Iron hoes which made the land more productive and

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functions. Iron hoes, which made the land more productive, and iron weapons, which made the warrior more powerful, had symbolic meaning in a number of West African societies. Those who knew the secrets of making iron gained ritual and sometimes political power. 5 Unlike in the Americas, where metallurgy was a very late and limited development, Africans had iron from a relatively early date, developing ingenious furnaces to produce the high heat needed for production and to control the amount of air that reached the carbon and iron ore necessary for making iron. Much of Africa moved right into the Iron Age, taking the basic technology and adapting it to local conditions and resources. 6 The diffusion of agriculture and later of iron was accompanied by a great movement of people who may have carried these innovations. These people probably originated in eastern Nigeria. Their migration may have been set in motion by an increase in population caused by a movement of peoples fleeing the desiccation, or drying up, of the Sahara. They spoke a language, proto-Bantu (“bantu” means “the people”), which is the parent tongue of a large number of Bantu languages still spoken throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Why and how these people spread out into central and southern Africa remains a mystery, but archaeologists believe that their iron weapons allowed them to conquer their hunting-gathering opponents, who still used stone implements. Still, the process is uncertain, and peaceful migration—or simply rapid demographic growth—may have also caused the Bantu explosion. Directions: Now answer the questions. 1. The word “ diffused ” in the passage is closest in meaning to (A) emerged (B) was understood (C) spread (D) developed 2. According to paragraph 1, why do researchers doubt that agriculture developed independently in Africa? (A) African lakes and rivers already provided enough food for people to survive without agriculture. (B) The earliest examples of cultivated plants discovered in Africa are native to Asia. (C) Africa’s native plants are very difficult to domesticate. (D) African communities were not large enough to support agriculture. 3. In paragraph 1, what does the author imply about changes in the African environment during this time period? (A) The climate was becoming milder, allowing for a greater variety of crops to be grown. (B) Although periods of drying forced people south, they returned once their food supply was secure. (C) Population growth along rivers and lakes was dramatically decreasing the availability of fish. (D) A region that had once supported many people was becoming a desert where few could survive.
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TOEFL iBT ® Quick Prep 6 READING PRACTICE SET 1 4. According to paragraph 2, camels were important because they (A) were the first domesticated animal to be introduced to Africa (B) allowed the people of the West African savannahs to carve out large empires (C) helped African peoples defend themselves against Egyptian invaders (D) made it cheaper and easier to cross the Sahara 5. According to paragraph 2, which of the following were subjects of rock paintings in the Sahara?
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