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

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Art History

varsity tutors app store varsity tutors android store

Example Questions

Example Question #162 : 3 D Art

The Olmec were the first major civilization of Mesoamerica and the Pre-Columbian era, flourishing from about 1500 BCE to 400 BCE. 

The Olmec are perhaps most famous for which unique style of sculpture, made from volcanic rock?

Possible Answers:

Bowls and plates

Sacrificial altars

Colossal heads

They were not sculptors.

Small statuettes

Correct answer:

Colossal heads

Explanation:

Very little is left from the Olmec civilization, and historians know very little about them as a whole, aside from pieces of evidence that point to certain advancements or characteristics such as being the first civilization in the Western Hemisphere to develop a writing system. The Olmec are recognized for their giant sculptures of heads made from volcanic rock, called the Olmec Heads. These heads have different characteristics and have been found all around the region where the Olmec lived. It can only be speculated how they moved such huge pieces of volcanic rock. Although the Olmec made other types of sculptures, relatively few of them have been found.

Example Question #163 : 3 D Art

Large, elongated stone slabs covered in intricate carvings are typical of the Classic Period of Mesoamerican art. These sculptures, popularized by the Ancient Mayans, are known as __________.

Possible Answers:

zoomorphs

altars

lintels

stelas

stucco

Correct answer:

stelas

Explanation:

Large, elongated Mayan stone slabs covered in intricate carvings are known as "stelas." They often depicted the ruler of the city they were located in, sometimes disguised as a god. Very few have been preserved.

Example Question #164 : 3 D Art

__________ are large Mayan sculptures that consist of one large stone carved into the shape of animals or living creatures and covered in intricate relief sculpture.

Possible Answers:

Lintels

Zoomorphs

None of the other answers is correct.

Stucco

Stelas

Correct answer:

Zoomorphs

Explanation:

Zoomorphs are large stones carved to resemble animals by the Mayans. They were often covered in relief sculptures. Zoomorphs may have been used as altars.

Learning Tools by Varsity Tutors

Incompatible Browser

Please upgrade or download one of the following browsers to use Instant Tutoring: