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weaken problem

by paes » Thu Jul 15, 2010 7:22 am
From an analysis of broken pottery and statuary, archaeologists have estimated that an ancient settlement in southwestern Arabia was established around 1000 B.C. However, new evidence suggests that the settlement is considerably older: tests show that a piece of building timber recently uncovered at the site is substantially older than the pottery and statuary.
Which one of the following, if true, most seriously undermines the conclusion drawn from the new evidence?

(A) The building timber bore marks suggesting that it had been salvaged from an earlier settlement.
(B) The pieces of pottery and fragments of statues that were analyzed come from several parts of the site.
(C) The tests used to determine the age of the pottery and statuary had been devised more recently than those used to determine the age of the building timber.
(D) The site has yielded many more samples of pottery and statuary than of building timber.
(E) The type of pottery found at the site is similar to a type of pottery associated with civilizations that existed before 1000 B.C

[spoiler]OA Later
Source : LSAT
Please Explain your reasoning[/spoiler]

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by kmittal82 » Thu Jul 15, 2010 7:51 am
The question says that some pottery was found and dated to be 1000BC, and then some timber was found in the same site which was dated to be 2000BC, so the pottery must also date back earlier than 1000BC

The same site could have been used by settlements from 2000BC and from 1000BC. If the timber was dated from 2000BC and the pottery from 1000BC, it suggest that these could be from different settlements which lived in different times.

One of the options directly states that the timber found was salvaged from an earlier settlement (not from the same settlement from which the pottery was found)

Hence, I think it should be[spoiler] (A)[/spoiler]

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by paes » Thu Jul 15, 2010 8:23 am
OA is A.

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by hero » Thu Jul 15, 2010 9:59 am
after re-reading a little slower, i see A as being a much stronger choice for the points made. the question addresses a certain settlement, and now we are introducing the possibility that the new evidence ( timber ) could have come from a different settlement which would undermine the arguements made about the specific settlement discussed.

but can someone help me clearly identify why E is not a good answer? it does address the possibility that the pottery could have been used by other civilizations from earlier years. I feel like i'm starting to find the reason it's wrong, but am not quite confident on it.

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by paes » Thu Jul 15, 2010 9:49 pm
hero wrote:after re-reading a little slower, i see A as being a much stronger choice for the points made. the question addresses a certain settlement, and now we are introducing the possibility that the new evidence ( timber ) could have come from a different settlement which would undermine the arguements made about the specific settlement discussed.

but can someone help me clearly identify why E is not a good answer? it does address the possibility that the pottery could have been used by other civilizations from earlier years. I feel like i'm starting to find the reason it's wrong, but am not quite confident on it.
See, conclusion is based on a new finding : a piece of building timbe

So we have to find the choice, which will weaken this evidence.

While E is related to the old evidence, can't weaken the conclusion.
So it is like a scope shift .

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by hero » Fri Jul 16, 2010 8:17 am
paes wrote:
hero wrote:after re-reading a little slower, i see A as being a much stronger choice for the points made. the question addresses a certain settlement, and now we are introducing the possibility that the new evidence ( timber ) could have come from a different settlement which would undermine the arguements made about the specific settlement discussed.

but can someone help me clearly identify why E is not a good answer? it does address the possibility that the pottery could have been used by other civilizations from earlier years. I feel like i'm starting to find the reason it's wrong, but am not quite confident on it.
See, conclusion is based on a new finding : a piece of building timbe

So we have to find the choice, which will weaken this evidence.

While E is related to the old evidence, can't weaken the conclusion.
So it is like a scope shift .
Got it. re-read the question with this in mind. makes much more sense. i also worked on a few of these types of questions last night after feeling like i missed the point here. thanks!

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by FightWithGMAT » Fri Jul 16, 2010 10:33 am
paes wrote:From an analysis of broken pottery and statuary, archaeologists have estimated that an ancient settlement in southwestern Arabia was established around 1000 B.C. However, new evidence suggests that the settlement is considerably older: tests show that a piece of building timber recently uncovered at the site is substantially older than the pottery and statuary.
Which one of the following, if true, most seriously undermines the conclusion drawn from the new evidence?

(A) The building timber bore marks suggesting that it had been salvaged from an earlier settlement.
(B) The pieces of pottery and fragments of statues that were analyzed come from several parts of the site.
(C) The tests used to determine the age of the pottery and statuary had been devised more recently than those used to determine the age of the building timber.
(D) The site has yielded many more samples of pottery and statuary than of building timber.
(E) The type of pottery found at the site is similar to a type of pottery associated with civilizations that existed before 1000 B.C

[spoiler]OA Later
Source : LSAT
Please Explain your reasoning[/spoiler]
Answer choices make this question a bit difficult.
Except E, all other options are weakening the conclusion, more or less.

But A beats all others. If you see, C makes a good choice. But A attacks the core of the conclusion.