World History : Mesoamerican Cultures

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for World History

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Example Questions

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Example Question #51 : World History

Which of the following is a theory that explains the collapse of the Maya civilization?

Possible Answers:

Overpopulation.

All of the other answers. 

Environmental disaster. 

Epidemic disease. 

Foreign invasion. 

Correct answer:

All of the other answers. 

Explanation:

There are many theories of why the Maya civilization collapsed which are debated by historians today. Great Maya centers like Palenque, Tikal and Copan saw decline in the 8th and 9th centuries, however this did not mean the end of the Maya civilization. Nevertheless, there is no universally accepted theory that explains the decline. 

Example Question #52 : World History

Which was NOT a center of the Mayan civilization?

Possible Answers:

Tikal

Uxmal 

Monte Alban

Copan

Chichen Itza

Correct answer:

Monte Alban

Explanation:

Monte Alban, one of the first great cities of Mesoamerica, was the center of the Zapotec civilization. It is located in present-day Oaxaca, Mexico. Uxmal, Chichen Itza, Tikal and Copan were important Maya centers. 

Example Question #1 : Mesoamerican Cultures

Which of the following was NOT characteristic of many Mesoamerican cultures?

Possible Answers:

Cultivation of the bean plant

A ritual ball game played in a court

Numerous states that vied for regional supremacy

A high regard to the preparation of the afterlife

Hieroglyphic writing

Correct answer:

A high regard to the preparation of the afterlife

Explanation:

A high regard for preparing for the afterlife was more characteristic of the Egyptians, rather than cultures of Mesoamerica. Mesoamerican cultures were more characteristic of the cosmos and religion. The other answers are correct characteristics of Mesoamerican cultures. 

Example Question #54 : World History

Which aquaculture technique was used by the Aztecs to grow crops in shallow bodies of fresh water?

Possible Answers:

Multi-trophic aquaculture

Trajinera

Algaculture

Xochimilco

Chinampa

Correct answer:

Chinampa

Explanation:

The chinampa was an extension of land into a fresh body of water that the Aztecs built to grow crops. They were built of lake sediments formed in rectangular shapes and were used to grow crops like tomatoes, maize, squash, beans and chili peppers. At the time of the Spanish conquest, an extensive system of chinampas was found in Lake Texcoco and Lake Xochimilco, which is presently Mexico City. Today both tourists and Mexicans alike enjoy rides in brightly colored boats called trajineras through Xochimilco's chinampas and canals. 

Example Question #55 : World History

Which is a correct statement about Quetzalcoatl?

Possible Answers:

Quetzalcoatl was an Olmec deity of rain, also known as Tlaloc

Depictions of Quetzalcoatl were mysteriously absent from large Mesoamerican centers such as Teotihuacan, Xochicalco and Chichén Itzá

Quetzalcoatl was a Mesoamerican deity of wind and wisdom, represented as a "feathered serpent"

Quetzalcoatl was strictly revered by the Aztec

The name of Quetzalcoatl comes from the Maya language

Correct answer:

Quetzalcoatl was a Mesoamerican deity of wind and wisdom, represented as a "feathered serpent"

Explanation:

Quetzalcoatl was a deity revered by many Mesoamerican cultures including the Aztec, Toltec and Olmec. His name in Maya language is Kukulcán, but the name "Quetzalcoatl" is from the Nahuatl language, meaning "feathered serpent. " Depictions and imagery of Quetzalcoatl appear in many sites in Mesoamerica. 

Example Question #56 : World History

Which of the following crops were NOT typical of pre-Colombian agriculture in Mesoamerica?

Possible Answers:

Wheat

Squash

Corn

Chili peppers

Beans

Correct answer:

Wheat

Explanation:

Grains like wheat and barley were brought over by the Spaniards in times of colonization. The other choices were common crops in Mesoamerica. Chinampasediment formations, were used to produce the crops of the other choices. 

Example Question #57 : World History

Moctezuma II was ruler of which culture during the Spanish conquest of modern-day Mexico?

Possible Answers:

The Olmec

The Maya

The Inca

The Algonquin

The Aztec

Correct answer:

The Aztec

Explanation:

Moctezuma was the leader of the Aztec Empire when the Spanish arrived, so that would be the best answer. The Mayan Empire also existed during that time but they did no have a leader by that name, so they would not be a good choice. The Olmec civilization had declined and been subsumed into the Aztec Empire by then, so they too would not be a good choice. The Inca were not based in modern-day Mexico, so they would not be the best answer here. And the Algonquin were in North America, so they too would not be a good answer.

Example Question #2 : Mesoamerican Cultures

Which of the following was a Mesoamerican culture renowned for its astronomy and mathematics?

Possible Answers:

The Aztecs

The Maya

The Inca

None of these

The Olmecs

Correct answer:

The Maya

Explanation:

The Inca were not mesoamerican, they were based firmly in South America, and so they would not be the best choice. The Aztecs were based in modern Central America but they were not known for their astronomy or mathematics, so they would not be the best choice. The Olmecs arguably invented zero before the Mayans, however they were not known for their astronomy, so they would not be the best choice. Lastly, the Mayans were known for the accuracy of their astrological calendars and their calculations concerning celestial bodies, so they would be the best answer here.

Example Question #59 : World History

Which of the following was the earliest of the major Mesoamerican cultures, and who laid the groundwork for common social features such as long-count calendars, bloodletting rituals, and ballgames?

Possible Answers:

The Aztec

The Maya

The Olmec

None of these

The Incan

Correct answer:

The Olmec

Explanation:

The Olmecs are among the earliest cultures of Mesoamerica and predated all of the other answers - as well as developing the salient social features - so they would be the best answer. The Maya appear to follow the Olmec by approximately five centuries, so while they were an early and influential civilization, they would not be the best answer. The Aztec came to power in the 14th century, so they too would not be a good answer. Lastly, the Inca were a long-lasting civilization, but they were not Mesoamerican, so they would not be the best answer.

Example Question #60 : World History

What material was commonly used by the Aztecs as a substitute for metal weapons?

Possible Answers:

Animal claws and teeth

Obsidian

Human bone

Thorns from native plants

Correct answer:

Obsidian

Explanation:

The macuahuitl is a common Aztec weapon consisting of a wooden blade with obsidian shards as a cutting surface.

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