P1: Archaeology has long been an accepted tool for studying prehistoric cultures. Relatively recently the same techniques have been systematically applied to studies of the more immediate past. This has been called “historical archaeology,” a term that is used in the United States to refer to any archaeological investigation into North American sites that postdate the arrival of Europeans.
- Reading Practice Test 69 from The Collection of TOEFL Reading Comprehension
- Reading Practice Test 67 from The Collection of TOEFL Reading Comprehension
- Reading Practice Test 66 from The Collection of TOEFL Reading Comprehension
- TOEFL IBT Reading Practice Test 55 from The Official Guide to the TOEFL Test
- TOEFL IBT Reading Practice Test 54 from The Official Guide to the TOEFL Test
P2: Back in the 1930’s and 1940’s, when building restoration was popular, historical archaeology was primarily a tool of architectural reconstruction. The role of archaeologists was to find the foundations of historic buildings and then take a back seat to architects. The mania for reconstruction had largely subsided by 1950’s. Most people entering historical archaeology during this period came out of university anthropology departments, where they had studied prehistoric cultures. They were, by training social scientists, not historians, and their work tended to reflect this bias. The questions they framed and the techniques they used were designed to help them understand, as scientists, how people behaved. But because they were treading on historical ground for which there was often extensive written documentation and because their own knowledge of these periods was usually limited, their contributions to American history remained circumscribed. Their reports, highly technical and sometimes poorly written, went unread.
P3: More recently, professional archaeologists have taken over. These researchers have sought to demonstrate that their work can be a valuable tool not only of science but also of history, providing fresh insights into the daily lives of ordinary people whose existences might not otherwise be so well documented. This newer emphasis on archaeology as social history has shown great promise, and indeed work done in this area has lead to a reinterpretation of the United States past.
P4: In Kingston, New York, for example, evidence has uncovered that indicates that English goods were being smuggled into that city at a time when the Dutch supposedly controlled trading in the area. And in Sacramento an excavation at site of a fashionable nineteenth-century hotel revealed that garbage had been stashed in the building’s basement despite sanitation laws to the contrary.
21. What does the passage mainly discuss?
(A) Why historical archaeology was first developed
(B) How the methods and purpose of historical archaeology have changed
(C) The contributions architects make to historical archaeology
(D) The attitude of professional archaeologists toward historical archaeology
22. According to the first paragraph, what is a relatively new focus in archaeology?
(A) Investigating the recess past
(B) Studying prehistoric cultures
(C) Excavating ancient sites in what is now the United States.
(D) Comparing ancient sites in what is now the United States.
23. According to the passage, when had historical archaeologists been trained as anthropologists?
(A) Prior to the 1930’s (B) During the 1930’s and 1940’s
(C) During the 1950’s and 1960’s (D) After the 1960’s
24. The word “framed” in paragraph 2 is closest in meaning to
(A) understood (B) read (C) avoided (D) posed
25. In the third paragraph, the author implies that the techniques of history and the techniques of social science are
(A) quite different from each other
(B) equally useful in studying prehistoric cultures
(C) usually taught to students of archaeology
(D) both based on similar principles
26. The phrase “their contributions” in paragraph 2 refers to the contributions of
(A) social scientists (B) prehistoric cultures
(C) historians (D) documentation and knowledge
27. The author mentions an excavation at the site of a hotel in Sacramento in order to give an example of
(A) a building reconstruction project
(B) the work of the earliest historical archaeologists
(C) a finding that conflicts with written records
(D) the kind of information that historians routinely examine
28. The word “supposedly” in paragraph 4 is closest in meaning to
(A) ruthlessly (B) tightly (C) barely (D) seemingly
29. The word “sanitation” in paragraph 4 is closest in meaning to
(A) city (B) housing (C) health (D) trade