The Birth of Our Modern Minds ielts reading general with answers

The Birth of Our Modern Minds IELTS Reading General

The Birth of Our Modern Minds IELTS Reading General Training

Reading Passage 3

The Birth of Our Modern Minds

A. When did we begin to use symbols to communicate? Roger Highfield reports on a challenge to prevailing ideas. Anyone who doubts the importance of art need do no more than refer to the current account of human evolution, where the emergence of modern people is not so much marked by Stone Age technology as a creative explosion that rocked Europe 40,000 years ago.

Our ancestors began to adorn their bodies with beads and pendants, even tattoos; they painted representations of animals, people and magical hybrids on cave walls in Lascaux, France and Altamira in Spain. They sculpted voluptuous stone figures, such as the Venus of Willendorf. This cultural Big Bang, which coincided with the period when modern humans reached Europe after they set out, via the Near East, from Africa, marked a decisive point in our story when a man took a critical step beyond the limitations of his hairy ancestors and began to use symbols. The modern mind was born.

B. Or was it? Britain’s leading archaeologist questions the dogma that the modern human mind originated in Europe and, instead, argues that its birth was much more recent, around 10,000 years ago, and took place in the Middle East. Lord Renfrew, professor of archaeology at Cambridge University, is troubled by what he calls the ‘sapient behaviour paradox’: genetic findings, based on the diversity of modern humans, suggest that our big brains emerged 130,000 years ago when Homo sapiens evolved from Homo Erectus and were fully developed about 60,000 years ago. ielts xpress

But this hardware, though necessary, was not sufficient for modern behaviour, software (culture) is also required to run a mind and for this to be honed took tens of millennia. There is something unsatisfactory about the genetic argument that rests on the ‘potential’ for change emerging, he argues. Ultimately, little happened — or at least not for another 30,000 years.

C. Although there is no doubt that genes shaped the hardware of the modern brain, genetics does not tell the whole story. ‘It is doubtful whether molecular sequences will give us any clear insights,’ said Lord Renfrew, adding that the current account of our origins has also become sidetracked by placing too much emphasis on one cultural event.

Either side of the boundary between the Middle and Upper Palaeolithic, 40,000 years ago, people lived much the same way. To the casual observer, the archaeological record for Homo sapiens does not look much different from Homo Erectus’s or even our beetle-browed European cousins, the Neanderthals. ‘There are detailed changes in tools and so on but the only one that really strikes you is cave art.’ IELTS XPRESS

D. And this artistic revolution was patchy: the best examples are in Spain and France, in Britain, the oldest known cave art consists of 12.000 year-old engravings in Creswell Crags. Indeed, was there an artistic revolution 40,000 years ago at all? Two pieces of ochre engraved with geometrical patterns 70,000 years ago were recently found at Blombos Cave, 180 miles east of Cape Town, South Africa.

This means people were able to think abstractly and behave as modern humans much earlier than previously thought. Lord Renfrew argues that art, like genetics, does not tell the whole story of our origins. For him, the real revolution occurred 10,000 years ago with the first permanent lieges. That is when the effects of new software kicked in, allowing our ancestors to work together in a more settled way. That is when plants and animals were domesticated and agriculture born.

E. First, there were nests of skulls and unusual burial practices, cult centres and shrines. Then you have the first villages, the first towns, like Jericho in Jordan around 8000 BC) and Catalhoyuk in Turkey (est 6500 BC), then the spread of farming to Europe. Before long, you are accelerating towards the first cities in Mesopotamia, and then other civilisations in Mexico, China and beyond.’

F. Living in timber and mud-brick houses led to a very different engagement between our ancestors and the material world.’1 don’t think it was until settled village communities developed that you had the concept of property, or that “I own these things that have been handed down to me”.’ This, in turn, could have introduced the need for mathematics, to keep a tally of possessions, and written language to describe them. In the Near East, primitive counters date back to the early farming period and this could have marked the first stages of writing, said Lord Renfrew.

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‘We have not solved anything about the origins of modern humans until we understand what happened 10,000 years ago,’ he said. He is excited by excavations now underway in Anatolia, a potential birthplace of the modern mind, in Catalhôyük. one of the earliest places where close-knit communities were born, and Gobekli Tepe, a shrine that predates village life. These spiritual sites may have seeded the first human settled communities by encouraging the domestication of plants and animals.

Questions 27-32
Answer the questions below using NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS for each answer.

