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GRE新阅读机经:Maya Culture

2012-09-24 15:31:09 / 来源:网络 / 编辑:考鸭网

新GRE机经的阅读部分,这篇是关于“Maya Culture”的新GRE阅读机经,希望可以帮助各位考生打开阅读思路,提高新GRE阅读能力。

  Maya Culture

  To understand the ancient Mayan people who lived in the area that is today southern

  Mexico and Central America and the ecological difficulties they faced, one must first consider

  their environment, which we think of as “jungle" or 'tropical rainforest." This view is inaccurate,

  and the reason proves to be important. Properly speaking, tropical rainforests grow in

  high-rainfall equatorial areas that remain wet or humid all year round. But the Maya homeland

  lies more than sixteen hundred kilometers from the equator, at latitudes 17 to 22 degrees north,

  in a habitat termed a “seasonal tropical forest." That is, while there does tend to be a rainy

  season from May to October, there is also a dry season from January through April. If one

  focuses on the wet months, one calls the Maya homeland a "seasonal tropical forest"; if one

  focuses on the dry months, one could instead describe it as a "seasonal desert.”

  From north to south in the Yucatan Peninsula, where the Maya lived, rainfall ranges from

  18 to 100 inches (457 to 2,540 millimeters) per year, and the soils become thicker, so that the

  southern peninsula was agriculturally more productive and supported denser populations. But

  rainfall in the Maya homeland is unpredictably variable between years; some recent years have

  had three or four times more rain than other years. As a result, modern farmers attempting to

  grow corn in the ancient Maya homelands have faced frequent crop failures, especially in the

  north. The ancient Maya were presumably more experienced and did better, but nevertheless

  they too must have faced risks of crop failures from droughts and hurricanes.

  Although southem Maya areas received more rainfall than northern areas, problems of

  water were paradoxically more severe in the wet south. While that made things hard for

  ancient Maya living in the south, it has also made things hard for modem archaeologists who

  have difficulty understanding why ancient droughts caused bigger problems in the wet south

  than in the dry north. The likely explanation is that an area of underground freshwater

  underlies the Yucatan Peninsula, but surface elevation increases from north to south, so that as

  one moves south the land surface lies increasingly higher above the water table. In the

  northern peninsula the elevation is sufficiently low that the ancient Maya were able to reach the

  water table at deep sinkholes called cenotes, or at deep caves. In low-elevation north coastal

  areas without sinkholes, the Maya would have been able to get down to the water table by

  digging wells up to 75 feet (22 meters) deep. But much of the south lies too high above the

  water table for cenotes or wells to reach down to it. Making matters worse, most of the Yucatan

  Peninsula consists of karst, a porous sponge-like limestone terrain where rain runs straight into

  the ground and where little or no surface water remains available.

  How did those dense southern Maya populations deal with the resulting water problem? It

  initially surprises us that many of their cities were not built next to the rivers but instead on high

  terrain in rolling uplands. The explanation is that the Maya excavated depressions, or modified

  natural depressions, and then plugged up leaks in the karst by plastering the bottoms of the

  depressions in order to create reservoirs, which collected rain from large plastered catchment

  basins and stored it for use in the dry season.For example, reservoirs at the Maya city of Tikal 13

  held enough water to meet the drinking water needs of about 10,000 people for a period of 18

  months. At the city of Coba the Maya built dikes around a lake in order to raise its level and

  make their water supply more reliable. But the inhabitants of Tikal and other cities dependent

  on reservoirs for drinking water would still have been in deep trouble if 18 months passed

  without rain in a prolonged drought. A shorter drought in which they exhausted their stored

  food supplies might already have gotten them in deep trouble, because growing crops required

  rain rather than reservoirs.

  以上就是关于Maya Culture的新GRE阅读机经,希望能够帮助各位考生更好地备考新GRE。机经的作用是非常重要的,有很多机经会反复考到,大家可以进行认真阅读,从中推断出出题人的出题思路,总结出新GRE阅读的解题,做到杀G成功!

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