u Integrated writing task:
existence of the Aratta city in Mesopotamian myth
Main point: Aratta city localized
Key point 1: near southeastern Iran; temple found
Key point 2: invention of the earliest language used ever; earliest written language invented for a king to give orders
Key point 3: 7 mountains mentioned in myth & legend localized in the area
Main idea: existence of Aratta city challenged
Key point 1: building of temple need labor & stone; neither of them was available
Key point 2: no clear evidence for written language
Key point 3: 7 might be symbol of luck not specific number
伊朗，全称伊朗伊斯兰共和国（The Islamic Republic of Iran）。宗教、政治、文化地位特殊。文化领域中，也称波斯（Persia）
特别的称号、表述，如[His charitable works have earned him the epithet “Mr. Philanthropy”.]
法老王。注意形容词pharaonic，与法老相关，如[under pharaonic rules]。
Both the reading passage and the lecture focus on the existence of Aratta frequently mentioned in Mesopotamian myths. According to the author, evidence has been found to prove the existence of the ancient city, which is probably the origin of all human civilizations. The lecturer, however, holds the opposite view, challenging the argument made in the reading passage.
The first point mentioned by the author to support the argument is the archaeological findings that locate Aratta in the southeastern Iran, where the temple was found. On the other hand, the lecturer refutes this by saying the building of the temple requiring both labor and stones, neither of which was accessible or available back in ancient times. Furthormore, the temple spotted is far from the mountains where stones could be found. To transport the stones was an impossible mission.
Moreover, the author talked about the origin of all human languages and written languages. It is the author’s belief that written language was invented by a king for the ease of giving orders. The lecturer casts doubt on this idea by saying that there is no adequate evidence to prove it.
In addition, the author points out that the seven mountains located in the area coincide with the legend in Mesopotamian myths. The lecturer challenges the idea by saying “seven” might be a symbol of luck rather than a specific number.
To sum up, the author contends that the existence of Aratta, a possible origin of written language is traced in southeastern Iran based on the recent archaeological findings and Mesopotamian myths. The lecturer, on the other hand, believes all of these are not convincing enough.
Aratta is a land that appears in Sumerian myths surrounding Enmerkar and Lugalbanda, two early and possibly mythical kings of Uruk also mentioned on the Sumerian king list.
Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta - The goddess Inanna resides in Aratta, but Enmerkar of Uruk pleases her more than does the lord of Aratta, who is not named in this epic. Enmerkar wants Aratta to submit to Uruk, bring stones down from the mountain, craft gold, silver and lapis lazuli, and send them, along with "kugmea" ore to Uruk to build a temple. Inana bids him send a messenger to Aratta, who ascends and descends the "Zubi" mountains, and crosses Susa, Anshan, and "five, six, seven" mountains before approaching Aratta. Aratta in turn wants grain in exchange. However Inana transfers her allegiance to Uruk, and the grain gains the favor of Aratta's people for Uruk, so the lord of Aratta challenges Enmerkar to send a champion to fight his champion. Then the god Ishkur makes Aratta's crops grow.
Aratta was originally taken to be an epithet of the Sumerian city Shuruppak related to its local name for the god Enlil; however that is no longer seen to be the case. Although Aratta is known only from myth, some Assyriologists and archaeologists have speculated on possible locations where Aratta could have been, using criteria from the myths:
- Land travelers must pass through Susa and the mountainous Anshan region to reach it.
- It is a source of, or has access to valuable gems and minerals, in particular lapis lazuli, that are crafted on site.
- It is accessible to Uruk by watercourse, yet remote from Uruk.
- It is close enough to march a 27th century BC Sumerian army there.
In 1963, Samuel Noah Kramer thought that a "Mount Hurum" in a Lugalbanda myth (which he titled "Lugalbanda on Mount Hurrum" at the time) might have referred to the Hurrians, and hence speculated Aratta to be near Lake Urmia. However, "Mount Hurum", "hur-ru-um kur-ra-ka", in what is now called Lugalbanda in the Mountain Cave, is today read "mountain cave", and Kramer subsequently introduced the title "Lugalbanda, the Wandering Hero" for this story.
