AP World History : Science and Technology 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 #1 : Science And Technology From Prehistory To 600 Bce

The main definitional difference between prehistory and history is ______________.

Possible Answers:

monotheistic religions

hereditary monarchies

metal working

the availability of written records

organized religion

Correct answer:

the availability of written records

Explanation:

Prehistory has no written primary sources. Information about prehistory is only possible from archaeology, whereas history allows us to read what certain members of historical communities wrote about their own lives. This gives us greater perspective on the human story and the evolution of human thought. Metal working, hereditary monarchical political systems, and organized religion, whether monotheistic or otherwise, are important aspects of history, but they are not sufficient to differentiating between history and prehistory.

Example Question #1 : Science And Technology From Prehistory To 600 Bce

The Indus River Valley civilization was proficient at proto-writing but not true literacy because they ___________________.

Possible Answers:

had no standardized spelling

could not represent abstract concepts beyond ownership

wrote only on "Oracle Bones" the bones of animals and tortoise shells

wrote only on clay, not paper

used logograms rather than phonographic letters

Correct answer:

could not represent abstract concepts beyond ownership

Explanation:

Indus River Valley inscriptions are unintelligible but linguists and historians are aware that they represent proto-writing, rather than literacy, because of the little to no variety in word and sentence structure. Indus River Proto-writing was used to represent ownership over land, houses, and other goods, but could not be used to describe anything else.

Many languages, such as Chinese, use logograms rather than phonographic letters.

The Sumerians had literacy yet wrote on clay tablets rather than paper.

Standardized spelling is a product of the printing press and the industrial revolution.

The ancient Chinese Shang dynasty had a full writing system yet all evidence of this is derived from Oracle Bones used in religious rituals.

Example Question #2 : Science And Technology From Prehistory To 600 Bce

The Great Pyramid of Giza was constructed so long ago that __________________.

Possible Answers:

to this day human beings are unable to construct such magnificent and massive structures

we don't know why they were built

we have lost the names of the architects who designed them

Cleopatra, the last pharaoh of Egypt, lived closer to our time now than when the pyramids were built

they were built before human beings had actually settled along the Nile

Correct answer:

Cleopatra, the last pharaoh of Egypt, lived closer to our time now than when the pyramids were built

Explanation:

The Great Pyramid of Giza was built in the 2500s B.C.E., whereas Cleopatra was born in 69 B.C.E.

In the 1990s, a hotel and casino company constructed the Luxor Las Vegas, a hotel and casino in the shape of the Egyptian pyramids.

Human history does record some of the architects of the pyramids, such as Imhotep.

Egyptologists are unequivocal in their belief that pyramids were constructed to be tombs.

Humans living along the Nile were the people who built the Pyramid.

Example Question #3 : Science And Technology

In ancient Egypt, maces, unlike spears, swords, or bows, were associated with victory in combat, rather than combat itself, __________________.

Possible Answers:

because maces were used primarily at the end of battles to kill prisoners

because most maces found in Egyptian tombs were made from the bones of dead enemies

because maces are used as a writing instrument to draft law, rather than as a weapon

because maces were purely ceremonial, and never used to commit violence

because although maces might look scary, they were actually used to till soil

Correct answer:

because maces were used primarily at the end of battles to kill prisoners

Explanation:

In ancient Egypt, maces, unlike spears, swords, or bows, were associated with victory in combat, rather than combat itself, because maces were used primarily at the end of battles to kill prisoners.

Maces were symbols of power, the pharaohs of Egypt were often portrayed carrying the mace, but they also physical objects used to commit real violence.

Maces are not designed to till soil.

Maces were made from different materials, but never from human bone.

Maces were not used as writing implements. 

Example Question #3 : Science And Technology From Prehistory To 600 Bce

While Egyptians had been nomadic before agriculture, not living in permanent settlements, the earliest Egyptian villages contained houses constructed of __________________.

Possible Answers:

woven sticks covered in mud

large stone blocks

baked mud bricks

fine marble

cement

Correct answer:

woven sticks covered in mud

Explanation:

The earliest Egyptian settlements were small villages constructed of woven sticks covered in mud.

