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Unformatted text preview: supported denser populations. But rainfall in the Maya homeland is unpredictably variable between years; some recent years have had three or four times more rain than other years. As a result, modern farmers attempting to grow corn in the ancient Maya homelands have faced frequent crop failures, especially in the north. The ancient Maya were presumably more experienced and did better, but nevertheless they too must have faced risks of crop failures from droughts and hurricanes.
2. Which of the following is NOT mentioned in paragraph 2 as a difference between the northern and southern Yucatan Peninsula?
○The annual rainfall was greater in the south.
○The population density was lower in the north.
○Agricultural productivity was greater in the south
○Rainfall was more unpredictable and variable in the south. 3. Which of the following statements about ancient and modem agriculture in the Yucatan Peninsula is supported by paragraph 2?
○Modern agricultural methods have solved many of the ancient problems of farming in the Yucatan Peninsula.
○Ancient Mayan farmers may have been somewhat more successful at farming in the Yucatan Peninsula than farmers are today.
○Farming today is easier than in the past because environmental changes in the Yucatan Peninsula have increased available rainfall
○The Yucatan soils in which ancient farmers worked were richer, more productive, and thicker than they are today.
Paragraph 3: Although southem Maya areas received more rainfall than northern areas, problems of water were paradoxically more severe in the wet south. While that made things hard for ancient Maya living in the south, it has also made things hard for modem archaeologists who have difficulty understanding why ancient droughts caused bigger problems in the wet south than in the dry north. The likely explanation is that an area of underground 397
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freshwater underlies the Yucatan Peninsula, but surface elevation increases from north to south, so that as one moves south the land surface lies increasingly higher above the water table. In the northern peninsula the elevation is sufficiently low that the ancient Maya were able to reach the water table at deep sinkholes called cenotes, or at deep caves. In lowelevation north coastal areas without sinkholes, the Maya would have been able to get down to the water table by digging wells up to 75 feet (22 meters) deep. But much of the south lies too high above the water table for cenotes or wells to reach down to it. Making matters worse, most of the Yucatan Peninsula consists of karst, a porous spongelike limestone terrain where rain runs straight into the ground and where little or no surface water remains available.
4. The word "paradoxically” in the passage is closest in meaning to ○usually
5. The phrase “The likely explanation"...
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This note was uploaded on 09/17/2013 for the course LANGUAGE 13DL208 taught by Professor Wang during the Fall '13 term at East China Normal University.
- Fall '13