AP World History : Literature, Art, and Architecture from Prehistory to 600 BCE

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP World History

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Example Questions

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Example Question #367 : Ap World History

While Egypt is famous for its hieroglyphs, as early as the mid-first Dynasty (about 3100 BCE) Egyptian scribes __________________.

Possible Answers:

had stopped writing in hieroglyphs

developed logograms

developed a cursive form

each developed their own sets of hieroglyphs, far different and unintelligible from one another

utilized the printing press

Correct answer:

developed a cursive form

Explanation:

While ancient Egypt is famous for hieroglyphs, by the mid-1st dynasty (around 3100 BCE) Egyptian scribes developed a cursive writing system for the sake of time and accuracy.

Hieroglyphs themselves originated as logograms; symbols depicting concepts rather than sounds.

The printing press was not invented until after the ancient Egyptian language was no longer spoken.

The ancient Egyptians wrote in hieroglyphs until the imposition of Arabic as the official language in the 7th century started the decline of the original language.

Egyptian hieroglyphs were fairly standardized across all of Egypt as they were used by rulers to manage the empire.

Example Question #368 : Ap World History

What was the first civilization in the Americas to have a writing system, densely populated cities, and to produce sculpture and other works of art?

Possible Answers:

The Incans

The Aztecs

The Mayans

The Spanish

The Olmecs

Correct answer:

The Olmecs

Explanation:

The Olmecs were the first civilization in the Americas to invent a writing system, live in densely populated cities, and produce sculptures.

The Aztecs had a writing system, sculpture, and lived in urban centers, but centuries after the Olmecs.

The Mayans had a writing system, created sculptures, and lived in urban centers, but after the Olmecs; in fact, early Mayan civilization was probably heavily influenced by the Olmecs.

The Incans never had a writing system.

The Spanish only entered the Americas in the Middle Ages, long after the Olmecs and Mayans.

Example Question #369 : Ap World History

What is often considered to be the oldest surviving work of literature?

Possible Answers:

The Book of Genesis

The writings of Socrates

The Qur'an

Epic of Gilgamesh

Correct answer:

Epic of Gilgamesh

Explanation:

Of the mentioned works, the Epic of Gilgamesh is considered the oldest surviving one. It was produced in Mesopotamia, most likely under Ur's dynasty. All other works were written much, much later.

Example Question #1 : Literature, Art, And Architecture

The nature of contact amongst prehistoric Southwest Asia and Egypt is difficult to determine, but because Egyptian houses and objects from the predynastic period resembled those from earlier southwest Asian cultures _________________.

Possible Answers:

It is probable that Egypt was conquered by Mesopotamians, who brought their technology with them

there was undoubtedly a large empire that spanned from north east Africa to Mesopotamia

these designs were probably crafted indigenously, without contact, yet nearly simultaneously with the Southwest Asian variety

it is probable that most Egyptians were originally settlers from south west Asia

there was undoubtedly some trade and a flow of ideas

Correct answer:

there was undoubtedly some trade and a flow of ideas

Explanation:

The nature of the geopolitical relationship between Southwest Asia and Egypt in prehistory is difficult to determine, but there was undoubtedly much trade and a flow of ideas.

While the indigenous creation of similar technology in two distinct areas and by two distinct peoples without any contact is possible, such as literacy in both Egypt and Mesoamerica, two geographically close areas with little to no natural buffers between them mean that the isolated, yet simultaneous, evolution of similar technology is doubtful, to say the least; the fact that the archaeological record shows this technology originating in south west Asia and being adopted in Egypt.

At this time, there was no large empire that spanned both geographic areas.

Some Egyptians were settlers from south west Asia, but there was undoubtedly a large, indigenous component of the Egyptian population.

If Egypt had been conquered by Mesopotamians, there would be much evidence of such conquest.

Example Question #1 : Literature, Art, And Architecture

The Epic of Gilgamesh is notable for __________.

Possible Answers:

its references to the life of Jesus Christ

being the earliest surviving code of laws

allowing scholars to translate Egyptian hieroglyphics for the first time

being the earliest surviving piece of literature

telling the Ancient Egyptian story of creation

Correct answer:

being the earliest surviving piece of literature

Explanation:

The Epic of Gilgamesh is the earliest surviving piece of literature. It is a poem, from ancient Sumeria, which tells the Sumerian story of creation.

Example Question #2 : Literature, Art, And Architecture

What is a ziggurat?

Possible Answers:

A temple in ancient Sumeria

A language-group in ancient India

A military formation in ancient Greece

An irrigating technique in ancient China

A political district in ancient Persia

Correct answer:

A temple in ancient Sumeria

Explanation:

"Ziggurats" were stone temple pyramids built by the Sumerians. The Sumerians are one of the earliest known civilizations, they emerged in ancient Mesopotamia more than five thousand years ago.

Example Question #4 : Literature, Art, And Architecture

Writing is believed to have originated first in which of these ancient civilizations?

Possible Answers:

Olmec

Phoenician

Greek

Kush

Sumer

Correct answer:

Sumer

Explanation:

Writing is believed to have emerged first in ancient Sumer. Writing was invented approximately five thousand years ago, circa 3,300 BCE The earliest writing is called cuneiform. It used pictures and images to represent certain items or quantities. Writing was also invented, around the same time period, in ancient Egypt. But most historians believe this writing was based on the script invented in Sumer.

Example Question #5 : Literature, Art, And Architecture

Which of these statements about the Babylonian ruler Nebuchadnezzar is inaccurate?

Possible Answers:

The people he conquered, with a few exceptions, were generally assimilated into his empire rather than destroyed

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon were built under his authority

He extended the Babylonian Empire from the Persian Sea to the Mediterranean

He provided Babylon with a unifying legal system

His armies enslaved the Hebrews

Correct answer:

He provided Babylon with a unifying legal system

Explanation:

Nebuchadnezzar is one of the most famous rulers of the Babylonian Empire. He reigned from 605 - 562 BCE He extended the territory of the Babylonian Empire significantly and conquered and enslaved the Hebrews. He was a ruthless conqueror, but generally allowed conquered civilizations to be assimilated into his empire (the Hebrews being notable exceptions). He also ordered the construction of the famous Hanging Gardens of Babylon. However, one thing he is not responsible for, is providing Babylon with a unifying legal system. This honor belongs to Hammurabi with his famous Hammurabi’s Code.

Example Question #2 : Literature, Art, And Architecture

The Phoenicians are primarily remembered for _____________.

Possible Answers:

their colonization of Africa and polytheistic religion

their conflict with the Hebrews and settlement in Iberia

their wide-ranging trade and innovative alphabet

their military prowess and monotheistic religion

None of these

Correct answer:

their wide-ranging trade and innovative alphabet

Explanation:

The Phoenicians were a seafaring and trading people who emerged in the Near East circa 1,200 BCE The Phoenicians traded all over the Mediterranean and established colonies as far afield as Spain and Italy. They are also known for the innovative alphabet, which they used to manage their vast commercial ventures. This alphabet would spread around the Mediterranean and laid the foundations for the development of later European languages.

Example Question #3 : Literature, Art, And Architecture

The Vedas were originally written in __________.

Possible Answers:

Latin

Egyptian hieroglyphs

Sanskrit

Greek

Phoenician

Correct answer:

Sanskrit

Explanation:

The Vedas, ancient Hindu holy texts, were originally written in Sanskrit. Sanskrit is one of the oldest surviving languages in the world and was first developed over three thousand years ago.

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