27. According to the current view, what does NOT indicate the first appearance of the modern human.
28. What type of evidence does Lord Renfrew question in general?
29. What, apart from art, were the developments in the creation of 40,000 years ago?
30. What kind of cave art in Britain is referred to?
31. What TWO things does Lord Renfrew believe to have been established 10,000 years ago?
32. What TWO things did the notion of personal possessions lead to?

Questions 33-40
Classify the following statements as referring to the period

A. 10,000 years ago
B. 40,000 years ago
C. 60,000 years ago
D. 70,000 years ago

Write the correct letter A—D in boxes 33—40 on your answer sheet.

33. The brain was completely formed physically but was not capable of all the functions of the modern mind.
34. There was a major change in the attitude of humans to each other.
35. A huge amount of art in different forms began to appear.
36. Development of the human mind occurred at the same time as a migration.
37. Art from the period casts doubt on the conventional view of the development of the human mind.
38. Tire modern mind developed in a different location from the one normally assumed.
39. The only significant change in the development of man is shown in the art produced.
40. Further research into the period is essential for accurate conclusions to be drawn on human development.


The Birth of Our Modern Minds IELTS Reading Answers

27. STONE AGE TECHNOLOGY

28. GENETIC(S)

29. TOOLS

30. ENGRAVINGS

31. PERMANENT VILLAGES; AGRICULTURE

32. MATHEMATICS; WRITTEN LANGUAGE

33. C

34. A

35. B

36. B

37. D

38. A

39. B

40. A


The Birth of Our Modern Minds IELTS Reading Answers Explanation

27. According to the current view, what does Not indicate the parents of modern humans?

Answer: Stone age Technology
Supporting Sentence: Anyone who doubts the importance of art need do no more than refer to the current account of human evolution, where the emergence of modern people is not so much marked by Stone Age technology as a creative explosion that rocked Europe 40,000 years ago.
Keyword: human evolution, stone age technology
Keyword Location: Paragraph A
Explanation: In the first sentence, the writer says that according to ‘the current account’ of human evolution, the development of modern managers was negated by a ‘creative explosion’ 40000 years ago, not by the Stone age Technology.


28. What type of evidence does Lord Renfrew question in general?

Answer: Genetics
Supporting Sentence: Lord Renfrew, professor of archaeology at Cambridge University, is troubled by what he calls the ‘sapient behaviour paradox’: genetic findings,
Keyword: genetics, sapient behaviour paradox
Keyword location: Paragraph B
Explanation: In the second paragraph, we are told that Lord Renfrew has doubts about genetic findings, and he thinks that genetic argument is unsatisfactory because people had not developed a culture at the time when genetic evidence suggests that the modern human mind was fully formed. At the beginning of the third paragraph, we are told that he thinks that Genetics does not tell the whole story.


29. Apart from art, what is the development of the creation of 40,000 years ago?

Answer: Tools
Supporting Sentence: ‘There are detailed changes in tools and so on but the only one that really strikes you is cave art.’
Keyword: art cave, tools
Keyword Location: Paragraph C
Explanation: The selected answer is correct as justified by the supporting sentence. The end of the 3rd paragraph states that cave art was a much bigger development than the detailed changes in tools.


30. What kind of cave art in Britain is referred to?

Answer: Engravings
Supporting Sentence: And this artistic revolution was patchy: the best examples are in Spain and France, in Britain, the oldest known cave art consists of 12.000 year-old engravings in Creswell Crags.
Keyword: engravings, cave art
Keyword Location: Paragraph D
Explanation: The second sentence of the fourth paragraph refers to the art found in Creswell crags in Britain. Engravings are an art form involving designs being cut into hard surfaces. Therefore, the selected answer – Engravings is the correct answer.


31. What TWO things does Lord Renfrew believe to have been established 10,000 years ago?

Answer: Permanent Villages, Agriculture
Supporting Sentence: For him, the real revolution occurred 10,000 years ago with the first permanent • lieges.
Keyword: permanent, lieges
Keyword Location: Paragraph D
Explanation: At the end of the 4th paragraph, Lord Renfrew mentions a few things that major developments in the modern mind began to have a real effect when permanent villages were set up, and plants and animals began to be used in agriculture. It is said to have been born then. Plants and animals would not be a correct answer here because they were not established then.


