"Scientists said that the wall paintings can be dated back 4000 years ago."

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z7655431

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"Scientists said that the wall paintings which were found in a cave in Southern America can be dated back 4000 years ago." (from my teacher's handout)

Is it correct? If not, how should I revise it?

Here are my revised versions:

a. Scientists said that the wall paintings which were found in a cave in Southern America can be dated back 4000 years.
b. Scientists said that the wall paintings which were found in a cave in Southern America can be dated back to 4000 years ago.
c. Scientists said that the wall paintings which were found in a cave in Southern America can be dated to 4000 years ago.


Are they all correct?

Thanks!
 

bhaisahab

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Re: "Scientists said that the wall paintings can be dated back 4000 years ago."

Only c. works for me.
I would prefer "Scientists said that the wall paintings which were found in a cave in Southern America have been dated to 4000 years ago."
 

emsr2d2

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Re: "Scientists said that the wall paintings can be dated back 4000 years ago."

a) would work for me without "can be" and with "date" instead of "dated".

Scientists say the cave paintings date back 4000 years.
 

Charlie Bernstein

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Re: "Scientists said that the wall paintings can be dated back 4000 years ago."

And what does "Southern America" mean?

There's a continent called South America. The southern region of the U.S. is called the American South or, more commonly, the South. There's a southern North America and a southern South America. But nothing is called Southern America.

The southern part of Africa is called southern Africa or Southern Africa, and its southern-most country is called South Africa. That might be the source of confusion.

So if you want to revise something, start there!
 

konungursvia

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Re: "Scientists said that the wall paintings can be dated back 4000 years ago."

I think it's probably a rewrite of a question about the cave paintings in France. I don't know of any native cave paintings among the Hopi.
 

Charlie Bernstein

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Re: "Scientists said that the wall paintings can be dated back 4000 years ago."

Right. And that's not the South. It's the Southwest, about 1,500 miles father west.

I read this week about a trove of cave paintings they just found in Spain. But I don't know of any in North OR South America.
 

Skrej

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Re: "Scientists said that the wall paintings can be dated back 4000 years ago."

My only qualm with any of the originals is that 'ago' is redundant in b). If you're going to use 'dated back', then 'ago' is redundant.

Regarding the issue of rock art in the US - there are thousands of cave paintings throughout North and South America, along with petroglyphs (technically not paintings, I'll admit.)

Some prime examples are the Chumash cave paintings in Southern California, the newly discovered Cumberland plateau cave paintings, northern Mexico, Sego Canyon in Utah, and yes, the Hopi rock paintings in Tawaa Canyon. The Ojibwe people were prolific rock artists throughout much of modern southern Canada and the northern US.

The American Southwest is especially rich in native rock art, with enough examples to even start classifying by artistic style. Here are just a few basic sites to start exploring - they'll lead anybody interested to additional sources. Note there's plenty to be found all over the US, not just the SW.
Singing desert
Rock Art foundation

Hopi rock art guide
http://www.artsology.com/rockart.php

Rock art of the southwest
Rock art of the Mississippi Valley
Rock art in Arkansas
 

z7655431

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Re: "Scientists said that the wall paintings can be dated back 4000 years ago."

And what does "Southern America" mean?

There's a continent called South America. The southern region of the U.S. is called the American South or, more commonly, the South. There's a southern North America and a southern South America. But nothing is called Southern America.

The southern part of Africa is called southern Africa or Southern Africa, and its southern-most country is called South Africa. That might be the source of confusion.

So if you want to revise something, start there!

We can say "southern Italy" or "southern Spain", but nothing is called Southern America. This makes me very confused. According to the Oxford Dictionary, the word "southern" means "located in the south or facing south; connected with or typical of the south part of the world or a region". So, I don't why we cannot say such a term as "southern or Southern America". However, according to Wiki, the Southern United States, commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South, is a region of the United States of America. It seems that it's OK to say the Southern United States. Wiki doesn't say "Southern America", so maybe it's really incorrect.
 

z7655431

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Re: "Scientists said that the wall paintings can be dated back 4000 years ago."

My only qualm with any of the originals is that 'ago' is redundant in b). If you're going to use 'dated back', then 'ago' is redundant.

Do you mean that this sentence without "ago" is correct? Or you mean that the other sentences are also correct expect the orgininal b with "ago"?

"Scientists said that the wall paintings which were found in a cave in the America South can be dated back to 4000 years."
 

bhaisahab

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Re: "Scientists said that the wall paintings can be dated back 4000 years ago."

I find that sentence incorrect without "ago".
 

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Re: "Scientists said that the wall paintings can be dated back 4000 years ago."

The Wiki article should not capitalize "southern". It's an adjective in this case, not a proper noun.

When the word "southern" is part of a name, it's a proper noun. For example, many businesses have names like "Southern Equipment Group, Inc."
 

Skrej

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Re: "Scientists said that the wall paintings can be dated back 4000 years ago."

Do you mean that this sentence without "ago" is correct? Or you mean that the other sentences are also correct expect the original b with "ago"?

My opinion was that sentence b) wasn't incorrect with 'ago', just redundant. However, you'll note bhaisahab actually considers 'ago' necessary. I personally found all three sentences acceptable as written, but would have preferred b) without 'ago'.

Since there doesn't seem to be any consensus on your original sentences, just a variety of slightly different opinions, I would say it comes down more to personal preference rather than ironclad grammatical issues.



"Scientists said that the wall paintings which were found in a cave in the American South can be dated back to 4000 years."

You'll have to add an 'n' to make the adjective form 'American'.

This version does clarify the geography issue better. Some pendantics would still raise issue with the issue that 'American' can actually refer to anything in the Americas (North, South, or Central) and isn't exclusive to the United States.

If you were to say "southern United States', that would remove all room for argument.

I presume you're writing about the paintings found over the last few years in Tennessee, (the Cumberland plateau mentioned above). Originally, they dated those to about 4,000 years ago, but have recently found more going back 6,000 years (see link above).

As an example of the potential 'American' confusion, you'll note the Tennessee link above uses 'America' to exclusively mean the United States of America, while the articles below use 'America' to refer to any of the American continents.

Here is a link to some South American rock art. Here you see the writers use the term America to include a site in Brazil as "America's oldest art".
 

Charlie Bernstein

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Re: "Scientists said that the wall paintings can be dated back 4000 years ago."

Glad we solved the southern U.S. thing. Now, this:

"Scientists said that the wall paintings which were found in a cave in the American South can be dated back to 4000 years."

. . . should either say:

- dated back to 4,000 years ago

. . . or:

- dated back 4,000 years

. . . but not:

- dated back to 4,000 years.

That's this stickler's opinion.
 

Tdol

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Re: "Scientists said that the wall paintings can be dated back 4000 years ago."

How about an actual date with date back to- dated back to 2,000 BC/BCE.
 

Charlie Bernstein

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Re: "Scientists said that the wall paintings can be dated back 4000 years ago."

I like it.
 

Rover_KE

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Re: "Scientists said that the wall paintings can be dated back 4000 years ago."

So do I. That's why we have a Like button.
 
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