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# Critical Reasoning: Conclusion Strengthening Questions

Extensive archaeological research has shown that male crusaders killed during battle in the Christian Kingdom of Jerusalem (1099-1287 AD) were buried on their backs with both their hands and their feet clasped. During archaeological excavations of a crusader burial ground three miles from the ancient city of Jerusalem, a skeleton of a woman was found buried on her back with both her hands and feet clasped. The archaeologist conducting the excavation hypothesized that this skeleton belonged to a female crusader killed in battle.

Which of the following, if true, most strongly supports the archaeologist's hypothesis?

Incorrect.

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The fact that there is a lack of material describing female crusaders fighting in battle weakens the conclusion that the skeleton in question belonged to a female crusader. However, we should be trying to strengthen this conclusion.

Incorrect.

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This answer choice neither weakens nor strengthens the hypothesis. As we already know that the skeleton was buried in a crusader-period cemetery, the coin itself doesn't give us any evidence supporting the conclusion that the woman it belonged to was killed in battle.

Fantastic work!

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This answer choice strengthens the hypothesis, since there is a good chance that the arrowhead once belonged to an arrow. Therefore, this statement supports the archaeologist's conclusion that the skeleton belonged to a woman crusader killed in battle.

Incorrect.

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While this answer choice could have strengthened the conclusion, it applies to the 14th century or later, whereas the cemetery was used by a kingdom which never made it past the 13th century (we are told that the Kingdom of Jerusalem ended in 1287). Therefore, this answer choice provides information that is irrelevant to the argument.

Incorrect.

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This answer choice neither weakens nor strengthens the hypothesis. There is no need to know what numismatic or metallurgical means to eliminate this one since it gives us no new evidence supporting the conclusion. We already know this is a crusader burial ground and that crusader men were killed in battle. We are interested in a specific female skeleton.

No written material depicting crusader-period battles mentions female crusaders fighting alongside the men.
A coin found near the fingers of the skeleton portrays a relief of king Baldwin II of Jerusalem who died in 1131.
When the female skeleton was examined more closely in a lab, an arrowhead was found within the rib cage.
New research in physical sociology shows that women in peripheral parts of the mediaeval christian world sometimes fought alongside men as early as the fourteenth century.
Numismatic and metallurgical research of metal artifacts found throughout the burial ground shows a strong indication of thirteenth century activity and signs of armed conflict nearby.