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Metal rings recently excavated

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kvcpk Legendary Member
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Metal rings recently excavated

Post Fri Jun 25, 2010 12:04 am
Metal rings recently excavated from seventh-century settlements in the western part of Mexico were made using the same metallurgical techniques as those used by Ecuadorian artisans before and during that period. These techniques are sufficiently complex to make their independent development in both areas unlikely. Since the people of these two areas were in cultural contact, archaeologists hypothesize that the metallurgical techniques used to make the rings found
in Mexico were learned by Mexican artisans from Ecuadorian counterparts.

Which of the following would it be most useful to establish in order to evaluate the archaeologists’ hypothesis?

(A) Whether metal objects were traded from Ecuador to western Mexico during the seventh century
(B) Whether travel between western Mexico and Ecuador in the seventh century would have been primarily by land or by sea
(C) Whether artisans from western Mexico could have learned complex metallurgical techniques from their Ecuadorian counterparts without actually leaving western Mexico
(D) Whether metal tools were used in the seventhcentury settlements in western Mexico
(E) Whether any of the techniques used in the manufacture of the metal rings found in western Mexico are still practiced among artisans in Ecuador today

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Post Wed Oct 13, 2010 7:04 am
ankurmit wrote:
Metal rings recently excavated from seventh-century settlements in the western part of Mexico were made using the same metallurgical techniques as those used by Ecuadorian artisans before and during that period

Archaeologists hypothesize that the metallurgical techniques used to make the rings found
in Mexico were learned by Mexican artisans from Ecuadorian counterparts

There may be a possibility that Maxican artists were not manufacturing those metal rings and they were exported from Ecuador and Mexican people were just using them at that time

A clearly explores that possibility
I agree with ankurmit above - that's exactly the reason why A is relevant. In order to reach the conclusion that the Mexicans learned how to make the rings from the equadorians, the argument must assume that the rings were actually made by the mexicans themselves. If metal goods were traded from equador to mexico, it is possible that the rings found are Ecuadorian in origin, not Mexican, in which case the mexicans did not have to learn the techniques at all. However, if metal objects were not traded, then this would strengthen the conclusion that the rings were made locally, and the techniques would then have to be learned. Thus, knowing A strengthens or weakens an assumption made by the argument, and is the least worst of the answer choices given in that it has some relevancy to the question.

This is not obvious at first glance, but rather reached by elimination. At first I eliminated all five answer choices as irrelevant, and only then took another look at what A actually means. The other answer choices have even worse flaws, making them irrelevant:
B land or sea has nothing to do with anything.

C would've been fine without the "leaving mexico" part - there's no reason to assume that the mexicans learned the techniques by email, and the argument perfectly allows mexicans to go to Equador. so even if the mexicans were able or not able to learn the techniques remotely, this tells me nothing of whether they did actually learn them or not.

D requires a knowledge of metallurgy not likely to be required on the GMAT - perhaps it is possible to make metal rings without metal tools to make them? I don't know, and the GMAT is not likely to require me to know this obscure knowledge. If it was important, the argument would've said something about it - It's a trap answer confusing rings with tools.

E we care not for the present, but for the 7th century.

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ankurmit Legendary Member
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Post Tue Oct 12, 2010 8:36 pm
Metal rings recently excavated from seventh-century settlements in the western part of Mexico were made using the same metallurgical techniques as those used by Ecuadorian artisans before and during that period

Archaeologists hypothesize that the metallurgical techniques used to make the rings found
in Mexico were learned by Mexican artisans from Ecuadorian counterparts

There may be a possibility that Maxican artists were not manufacturing those metal rings and they were exported from Ecuador and Mexican people were just using them at that time

A clearly explores that possibility

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rash.patil Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Fri Jun 25, 2010 12:28 am
I would pick A.

A) In order to evaluate archaeologists hypothesis, this information is useful--Correct

B) Irrelevant

C) Not useful..since it restates archeologists theory.

D) Irrelevant

E) Irrelevant

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viju9162 Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
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Post Fri Jun 25, 2010 12:45 am
Is the answer D. We want to know whether people in western mexico during the 17th century were aware of the techniques to develop such rings.

They could have either got it from Ecuadorian counterparts. If this is the case, then mexicans would have never known to make rings.

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selango Legendary Member
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Post Fri Jun 25, 2010 1:37 am
IMO A

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selango Legendary Member
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Post Fri Jun 25, 2010 1:44 am
Option C,d and E are not relevant.

Options A and C are close.

In order to learn the technique,metals must be available in Mexico.

If option C is true,artisans from mexico learn technique from Ecuadorian counterparts without leaving mexico itself.this leads to question whether metals imported from Ecuadorian.
Option A evaluate this question.

