Archaeologist: Neanderthals, a human-like species living 60,000 years ago, probably preserved meat by smoking it. Bur...

Jeremy on May 17 at 11:42PM

Please explain.

How does B weaken the argument? Please explain.

3 Replies

Kanyinsola on July 5 at 09:48PM

Echoing the above request. Would appreciate an explanation and interpretation of the options. Thanks!

Serra on July 6 at 04:42AM

Second both above requests for an explanation please :)

Victoria on July 6 at 08:11PM

Hi @JeremyG, @Kanyin, and @msaber

The archaeologist concludes: "Neanderthals, a human-like species living 60,000 years ago, probably preserved meat by smoking it." Why? Because "burnt lichen and grass have been found in many Neanderthal fireplaces" and "a fire of lichen and grass produces a lot of smoke but does not produce nearly as much heat or light as a wood fire."

A is incorrect because it supports the archaeologist's argument. If Neanderthals also used materials that produced more heat than smoke, then it is likely that fires that produced more smoke than heat would have a different purpose, such as preserving meat by smoking it.

C is incorrect because it could also support the archaeologist's argument. If lichen was brought in from some distance, then it is likely that it and its ability to produce smoky fires were used for a special purpose, such as preserving meat by smoking it.

D is incorrect because it is irrelevant. The fact that some groups developed alternative methods of preserving meat says nothing about whether the many Neanderthal groups with fireplaces that contained burnt lichen and grass preserved meat by smoking it.

E is incorrect because it is irrelevant. The passage does not discuss why Neanderthals smoked meat, it simply argues that they likely preserved meat by smoking it because of the physical evidence left behind.

Finally, B is the correct answer because it provides an alternative explanation for why many Neanderthal fireplaces contained burnt Iichen and grass. If no other plants could be burned more effectively to produce heat or light, then the evidence of burnt lichen and grass no longer suggests that these fires were used to smoke meat. If no other plants could be burned more effectively to produce heat or light, then it is just as likely that these fires were used to keep Neanderthals warm and that they did not preserve meat by smoking it.

Hope this is helpful! Please let us know if you have any further questions.