day Turkey), but among early pastoralists from Inner Eurasia. Such theories imply that the Indo-European languages evolved not in Neolithic (10,000 to 3,000 B.C.) Anatolia, but among the foraging communities of the cultures in the region of the Don and Dnieper rivers, which took up stock breeding and began to exploit the neighboring steppes.

    Nomadism also subjects pastoralist communities to strict rules of portability. If you are constantly on the move, you cannot afford to accumulate large material surpluses. Such rules limit variations in accumulated material goods between pastoralist households (though they may also encourage a taste for portable goods of high value such as silks or jewelry). So, by and large, nomadism implies a high degree of self-sufficiency and inhibits the appearance of an extensive division of labor. Inequalities of wealth and rank certainly exist, and have probably existed in most pastoralist societies, but except in periods of military conquest, they are normally too slight to generate the stable, hereditary hierarchies that are usually implied by the use of the term class. Inequalities of gender have also existed in pastoralist societies, but they seem to have been softened by the absence of steep hierarchies of wealth in most communities, and also by the requirement that women acquire most of the skills of men, including, often, their military skills.

  • 畜牧是一种靠饲养家畜获利的生活方式。考古资料表明,早在公元前3 000年甚至更早的时候,位于欧亚大陆内部的西伯利亚大草原上已经出现了一些能够主导这些地区历史长达几千年的独特的畜牧类型。在这里,尽管绵羊、山羊和牛扮演了非常重要的角色,但是马已经在许多地区成为具有优势地位的动物。正是马在交通运输和战争中的使用解释了为什么欧亚大陆内部的畜牧被证明是所有重要畜牧形式中最不固定和最具军事性的一种。畜牧的出现和传播对欧亚大陆内陆的历史产生了深远的影响,同时,也间接地影响了该地区以外的部分亚洲和欧洲地区。特别是,畜牧青睐流动的生活方式,这种流动性可以解释畜牧社会对部分世界的影响。

    畜牧社会的流动性反映出他们非常依赖以动物为基础的食物。如果说农业依靠人工种植作物,那么畜牧业就依赖于饲养动物。因此,牧民和食肉动物一样,在食物链中处于一个更高的位置。其他方面相同的情况下,这就意味着如果他们要保证与农业相同的食物、衣物以及其他生活必需品,他们就必须开拓出比农业更大的区域。因此,畜牧业是一种比农业更宽泛的生活方式。但是,支撑一个群体的土地越大,在原有土地基础上继续开发的困难也就越大。所以,基本的生态学原理意味着畜牧主义生活方式向游牧主义生活方式转变的强大趋势。正如考古学家Roger Cribb 指出的,“畜牧化的程度越高,向游牧化转变的趋势就越明显。”。与Cribb交谈过的一位现代土耳其游牧民说:“拥有的牲畜越多,你就得移动的更远。”

    游牧生活有着更深远的影响。它意味着畜牧社会占据并且影响着大片地区。特别是在欧洲内陆的西伯利亚大草原上,以马为畜牧对象的出现更具重大意义,因为它在所有畜牧业中移动性最强。因此,畜牧社会在较大地域中分享类似的文化、生态甚至语言特点并非偶然现象。在公元前 4 000年后期,已经有证据显示存在着一个从东欧延伸到蒙古边境的大文化圈。可能在移动性方面最具说服力的标志是,公元前3 000年在这片广袤的土地上大部分牧民讲的相关语言,现代印欧语系就从中发展而来。这种显著的移动性和畜牧社会的地理范围在某种程度上解释了很多语言学家一直争论的一个问题:为什么印欧语系并非从并安纳托利亚 (现在的土耳其)的农民中传播开来的,而是产生于早期欧洲内陆的牧民。这些理论说明印欧语系不是从新石器时代(公元前一万年到公元前三千年之间)的安纳托利亚发展而来,而是在顿河 和第聂伯河 流域内从事家畜饲养、开发毗邻的西伯利亚大草原的畜牧群体中发展而来。




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    原句逻辑及主干:but (but之后的内容重要) 转折;主干: they seems to have been softened (by.. and also by) ,因果。


    选项Adespite...(不重要),gender inequality still exists because只有男人...,说法错误;

    选项BInequalities of gender existed until...(时间关系),原文并无此逻辑关系;

    选项CInequalities of gender were caused by...(因果关系),原文并未提及Inequalities of gender产生的原因,只是在讨论它存在的情况(逐渐弱化)。