IELTS Reading Test 81

The Dover Bronze Age Boat

It was 1992. In England, workmen were building a new road through the heart of Dover, to connect the ancient port and the Channel Tunnel, which, when it opened just two years later, was to be the first land link between Britain and Europe for over 10,000 years. A small team from the Canterbury Archaeological Trust (CAT) worked alongside the workmen, recording new discoveries brought to light by the machines.

At the base of a deep shaft six metres below the modem streets a wooden structure was revealed. Cleaning away the waterlogged site overlying the timbers, archaeologists realised its true nature. They had found a prehistoric boat, preserved by the type of sediment in which it was buried. It was then named the Dover Bronze-Age Boat.

About nine metres of the boat’s length was recovered; one end lay beyond the excavation and had to be left. What survived consisted essentially of four intricately carved oak planks: two on the bottom, joined along a central seam by a complicated system of wedges and timbers, and two at the side, curved and stitched to the others. The seams had been made watertight by pads of moss, fixed by wedges and yew stitches.

The timbers that closed the recovered end of the boat had been removed in antiquity when it was abandoned, but much about its original shape could be deduced. There was also evidence for missing upper side planks. The boat was not a wreck, but had been deliberately discarded, dismantled and broken. Perhaps it had been ‘ritually killed’ at the end of its life, like other Bronze-Age objects.

With hindsight, it was significant that the boat was found and studied by mainstream archaeologists who naturally focused on its cultural context. At the time, ancient boats were often considered only from a narrower technological perspective, but news about the Dover boat reached a broad audience. In 2002, on the tenth anniversary of the discovery, the Dover Bronze-Age Boat Trust hosted a conference, where this meeting of different traditions became apparent. Alongside technical papers about the boat, other speakers explored its social and economic contexts, and the religious perceptions of boats in Bronze-Age societies. Many speakers came from overseas, and debate about cultural connections was renewed.

Within seven years of excavation, the Dover boat had been conserved and displayed, but it was apparent that there were issues that could not be resolved simply by studying the old wood. Experimental archaeology seemed to be the solution: a boat reconstruction, half-scale or full-sized, would permit assessment of the different hypotheses regarding its build and the missing end. The possibility of returning to Dover to search for the boat’s unexcavated northern end was explored, but practical and financial difficulties were insurmountable – and there was no guarantee that the timbers had survived the previous decade in the changed environment.

Detailed proposals to reconstruct the boat were drawn up in 2004. Archaeological evidence was beginning to suggest a Bronze-Age community straddling the Channel, brought together by the sea, rather than separated by it. In a region today divided by languages and borders, archaeologists had a duty to inform the general public about their common cultural heritage.

The boat project began in England but it was conceived from the start as a European collaboration. Reconstruction was only part of a scheme that would include a major exhibition and an extensive educational and outreach programme. Discussions began early in 2005 with archaeological bodies, universities and heritage organisations either side of the Channel. There was much enthusiasm and support, and an official launch of the project was held at an international seminar in France in 2007. Financial support was confirmed in 2008 and the project then named BOAT 1550BC got under way in June 2011.

A small team began to make the boat at the start of 2012 on the Roman Lawn outside Dover museum. A full-scale reconstruction of a mid-section had been made in 1996, primarily to see how Bronze- Age replica tools performed. In 2012, however, the hull shape was at the centre of the work, so modem power tools were used to carve the oak planks, before turning to prehistoric tools for finishing. It was decided to make the replica half-scale for reasons of cost and time, and synthetic materials were used for the stitching, owing to doubts about the seeding and tight timetable.

Meanwhile, the exhibition was being prepared ready for opening in July 2012 at the Castle Museum in Boulogne-sur-Mer. Entitled ‘Beyond the Horizon: Societies of the Channel & North Sea 3,500 years ago’, it brought together for the first time a remarkable collection of Bronze-Age objects, including many new discoveries for commercial archaeology and some of the great treasure of the past. The reconstructed boat, as a symbol of the maritime connections that bound together the communities either side of the Channel, was the centerpiece.


Questions 6-9
Do the following statements agree with the information given in the text?
In boxes 6-9 on your answer sheet, write

TRUE                       if the statement agrees with the information
FALSE                     if the statement contradicts the information
NOT GIVEN         if there is no information on this

6. Archaeologists realised that the boat had been damaged on purpose.
7. Initially, only the technological aspects of the boat were examined.
8. Archaeologists went back to the site to try and find the missing northern end of the boat.
9. Evidence found in 2004 suggested that the Bronze-Age Boat had been used for trade.

