BEST IELTS Academic Reading Test 432

BEST IELTS Academic Reading Test 432

IELTS Academic Reading Test

MYSTERY OF THE MEGALITHS

A. Easter Island, also known as Rapa Nui, is a triangular-shaped island belonging to Chile. It is located in the South Pacific Ocean, about 3700 km west of the Chilean coast. The island is formed by three extinct volcanoes. Swept by strong trade winds, the area is warm throughout the year. Indigenous vegetation consists mainly of grasses. Potatoes, sugarcane, taro roots, tobacco, and tropical fruits are grown in the fertile soil. The prime source of fresh water is the rain that gathers in the crater lakes.

B. The Island was named by a Dutch explorer who landed there on Easter Day in 1722. At the time, several thousand Polynesians inhabited the island. However, disease and raids by slave traders reduced the number to fewer than 200 by the late 19th century. The Chilean government annexed the island in 1888. An area on the western coast is reserved by the government for the indigenous population; the remainder is used as grazing land for sheep and cattle. Some intermarriage has taken place between the Polynesians and the Chileans.

IELTS Academic Reading Test

C. Easter Island is of considerable archaeological importance. It is the richest site of the megaliths (giant stone monuments) of the Pacific island groups and the only source of evidence of a form of writing in Polynesia. Very little is known about the people who made the megaliths and carved the wooden tablets. One belief is that settlement of Easter Island took place about 18 centuries ago, al- though some scholars contend that the settlement occurred more recently.

Archaeological and botanical evidence suggests that the island’s original inhabitants were of South American origin. The ancestors of the present Polynesian population are thought to have travelled in canoes from the Marquesas Islands, massacred the inhabitants, and made the island their home. Many archaeologists believe that at the time of the invasion, the megaliths, including about 600 statues, were standing throughout the island and that many were destroyed by the Polynesians during a period of violence on Easter Island.

IELTS Academic Reading Test

D. Largest of the existing stone monuments are the great burial platforms, called ahus, which were used to support rows of statues. The ahus were situated on bluffs and in other positions commanding a view of the sea, each ahu was constructed of neatly fitted stone blocks set without mortar. The burial platform usually supported 4 to 6 statues, although one ahu, known as Tongariki, carried 15 statues. Within many of the ahus, vaults house individual or group burials,

E. About 100 statues still stand on the island; they vary in height from 3 to 12 m (10 to 40 ft). Carved from tuff, a soft volcanic rock, they consist of huge heads with elongated ears and noses. Material for the statues was quarried from the crater called Rano Raraku, where modern explorers found an immense unfinished statue, 21 m (68 ft) long. Many of the statues on the burial platforms bore cylindrical, brimmed crowns of red tuff; the largest crown weighs approximately 27 metric tons.

IELTS Academic Reading Test

F. Excavations have also disclosed hidden caves containing decayed remains of tablets and wooden images, and numerous small wooden sculptures. The tablets are covered with finely carved and stylized figures, which seem to be a form of picture writing.

Reading Passage 2 has six sections, A-F.

Choose the most suitable headings for sections B-C and E. from the list of headings below.

Write the appropriate number, i-vii, in boxes 13-15 on your answer sheet.

NB There are more headings than paragraphs so you will not use them all.

List of Headings

i. Massive heads, carved out of rock

ii. Present day demographics

iii. The island’s archaeological importance

iv. Massacre and destruction by the Polynesians

v. Geographic profile

vi. How to carve a 27-ton statue

vii. 18th century inhabitants

IELTS Academic Reading Test

13. Paragraph B

14. Paragraph C

15. Paragraph E

Do the following statements agree with the views of the writer in Reading Passage 2?

In boxes 16-21 on your answer sheet, write

YES     if the statement agrees with the views of the writer

NO     if the statement contradicts the views of the writer

NOT GIVEN     if it is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this

IELTS Academic Reading Test

16. Easter Island is a significant source of artefacts.

17. The settlement of Easter Island took place about 18 centuries ago.

18. A few archaeologists believe that the Polynesians destroyed many of the megaliths.

19. Disease and raids by slave traders decimated the island’s population.

20. Evidence confirms that the island’s first inhabitants came from South America.

21. Not much is known about the makers of the megaliths and the wooden tablets.

IELTS Academic Reading Test

Choose the appropriate letter A—D and write them in boxes 22-25 on your answer sheet.

22. The primary source of fresh water on Easter Island comes from,

A. natural underground springs.

B. Chile.

C. rain that gathers in the crater lakes.

D. tropical vegetation.

23. The ancestors of the present-day Polynesian population

A. are thought to have built some of the megaliths.

B. are believed to have come from the Mariana islands.

C. used some form of picture writing on wooden tablets.

D. may have destroyed many of the megaliths.

IELTS Academic Reading Test

24. The brimmed crowns found on the island

A. each weigh more than 27 metric tons.

B. were made from soft volcanic rock.

C. are the largest stone monuments on the island.

D. were only worn around the necks of statues on burial platforms.

25. The giant stone burial platforms

A. typically supported fewer than 7 stone statues.

B. were only used for the burial of tribal chiefs,

C. contained numerous chambers where wooden tablets were found.

D. weighed as much as 27 metric tons.

IELTS Academic Reading Test

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IELTS Academic Reading Test

13. VII

14. III

15. I

16. YES

17. NOT GIVEN

18. NO

19. YES

20. NO

21. YES

22. C

23. D

24. B

25. A

IELTS Academic Reading Test

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