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Explorers of the northern regions in the early 1700s observed the natives playing an instrument similar to the mandolin. The instrument was strung with horse hair. Horses were not introduced into the New World until the 1500s. Thus, we can conclude that natives developed the instrument sometime between the introduction of horses to the New World and the time of the explorers in the early 1700s.
Which one of the following assumptions is critical to the passage’s conclusion?