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1. What material was used for writing in Mesopotamia?
A) Animal bones
C) Soft clay
2. How did papyrus compare with clay tablets as a writing material?
A) It was less prone to disintegration.
B) It was more fragile and less likely to survive.
C) It required a stylus to carve the symbols.
D) It was more difficult to write on.
3. In general, how did residents of ancient cities tend to view residents of rural areas?
A) City dwellers viewed themselves as more sophisticated.
B) City dwellers saw themselves as equal to the farmers.
C) City dwellers looked up to and envied those who lived in the country.
D) City dwellers tried to imitate the people of the rural areas.
4. What method did early states use to control their populace?
A) Exemption from taxation
B) Promises of wealth
C) Threats of violence
D) Offers of free food
5. Social hierarchies in early states were usually heightened by the introduction of what
A) Written laws
B) Economic records
C) Written religious texts
6. In what region did the first known states develop?
7. What natural feature in Sumer helped settled agriculture develop there first?
A) Naturally occurring irrigation ditches that helped water the crops
B) Rivers that brought new soil with annual floods
C) Constant annual rainfall that irrigated the fields
D) An abundance of labor to work the fields
8. What role did the first rulers of Ur, Uruk, and other Sumerian city-states play?
9. Where did Sumerians build their large ziggurat temples?
A) On the outskirts of the cities
B) In the middle of crop fields
C) On man-made islands in the river
D) In the center of the city
10. Which of the following best describes a ziggurat-style temple?
A) Underground cavern
B) Floating island
C) Beehive-shaped dome
D) Stepped pyramid
11. Why did Sumerians likely begin a system of taxation?
A) To pay for establishing a public school system
B) To pay for the construction of temples and the expenses of temple officials
C) To pay for the construction of libraries to hold cuneiform tablets
D) To encourage economic growth and the development of market squares for traders
12. To counter the temples’ power, military leaders who became kings began to build what
kinds of structures?
A) Rival temples to worship war gods
B) Public cemeteries to honor war dead as heroes
C) Palaces to demonstrate the king’s strength
D) Marketplaces to highlight goods from conquered territories
13. Who were known as “clients” in Sumer?
A) Free people who were dependent on the nobility
B) Household slaves
C) Destitute persons supported by the city temple
D) Indentured servants who had contracts with local nobles
14. Who worked the land owned by the king, nobles, and temples in ancient Sumer?
A) Hired laborers
B) Priests in training
C) Client farmers and slaves
D) Scribes and soldiers
15. Why did older men have the most power in the Mesopotamian social system?
A) Mesopotamian societies were patriarchal.
B) The most important value in Mesopotamian society was reverence for elders.
C) Older men tended to form political alliances with powerful priests.
D) Older men presided over important ancestor-worship rituals.
16. Which of the following describes the earliest Sumerian writings?
A) They were ideograms in which each sign symbolized an idea.
B) They were pictographs in which each sign pictured an object.
C) Each symbol represented a sound in the spoken language.
D) They were written using the first known alphabet.
17. How did Sumerian scribes learn the cuneiform writing system?
A) They were taught at special schools.
B) Their fathers taught them at home.
C) Priests were solely responsible for this important teaching.
D) They were taught as part of their mandated training as members of the army.
18. Sumerian scribes were trained largely to do what?
A) To record religious texts and ritual manuals
B) To write tax documents and legal cases
C) To write official histories of royal families
D) To keep property and wealth records
19. What is the key theme of the Epic of Gilgamesh?
A) The duty of a soldier to serve the king
B) The constant battle between good and evil
C) The idea that men and women were created by magic
D) Humanity’s search for immortality
20. The Sumerian mathematical system was based on units of sixty, ten, and six and
survives in what modern system?
B) Musical notation
C) Time measurement
D) Square roots
21. Around 2300 B.C.E., what chieftain conquered Sumer and created an empire?
22. How did Sargon reinforce his rule in Mesopotamia?
A) He converted all the people to his Semitic religion.
B) He tore down the defensive walls of major cities and appointed his own sons as
C) He wrote the first law code.
D) He claimed to be a descendant of the god Marduk.
23. How did religion contribute to Hammurabi’s political success?
A) He demonstrated his strength by forcing the exile of all Sumerian priests.
B) He partitioned all of Mesopotamia into small political units governed by priests.
C) He destroyed all existing Mesopotamian religions and forced acceptance of his
D) He claimed that divine authority stood behind the laws that he established.
24. What was the intended function of Hammurabi’s code?
A) To regulate the relationships among his people and promote their welfare
B) To intimidate the common people in order to prevent social upheaval
C) To protect the position of nobles and priests at the expense of the commoners
D) To increase the nobility’s power over the priesthood
25. According to Hammurabi’s code, who controlled a woman’s dowry after she married?
A) A judge
B) The woman’s husband
C) The woman’s father
D) The woman herself
26. What geographic feature had the largest impact on Egyptian culture and prosperity?
A) The Sinai Desert
B) The Nile River
C) The Red Sea
D) The Mediterranean Sea
27. How did Egyptians view the afterlife?
A) As bleak and very frightening
B) As pleasant
C) As a place of punishment
D) As a fictional realm that nonetheless inspired great wonder
28. According to Egyptian belief, the Nile’s rise and fall was dictated by
C) the pharaoh.