Questions 10-13
Answer the questions below. Write NO MORE THAN THREE WORD OR A NUMBER from the passage.

10. How far under the ground was the boat found?
11. What natural material had been secured to the boat to prevent water entering?
12. What aspect of the boat was the focus of the 2012 reconstruction?
13. Which two factors influenced the decision not to make a full scale reconstruction of the boat?

The changing role of airports

A In recent times developing commercial revenues has become more challenging for airports due to a combination of factors, such as increased competition from Internet shopping, restrictions on certain sales, such as tobacco, and new security procedures that have had an impact on the dwell time of passengers. Moreover, the global economic downturn has caused a reduction in passenger numbers while those that are travelling generally have less money to spend. This has meant that the share of revenue from non-aeronautical revenues actually peaked at 54% at the turn of the century and has subsequently declined slightly. Meanwhile, the pressures to control the level of aeronautical revenues are as strong as ever due to the poor financial health of many airlines and the rapid rise of the low-cost carrier sector.

B Some of the more obvious solutions to growing commercial revenues, such as extending the merchandising space or expanding the variety of shopping opportunities, have already been tried to their limit at many airports. A more radical solution is to find new sources of commercial revenue within the terminal, and this has been explored by many airports over the last decade or so. As a result, many terminals are now much more than just shopping malls and offer an array of entertainment, leisure, and beauty and wellness facilities. At this stage of facilities provision, the airport also has the possibility of taking on the role of the final destination rather than merely a facilitator of access.

C At the same time, airports have been developing and expanding the range of services that they provide specifically for the business traveller in the terminal. This includes offering business centres that supply support services, meeting or conference rooms and other space for special events. Within this context, Jarach (2001) discusses how dedicated meetings facilities located within the terminal and managed directly by the airport operator may be regarded as an expansion of the concept of airline lounges or as a way to reconvert abandoned or underused areas of terminal buildings. Previously it was primarily airport hotels and other facilities offered in the surrounding area of the airport that had the potential to take on this role and become active as a business space (McNeill, 2009).

D When an airport location can be promoted as a business venue, this may increase the overall appeal of the airport and help it become more competitive in both attracting and retaining airlines and their passengers. In particular, the presence of meeting facilities could become one of the determining factors taken into consideration when business people are choosing airlines and where they change their planes. This enhanced attractiveness itself may help to improve the airport operator’s financial position and future prospects, but clearly this will be dependent on the competitive advantage that the airport is able to achieve in comparison with other venues.

E In 2011, an online airport survey was conducted and some of the areas investigated included the provision and use of meeting facilities at airports and the perceived role and importance of these facilities in generating income and raising passenger numbers. In total, there were responses from staff at 1 54 airports and 68% of these answered ‘yes’ to the question: Does your airport own and have meetings facilities available for hire? The existence of meeting facilities therefore seems high at airports. In addition, 28% of respondents that did not have meeting facilities stated that they were likely to invest in them during the next five years. The survey also asked to what extent respondents agreed or disagreed with a number of statements about the meeting facilities at their airport. 49% of respondents agreed that they have put more investment into them during recent years; 41% agreed that they would invest more in the immediate future. These are fairly high proportions considering the recent economic climate.

F The survey also asked airports with meeting facilities to estimate what proportion of users are from the local area, i.e. within a 90-minute drive from the airport, or from abroad. Their findings show that meeting facilities provided by the majority of respondents tend to serve local versus non-local or foreign needs. 63% of respondents estimated that over 60% of users are from the local area. Only 3% estimated that over 80% of users are from abroad. It is therefore not surprising that the facilities are of limited importance when it comes to increasing use of flights at the airport: 16% of respondents estimated that none of the users of their meeting facilities use flights when travelling to or from them, while 56% estimated that 20% or fewer of the users of their facilities use flights.

G The survey asked respondents with meeting facilities to estimate how much revenue their airport earned from its meeting facilities during the last financial year. Average revenue per airport was just $1 2,959. Meeting facilities are effectively a non-aeronautical source of airport revenue. Only 1% of respondents generated more than 20% non-aeronautical revenue from their meetings facilities; none generated more than 40%. Given the focus on local demand, it is not surprising that less than a third of respondents agreed that their meeting facilities support business and tourism development in their home region or country.

