Pulling Strings to Build Pyramids – IELTS Reading Answers
You should spend 20 minutes answering questions 1-13 based on the reading passage.
Pulling Strings to Build Pyramids
The answers to questions 1-13 are given below along with their explanations.
|1||TRUE||Paragraph 1 mentions that the ‘conventional picture’ (generally believed) is that ‘tens of thousands of slaves’ (large numbers of people were needed to build) dragged stones on sledges. As the statement agrees with the information, the answer is ‘TRUE’.|
|2||FALSE||Paragraph 1 points out that while perusing a ‘book on the monuments of Egypt’, ‘Maureen Clemmons’, a Californian software consultant, noticed a ‘hieroglyph’ that showed a row of men standing in ‘odd’ (strange) postures. So, it was actually in a book that she found the hieroglyph and not on the monument itself. As the statement contradicts the information, the answer is ‘FALSE’.|
|3||NOT GIVEN||In paragraph 2, it is given that Clemmons contacted Morteza Gharib, aeronautics professor at the California Institute of Technology, who was fascinated by the idea that the bird in the hieroglyph was actually a giant kite, and the men were using it to lift a heavy object. There is no further mention of Gharib being part of any experiments on bird flight in the past. So, the answer is ‘NOT GIVEN’.|
|4||TRUE||The last sentence of the second paragraph notes that Gharib needed a summer project for his student Emilio Graff, ‘investigating the possibility of using kites as heavy lifters’ (theory) seemed like a good idea. The author adds in paragraph 3 that Gharib and Graff ‘set themselves the task of raising a 4.5-metre stone column’ from horizontal to vertical, ‘using no source of energy except the wind’. So, before applying the theory that kites, or wind power, can be used as heavy lifters, they decided to test it through the experiment. As the statement agrees with the information, the answer is ‘TRUE’.|
|5||FALSE||Paragraph 5 states that the ‘wind was blowing at a gentle 16 to 20 kilometres an hour’ (not high speed), little more than half what they thought would be needed. What they had failed to reckon with was what happened when the kite was opened. There was a huge initial force – five times larger than the steady state force. This ‘jerk meant that kites could lift huge weights’, Gharib realised. So, it was the sudden force or jerk that made the experiment successful and not the high speed of the wind.
As the statement contradicts the information, the answer is ‘FALSE’.
|6||NOT GIVEN||From the first two sentences of paragraph 5 we get to know that the wind was blowing at a gentle 16 to 20 kilometres an hour, little more than half what they thought would be needed. They did not even take into account what would happen when the kite was opened. In the remaining paragraph or in the passage, there is no mention of how high the kite went or if it affected the force of the wind. Hence, the answer is ‘NOT GIVEN’.|
|7||TRUE||Paragraph 5 relates the experiment undertaken by Gharib and Graff and it was proved that ‘Clemmons was right’: the pyramid, ‘builders could have used kites to lift massive stones into place’ (possible to use kites to raise very heavy stones). As the statement agrees with the information, the answer is ‘TRUE’.|
|8||Wooden pulleys||Paragraph 7 informs that harnessing wind would not have been a problem for accomplished sailors like the ‘Egyptians’. And ‘they are known to have used wooden pulleys’, which could have been made strong enough to ‘bear the weight of massive blocks’ (lift large pieces) of stone. Hence, the answer is ‘wooden pulleys’.|
|9||stone||Paragraph 7 brings out the fact that harnessing the wind would not have been a problem for accomplished sailors like the ‘Egyptians’ who are known to have used wooden pulleys, which could have been made strong enough to ‘bear’ (lift) the weight of ‘massive blocks of stone’ (large pieces of stone). Hence, the answer is ‘stone’.|
|10||Accomplished sailors||Paragraph 7 refers to the fact that ‘harnessing the wind’ (how to use the energy of the wind) would not have been a problem for ‘accomplished sailors like the Egyptians’. Hence, the answer is ‘accomplished sailors’.|
|11||Modern glider||Paragraph 7 discusses that a wooden artefact found on the step pyramid at Saqqara ‘looks uncannily’ (resembled) like ‘a modern glider’. Hence, the answer is ‘modern glider’.|
|12||flight||Paragraph 7 suggests that the wooden artefact found on the step pyramid at Saqqara looks uncannily like a modern glider. Its sophistication suggests that the Egyptians ‘might have been developing ideas’ (may have experimented) ‘of flight’ for a long time. Hence, the answer is ‘flight’.|
|13||messages||In paragraph 7, the author says that ‘as early as 1250 BC’ (over two thousand years ago), the ‘Chinese’ were using them to ‘deliver messages’ (sending messages) and dump ‘flaming debris’ (weapon) on their foes. Hence, the answer is ‘messages’.|
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