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新托福TPO41阅读原文(三):Trade and Early State Formation

编辑:share 来源: 美联乐闻 发布时间:2016-06-21

文章摘要: 美联乐闻为考生们整理了新托福TPO阅读原文和译文,本文是新托福TPO41第三篇文章的原文,新托福TPO41阅读原文(三):Trade and Early State Formation(贸易和早期国家的形成)。

新托福TPO41阅读原文(三):Trade and Early State Formation。美联乐闻为考生们整理了新托福TPO阅读原文和译文,供大家参考。本文是新托福TPO41第三篇文章的原文,新托福TPO41阅读原文(三):Trade and Early State Formation(贸易和早期国家的形成)。

TPO41-3:Trade and Early State Formation

Bartering was a basic trade mechanism for many thousands of years; often sporadic and usually based on notions of reciprocity, it involved the mutual exchange of commodities or objects between individuals or groups. Redistribution of these goods through society lay in the hands of chiefs, religious leaders, or kin groups. Such redistribution was a basic element in chiefdoms. The change from redistribution to formal trade—often based on regulated commerce that perhaps involved fixed prices and even currency—was closely tied to growing political and social complexity and hence to the development of the state in the ancient world. In the 1970s, a number of archaeologists gave trade a primary role in the rise of ancient states.

British archaeologist Colin Renfrew attributed the dramatic flowering of the Minoan civilization on Crete and through the Aegean to intensified trading contacts and to the impact of olive and vine cultivation on local communities. As agricultural economies became more diversified and local food supplies could be purchased both locally and over longer distances, a far-reaching economic interdependence resulted. Eventually, this led to redistribution systems for luxuries and basic commodities, systems that were organized and controlled by Minoan rulers from their palaces. As time went on, the self-sufficiency of communities was replaced by mutual dependence. Interest in long-distance trade brought about some cultural homogeneity from trade and gift exchange, and perhaps even led to piracy. Thus, intensified trade and interaction, and the flowering of specialist crafts, in a complex process of positive feedback, led to much more complex societies based on palaces, which were the economic hubs of a new Minoan civilization.

Renfrew’s model made some assumptions that are now discounted. For example, he argued that the introduction of domesticated vines and olives allowed a substantial expansion of land under cultivation and helped to power the emergence of complex society. Many archaeologists and paleobotanists now question this view, pointing out that the available evidence for cultivated vines and olives suggests that they were present only in the later Bronze Age. Trade, nevertheless, was probably one of many variables that led to the emergence of palace economies in Minoan Crete.

American archaeologist William Rathje developed a hypothesis that considered an explosion in long-distance exchange a fundamental cause of Mayan civilization in Mesoamerica. He suggested that the lowland Mayan environment was deficient in many vital resources, among them obsidian, salt, stone for grinding maize, and many luxury materials. All these could be obtained from the nearby highlands, from the Valley of Mexico, and from other regions, if the necessary trading networks came into being. Such connections, and the trading expeditions to maintain them, could not be organized by individual villages. The Maya lived in a relatively uniform environment, where every community suffered from the same resource deficiencies. Thus, argued Rathje, long- -distance trade networks were organized through local ceremonial centers and their leaders. In time, this organization became a state, and knowledge of its functioning was exportable, as were pottery, tropical bird feathers, specialized stone materials, and other local commodities.

Rathje’s hypothesis probably explains part of the complex process of Mayan state formation, but it suffers from the objection that suitable alternative raw materials can be found in the lowlands. It could be, too, that warfare became a competitive response to population growth and to the increasing scarcity of prime agricultural land, and that it played an important role in the emergence of the Mayan states.