H The findings of this study suggest that few airports provide meetings facilities as a serious commercial venture. It may be that, as owners of large property, space is available for meeting facilities at airports and could play an important role in serving the needs of the airport, its partners, and stakeholders such as government and the local community. Thus, while the local orientation means that competition with other airports is likely to be minimal, competition with local providers of meetings facilities is likely to be much greater.

Questions 14-18
The text has eight paragraphs, A-H.
Which paragraph contains the following information?
Write the correct letter, A-H, in boxes 14-18 on your answer sheet. N.B. You may use any letter more than once.

14 evidence that a significant number of airports provide meeting facilities
15 a statement regarding the fact that no further developments are possible in some areas of airport trade
16 reference to the low level of income that meeting facilities produce for airports
17 mention of the impact of budget airlines on airport income
18 examples of airport premises that might be used for business purposes

Questions 19-22
Complete the sentences below. Choose NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the text for each answer. Write your answers in boxes 19-22 on your answer sheet.

19 The length of time passengers spend shopping at airports has been affected by updated……………………
20 Airports with a wide range of recreational facilities can become a……………………………for people rather than a means to travel.
21 Both passengers and……………………………may feel encouraged to use and develop a sense of loyalty towards airports that market their business services.
22 Airports that supply meeting facilities may need to develop a…………………………..over other venues.

Questions 23-26
Complete the summary below. Choose NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the text for each answer.

Survey findings
Despite financial constraints due to the (23)…………………………………. , a significant percentage of airports provide and wish to further support business meeting facilities. Also, just under 30% of the airports surveyed plan to provide these facilities within (24)…………………………………. However, the main users of the facilities are (25)……………………….. and as many as 16% of respondents to the survey stated that their users did not take any (26)…………………………………… at the airport.

Is photography art?

This may seem a pointless question today. Surrounded as we are by thousands of photographs, most of us take for granted that, in addition to supplying information and seducing customers, camera images also serve as decoration, afford spiritual enrichment, and provide significant insights into the passing scene. But in the decades following the discovery of photography, this question reflected the search for ways to fit the mechanical medium into the traditional schemes of artistic expression.

The much-publicized pronouncement by painter Paul Delaroche that the daguerreotype* signalled the end of painting is perplexing because this clever artist also forecast the usefulness of the medium for graphic artists in a letter written in 1839. Nevertheless, it is symptomatic of the swing between the outright rejection and qualified acceptance of the medium that was fairly typical of the artistic establishment. Discussion of the role of photography in art was especially spirited in France, where the internal policies of the time had created a large pool of artists, but it was also taken up by important voices in England. In both countries, public interest in this topic was a reflection of the belief that national stature and achievement in the arts were related.

From the maze of conflicting statements and heated articles on the subject, three main positions about the potential of camera art emerged. The simplest, entertained by many painters and a section of the public, was that photographs should not be considered ‘art’ because they were made with a mechanical device and by physical and chemical phenomena instead of by human hand and spirit; to some, camera images seemed to have more in common with fabric produced by machinery in a mill than with handmade creations fired by inspiration. The second widely held view, shared by painters, some photographers, and some critics, was that photographs would be useful to art but should not be considered equal in creativeness to drawing and painting. Lastly, by assuming that the process was comparable to other techniques such as etching and lithography, a fair number of individuals realized that camera images were or could be as significant as handmade works of art and that they might have a positive influence on the arts and on culture in general.

Artists reacted to photography in various ways. Many portrait painters – miniaturists in particular – who realized that photography represented the ‘handwriting on the wall’ became involved with daguerreotyping or paper photography in an effort to save their careers; some incorporated it with painting, while others renounced painting altogether. Still other painters, the most prominent among them the French painter, Jean- Auguste-Dominique Ingres, began almost immediately to use photography to make a record of their own output and also to provide themselves with source material for poses and backgrounds, vigorously denying at the same time its influence on their vision or its claims as art.

The view that photographs might be worthwhile to artists was enunciated in considerable detail by Lacan and Francis Wey. 1‘he latter, an art and literary critic, who eventually recognised that camera images could be inspired as well as informative, suggested that they would lead to greater naturalness in the graphic depiction of anatomy, clothing, likeness, expression, and landscape. By studying photographs, true artists, he claimed, would be relieved of menial tasks and become free to devote themselves to the more important spiritual aspects of their work.

