Soal Latihan dan Jawaban Reading Comprehension 17
Both in what is now the eastern and the southwestern United States, the peoples of
the Archaic era (8,000-1,000 B.C) were, in a way, already adapted to beginnings of
cultivation through their intensive gathering and processing of wild plant foods. In both
areas, there was a well-established ground stone tool technology, a method of pounding
(5) and grinding nuts and other plant foods, that could be adapted to newly cultivated foods.
By the end of the Archaic era, people in eastern North America had domesticated certain
native plants, including sunflowers; weeds called goosefoot, sumpweed, or marsh elder;
and squash or gourds of some kind. These provided seeds that were important sources of
carbohydrates and fat in the diet.
(10) The earliest cultivation seems to have taken place along the river valleys of the
Midwest and the Southeast, with experimentation beginning as early as 7,000 years ago
and domestication beginning 4,000 to 2,000 years ago. Although the term “Neolithic” is
not used in North American prehistory, these were the first steps toward the same major
subsistence changes that took place during the Neolithic (8,000-2,000 B.C.) period
(15) elsewhere in the world.
Archaeologists debate the reasons for beginning cultivation in the eastern part of the
continent. Although population and sedentary living were increasing at the time, there is
little evidence that people lacked adequate wild food resources; the newly domesticated
foods supplemented a continuing mixed subsistence of hunting, fishing, and gathering
(20) wild plants, Increasing predictability of food supplies may have been a motive. It has been
suggested that some early cultivation was for medicinal and ceremonial plants rather than
for food. One archaeologist has pointed out that the early domesticated plants were all
weedy species that do well in open, disturbed habitats, the kind that would form around
human settlements where people cut down trees, trample the ground, deposit trash, and
(25) dig holes. It has been suggested that sunflower, sumpweed, and other plants almost
domesticated themselves, that is , they thrived in human –disturbed habitats, so humans
intensively collected them and began to control their distribution. Women in the Archaic
communities were probably the main experimenters with cultivation, because
ethnoarchaeological evidence tells us that women were the main collectors of plant food
and had detailed knowledge of plants.
Reading Comprehension 17
Their development of agriculture
Their distribution of work between men and women
The principal sources of food that made up their diet
Their development of ground stone tool technology
the Midwest and the Southeast
experimentation and domestication
Before the Archaic period
Long after the Neolithic period
4,000 to 2,000 years ago
7,000 years ago
Provision of work for an increasing population
The need to keep trees from growing close to settlements
Desire for the consistent availability of food
Lack of enough wild food sources
as a replacement
in addition to
explain the medicinal use of a plant
contrast a plant with high nutritional value with one with little nutritional value
clarify which plants grew better in places where trees were not cut down
provide an example of a plant that was easy to domesticate
They were varieties of weeds.
They were moved from disturbed areas.
They failed to grow in trampled or damaged areas.
They succeeded in areas with many trees.
leaders of ceremonies