CAE :: Lesson 16



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Reading: Part 2/4
Three themed texts followed by two 4-option
multiple-choice questions on each text.

ACTIVITY 62: You are going to read one extract from a novel which is concerned in some way with providing a service. For questions 5-6, choose the answer (A, B, C or D) which you think fits best according to the text. Then check the correct answers.


The invention of banking preceded that of coinage. Banking originated something like 4,000 years ago in Ancient Mesopotamia, in present-day Iraq, where the royal palaces and temples provided secure places for the safe-keeping of grain and other commodities. Receipts came to be used for transfers not only to the original depositors but also to third parties. Eventually private houses in Mesopotamia also got involved in these banking operations, and laws regulating them were included in the code of Hammurabi, the legal code developed not long afterwards.

In Ancient Egypt too, the centralisation of harvests in state warehouses led to the development of a system of banking. Written orders for the withdrawal of separate lots of grain by owners whose crops had been deposited there for safety and convenience, or which had been compulsorily deposited to the credit of the king, soon became used as a more general method of payment of debts to other people, including tax gatherers, priests and traders. Even after the introduction of coinage, these Egyptian grain banks served to reduce the need for precious metals, which tended to be reserved for foreign purchases, particularly in connection with military activities.

Questions 5-6


In both Mesopotamia and Egypt the banking systems...


A.    were initially limited to transactions involving depositors.
  were created to provide income for the king.
  required a large staff to administer them.
  grew out of the provision of storage facilities for food.


What does the writer suggest about banking?


A.    It can take place without the existence of coins.
  It is likely to begin when people are in debt.
  It normally requires precious metals.
  It was started to provide the state with an income.


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