As early as the twelfth century A.D., thesettlements of Chaco Canyon in New Mexico in the American Southwest werenotable for their “great houses,” massive stone buildings that contain hundredsof rooms and often stand three or four stories high. Archaeologists have beentrying to determine how the buildings were used. While there is still nouniversally agreed upon explanation, there are three competing theories.
One theory holds that the Chaco structureswere purely residential, with each housing hundreds of people. Supporters ofthis theory have interpreted Chaco great houses as earlier versions of the architectureseen in more recent Southwest societies. In particular, the Chaco houses appearstrikingly similar to the large, well-known “apartment buildings” at Taos, NewMexico, in which many people have been living for centuries.
A second theory contends that the Chacostructures were used to store food supplies. One of the main crops of the Chacopeople was grain maize, which could be stored for long periods of time withoutspoiling and could serve as long-lasting supply of food. The supplies of maizehad to be stored somewhere, and the size of the great houses would make themvery suitable for the purpose.
A third theory proposes that houses wereused as ceremonial centers. Close to one house, called Pueblo Alto,archaeologists identified an enormous mound formed by a pile of old material. Excavationsof the mound revealed deposits containing a surprisingly large number of brokenpots. This finding has been interpreted as evidence that people gathered atPueblo Alto for special ceremonies. At the ceremonies, they ate festive mealsand then discarded the pots in which the meals had been prepared or served.Such ceremonies have been documented for other Native American cultures.
- Main point: 查科峡谷巨屋的用途
- Sub point 1:居住
- Sub point 2:储存玉米
- Sub point 3:祭祀
Unfortunately none of the arguments aboutwhat the Chaco great houses were used for is convincing.
First, sure, from the outside, the greathouses look like later and Native American apartment buildings. But the insideof the great houses casts serious doubt on the idea that many people lived there.I’ll explain. If hundreds of people were living in the great houses, then therewould have to be many fireplaces, where each family did its daily cooking, butthere are very few fireplaces. In one of the largest great houses, there werefireplaces for only around ten families. Yet there were enough rooms in thegreat house for more than a hundred families, so the primary function of the housescouldn’t have been residential.
Second, the idea that the great houses wereused to store grain maize is unsupported by evidence. It may sound plausiblethat large empty rooms were used for storage, but excavations of the great houseshave not uncovered manytraces of maize or maize containers. If the great houseswere used for storage, why isn’t there more spilled maize on the floor? Whyaren’t there more remains of big containers?
Third, the idea that the great houses wereceremonial centers isn’t well supported either. You know that mound at PuebloAlto? It contains lots of other materials besides broken pots, stuff you wouldn’texpect from ceremonies. For example, there are large quantities of buildingmaterials, sands, stones, even construction tools. This suggests that the moundis just a trash heap of construction material, stuff that was thrown away ornot used up when a house was being built. The pots in the pile could be regulartrash too, leftover from the meals of the construction workers. So the PuebloAlto mound is not good evidence that the great houses were used for special ceremonies.
Main point: none, convincing
Sub point one: fireplaces, ten families, ahundred families
Sub point two: not, maize, containers
Sub point three: would not for ceremonies,trash, meals
The author of the reading passage proposesthree theories as likely explanations of__________.
The lecturer, however, points to theinaccuracies in each of these theories.
The lecturer argues that_________________.The reading, however, ____________ in support of
The second theory, that ________________,is also rejected by the lecturer. He explains that
___________________. This proves that the“________ theory” is unlikely.
Finally, regarding the third theory, the“_______ theory”, the lecturer contends that__________.
He argues that___________________.