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kvcpk Legendary Member
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Post Fri Jun 25, 2010 4:55 am
OA A

Any staright-out reason why C cannot be the answer?

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paddle_sweep Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Sat Jun 26, 2010 11:09 pm
What's the problem with 'D'? If metal tools were not used then metal rings cannot be made. Option A just says if metals were exchanged or not but the question talks about technique.

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paddle_sweep Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Sat Jun 26, 2010 11:11 pm
kvcpk wrote:
OA A

Any staright-out reason why C cannot be the answer?
Ecuadorian's could have come to Mexico and taught them the techniques.

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satyaravisingh Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Tue Oct 12, 2010 2:52 pm
kvcpk wrote:
OA A

Any staright-out reason why C cannot be the answer?
C re-iterates the point raised in the question itself.
Question states,
"archaeologists hypothesize that the metallurgical techniques used to make the rings found in
Mexico were learned by Mexican artisans from Ecuadorian counterparts
"

Option C states,
"western Mexico could have learned complex metallurgical techniques from their Ecuadorian
counterparts
without actually leaving western Mexico" Without leaving or leaving won't help to evaluate the hypothesis which is indeed repeated in the option choice C

However, A clearly helps to evaluate the hypothesis.

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GMATMadeEasy Legendary Member Default Avatar
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Post Thu Oct 14, 2010 3:42 am
@Geva Stern: The Most complete and comprehensible explanation . Your explanations answers many of my doubts I had for this question. THANK you .

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Post Thu Oct 14, 2010 4:10 am
GMATMadeEasy wrote:
@Geva Stern: The Most complete and comprehensible explanation . Your explanations answers many of my doubts I had for this question. THANK you .
You're more than welcome. Smile

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Post Fri Jul 06, 2012 9:09 pm
Hi Geva,

I personally agree with your thoughts regarding (A). So do you mean the official explanation is incorrect, despite that there is no dispute on the correct answer (A)?

According to official explanation:
If the answer to (A) is yes ---strengthen
If the answer to (A) is no ---weaken
According to your explanation (which I think is more convincing than OE)
If the answer to (A) is yes ---weaken
If the answer to (A) is no ---strengthen

Geva@MasterGMAT wrote:
ankurmit wrote:
Metal rings recently excavated from seventh-century settlements in the western part of Mexico were made using the same metallurgical techniques as those used by Ecuadorian artisans before and during that period

Archaeologists hypothesize that the metallurgical techniques used to make the rings found
in Mexico were learned by Mexican artisans from Ecuadorian counterparts

There may be a possibility that Maxican artists were not manufacturing those metal rings and they were exported from Ecuador and Mexican people were just using them at that time

A clearly explores that possibility
I agree with ankurmit above - that's exactly the reason why A is relevant. In order to reach the conclusion that the Mexicans learned how to make the rings from the equadorians, the argument must assume that the rings were actually made by the mexicans themselves. If metal goods were traded from equador to mexico, it is possible that the rings found are Ecuadorian in origin, not Mexican, in which case the mexicans did not have to learn the techniques at all. However, if metal objects were not traded, then this would strengthen the conclusion that the rings were made locally, and the techniques would then have to be learned. Thus, knowing A strengthens or weakens an assumption made by the argument, and is the least worst of the answer choices given in that it has some relevancy to the question.

This is not obvious at first glance, but rather reached by elimination. At first I eliminated all five answer choices as irrelevant, and only then took another look at what A actually means. The other answer choices have even worse flaws, making them irrelevant:
B land or sea has nothing to do with anything.

C would've been fine without the "leaving mexico" part - there's no reason to assume that the mexicans learned the techniques by email, and the argument perfectly allows mexicans to go to Equador. so even if the mexicans were able or not able to learn the techniques remotely, this tells me nothing of whether they did actually learn them or not.

D requires a knowledge of metallurgy not likely to be required on the GMAT - perhaps it is possible to make metal rings without metal tools to make them? I don't know, and the GMAT is not likely to require me to know this obscure knowledge. If it was important, the argument would've said something about it - It's a trap answer confusing rings with tools.

E we care not for the present, but for the 7th century.

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manhhiep2509 Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts
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Post Fri Dec 27, 2013 6:15 am
In my opinion, the choice A is correct because it could strengthen or weaken the premise, i.e. the people of these two areas were in cultural contact.
If there were trades, then the choice strengthen the premise, thereby strengthening the conclusion.
If there were not any trade, then it somewhat weaken the premise. The choice eliminate a way that could lead to culture contact between the two countries. R

I find the question tricky because it focus on evaluating the premise rather than conclusion or assumption as other evaluate questions.
---

I do not think whether who are the creators of the ring is important. The conclusion is about who are the creators of the techniques that are used to manufacture the ring.

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