AP Art History : Analyzing architecture of the Americas

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Art History

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Analyzing Architecture Of The Americas

Panorama of monte alban from the south platform

Due to the high seismic activity of the area, which architectural attributes were included in the construction of Monte Albán, pictured above?

Possible Answers:

Strong, weight-bearing arches.

Short stature

Thick walls and short stature

Flying buttresses

Thick walls

Correct answer:

Thick walls and short stature

Explanation:

Monte Albán was constructed using thick walls and short stature, in part due to the high level of seismic activity in the area. These attributes assured that the structures would not be disrupted or destroyed by any earthquakes.

Image accessed at: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Panorama_of_Monte_Alban_from_the_South_Platform.jpg

Photograph by Matt Saunder

Example Question #2 : Analyzing Architecture Of The Americas

Panorama of monte alban from the south platform

As can be seen in the above photo, Monte Albán is made up of multiple different __________________, located atop and also around an artificially-leveled hill.

Possible Answers:

larger tribal settlements

plazas and platforms

None of these

smaller cities

smaller tribal settlements

Correct answer:

plazas and platforms

Explanation:

The city of Monte Albán was founded in large part by the Zapotec civilization, and flourished from 500BC to around 850AD. Its construction and basic architecture consists of multiple plazas and platforms that housed many different buildings, such as religious centers, residential buildings, ball courts, and marketplaces. Although it was considered poly-ethnic, it did not consist of smaller tribes or cities. It was, in fact, one singular, unified city.

Image accessed at: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Panorama_of_Monte_Alban_from_the_South_Platform.jpg

Photograph by Matt Saunder

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