Other speculations referred to the early gem trade route, the "Great Khorasan Road" from the Himalayan Mountains to Mesopotamia, which ran through northern Iran. Anshan, which had not yet been located then, was assumed to be in the central Zagros mountain range. However, when Anshan was identified as Tall-i Malyan in 1973, it was found to be 600 km south-east of Uruk, far removed from any northerly routes or watercourses from Uruk, and posing the logistical improbability of getting a 27th century BC Sumerian army through 550 km of Elamite territory to wage war with Aratta. Nevertheless, there have been speculations referring to eastern Iran as well. Dr. Yousef Majidzadeh believes the Jiroft Civilization could be Aratta.
By 1973, archaeologists were noting that there was no archaeological record of Aratta's existence outside of myth, and in 1978 Hansman cautions against over-speculation.
Writers in other fields have continued to hypothesize Aratta locations. A "possible reflex" has been suggested in Sanskrit Āraṭṭa or Arāṭṭa mentioned in the Mahabharata and other texts; Alternatively, the name is compared with the toponym Ararat or Urartu. Other authors take the story as purely mythical.
u Independent writing task:
Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? A serious and strict teacher is more effective than a teacher with humor and is easygoing. Use specific reasons and details to support your answer.
Pros & cons of a serious and strict teacher
þ Well discipline
þ Establishing authority
þ Visible progress
ý Greater levels of stress
ý Making a subject boring
ý Arousing dislike and discontentment
Pros & cons of a humorous and easygoing teacher
þ Creating a relaxing atmosphere
þ Easier access to a given subject
þ Intriguing interests
þ More accessible to students
ý Lack of discipline
ý No progress
Words & expressions
discipline v. & n.
纪律，他律。如[Americans prefer to discipline themselves rather than be disciplined by others.]
权威。如[You’re challenging my authority as her maker.]
stress v. & n.
压力。如[greater levels of stress]
handicap v. & n.
障碍，使成为障碍。如[Greater levels of stress may handicap some students.]
to make a progress/make headway
和蔼可亲。如[an amiable teacher not easily annoyed]
受欢迎，可到达，可负担。如[accessible by rail] [fashion at accessible prices] [accessible people]
热情，激情。如[I was expecting more enthusiasm.]
引发，引起。如[His behavior aroused curiosity of his neighbor]
不满。如[A great deal of discontentment is reflected in those statistics.]
激发，给予灵感。如[Threats don’t necessarily inspire people to work.]
好奇心。如[It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education.—Albert Eistein]
intrigue v. & n.
阴谋，激发好奇心。如[evidence that the leading manufacturers had intrigued to keep prices artificially high] [The mystery story intrigued me so that I read it in one sitting.]
With the rapid development of our society, education has become a focus of human life. Due to this, there is a controversy over whether a serious and strict teacher is more effective than a teacher who is humorous and easygoing. The answers vary from one person to another. From my point of view, a humorous and easygoing teacher can be more adaptive to the modern society.
There is no denying that a serious and strict teacher can discipline students to concentrate on their classes and assignments. However, this demanding teaching method brings with it both advantages and disadvantages. Let’s put the point into an actual context: consider your mathematics teacher is always serious in class, assigns a lot of tasks every day and holds a quiz every week. How will you feel about your subject? Maybe you will make a big progress at early stages. However, you will soon find the class is boring and it will drive you crazy. On the contrary, a humorous style of learning can reduce the negative impacts to the lowest level.
A humorous manner of teaching can definitely make students more interested in their subjects. Good teachers impart their knowledge to their students in a funny and more accessible manner, so as to promote the interests of their students, thereby enhancing the students’ enthusiasm for their class. If teachers put those abstractive courses like physics, mathematics, chemistry, into animated videos, and deliver them in humorous words, those subjects will be much easier to master. Besides, a humorous style of teaching can help students feel relaxed, and relieve the pressure from their intensive study. This is not only good for their bodies, but also good for their mental health.
Another point is that an easygoing teacher is more accessible to students. Imagine there are two history teachers, one who pulls a long face all day and the other, always smiling. Then which do you prefer to go to ask questions often? I mean, students are more likely to discuss academic issues with an amiable teacher. So, an easygoing teacher can improve students’ understanding of their courses indirectly.
In conclusion, a humorous and easygoing teacher can teach more effectively, since those teachers will make learning more interesting and help students establish a better understanding of knowledge.