Exam: Ancient River Valley Civilizations (with Download)

River Valley Exam Main

This Early River Valley Civilizations test consists of 20 document-based multiple-choice questions and 1 short response document-based question. Suggested point system: 4 points for each multiple-choice question and 20 points for the short response.

You can download a PDF of this exam and the answer key by clicking on the multi-colored prompt below. It includes a link to a Google Forms version of the assessment.

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Early River Valley Civilization Exam

1. Early civilizations developed mainly in

1.  areas with abundant mineral resources

2.  valleys near rivers

3.  areas with climatic diversity

4.  mountainous areas 

2. The development of ancient civilizations in Egypt, Mesopotamia, India, and China indicates the importance of

1.  heavy forestation

2.  mountain passes

3.  rugged coastlines

4.  river valleys

3. The early civilizations of the Nile River Valley, Mesopotamia, and the Yellow River Valley were similar because they were

1.  industrialized societies

2.  monotheistic

3.  dependent on fertile land

4.  dependent on each other for trade

4. The river valleys of the Tigris-Euphrates, the Nile, and the Indus were centers of civilization because they

1.  had rich deposits of iron ore and coal

2.  were isolated from other cultural influences

3.  were easy to defend from invasion

4.  provided a means of transportation and irrigation

5. Base your answer to the question on the map below and on your knowledge of social studies.

5. The main purpose of this map is to illustrate the location of

1.  overseas trade routes

2.  early belief systems

3.  river valley civilizations

4.  burial sites of ancient rulers

6. Which characteristic was common to ancient civilizations in Egypt, Sumer, and China?

1.  monotheistic religion

2.  written forms of communication

3.  influence of European cultures

4.  nomadic lifestyle

7. Base your answer on the diagram and on your knowledge of social studies.

7. Which title best completes this diagram?

1.  Elements of a Civilization

2.  Features of a Nomadic Lifestyle

3.  Basic Components of the Paleolithic Age

4.  Human Life 50,000 Years Ago

“If a seignior (noble) has knocked out the tooth of a seignior of his own rank, they shall knock out his tooth. But if he has knocked out a commoner’s tooth, he shall pay one-third mina of silver.”

Code of Hammurabi

8. Which idea of Babylonian society does this portion of the Hammurabi code of law reflect?

1.  All men were equal under the law.

2.  Fines were preferable to corporal punishment.

3.  Divisions existed between social classes.

4.  Violence was always punished with violence.

9. The Code of Hammurabi was designed to

1.  create a stable society

2.  promote peaceful relations with other cultures

3.  provide a framework for the development of democracy

4.  emphasize the importance of life after death

10. The Code of Hammurabi was a major contribution to the development of civilization because it

1.  treated citizens and slaves equally

2.  ended all physical punishment

3.  recorded existing laws for all to see

4.  rejected the principle of filial piety

“If a son has struck his father, they shall cut off his hand. If a nobleman has destroyed the eye of a member of the aristocracy, they shall destroy his eye. . . .”

11. The idea expressed in this quotation is found in the

1.  Ten Commandments

2.  Twelve Tables

3.   Justinian Code

4.   Code of Hammurabi

12.  Which action is most closely associated with the early Mesopotamian /Sumerian civilizations?

1.  building floating gardens to grow corn

2.  establishing representative democracies

3.  constructing Hindu temples

4.   developing a writing system using cuneiform

13 What is the main reason the Neolithic Revolution is considered a turning point in world history?

1.  Fire was used as a source of energy for the first time.

2.   Spoken language was used to improve communication.

3.   Domestication of animals and cultivation of crops led to settled communities.

4.   Stone tools and weapons were first developed.

14. Which statement about the early Indus River valley civilization is an opinion rather than a fact?

1.    Farmers grew a surplus of barley, wheat, and dates.

2.   The Indus people developed a system of writing.

3.   Planned cities indicated use of technology.

4.  The Indus city-states were the most developed of the time period.

15 The history of which civilization was shaped by the monsoon cycle and the Himalayan Mountains?

1.   Indus civilization

2.   Babylonian Empire

3   ancient Chine

4.   ancient Egypt

16. One reason early civilizations developed in China, Egypt, and the Tigris-Euphrates Valley in Mesopotamia is because

1.    vast mineral deposits existed for manufacturing

2.   climate and geography favored agriculture 

3.   rivers contributed to nomadic lifestyles

4.   natural barriers provided protection from invasions

Base your answer to the question on the passage below.

Some several thousand years ago there once thrived a civilization in the Indus Valley. Located in what’s now Pakistan and western India, it was the earliest known urban culture of the Indian subcontinent. The Indus Valley Civilization, as it is called, covered an area the size of western Europe. It was the largest of the four ancient civilizations of Egypt, Mesopotamia, India and China. However, of all these civilizations the least is known about the Indus Valley people. This is because the Indus script has not yet been deciphered. There are many remnants of the script on pottery vessels, seals, and amulets, but without a “Rosetta Stone” linguists and archaeologists have been unable to decipher it.

Tarini J. Carr, the harappan civilization

17. Based on this passage, what is a valid conclusion about civilization in the Indus Valley?

1.  Lack of a Rosetta stone has hindered linguists from deciphering Indus Valley script.

2.  The absence of pottery vessels and seals from the Indus Valley indicates limited urban development.

3.  The Indus Valley civilization controlled a territory that extended from western Europe to China .

4.  Artifacts suggest the Indus Valley civilization is older than the civilizations in Egypt and Mesopotamia.

18. Archaeological studies of the Indus Valley cities of Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro show evidence of…  

1.   Dynastic rule  

2.   Monotheism

3.   Social equality

 4.   Urban city planning

19. Based on the information provided by this map, which statement about urban areas between 650 and 1500 is accurate?

1.  Most urbanization occurred in the Southern Hemisphere.

2 .  Most urbanization is associated with a tropical climate.

3.   Most urban areas were located in Europe.

4.  Most urban areas developed near waterways

20. Which heading best completes this partial outline?

1.  Egypt – Gift of the Nile

2.   Mesopotamia – Land Between the Rivers

3.   China’s Sorrow – Huang He River

4.   Harappa – City of the Indus

21. QUESTION: Based on the primary source above and your knowledge of social studies, what is King Hammurabi’s purpose for writing this document?  Use textual evidence to support your answer.


Cold War

World War 1

Civil War

Westward Expansion

The U.S. Constitution

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