- 2017年12月08日14:21 来源：小站整理
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Archaeological discoveries have led some scholars to believe that the first Mesopotamian
inventors of writing may have been a people the later Babylonians called Subarians. According to
tradition, they came from the north and moved into Uruk in the south. By about 3100 B.C., they
were apparently subjugated in southern Mesopotamia by the Sumerians, whose name became
synonymous with the region immediately north of the Persian Gulf, in the fertile lower valleys of
the Tigris and Euphrates. Here the Sumerians were already well established by the year 3000 B.C.
They had invented bronze, an alloy that could be cast in molds, out of which they made tools and
weapons. They lived in cities, and they had begun to acquire and use capital. Perhaps most
important, the Sumerians adapted writing (probably from the Subarians) into a flexible tool of
Archaeologists have known about the Sumerians for over 150 years. Archaeologists working at
Nineveh in northern Mesopotamia in the mid-nineteenth century found many inscribed clay tablets.
Some they could decipher because the language was a Semitic one (Akkadian), on which scholars
had already been working for a generation. But other tablets were inscribed in another language
that was not Semitic and previously unknown. Because these inscriptions made reference to the
king of Sumer and Akkad, a scholar suggested that the new language be called Sumerian.
But it was not until the 1890's that archaeologists excavating in city-states well to the south of
Nineveh found many thousands of tablets inscribed in Sumerian only. Because the Akkadians
thought of Sumerian as a classical language (as ancient Greek and Latin are considered today),
they taught it to educated persons and they inscribed vocabulary, translation exercises, and other
study aids on tablets. Working from known Akkadian to previously unknown Sumerian, scholars
since the 1890's have learned how to read the Sumerian language moderately well. Vast quantities
of tablets in Sumerian have been unearthed during the intervening years from numerous sites.
1.According to the passage , the inventors of written language in Mesopotamia were probably the
2. The word "subjugated" in line 4 is closest in meaning to
3. The phrase "synonymous with" in line 5 is closest in meaning to
(A) equivalent to
(B) important for
(C) respected in
(D) familiar with
4. According to the passage , by the year 3000 B.C. the Sumerians had already done all of the
(A) They had abandoned the area north of the Persian Gulf.
(B) They had established themselves in cities.
(C) They had started to communicate through
(D) They had created bronze tools and weapons.
5. The word "some" in line 14 refers to
(D) clay tablets
6. Which of the following can be inferred from the passage concerning the Sumerians?
(A) They were descendants of the Persians.
(B) They were the first people to cultivate the valley of the Tigris.
(C) They were accomplished musicians.
(D) They had the beginnings of an economy.
7. According to the passage , when did archaeologists begin to be able to understand tablets
inscribed in Sumerian?
(A) in the early nineteenth century
(B) more than 150 years ago
(C) after the 1890's
(D) in the mid-eighteenth century
8. According to the passage , in what way did the Sumerian language resemble ancient Greek and
(A) It was invented in Mesopotamia.
(B) It became well established around 3000 B.C.
(C) It became a classical language.
(D) It was used exclusively for business transactions.
9. The word "excavating" in line 19 is closest in meaning to
10.According to the passage , how did archaeologists learn to read the Sumerian language?
(A) by translating the work of the Subarians
(B) by using their knowledge of spoken Semitic languages
(C) by comparing Sumerian to other classical languages
(D) by using their knowledge of Akkadian