Thursday, 7 August 2014

Woven baskets (GRE analytical writing - analyse an argument)

Woven baskets characterized by a particular distinctive pattern have previously been found only in the immediate vicinity of the prehistoric village of Palea and therefore were believed to have been made only by the Palean people. Recently, however, archaeologists discovered such a "Palean" basket in Lithos, an ancient village across the Brim River from Palea. The Brim River is very deep and broad, and so the ancient Paleans could have crossed it only by boat, and no Palean boats have been found. Thus it follows that the so-called Palean baskets were not uniquely Palean.

Write a response in which you discuss what specific evidence is needed to evaluate the argument and explain how the evidence would weaken or strengthen the argument.

While it may be true that the so-called Palean baskets were not uniquely Palean, the final conclusion should be evaluated deeper since this author's argument does not make a cogent case. We can find fallacies in the presented reasoning. The text should be analysed in a thoroughgoing way as the argument is rife with holes and assumptions.

First of all, we cannot be 100% sure that there are no specific types of baskets in other regions. Probably, in some regions the excavates were not performed sufficiently enough and we are still in the period before discovering them in other parts of the world. The case of baskets in Lithos can be such an example. On the other hand, there are many possible ways in which the baskets could have been exported from the village of Palea.

One way in which the same baskets could have been woven in Lithos is that a person who lived in Palea would have been able to swim across the river, for example, with a help of a tool that was not a boat. They could have used a wooden board to ameliorate the distance that they could swim. Moreover, they could have used an animal to transport the basket, it could have been a dog. There are also humongous birds that can be tamed such as eagles or falcons which are able to carry heavy items.

Another possibility is that the basket could have been traded to other people. Those people could have gone to far away places where the river was shallow and was able to be crossed effortlessly. The traders could have gone even further and did not have to cross any river since there was somewhere a source of the river.

In my humble opinion it is not only a matter of the basket but also a skill of producing the basket is crucial . Maybe, the basket itself has never reached Lithos, but a person who had a skill of weaving such a basket was able to arrive to Lithos or passed the skill to other people and the same process was continued from generation to generation. Eventually, a person with such a skill entered Lithos.

Probably, it would be worth checking the age of the baskets found in Lithos and Palea. It may occur that the baskets were first created in Lithos. In contrast, the baskets could have been constructed independently in Lithos and Palea. The villages were in close vicinity and the environment there was very similar. It is possible that people who were weaving the baskets imitated the nature and both places could have given the same inspiration to their inhabitants.

To sum up, the presented reasoning can be questioned and it can be proved that there were ways in which the baskets could have been transported from Palea to Lithos. As aforementioned, there are many other ways in which the baskets with the same pattern could have appeared in both places. This author's argument is not cogent and does not prove that the so-called Palean baskets were not uniquely Palean.

1 comment:

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