Test 1 sample answers

Image ID: Identify the image. = State the subject of the image; locate it in space, time, and cultural sphere. Why do we study it? = Briefly explain its archaeological significance.

Sample image:


Possible full-credit answer: Interior of rock-cut tomb of Khnumhotep at Beni-Hasan, Dynasty 12, ca. 1985-1795 BCE. (okay also: 20th-early18th c. BCE). Middle Kingdom, Egypt. This is an example of mock architecture - the tomb is hollowed out of the cliff, and all the members like the beams have no structural function, but are works of sculpture. The paintings are idealized representations of the life of a gentleman farmer, showing how Khnumhotep envisioned his afterlife. A statue of the deceased would originally have stood in the niche in the wall, and the door would have been closed, an image rich with symbolism in Egyptian funerary art. (Note: no points off if you don't know the names of local dignitaries like Khnumhotep, but you do want to know that he is an important person. You have of course been learning emperors, kings, queens, pharaohs, people who changed history).


Text ID: Identify the text. = State the subject of the text; locate it in space, time, and cultural sphere. Why do we study it? = Briefly explain its archaeological significance.

Sample text

"If a chieftain or a man is captured on the "Way of the King" (in war), and a merchant buy him free, and bring him back to his place; if he have the means in his house to buy his freedom, he shall buy himself free: if he have nothing in his house with which to buy himself free, he shall be bought free by the temple of his community; if there be nothing in the temple with which to buy him free, the court shall buy his freedom. His field, garden, and house shall not be given for the purchase of his freedom."

Sample answer: This clause from the Code of Hammurapi was incised in Babylonian cuneiform into the Stele of Hammurapi. First half of the 18th c. BCE., old Babylonian. It is part of the first great preserved code of laws written down and made public for all the inhabitants of the empire to know and abide by. In this clause, we are reminded of the constant warfare that was part of life in early Sumer, particularly as Hammurapi was expanding his empire northward. One quick way to become enslaved was to be captured in war. Clever entrepreneurs might buy one on spec to try to get a ransom. This clause demonstrates that it was in the community's interest to buy a member of the landed classes free. Thus, it was not permitted for his own property to be squandered in his ransom, so that he could once again take his place in society. Hammurapi's laws are known for their harshness, but in this case, we see that the situation is restored to the status quo through community participation while satisfying the desires of free enterprise at the same time.