DISCUSSION: The author’s point was that pollen can help supplement documents. There are two lines which indicate that pollen is not the main means:
- Lines 10-11: “pollen grains….provide an additional means”
- Lines 48-49: “It must be stressed….there are limits [to what pollen can do]”
- CORRECT. This is a good summary. The “correcting” refers to paragraph 3. There, historians had thought tilling only started in 700 A.D. Pollen showed it must have started at least by 400 A.D.
- Which analysis is this? It’s true that in paragraphs 3 and 4, pollen analysis changed historians’ minds. But, those paragraphs don’t mention documents playing any role at all.
Example of answer: I found some pollen evidence that wheat was grown in the south of Ireland. And look, we found a new book from 1352. It talks about wheat farming in the south of Ireland – the first known document to discuss it.
- This misunderstands the passage. Pollen analysis is used to identify plants that still exist. For example, lines 44-47 discuss flax pollen. Flax is a plant we still grow today.
So, scientists are looking at plants which exist in the present and seeing if they can find any of their pollen in the fossil record.
“Ancient plant species” would refer to plants that once existed in the distant past, but don’t anymore.
- Rubbish. The passage says that fossilized pollen is a good additional means of analyzing landscapes (line 11). But contrary to this answer, pollen analysis isn’t our only means.
We already knew that flax was grown in Ireland! Documents told us so.
This is a trap answer. It just lists every plant in the passage together and says “they were important”. That’s true, but we didn’t need pollen analysis to tell us that.
- This is wrong. Paragraphs 3 and 4 show how pollen was used to identify cereal-grain plants and flax plants. It’s only some plant species that can’t be identified, such as Madder. See lines 50-52.
Want a free Reading Comp lesson?
Get a free sample of the Reading Comprehension Mastery Seminar. Learn tips for solving RC questions