QUESTION TYPE: Evaluate the Argument
CONCLUSION: Archaeologists think the stones were transported on reed boats.
REASONING: Archaeologists transported a 9 ton stone on a reed boat built from local materials. The ancient stones weighed up to 40 tons.
ANALYSIS: There are several things that would be helpful to know:
- Was it difficult to transport the stones with the boats?
- Could the boats have transported a 40 ton stone?
- Were there other available methods of transport?
The right answer uses information I didn’t think of. It’s definitely relevant to know whether the traditional techniques were available at the time the stones were transported. “Traditional” doesn’t mean the techniques were around forever. A traditional technique could be only 500 years old. Tiwanaku was prehistoric – that’s very old.
- CORRECT. If the techniques weren’t available when the stones were transported, then maybe the Tiwanakuans couldn’t have transported the stones in reed boats.
- It doesn’t matter whether the stones were used locally. We only care how people managed to get the stones far away to Tiwanaku.
- It doesn’t matter what people do today. We only care what people did at the time the stones were transported.
- It doesn’t matter if there are bigger stones at the site. Those weren’t transported. We only care how the Tiwanakuans transported the 40 ton stones to their building site.
- It only matters that the boats were useable long enough to transport the stones.
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