SAT II World History : Southwest Asia and Africa

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT II World History

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : The Fertile Crescent And Mesopotamia

Which of the following is true of the Fertile Crescent?

Possible Answers:

The Fertile Crescent was governed by a democratically elected leader.

The Fertile Crescent was located along the Yellow River.

The Fertile Crescent supported the development of the earliest farming communities.

The Fertile Crescent led to a decrease in population.

The Fertile Crescent was located in Mesoamerica.

Correct answer:

The Fertile Crescent supported the development of the earliest farming communities.

Explanation:

Early farming communities characterized the Fertile Crescent. Some of the first irrigation systems were developed in this area, which led to an increase in food supply and, in turn, population. The Fertile Crescent was located in Mesopotamia (which is in the Middle East), not Mesoamerica or along the Yellow River. Finally, the Fertile Crescent area, which came to be known as Sumer, was governed by hereditary kings rather than democratically elected officials.

Example Question #1 : The Fertile Crescent And Mesopotamia

Which of these ancient empires did not arise in the Fertile Crescent? 

Possible Answers:

Sumeria

All of these Empires arose within the Fertile Crescent. 

Babylon

Egypt

Assyria

Correct answer:

All of these Empires arose within the Fertile Crescent. 

Explanation:

The Fertile Crescent is an area of land in the Middle East and Asia Minor. Due to the Euphrates and Tigris rivers it is extremely fertile and arable. It is where many of the earliest civilizations settled down and began farming and grew powerful. All of these empires, as well as the Phonecians, the Hittites, the Israelites, the Persians and several others arose in the Fertile Crescent. 

Example Question #1 : The Fertile Crescent And Mesopotamia

Which of these modern-day countries does not include territory within the "Fertile Crescent"? 

Possible Answers:

Syria

Jordan

Israel

Egypt

Afghanistan

Correct answer:

Afghanistan

Explanation:

"The Fertile Crescent," often also called "Mesopotamia," is a region of the Middle East and Asia Minor that is (compared to the dry, arid land around it) extremely fertile and favorable to agriculture. It is the part of the world where many of the oldest civilizations arose and remains relevant today. Modern nations that have at least some territory in the Fertile Crescent are Turkey, Syria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Israel, Iran, Palestine, and Iraq. The climate and terrain of Afghanistan is very different; it is mountainous and drier. 

Example Question #1 : The Fertile Crescent And Mesopotamia

The ancient Egyptian civilization flourished around __________.

Possible Answers:

the Nile

the Persian Gulf

the Ganges

the Euphrates

the Dead Sea

Correct answer:

the Nile

Explanation:

The Nile river, which one runs for a few thousand miles through Northeast Africa, was the center of the ancient Egyptian civilization. They began farming in the fecund lands of the Nile River Basin around 3000 B.C.E. and would survive as an independent civilization for almost three thousand years.

Example Question #2 : The Fertile Crescent And Mesopotamia

Menes is significant for doing which of the following?

Possible Answers:

Uniting Upper and Lower Egypt and creating the first Egyptian Dynasty

Protecting the Nubian people from the invasion of the ancient Egyptians, thus ensuring that Egyptian culture did not spread throughout Africa

Founding the ancient Egyptian religion

Establishing the ancient Egyptian writing system

Freeing the Egyptian slaves and sacrificing his life to protect the rights of the poorest in Egyptian society

Correct answer:

Uniting Upper and Lower Egypt and creating the first Egyptian Dynasty

Explanation:

Menes is credited by most historians with uniting the Upper and Lower Egyptian civilizations into one empire. This occurred around 2900 B.C.E. and is the beginning of ancient Egypt as we know it.

Example Question #4 : The Fertile Crescent And Mesopotamia

The Fertile Crescent lies between which two rivers? 

Possible Answers:

The Rhine and the Ganges

The Seine and the Danube

The Tigris and the Euphrates

The Thames and the Seine

The Ganges and the Yangtze

Correct answer:

The Tigris and the Euphrates

Explanation:

The Fertile Crescent of Mesopotamia resides between the Euphrates and Tigris rivers. "Mesopotamia" literally means land between two rivers. The Fertile Crescent is an important part of the early story of human civilization because it was in the abundant flood plains of Mesopotamia that the agricultural revolution took place.

Example Question #3 : The Fertile Crescent And Mesopotamia

Which civilization invented the ancestor of modern alphabets?

Possible Answers:

Rome

Egypt

Phoenicia

Sumer

Greece

Correct answer:

Phoenicia

Explanation:

The Phoenicians invented the first alphabetic script in ancient times, in the late second millennium BCE. The Greeks and Romans simply adopted and changed this alphabet. The Egyptians and Sumerians developed hieroglyphic and cuneiform scripts, neither of which were alphabetic.

Example Question #1 : Babylonian Empire

Which of these individuals is responsible for creating the famous Code of Laws that often defines the Babylonian civilization to modern historians?

Possible Answers:

Ashurbanipal

Nebuchadnezzar

Cyrus

Hammurabi

Gilgamesh

Correct answer:

Hammurabi

Explanation:

Hammurabi's Code of Laws is the earliest known written-down legal system. Hammurabi was a Babylonian king circa 1800 BCE. The Babylonian civilization existed in various forms for roughly 1500 years from 2000 BCE to 500 BCE. 

Example Question #1 : Southwest Asia And Africa

The "Babylonian Captivity" involved __________.

Possible Answers:

The imprisonment of the Babylonian King by the Assyrians

The forced imprisonment, and subsequent execution, of Christians in Ancient Babylon by Hammurabi

The loss of much of the writings of ancient Babylon when the Persian army invaded and sacked the royal library

None of the other answer choices is correct. 

The capture and forced exile of many Jews from the Kingdom of Judah in Babylon

Correct answer:

The capture and forced exile of many Jews from the Kingdom of Judah in Babylon

Explanation:

The Babylon Captivity is a period of Jewish history when many Jewish citizens of the Kingdom of Judah were captured and forced into exile in ancient Babylon by the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar.

Example Question #2 : Babylonian Empire

The so-called "Babylonian Captivity" ended when __________.

Possible Answers:

Ashurbanipal and Cyrus the Great defeated the forces of Nebuchadnezzar in the Battle of Sargon

The Jewish people were led to their freedom by Moses

Cyrus the Great was executed by his own people and replaced by his much more tolerant son

Ashurbanipal, and the Assyrian army, freed the Babylonian forces being held by a rebel Assyrian ruler

Cyrus the Great, and the Persian army, captured the city of Babylon

Correct answer:

Cyrus the Great, and the Persian army, captured the city of Babylon

Explanation:

The "Babylonian Captivity" of the sixth century BCE involved the forced imprisonment of much of the population of the Kingdom of Judah within the city of Babylon. It ended when Cyrus the Great conquered Babylon in 539 BCE and founded the Achaemenid Dynasty of Persia. Cyrus freed the Jewish people and they mostly returned to Judaea.

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