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Laura N

Someone interested in critiquing and reading my essay?

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First of all, thank you very much for taking the time to read my essay! Now, to the essay:

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 argument is flawed as it assumes that the baskets were built in the site in which they were found and therefore couldn´t be Palean. 


The argument points to the characteristics of the river as a hurdle that could only be overcome with the help of a boat. Such boats, would appear, were wanting in the Palean community and therefore the transportation of the baskets was not be feasible. However, the underlying assumption for this part of the argument is that only the Paleans would transport their baskets. Evidence of boats belonging to the Litho community or other communities on the river would weaken the argument, as the basket could be a good traded between the communities in boats not owned by the Paleans. 


Evidence that Palean people married into Lithos families would also weaken the argument at hand. If a Palean person had moved to Lithos after marrying and weaved with the same patterns learned in her original community, the technique could still be considered Palean. The definition of what it means to be Palean would have to be more specific so as to outright reject belonging to the Palean community after marrying into another community. 


The argument also fails to explain whether it was only one basket or more that were found. Given that the villages were facing each other across a river it is feasible that one of the Palean baskets was lost to the river and the current carried it to the other shore. Evidence of a large number of baskets and materials to build the artifacts could strengthen the argument, however such information is missing. 


The evidence described above would discard the argument that baskets are not Palean.

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