TPO 33

  Reading passage

  Carved stone balls are a curious type of artifact found at a number of locations in Scotland. They date from the late Neolithic period, around 4,000 years ago. They are round in shape; they were carved from several types of stone; most are about 70 mm in diameter; and many are ornamented to some degree. Archaeologists do not agree about their purpose and meaning, but there are several theories.

  One theory is that the carved stone balls were weapons used in hunting or fighting.Some of the stone balls have been found with holes in them, and many have grooves on the surface. It is possible that a cord was strung through the holes or laid in the grooves around the ball. Holding the stone balls at the end of the cord would have allowed a person to swing it around or throw it.

  A second theory is that the carved stone balls were used as part of a primitive system of weights and measures. The fact that they are so nearly uniform in size – at 70 mm in diameter – suggests that the balls were interchangeable and represented some standard unit of measure. They could have been used as standard weights to measure quantities of grain or other food, or anything that needed to be measured by weight on a balance or scale for the purpose of trade.

  A third theory is that the carved stone balls served a social purpose as opposed to a practical or utilitarian one. This view is supported by the fact that many stone balls have elaborate designs. The elaborate carving suggests that the stones may have marked the important social status of their owners.

  Listening Scripts:

  Now listen to part of a lecture on the topic you just read about.

  (Female professor)

  None of the three theories presented in the reading passage arevery convincing.

  First, the stone balls as hunting weapons, common Neolithic weapons such asarrowheads and hand axes generally show signs of wear, so we should expect that ifthe stone balls had been used as weapons for hunting of fighting, they, too, wouldshow signs of that use. Many of the stone balls would be cracked or have piecesbroken off. However, the surfaces of the balls are generally well preserved, showinglittle or no wear or damage.

  Second, the carved stone balls maybe remarkably uniform in size, but their massesvary too considerably to have been used as uniform weights. This is because thestone balls were made with different types of stone including sandstone, green stoneand quartzite. Each type of stone has a different density. Some types of stone areheavier than others just as a handful of feathers weight less than a handful of rocks.Two balls of the same size are different weights depending on the type of stone theyare made of. Therefore, the balls could not have been used as a primitive weighingsystem.

  Third, it’s unlikely that the main purpose of the balls was as some kind of socialmarker. A couple of facts are inconsistent with this theory. For one thing, while someof the balls are carved with intricate patterns, many others have markings that areextremely simple, too simple to make the balls look like status symbols.

  Furthermore,we know that in Neolithic Britain, when someone died, particularly a high-rankingperson, they were usually buried with their possessions. However, none of the carvedstone balls have been actually found in tombs or graves. That makes it unlikely thatthe balls were personal possessions that marked a person’s status within thecommunity.

  Summarize the points made in the lecture, being sure to explain how they challengedthe specific theories presented in the reading passage.

  Sample answer」コ

  The author in the reading passage explores three major functions of the carved stone balls. However, in the lecture, the professor respectively contradicts all his assertions by using three specific points as supports.

  First, even though the reading passage suggests that the stone balls were weapons because of the holes and grooves on their surface, the professor argues that the stone balls did not show signs of use, which means they are neither cracked nor broken and thus could not have been used as weapons.

  Second, despite the statement in the reading passage that the stone balls were used as primitive weighing system due to their uniform size, the professor contends that their masses vary too considerably from each other because different stones are made of different products even if the sizes are the same. Therefore, the balls could not function as weighing system.

  Third, the author asserts that the stone balls served a social purpose owing to their elaborate designs while the professor proves that this claim is indefensible by pointing out that the balls were carved with not only intricate patterns, but also simple ones, besides, none of the balls were found in the ancient tombs or graves. Consequently, it is impossible that the balls were social markers.

  Reading Passage

  1. There are several theories about the purpose and meaning of carved stone balls.

  2. First, the carved stone balls were weapons used in hunting or fighting.

  3. Second, they were used as part of a primitive system of weights and measures.

  4. Third, they served a social purpose as opposed to a practical or utilitarian one.

  Lecture

  1. None of the theories presented in the reading passage are very convincing.

  2. The surfaces of the balls are very well preserved, showing no sign of wear or damage. However, common Neolithic weapons generally show signs of wear.

  3. The balls may be uniform in size, but considerably different in weight. So they cannot be used to weigh things.

  4. Many carving are too simple to make them look like status symbols. Also, none of the stones were found in graves, where people with high social status kept their personal possessions.

  Paragraph 1

  The author in the reading passage explores three major functions of the carved stone balls. However, in the lecture, the professor respectively contradicts all his assertions by using three specific points as supports.

  此段功能

  首段概括了阅读文本中的基本内容,同时提出了演讲者对此的反对意见,言简意赅,为下文论述做好铺垫。

  此段结构

  此段为并列结构,分别陈述了文章和演讲中的两方不同观点。

  Paragraph 2

  First, even though the reading passage suggests that the stone balls were weapons because of the holes and grooves on their surface, the professor argues that the stone balls did not show signs of use, which means they are neither cracked nor broken and thus could not have been used as weapons.

  此段功能

  指出文章第一个观点,即因为这些石球表面分布有孔和槽,所以是武器。而演讲中驳斥到这些石球并没有破损所以说明它并没有被当做武器使用过。

  此段结构

  此段并列结构,指出文章第一个观点,并提出了演讲者的反驳意见。

  Paragraph 3

  Second, despite the statement in the reading passage that the stone balls were used as primitive weighing system due to their uniform size, the professor contends that their masses vary too considerably from each other because different stones are made of different products even if the sizes are the same. Therefore, the balls could not function as weighing system.

  此段功能

  指出文章第二个观点,即这些石球大小统一,是原始的称量体系。而演讲中驳斥到这些石球虽然大小统一但是材质不一,所以重量相差很大,无法作为称量体系。

  此段结构

  此段并列结构,指出文章第二个观点,并提出了演讲者的反驳意见。

  Paragraph 4

  Third, the author asserts that the stone balls served a social purpose owing to their elaborate designs while the professor proves that this claim is indefensible by pointing out that the balls were carved with not only intricate patterns, but also simple ones, besides, none of the balls were found in the ancient tombs or graves. Consequently, it is impossible that the balls were social markers.

  此段功能

  指出文章中的第三个观点,即石球因为雕刻精细,有一定的社会寓意。而在演讲中,演讲者驳斥道,这些石球上面有些雕刻精细但也有一些雕刻简单,并且这些石球并没有在古墓之类的地方发现,以此来证明石球不具有社会象征寓意。

  此段结构

  此段并列结构,指出文章第三个观点,并提出了演讲者的反驳意见。

  三、范文全篇总评

  1、逻辑结构

  全文采用典型的总分结构,在首段指出文章与演讲观点相悖,接下来分三个方面阐述了演讲中的证据以此来说明文章的观点不成立。

  2、语言表达

  文中这个长句值得注意。

  Second, despite the statement in the reading passage that the stone balls were used as primitive weighing system due to their uniform size, the professor contends that their masses vary too considerably from each other because different stones are made of different products even if the sizes are the same.

  全文由despite串联起来两个表示对比的句子,在前半部分,statement是先行词,然后that引导的同位语从句对先行词进行解释,中间还穿插有due to “由于”这个词组,在后半部分也穿插了that 引导的宾语从句,从句中又套着because引导的原因状语从句等,需要层层分析。

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