NAF101 University of Nairobi Mesopotamia and Egypt Essay

NAF101 University of Nairobi Mesopotamia and Egypt Essay

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Answer one short answer and one essay question. For full credit, you must use information from the class text reading and the outside sources to provide detail in your essays. You will need to show an understanding of world prehistory as well as critical thinking; your essays should reflect that you know the materials we have covered this term. Be sure to use specific examples from your readings, films, lectures, and web links from this course, and you must use parenthetical in-text citations and provide a bibliography. BUT, do not use extensive direct quotes – answers should be written in your own words with use of brief (less than one sentence) direct quotes only when absolutely necessary. Your short answer should be about 0.5 page in length, and the long essay is to be at least 1.5 pages. Your answers should be single-spaced, 12 pt font, 1 inch margins. This part of your final exam is worth 60 points in total (essay and short answer); the separate objective part is 30 points.

SHORT ANSWER CHOICES (choose one of three; 15 pts; approximately 1/2 page):

  1. You have been asked to conduct an excavation in a tell site located in Iraq. You have learned that the tell mound is roughly 30 m high and 400 meters across. Preliminary testing suggests that it has occupations going back to approximately 2000 BC. In preparation for this project you must set up a research plan and pose some questions that you hope to answer based on excavations in this large site. Briefly, describe what the site would be like and what archaeological questions you would most likely be able to address given the information about the site’s size and location. Provide at least two examples of other sites similar to this one and discuss what kinds of evidence they have provided.
  2. Briefly discuss how the site of Çatalhöyük differs from, and is similar to, the site of an early city in China or in India/South Asia approximately 4000-5000 years ago. How do the time frames compare? Are the two sites equally representative of early settlements of the Old World? What similarities or differences are apparent in terms of social, economic, and political factors?
  3. Briefly summarize the use of writing in early civilizations, and in particular for the emerging Mayan system. What kind of writing was developed there, where do we find examples of it, what was it used for, and in what ways is it archaeologically recognizable? How are we able to translate the texts today?

LONG ESSAY CHOICES (choose one of two; 45 pts; at least 1.5 pages):

  1. Choose one of the following regions that was discussed in Chapter 9 – Mesoamerica, West Asia/Mesopotamia, or South America (the discussion of these is expanded in Chpts 10, 12, and 13) – and describe the (1) social, (2) economic, and (3) religious changes that were associated with the growth of complexity there. Your discussion should explicitly focus on the period from the onset of domestication/agriculture to the eventual ‘collapse’ of the civilization that you choose. Be sure to describe different time periods and how “social complexity” from each period is understood based on the archaeological record (society at the time of domestication, the chiefdom level society, and a state level society all from the same region that you choose). You must back up your claims with specific archaeological evidence and academic citations.
  2. Compare and contrast the archaeological records of two state-level societies we have discussed this term. For each, discuss how they were organized with reference to (1) subsistence (e.g., agriculture, water management), (2) economic (e.g., trading, money, writing), (3) social (e.g., social inequality/hierarchy, settlement patterns), and (4) religious (e.g., burials, monumental architecture) systems. Each of the two societies you choose must come from different regions, such as Mesopotamia, Mesoamerica, Europe, India, etc. You must back up your claims with specific archaeological evidence and academic citations.