Active Words and Word - Combinations

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Active Words and Word - Combinations


to domesticate                                одомашнить

burden-carrying abilities                грузоподъемные способности

locomotion                                     передвижение

invention                                        изобретение

contribution                                   вклад

utilisation                                       использование

apply                                              применять

supplement                                    приложение

convey                                           перевозить

plank                                              доска

travois                                            повозка (индейцев)

pole                                                шест

transhumant wandering                сезонный перегон скота

                                                          на новые пастбища


1. Insert corresponding words from the text:


a) Ancient people domesticated animals for their … abilities.

b) The … was the next significant addition to human locomotion.

c)  The first … of this sort was a plank or log dragged along the ground.

d) A vehicle was needed … more than one person with a single animal.

e)  The Plains Indians of North America used such a … of two poles.

f)  The … of the wheel made the … of a horse more productive.

g) The effective product of the horsepower has grown with changes in vehicles, in … , and in the … on which it operates.


2. Say in different words:


a) The wheel, and its utilisation in a vehicle, makes great contribution to applying supplemental sources of power to an individual's mobility.

b) The significant addition to human locomotion was the wheeled vehicle.

c)  Horses and camels can travel faster than the humans riding on their backs.

d) A vehicle was needed to transport more than one person with a single animal.

e)  The first conveyance of this sort was a plank or log dragged along the ground.

f)  The invention of the wheel made the contribution of a horse more productive.


Choose from: usage, to use, man, important, to move, movement, to carry, transporting, effective, kind.



3. Match English and Russian equivalents:


a) travois, pole, locomotion, to domesticate, plank, inefficiency, utilisation, harness, invention, transhumant, wandering.


b) одомашнить, упряжь, шест, неэффективность, передвижение, повозка индейцев, изобретение, доска, использование, сезонный перегон скота.


4. Answer the following questions :


a) Why did ancient people domesticate animals?

b) What was the next significant addition to human locomotion?

c)  It was one of the great inventions of all time, wasn’t it?

d) What was needed to transport more than one person with a single animal?

e)  How was the first conveyance performed?

f)  How was called the cart of Plains Indians of North America?

g) What made the contribution of a horse more productive?

h) What provoked the growth of the effective product of that horsepower?


Make up the plan and retell the text .



Much of human history saw no technology superior to the sling or travois, but when the wheel was devised change was both substantial and probably fairly rapid. It seems that there were versions of the travois shaped like a platform, with a great reduction in the extent of actual contact with the ground; only the ends of the poles supporting the platform dragged along the surface, where friction would be great. Improvement came with placing a revolving wheel at the end of each of the dragpoles. From this advance it was but a minor step to arrive at a two-wheel cart.

The Cart

There were several advantages of a two-wheel cart, as compared with the ultimately more common four-wheel variation. The most significant was in steering, particularly if individual wheels rotated independently on an axle. A two-wheel cart could be tipped to aid in loading and unloading, and the shafts on the cart could more readily be adjusted to the height of different animals. Wheels were difficult to make, so limiting their number would have some advantage. In the earliest vehicles of this kind, wheels were probably simple slices across the diameter of a tree, but such proved both limited in size and subject to fracture. Two or three boards nailed together and then cut into a circular shape were easier to construct and stronger than simple slices of logs. The main disadvantage was that either type of wheel was heavy, thus reducing the effective tractive effort of the draft animal. Ultimately the spoked wheel was created to lighten the cart, allowing it either to carry a heavier load or to move at a faster speed.

In putting the cart to use the critical question was how to attach the vehicle to a draft animals. Oxen and zebu cattle were among the earliest draft animals used, and a yoke was attached to their horns. Subsequently a neck yoke took its place as asses, mules, and horses were made to draw vehicles. To harness them, either two animals were put under a yoke attached to the cart by a single pole or a single animal was put between shafts hitched to the cart. Research has shown that the one-pole yoked pair of animals was generally used south of a line which began at the Baltic Sea, trended eastward across southern Russia to the Caspian Sea, and followed the Altai Mountains to the southern Chinese frontier; north of that line a single animal between shafts was employed, a distinction already in evidence by 1000 BC.

Vegetation also played a role: in those parts of Eurasia where trees and stout brush were found, residents were slow to take up carts because paths were likely to be either absent or at best too narrow to permit their passage. A person mounted on horseback might use a narrow path but not a draft animal drawing a cart. Thus it was in the open grassland steppes and deserts that wheeled vehicles first came into use.


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