• Piquenbauer
    University: Tianjin University
    Nationality: PRC
    September 15, 2020 at 2:41 pm


    Woven baskets characterized by a particular distinctive pattern have previously been found only in the immediate vicinity of the prehistoric village of Palea and therefore were believed to have been made only by the Palean people. Recently, however, archaeologists discovered such a”Palean”basket in Lithos, an ancient village across the Brim River from Palea. The Brim River is very deep and broad, and so the ancient Paleans could have crossed it only by boat, and no Palean boats have been found. Thus it follows that the so-called Palean baskets were not uniquely Palean. 


    Write a response in which you discuss what specific evidence is needed to evaluate the argument and explain how the evidence would weaken or strengthen the argument.



    The conclusion in this argument is that Palean baskets were not uniquely Palean. To support this conclusion, the author points out that a “Palean” basket was found in Lithos, and Palean needed to cross the Brim River, which is deep and broad, by boat to reach Lithos. In addition, the author reasons that Palean cannot cross the river because no Palean boats have been found. The argument suffers from several critical fallacies.


    Citing the difficulty to cross the Brim River from Palea, the author says that the River is deep and broad nowadays. But the Brim River may not be as deep and broad as today’s in the ancient period. If specific evidence is found to indicate that the Brim River is a mild and shallow one in the past, Paleans may cross the River directly without boats. The author did not consider the possible change of the Brim River over such a long time, because a river may be broader or more torrential due to the climate change over a long period.


    Additionally, the author assumes that the Paleans can only reach Lithos by crossing the river by boat. However, there are possible assumptions that Paleans may reach Lithos by other ways. If the Brim River is not a long river and origins from a mountain near the Palea, Palean may walking through the mountains to avoid crossing the Brim River. Thus, we need to find evidence such as an ancient path hiding in the nearby mountains by which we can reach Lithos.


    Even if the author can substantiate all of the foregoing assumptions, there may be another possibility. Those Palean baskets may be brought back by people from other civilizations rather than be brought by Palean who came to other villages. If we can find evidence of boats made by Lithos people or boats of other villages whose people had come to both Palean and Lithos, we can explain why Palean basket was also found in Lithos: there may be trades between those ancient villages. Though Palean cannot made boats, other people may have the technology to make boats and approach Palea for trading.


    To sum up, the author’s argument is unpersuasive as it stands.