AP Art History : Understanding terminology that describes architecture of the Americas

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Art History

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Understanding Terminology That Describes Architecture Of The Americas

Which of the following was a significant building method in Incan architecture?

Possible Answers:

Mixed cement

Mortar-less masonry

Heavy timber

Complex glasswork

Correct answer:

Mortar-less masonry

Explanation:

The architecture of the Inca Empire reflected their mountain locale, which stretched across modern day Peru, Bolivia, and Chile. Large stones were frequently used for significant buildings, such as the massive complex of Macchu Picchu. The most remarkable aspect of Inca masonry was its intricate stonecutting, which allowed their masonry to be put together without the use of mortar or any binding substance.

Example Question #4 : Architecture Beyond European Artistic Traditions

Incan architecture employed which of the following building techniques?

Possible Answers:

Lacunari

Post-and-lintel construction

Corbelling

Ashlar masonry

Correct answer:

Ashlar masonry

Explanation:

Ashlar masonry is the term given to the finely beveled rocks fitted closely next to one another by Incan builders. Corbelling was used by Hindu architects to lend cavelike appearances to temples. Post-and-lintel construction was used in the building of Neolithic structures, including Stonehenge. Lacunari refers to the coffers used by Roman builders to lessen the weight of heavy ceilings. 

Example Question #5 : Architecture Beyond European Artistic Traditions

The Templo Mayor located within the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan conveyed to its people both a religious and a __________ message.

Possible Answers:

None of the other answers is correct.

fearful

cosmic

loving

political

Correct answer:

political

Explanation:

Aztec temples were not just centers for religious worship, but also displays of political propaganda. The Templo Mayor of Tenochtitlan, for example, was a reminder to the people of Tenochtitlan that a great amount of wealth and power was required to erect it, and that such power should be respected.

Example Question #6 : Architecture Beyond European Artistic Traditions

Panorama of monte alban from the south platform

Which feature of Monte Albán, pictured above, is meant to represent the victims of human sacrifice of the Zapotec civilization?

Possible Answers:

Sacrificial altars used to store the hearts of the victims.

Distorted stone monuments of naked men called "Danzantes."

Relief sculpture carved into the stone walls of the Main Plaza.

None of these

The Zapotec civilization did not participate in human sacrifice.

Correct answer:

Distorted stone monuments of naked men called "Danzantes."

Explanation:

The Zapotec civilization used stone monuments depicting naked men with distorted posture and often mutilated genitals, called "Danzantes," or "Dancers," to represent their victims of human sacrifice. These stone monuments can be seen throughout the plazas of Monte Albán. Over 300 of these monuments have been found.

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

Photograph by Matt Saunder

Example Question #7 : Architecture Beyond European Artistic Traditions

Incan architecture employed which of the following building techniques?

Possible Answers:

Post-and-lintel construction

Lacunari

Ashlar masonry

Corbelling

Correct answer:

Ashlar masonry

Explanation:

Ashlar masonry is the term given to the finely beveled rocks fitted closely next to one another by Incan builders. Corbelling was used by Hindu architects to lend cavelike appearances to temples. Post-and-lintel construction was used in the building of Neolithic structures, including Stonehenge. Lacunari refers to the coffers used by Roman builders to lessen the weight of heavy ceilings.

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