32. What TWO things did the notion of personal possessions lead to?

Answer: Mathematics, Written Language
Supporting Sentence: This, in turn, could have introduced the need for mathematics, to keep a tally of possessions, and written language to describe them.
Keyword: mathematics, written language
Keyword Location: Paragraph F
Explanation: The last paragraph States the concept of property which is the idea of owning possessions that began in villages. This produces the need for mathematics so that a tally of possessions could be kept and for written language so that position could be described.


33. The brain was completely formed physically but was not capable of all functions of the modern mind.

Answer: C
Supporting Sentence: Lord Renfrew, professor of archaeology at Cambridge University, is troubled by what he calls the ‘sapient behaviour paradox’: genetic findings, based on the diversity of modern humans, suggest that our big brains emerged 130,000 years ago when Homo sapiens evolved from Homo Erectus and were fully developed about 60,000 years ago.
Keyword: sapient behaviour
Keyword Location: Paragraph B
Explanation: The second paragraph suggests that genetic evidence proved the full development of the brain 60000 years ago, but Renfrew says humans lacked culture then.

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34. There was a major change in the attitude of humans to each other

Answer: A
Supporting Sentence: For him, the real revolution occurred 10,000 years ago with the first permanent • lieges.
Keyword: revolution
Keyword Location: Paragraph D
Explanation: In the fourth paragraph, a few things that the real revolution happened 10,000 years ago when people began to work together in a more settled way.


35. A huge amount of Art in different forms begin to appear

Answer: B
Supporting Sentence: Anyone who doubts the importance of art need do no more than refer to the current account of human evolution, where the emergence of modern people is not so much marked by Stone Age technology as a creative explosion that rocked Europe 40,000 years ago.
Keyword: creative explosion, 40, 000 years ago
Keyword Location: Paragraph A
Explanation: The first paragraph suggests that when the explosion happened 40,000 years ago, there were different art forms that could appear. In this context, an explosion is an enormous increase, and the art forms included art for the body, paintings, and sculptures.


36. The development of the human mind occurred at the same time as a migration

Answer: B
Supporting Sentence: Anyone who doubts the importance of art need do no more than refer to the current account of human evolution, where the emergence of modern people is not so much marked by Stone Age technology as a creative explosion that rocked Europe 40,000 years ago.
Keyword: human evolution, stone age technology
Keyword Location: Paragraph A
Explanation: In the first paragraph, the cultural big bang is the creative explosion mentioned earlier in the paragraph, which happened 40,000 years ago. This happened simultaneously the time when people reached you after a journey that began in Africa. The migration was there to Europe.


37. Art from the period cast doubt on the conventional view of the development of the human mind.

Answer: D
Supporting Sentence: Two pieces of ochre engraved with geometrical patterns 70,000 years ago were recently found at Blombos Cave, 180 miles east of Cape Town, South Africa.
Keyword: Blombos cave
Keyword Location: Paragraph D
Explanation: In the fourth paragraph, the art created 70000 years ago and found in South Africa indicates that people were capable of abstract thought and modern behavior at a time earlier than had generally been thought to be the case. The 8 suggests that what is commonly believed is not true- it casts doubt on the conventional view.


38. Tire modern mind developed in a different location from the one normally assumed

Answer: A
Supporting Sentence: Britain’s leading archaeologist questions the dogma that the modern human mind originated in Europe and, instead, argues that its birth was much more recent, around 10,000 years ago, and took place in the Middle East.
Keyword: human mind
Keyword Location: Paragraph B
Explanation: The second paragraph says that there is a firm belief that the modern mind developed in Europe 40,000 years ago, but Renfrew thinks it developed 10000 years ago in the Middle East. His views about the location, therefore, differ from what is generally thought.


39. The only significant change in the development of a man is shown in the art produced.

Answer: B
Supporting Sentence: Either side of the boundary between the Middle and Upper Palaeolithic, 40,000 years ago, people lived much the same way.
Keyword: palaeolithic, 40, 000 years
Keyword Location: Paragraph C
Explanation: In the third paragraph it has been said that physical change was not significantly the priority 40,000 years ago and that the only change that is noticeable is the art produced.


40. Further research into the period is essential for an accurate conclusion to be drawn on Human development.

Answer: A
Supporting Sentence: ‘We have not solved anything about the origins of modern humans until we understand what happened 10,000 years ago,’ he said.
Keyword: modern humans
Keyword Location: Paragraph F
Explanation: Lord Renfrew, in the last paragraph, says that firm ideas concerning how the modern human developed cannot be gained until people have discovered exactly what happened 10000 years ago. Research to discover this is taking place in three places that are mentioned.


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