In 1938 an archaeologist in Iraq acquired a set of clay jars that had been excavated two years earlier by villagers constructing a railroad line. The vessel was about 2,200 years old. Each clay jay contained a copper cylinder surrounding an iron rod. The archaeologist proposed that vessel were ancient electric batteries and even demonstrated that they can produce a small electric current when filled with some liquids. However, it is not likely that the vessels were actually used as electric batteries in ancient times.

  First of all, if the vessels were used as batteries, they would probably have been attached to some electricity conductors such as metal wires. But there is no evidence that any metal wires were located near the vessels. All that has been excavated are the vessels themselves.

  Second, the copper cylinders inside the jars look exactly like copper cylinders discovered in the ruins of Seleucia, an ancient city located nearby. We know that the copper cylinders from Seleucia were used for holding scrolls of sacred texts, not for generating electricity. Since the cylinders found with the jars have the same shape, it is very likely they were used for holding scrolls as well. That no scrolls were found inside the jars can be explained by the fact that the scrolls simply disintegrated over the centuries.

  Finally, what could ancient people have done with the electricity that the vessels were supposed to have generated? They had no devices that replied on electricity. As batteries, the vessels would have been completely useless to them.

  Summarize the points made in the lecture, being sure to explain how they support/contradict specific points made in the reading passage.


  Your reading says that these vessels were not used as batteries in ancient times, but the arguments used in the reading are not convincing. The battery explanation could very well be correct.

  First, about the absence of wires or other conductors. Remember, vessels were discovered by local people, not archaeologists. These people might have found other material located near the jars. But since they were not trained archaeologists, they may not have recognized the importance of that material. So materials serving as wires or conductors might have been overlooked as uninteresting or even thrown away. We'll never know.

  Second, it is true that the copper cylinders in the vessels are similar to the cylinders used to hold scrolls, but that does not really prove anything. It's possible that the copper cylinders were originally designed to preserve scrolls. And that some ancient inventor later discovered that if you use them together with iron rods and some liquid in a clay vessel, they will produce electricity. That's how the first ancient battery could have been born. In other words, the copper cylinders could have been originally used for one purpose, but then adapted for another purpose.

  Finally, there's the question of the possible uses of the battery in the ancient world. Well, the battery could produce a mild shock or tingling sensation when someone touched it. This could very well have been interpreted as evidence of some invisible power. You can easily see how people could convince others that they had magical powers through the use of the battery. Also, the battery could have been used for healing. Modern medicine uses mild electric current to stimulate muscles and relieve aches and pains. Ancient doctors may have used the batteries for the same purpose.


  Reading Passage

  Main points: The Vessels found which has battery functions are not likely to be used as batteries in ancient times.

  Sub point 1: Vessels were not found with metal conductors.

  Sub point 2: Similar vessels found in Seleucia were used for holding scrolls.

  Sub point 3: Ancient people have no need of electricity.


  Attitude: Not convincing.

  Sub Point 1: Absence of metal conductors could be caused by people’s lack of experience.

  Sub Point 2: Similarity does not necessarily mean vessels were never used as batteries. (Adapt to purpose)

  Sub Point 3: Battery can be used for magic or healing.



  Paragraph 1

  A contrast of opinions concerning the likelihood of an excavated artifact’s possible function as ancient batteries is evident in both the reading passage and the lecture. The main contrasts are as follows.


  (Listening passage后文提到用L代替)

  (Reading passage后文用R代替)




  Paragraph 2

  Firstly, the reading challenges the proposition that the vessel is a battery by pointing out the fact that there’s no electrical conductor, such as a metal wire. The professor responds by suggesting that since the vessel was dug up by untrained villagers, the metal wire, which may have been around that excavation site, may have been deemed unimportant.





  Paragraph 3

  Secondly, the suggestion in the reading that a similar-looking jar found in a nearby city of Seleucia may indicate the more probable use of the vessel -- holding scrolls of text -- is contradicted by the lecturer’s suggestion that the original purpose of the text-holding jar may have been adapted by a certain ancient inventor for producing electricity. In other words, the function of the vessel may have evolved from a simple container to an ancient battery.





  Paragraph 4

  The final disagreement is with the actual purpose of a battery in the ancient world. The reading suggests since there were no electric device that needed power in ancient society, so the possibility that the vessel was used as a battery is very low. But the professor proposes that the vessel’s power-generating capacity may have been used for magical or medical purposes.






  1、 逻辑结构





  1. A contrast of opinions concerning the likelihood of an excavated artifact’s possible function as ancient batteries is evident in both the reading passage and the lecture.

  A contrast of opinions concerning(A…and….B)


  Likelihood: 可能性




  Artifact: 人工制品 (Arti-人工的)


  Evident: 显然的

  /Obvious/ Apparently/

  2. Deem: 认为,识做

  /Believe/ Recognize/

  He is deemed to be untrustworthy.

  3. ……A…..is contradicted by the……B..…