Now that we know much more about ancient exchange and commerce, we know that, because no one aspect of trade was an overriding cause of cultural change or evolution in commercial practices, trade can never be looked on as a unifying factor or as a primary agent of ancient civilization. ■Many ever-changing variables affected ancient trade, among them the demand for goods. ■There were also the logistics of transportation, the extent of the trading network, and the social and political environment. ■Intricate market networks channeled supplies along well-defined routes. ■Authorities at both ends might regulate the profits fed back to the source, providing the incentive for further transactions. There may or may not have been a market organization. Extensive long-distance trade was a consequence rather than a cause of complex societies.

TPO41-3译文:贸易和早期国家的形成

物物交换是数千年来的基本交易机制;它是偶发的,并且通常是基于互惠这一概念,它包括个体或群体之间相互交换商品或物品的行为。这些商品的社会再分配由酋长、宗教领袖、或亲属团体掌控。这种再分配是酋长权力的一个基本要素。从再分配到正式贸易——通常是基于包括固定价格甚至是货币在内的有规划的商业模式——的变化与政治和社会越来越复杂息息相关,因此也与古代国家的发展有关。在20世纪70年代,许多考古学家认为贸易在古代国家的崛起中起了主要作用。

英国考古学家科林?伦福儒将克里特岛和爱琴海的米诺斯文明的蓬勃发展归因于更多的贸易接触和当地橄榄和葡萄栽培的影响。随着农业经济越来越多样化,当地粮食供应既可以在本地购买,也可以到远处购买,一种影响深远的相互依存的经济关系便形成了。最终,奢侈品和基本商品都有了重新分配系统,这些系统由宫殿里的米诺斯统治者控制。随着时间的推移,社区由自给自足变成相互依赖。远距离贸易带来的利益,使得文化在贸易和礼品交换变得同质化,甚至可能导致盗版。因此,频繁的贸易和互通以及专业工艺的蓬勃发展,在一个复杂的积极影响过程中,使得建立在皇权上的社会更加复杂。皇宫是新米诺斯文明的经济中心。

伦福儒的模型做了一些假设,这些假设在现在是不太可信的。例如,他认为,引进家种的葡萄和橄榄使得大量耕种土地扩张,并有利于推动更加复杂的社会的出现。许多考古学家和古植物学家现在质疑这一观点,指出现有的关于葡萄和橄榄种植的证据表明它们是在青铜时代后期才开始种植的。无论如何,贸易可能是众多导致克里特宫廷经济崛起的因素之一。

美国考古学家威廉?雷斯杰提出了一种假设,认为远距离贸易的激增是中美洲玛雅文明出现的一个根本原因。他认为地势低洼的玛雅缺乏很多重要的资源,如黑曜石、盐、磨玉米的石头和许多奢侈品。如果有一定的贸易网,所有这些都可以从附近的高地,墨西哥的山谷或其他地区获得。获得这些资源的这种联系和贸易旅途,不能由某个村子组织。而玛雅人生活在一个相对统一的环境中,每个团体都缺乏同样的资源。因此,雷斯杰认为,远距离贸易网是由当地的仪式中心和他们的领导人组织的。后来,这个组织发展成为一个国家,这种运作模式便可以输出了,当地的陶器、热带鸟的羽毛、专业的石材和其他本地物品也同样可以往外输送了。

雷斯杰的假设可能解释了玛雅国家形成的复杂过程的一部分,但对这一解释的异议在于低洼地带也有可替代的原材料。也可能是,人口增长和日益稀缺的优质农业土地引发了战争,在玛雅国家的出现中发挥了重要作用。

由于我们对古代贸易和商业的了解越来越多,我们知道,因为贸易的任何一个方面都不足以成为商业实践的文化变革或演变的最重要因素,贸易也不能被当作是古代文明出现的唯一因素或主要动力。许多不断变化的变量,比如对商品的需求,影响着古代贸易。还有物流运输、贸易网络的广度,以及社会和政治环境。错综复杂的市场网络沿着既定的路线输送物资。买卖双方的领导人物可能会调节给供货商的利润,以此鼓励更多的交易。这中间可能有市场组织,也可能没有。广泛的远距离贸易是复杂社会的产物,而不是起因。

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