DISCUSSION: The next to last paragraph presents the author’s theory that fear of wooded surroundings may have lead to the creation of woodland clearings. This is specifically mentioned in lines 42-45.
Note that lines 39-43 clearly establish that paths existed. The only uncertainty is whether the author’s proposal of fear as a motive is plausible.
- I found this answer very tempting. However, I misread lines 39-43. I thought the existence of paths was in doubt, but those lines in combination show that scholars now do believe ancient wooded paths existed. So the paintings would merely be further evidence that the paths existed: they don’t show why the paths and clearings existed.
- “Areas densely populated by humans” could refer to modern New York and Shanghai. We need evidence about Mesolithic humans.
- Recent premodern populations likely refers to tribal societies in the 1850s. We want older evidence relating to actual Mesolithic humans. Recent populations are too far removed.
- This isn’t surprising. The author’s claim didn’t depend on what modern humans do. Instead, it depended on early humans being afraid of wilderness. That support comes from 28-33. This answer adds nothing.
- CORRECT. The author’s theory in lines 41-45 is that early humans established paths in the forest due to fear. So, these “recent premodern populations” at least show that some forest dwelling cultures were afraid of the forest. That shows that fear of the forest would have been a probable motive for Mesolithic populations too.
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