DISCUSSION: Paragraphs 3 and 4 are the only places where pollen was used to argue against a view.
Lines 26-33: pollen was used to show that some soil in County Down was tilled earlier than the 7th century.
Lines 44-47: pollen was used to show that flax wasn’t grown in County Down earlier than the 18th century.
Knowing roughly where these are helps you eliminate trap answers, such as A. You can quickly check the end of paragraph 3 to see whether that answer is correct or not.
- Lines 26-28 show that this is wrong. The old idea was that soils were not tilled until the moldboard plough was introduced. Pollen disproved this idea: soils were tilled even earlier, in the 4th century.
But no one doubts the plough was introduced. Lines 26-28 are clear that the moldboard plough was introduced in the 7th century.
- CORRECT. This combines lines 26-30. Historians thought the soils weren’t tilled. Cereals would have required tilling. Therefore, historians thought cereals weren’t grown.
But, pollen analysis showed that cereals were grown (lines 21-24).
- This answer gets paragraph 3 totally backwards. Historians knew that soils were tilled after the plough was introduced. What pollen showed is that soils were tilled even before the moldboard plough was introduced.
- This was already known to historians. This is why the discovery of cereal pollen was significant. Everyone knows cereal requires tilling, and therefore the existence of cereal pollen in 400 A.D. show that people were tilling the soils back then. 300 years earlier than historians had thought.
- The passage provides evidence for this view. You’re looking for an answer that the passage argues against.
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