The passage below is accompanied by a set of three questions. Choose the best answer to each question.
Despite their fierce reputation, Vikings may not have always been the plunderers and pillagers popular culture imagines them to be. In fact, they got their start trading in northern European markets, researchers suggest.
Combs carved from animal antlers, as well as comb manufacturing waste and raw antler material has turned up at three archaeological sites in Denmark, including a medieval marketplace in the city of Ribe. A team of researchers from Denmark and the U.K. hoped to identify the species of animal to which the antlers once belonged by analyzing collagen proteins in the samples and comparing them across the animal kingdom, Laura Geggel reports for LiveScience. Somewhat surprisingly, molecular analysis of the artifacts revealed that some combs and other material had been carved from reindeer antlers.... Given that reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) don't live in Denmark, the researchers posit that it arrived on Viking ships from Norway. Antler craftsmanship, in the form of decorative combs, was part of Viking culture. Such combs served as symbols of good health, Geggel writes. The fact that the animals shed their antlers also made them easy to collect from the large herds that inhabited Norway.
Since the artifacts were found in marketplace areas at each site it's more likely that the Norsemen came to trade rather than pillage. Most of the artifacts also date to the 780s, but some are as old as 725. That predates the beginning of Viking raids on Great Britain by about 70 years. (Traditionally, the so-called "Viking Age" began with these raids in 793 and ended with the Norman conquest of Great Britain in l066.) Archaeologists had suspected that the Vikings had experience with long maritime voyages [that] might have preceded their raiding days. Beyond Norway, these combs would have been a popular industry in Scandinavia as wela: It' s possible that the antler combs represent a larger trade network, where the Norsemen supplied raw material to craftsmen in Denmark and elsewhere.
The primary purpose of the passage is:
The passage revolves around how vikings did not start out as pillagers but as traders. The intention of the author seems to dispel the notion that the Vikings were pillagers. The combs have been used just as an illustration to prove the author's hypothesis. Therefore, option A can be ruled out.
Option B states that the purpose was to change the period of Viking age. However, the passage does not hint any such intention. The author cites that the combs had made their way to Britain before the Viking age to substantiate the fact that Vikings were traders before they became pillagers.
Therefore, we can rule out option B too.
Option D states that despite being pillagers, Vikings were efficient traders and craftsmen. However, the passage talks about a period prior to which Vikings turned pillagers. Therefore, we can eliminate option D too.
Option C states that the purpose of the passage is to dispel the notion that Vikings were pillagers. This seems the most appropriate option as the passage tries to establish the fact that Vikings started out as traders. Therefore, option C is the right answer.
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