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Multiple Choice Questions
1. What new technology followed agriculture in defining Mesopotamia?
a. Temple construction
c. Water mills
d. Ship building
Answer: b page 32
2. Why did the arts develop in Mesopotamia?
a. As celebrations of the priest-kings’ power
b. As commodities for the inter-city trade network
c. As decorations for the ziggurats’ interiors
d. As votive offerings to the gods
Answer: a page
3. What were ziggurats most likely designed to resemble?
a. A city
b. A garden
c. A volcano
d. A mountain
Answer: d page 33
4. Why did visitors to the ziggurats often leave a statue representing themselves?
a. To gain admittance to the temple on the top
b. To serve as prayer offerings to the gods
c. To assure themselves of a good afterlife
d. To help the gods recognize and protect them
Answer: b page 33
5. How did the Mesopotamians view human society?
a. As masters of their own fates
b. As on the same level as the gods
c. As part of a larger society
d. As mere servants to the gods
Answer: c page 34
6. What was the Mesopotamian ruler’s role in religion?
a. To act as intermediary between the gods and humans
b. To preside at sacrifices that took place atop the ziggurats
c. To mate with a priestess in a yearly ceremony
d. To select a particular divinity to be chief in his city-state
Answer: a page 35
7. Which of the following pairs correctly identifies the subjects illustrated on the Royal
Standard of Ur?
a. “Winter” and “Summer”
b. “Heaven” and “Earth”
c. “Planting” and “Harvest”
d. “War” and “Peace”
Answer: d page 37
8. What about the Royal Standard of Ur illustrates social perspective or hierarchy of scale?
a. The most important figures wear some form of headdress
b. The most important figures are placed in the foreground
c. The most important figures are represented as larger than others
d. The most important figures are standing while less important sit
Answer: c page 37
9. Why is the Royal Standard of Ur such an important discovery?
a. It provides the only known images of Sargon I
b. It is one of the earliest example of historical narrative
c. It shows the type of weapons the Sumerians possessed
d. It is the first example of music being shown in art
Answer: b page 37
10. Why is the legend of Sargon I considered a “rags to riches” story?
a. Survivor of the great flood founds an empire
b. Slave leads a revolt and is declared king
c. Ruler of small city-state conquers larger city-states
d. Child abandoned at birth grows up to be king
Answer: d page 37
11. What did lost-wax casting enable the Mesopotamian sculptors to create?
a. More lifelike-looking bronze pieces
b. Many copies of their bronze works
c. Larger and more lightweight bronze pieces
d. Stronger and more durable bronze pieces
Answer: c page 40
12. Why did Mesopotamian scribes move from pictograms to the more linear cuneiform
a. Drawing lines instead of curves in wet clay was easier
b. Pictograms could not represent concepts
c. Lines occupy less space, so more would fit on a tablet
d. Lines were more useful in recording business matters
Answer: a page 38
13. What distinguishes the Law Code of Hammurabi from its predecessors?
a. It is the first to name the laws’ author
b. It is the most complete set of laws
c. It is the first stele in a phallic shape
d. It is the largest stele ever found
Answer: b page 41
14. What does Hammurabi’s code tell about the position of Mesopotamian women?
a. They were given the same legal rights as men
b. They were considered sacred daughters of the goddess Ishtar
c. They were inferior to men, on the same level as slaves
d. They were immune from punishments imposed on men
Answer: c page 42
15. Why does Hammurabi’s law code represent an important change for Mesopotamian
a. It gave the ruler more authority and power
b. It provided slaves protection from abusive owners
c. It established rules for appointing judges
d. It made laws more uniform, objective, and impartial
Answer: d pages 42-43
16. What distinguishes an epic from other literary forms?
a. It relates a narrative and has a narrator
b. It describes a people’s common heritage
c. It utilizes verse and poetic devices
d. It involves a protagonist and an antagonist
Answer: b page 46
17. What classic struggle do Gilgamesh and Enkidu represent?
a. Nature versus civilization
b. Good versus evil
c. Person versus society
d. Upper class versus lower class
Answer: a page 46
18. Why is the Epic of Gilgamesh a first in known literary works?
a. It is the first to confront the idea of death
b. It is the first to show humans challenging gods
c. It is the first to celebrate human friendship
d. It is the first to present gods as anthropomorphic
Answer: a page 49
19. Which of the following differentiates the Hebrews from other Near Eastern cultures?
a. They were outcasts in Mesopotamia
b. They believed in a flood story
c. They worshipped a single god
d. They were led by a patriarch
Answer: c page 50
20. What did the Hebrews believe their status as “chosen people” meant?
a. They were favored by YHWH, the Hebrew god
b. They were destined to be Mesopotamia’s ruling class
c. They were to leave Mesopotamia to found a new land
d. They were to set an example of a higher moral standard
Answer: d page 50
21. Why do the Ten Commandments provide equal treatment for all classes of the
a. The Hebrews did not tolerate class distinctions
b. The Hebrews wished to attract converts
c. The Hebrews had once themselves been slaves
d. The Hebrews did not practice any form of slavery
Answer: c page 51
22. Why is King Solomon’s authorship of the “Song of Solomon” doubtful?
a. King Solomon could neither read nor write
b. The female protagonist’s voice is stronger than the man’s
c. A Hebrew king would not have written about sexual awakening
d. The secular poem was composed earlier than Solomon’s reign
Answer: b page 52
23. What was the role of the Hebrew prophets in the era following Solomon’s death?
a. To provide moral instruction according to the laws of the Torah
b. To foretell the future for the Hebrew people
c. To reunite the two separate states of the United Monarchy of Israel
d. To function as intermediaries between Yahweh and the Hebrews
Answer: a page 53
24. What is the Persian Zoroaster’s greatest contribution to religious thought?
a. The concept of a heaven and a hell
b. The notion of a dualistic universe
c. The emphasis on free will
d. The belief in an enduring soul
Answer: c page 58
25. As noted in the chapter’s “Continuity and Change’ section, what most distinguishes
Mesopotamia from Egypt?
a. The Mesopotamians were more dependent on their river systems
b. The Egyptians had a more limited form of writing
c. The Mesopotamians did not build massive architectural structures
d. The Egyptians were united by a more stable succession of rulers
Answer: d page 59
26. The Ark of the Covenant a. Abu Temple
27. Persepolis b. Babylon
28. Tell Asmar statues c. Jerusalem
29. The Ishtar Gate d. Nineveh
30. The Royal Standard e. Persia
31. Gilgamesh f. Ur
32. Library of Ashurbanipal g. Uruk
Answers: 27-c, 28-e, 29-a, 30-b, 31-f, 32-g, 33-d
33. Discuss Mesopotamian art as propaganda, supporting your response with at least two
specific works covered in the text.
34. List and discuss the valued qualities that Gilgamesh reveals about the Mesopotamian
35. Explore the revelations about the Mesopotamian sense of order that the Standard of Ur
and King Ashurbanipal’s library at Nineveh reveal.
36. Compare the Hebrew law set forth in the Torah to the Law Code of Hammurabi.
37. What does the relief atop the Stele of Hammurabi—the seated Shamash handing the
scroll to the smaller, standing Hammurabi—convey?
38. Compare the three supreme deities (Marduk, YWHW, Ahura Mazda) in the
Mesopotamian, Hebrew, and Zoroastrian religions.