29. One of the earliest deities Egyptians worshiped was Amon, god of
A) the sky.
B) the underworld.
C) the dead.
30. For which of the following was a pharaoh believed to be responsible?
A) Achieving integration between gods and humans
B) Ruling over earth and sky
C) Ensuring his people’s safe passage to the afterlife
D) Organizing Egypt’s agricultural system
31. Egyptian hieroglyphs were recorded on papyrus sheets and on what else?
A) Clay tablets
B) Glass items
C) Walls of tombs
D) Clay pots
32. How did Egyptian and Mesopotamian women compare in terms of their ability to own
and control property?
A) Neither culture allowed women to own or control property independently.
B) Mesopotamian women owned and controlled more property than Egyptian women.
C) In both cultures, women were able to own and control property freely.
D) Egyptian women owned and controlled more property than Mesopotamian women.
33. During what period did slavery become widespread in Egypt?
A) Second Intermediate Period
B) Old Kingdom
C) New Kingdom
D) First Intermediate Period
34. What important contribution did the Hyksos make to Egyptian society?
A) They encouraged Egyptians to worship the god Amon.
B) Their bronze technology and weaponry was adopted by Egyptians.
C) As naval pioneers, they introduced the center-stern rudder to Egyptian ships.
D) Their mathematicians introduced the abacus to Egypt.
35. How was the New Kingdom different from the previous Middle and Old Kingdoms?
A) Pharaohs increasingly tried to ensure peace because they realized war was too
B) In response to multiple social problems, pharaohs encouraged more religious
C) Egyptians now focused more on trade than on farming because the Nile became
D) Egyptians now focused more on conquest of new territories and created the first
36. Which of the following contributed to the expansion of slavery in the New Kingdom
A) Economic problems forced families to sell children into slavery to pay off debts.
B) As the Egyptian population diminished, the agricultural system required more
laborers to maintain farming efficiency.
C) Power struggles within the royal family led to more people becoming slaves.
D) Focus on the conquest of other peoples resulted in slaves being brought back to
Egypt from conquered territories.
37. Why was Akhenaten’s interest in worship of a new sun-god Aten ultimately a failure?
A) The elaborate worship rituals were too confusing.
B) The hated and corrupt priesthood endorsed it.
C) It was imposed from above and failed to find a place among the people.
D) It attempted to do away with worship of the widely popular sun-god.
38. Why did the Hittites and Egyptians conclude a peace treaty in 1258 B.C.E.?
A) Both sides were exhausted by war.
B) The Egyptians signed to avoid a total defeat by the Hittites.
C) The Hittites brutally conquered the Egyptians.
D) Both sides recognized the impossibility of defeating the other.
39. Which civilization produced some of the best iron products in the world?
40. In 727 B.C.E., King Piye conquered and unified Egypt from his home kingdom of
41. What was the Phoenicians’ greatest cultural achievement?
A) They developed settled agriculture.
B) They developed the first sun-based calendar.
C) They created the first fully phonetic alphabet.
D) They were responsible for the composition of The Iliad.
42. What remains our most important source of knowledge about ancient Jews?
A) Archaeological excavations
B) The Hebrew Bible
C) Governmental records
D) Oral epic histories
43. The Hebrews created a monarchy with Saul as leader by fighting what other Palestinian
people in the eleventh century B.C.E.?
44. Which Hebrew leader captured the city of Jerusalem?
45. What happened to the Hebrew kingdom after Solomon’s death?
A) Its leaders continued to consolidate politically.
B) Conflict led to its split into two separate kingdoms.
C) The kingdom was largely destroyed by an internal power struggle.
D) Leaders gained the military protection of the Assyrians.
46. How did the Hebrew religion change as a result of the Babylonian Captivity?
A) It was redefined and established as the law of Yahweh.
B) It almost disappeared.
C) It was exposed to Zoroastrianism.
D) It was adopted by the Chaldeans.
47. How were children educated in ancient Israel?
A) Education was left up to the father.
B) Education took place in organized schools.
C) Boys and girls attended school at the local temple.
D) Education was a responsibility of both parents.
48. Which of the following was true of the Assyrians?
A) They were one of the most warlike people in history.
B) They used shrewd diplomacy to carve out an empire.
C) They united the small kingdoms of Phoenicia and the Jews to defeat Egypt.
D) They were nomadic fighters who did not build or live in permanent towns.
49. In addition to his concept of empire, what was another characteristic that made Cyrus a
A) His concern for economic development
B) His effective assimilation of nomadic invaders into his kingdom
C) His benevolence and humanity as a ruler
D) His ability to coordinate an efficient bureaucracy over a vast region
50. Which of the following was an important teaching of Zoroaster?
A) Human actions were the result of manipulation by the gods.
B) People possessed free will and were accountable for their actions.
C) People’s eternal fate was determined by the depth of their religious faith.
D) All gods embodied good and truth, whereas only humans could be hateful or evil.