Wey left unstated what the incompetent artist might do as an alternative, but according to the influential French critic and poet Charles Baudelaire, writing in response to an exhibition of photography in 1859, lazy and untalented painters would become photographers. Fired by a belief in art as an imaginative embodiment of cultivated ideas and dreams, Baudelaire regarded photography as ‘a very humble servant of art and science’; a medium largely unable to transcend ‘external reality’. For this critic, photography was linked with ‘the great industrial madness’ of the time, which in his eyes exercised disastrous consequences on the spiritual qualities of life and art.

Eugene Delacroix was the most prominent of the French artists who welcomed photography as help-mate but recognized its limitations. Regretting that ‘such a wonderful invention’ had arrived so late in his lifetime, he still took lessons in daguerreotyping, and both commissioned and collected photographs. Delacroix’s enthusiasm for the medium can be sensed in a journal entry noting that if photographs were used as they should be, an artist might ‘raise himself to heights that we do not yet know’.

The question of whether the photograph was document or art aroused interest in England also. The most important statement on this matter was an unsigned article that concluded that while photography had a role to play, it should not be ‘constrained’ into ‘competition’ with art; a more stringent viewpoint led critic Philip Gilbert Hamerton to dismiss camera images as ‘narrow in range, emphatic in assertion, telling one truth for ten falsehoods’.

These writers reflected the opposition of a section of the cultural elite in England and France to the ‘cheapening of art’ which the growing acceptance and purchase of camera pictures by the middle class represented. Technology made photographic images a common sight in the shop windows of Regent Street and Piccadilly in London and the commercial boulevards of Paris. In London, for example, there were at the time some commercial establishments where portraits, landscapes, and photographic reproductions of works of art could be bought. This appeal to the middle class convinced the elite that photographs would foster a desire for realism instead of idealism, even though some critics recognized that the work of individual photographers might display an uplifting style and substance that was consistent with the defining characteristics of art.

Questions 27-30
Choose the correct letter A, B, C or D.

27. What is the writer’s main point in the first paragraph?
A . Photography is used for many different purposes
B . Photographers and artists have the same principal aims
C . Photography has not always been a readily accepted art form
D . Photographers today are more creative than those of the past

28. What public view about artists was shared by the French and the English?
A . that only artists could reflect a culture’s true values
B . that only artists were qualified to judge photography
C . that artists could lose work as a result of photography
D . that artistic success raised a country’s international profile

29. What does the writer mean in line 59 by ‘the handwriting on the wall’?
A . an example of poor talent
B . a message that cannot be trusted
C . an advertisement for something new
D . a signal that something bad will happen

30. What was the result of the widespread availability of photographs to the middle classes?
A . the most educated worried about its impact on public taste
B . it helped artists appreciate the merits of photography
C . improvements were made in photographic methods
D . it led to a reduction in price of photographs

Questions 31-34
Completed the summary of paragraph 3 using the list of words A-G below.

A inventive
B similar
C beneficial
D next
E mixed
F justified
G inferior

Camera art
In the early days of photography, opinions on its future were (31)………………………………, but three clear views emerged. A large number of artists and ordinary people saw photographs as (32)………………………………… paintings because of the way they were produced. Another popular view was that photographs could have a role to play in the art world, despite the photographer being less (33)………………………………….Finally, a smaller number of people suspected that the impact of photography on art and society could be (34)……………………..

Questions 35-40
Look at the following statements and the list of people, A-E, below. Match each statement with the correct person.
Write the correct letter, A-E, in boxes 35-40 on your answer sheet.

35 He claimed that photography would make paintings more realistic.
36 He highlighted the limitations and deceptions of the camera.
37 He documented his production of artwork by photographing his works.
38 He noted the potential for photography to enrich artistic talent.
39 He based some of the scenes in his paintings on photographs.
40 He felt photography was part of the trend towards greater mechanisation.

A Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres
B Francis Wey
C Charles Baudelaire
D Eugene Delacroix
E Philip Gilbert Hamerton

Show answers

1. road
2. conference
3. proposals
4. launch
5. exhibition
6. true
7. false
8. false
9. not given
10. 6
11. (pads of) moss
12. hull (shape)
13. cost and time
14. E
15. B
16. G
17. A
18. C
19. security procedures
20. final desination
21. airlines
22. competitive advantage
23. economic downturn
24. five years
25. local (people)
26. flights
27. C
28. D
29. D
30. A
31. E
32. G
33. A
34. C
35. B
36. E
37. A
38. D
39. A
40. C

Advanced English Vocabulary - One Minute Videos on YouTube

Proceed to the list of Advanced English Vocabulary.