Within a few centuries, baked mud bricks were an available building material, but would've been inordinately expensive compared to the cheap woven stick and mud.

Large stone blocks were not used as a building material until centuries later.

Cement wasn't used as a building material that long ago.

Fine marble wasn't used in the first Egyptian settlements.

Example Question #4 : Science And Technology From Prehistory To 600 Bce

In Antiquity, projectile weapons, like arrows and javelins, were useful to military planners, but not often crucial to winning battles, because they ___________________.

Possible Answers:

hadn't been invented yet

were fired with low velocity

were never fired from horseback

were considered dishonorable

had limited range

Correct answer:

were fired with low velocity

Explanation:

In Antiquity, most armies and navies used projectile weapons, but they weren't often decisive in winning battles because low velocity meant low lethality.

Some ancient bows could be fired over many hundreds of feet.

Bows and javelins were standard for most armies, they were not considered dishonorable.

Some ancient armies did use cavalry archers, including the Parthians.

Bows have existed since before the advent of writing at around 3000 BCE, javelins much earlier than that.

Example Question #5 : Science And Technology From Prehistory To 600 Bce

Archaeological evidence points to metal first being used in Southeast Asia _________________.

Possible Answers:

only in the modern era

only after the French and British colonial powers brought the technology into the region

in the last half of the first millennium BC

before anywhere else

at the same time as in Greece, Rome, Egypt, the Middle East, and India

Correct answer:

in the last half of the first millennium BC

Explanation:

Metal was first used in Southeast Asia in the last half of the first millennium BC; later than many other places, most likely, because the geography inhibits trade, merchants, new techniques, and ideas penetrating the dense jungles of the area.

Greece, Rome, the Middle East, Egypt, and India all used metal before Southeast Asian civilizations, probably because although all disparate and thousands of miles away, they are on the same trade routes, whereas Southeast Asia was insulated by dense jungles.

Southeast Asia developed metallurgy after some other civilizations, but thousands of years before the modern era, and the invasion of British and French colonial powers.

Example Question #6 : Science And Technology From Prehistory To 600 Bce

The Rosetta Stone was discovered in __________ by __________.

Possible Answers:

the early twentieth century . . . troops of the Ottoman Empire fighting in World War One

the early nineteenth century . . . French troops serving Napoleon

the late nineteenth century . . . a team of British and French explorers

the mid-twentieth century . . . Nazi troops occupying Egypt

the late twentieth century . . . a team of British and American explorers

Correct answer:

the early nineteenth century . . . French troops serving Napoleon

Explanation:

The Rosetta Stone was discovered in the early nineteenth century by French troops, serving Napoleon in North Africa. The discovery of the Rosetta Stone was essential to translating Egyptian hieroglyphics for the first time.

Example Question #7 : Science And Technology From Prehistory To 600 Bce

The Hittites were the first people to __________.

Possible Answers:

mine copper

develop written language

produce iron

domesticate animals

record their history

Correct answer:

produce iron

Explanation:

The Hittites were the first people to produce iron and use it for the construction of more powerful weapons. The Hittites mastery of iron metallurgy allowed them to conquer a vast territory in the Middle East.

Example Question #9 : Science And Technology

Which of these best describes the impact that the Hyksos invaders had on Ancient Egypt?

Possible Answers:

None of these answers is accurate; the Hyksos were conquered by Egypt

They introduced new and advanced weaponry that facilitated Egyptian conquests in the Middle East

They brought with them the concept of slavery and revolutionized the Egyptian economic system and division of labor

They introduced irrigation and advanced agricultural techniques that facilitated the explosion of the Egyptian population

They introduced writing and monotheism to the Egyptian rulers

Correct answer:

They introduced new and advanced weaponry that facilitated Egyptian conquests in the Middle East

Explanation:

The Hyksos invaded Egypt at the end of the Middle Kingdom and were able to easily conquer the Egyptians because the Egyptians had not developed a militaristic culture and had no advanced weaponry. However, the invading Hyksos stayed in Egypt and ruled the nation for a century. This led to the proliferation of military technology into Egyptian society. After the Egyptians overthrew the Hyksos their society had become much more militaristic and the subsequent period of Egyptian history is marked by continuous military conquest and territorial expansion.

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