Answers and Suggested Responses—
Chapter 2 Ancient Egypt
2.1 Where do civilisations begin?
1 a It is being used by recreational sailors.
b A means of transport; a source of water for drinking, cooking, washing, stock, irrigation and some industries; a source of some foods (fish, eels, water birds); a source of recreation (e.g. swimming, boating).
c Yes. They provide transport routes for pleasure craft (e.g. sailing boats, water skiing boats, jet skis etc.), public transport (e.g. ferries and ‘cats’) and cargo vessels of varying size (e.g. barges and tankers). They are a water source to irrigate some farmland and supply industry. They also provide a popular setting for some recreational activities (e.g. fishing, water skiing) and for some residential developments.
2.2 How are civilisations organised?
1 a Ordinary people would not be likely to wear such elaborate headgear or have a chain and pendant (amulet) like this around their neck.
b Sometimes country leaders (e.g. kings, presidents etc.); other times famous people (e.g. football stars, war heroes). The statues are a sign that such people are looked up to or highly respected (if erected by others). In some places, leaders have statues built of themselves (e.g. Saddam Hussein, former leader of Iraq). This shows their desire to promote themselves to the people.
c The prime minister. The prime minister does not inherit his or her position as a king or queen does. He or she becomes the prime minister by being the leader of a political party (or coalition of parties) that wins a federal election.
2.3 How do beliefs and values influence a civilisation?
1 The ancient Egyptians believed that life in another form continued after death; a person’s spirit and soul would need a body to inhabit in the next life.
2 Typical burial traditions in Australia include (a) placing a corpse in a coffin and burying it in a cemetery and (b) cremating a corpse and either spreading the ashes in a special place or placing them in a box in a cemetery.
3 The ancient Egyptians believed the dead person would need such things in the next life.
2.4 How do civilisations progress?
1 Responses will vary. Prompt students by asking them how high they think these structures are, and what shape. What do students think they were made of? Suggest that students think of a similar model they could make, say of sugar cubes. Ask them to consider the steps, in order, they might follow to make this model, to help them brainstorm ideas for the pyramid construction.
2 Responses will vary but may include: Sydney Opera House, Eureka Tower (Southbank, Melbourne), Sydney Harbour Bridge, Melbourne Cricket Ground, Stadium Australia (Sydney), Q1 (Gold Coast), Telstra Tower (Canberra), Gateway Bridge (Brisbane), Skyrail Rainforest Cableway (Cairns), Lane Cove Tunnel (Sydney), Federation Square (Melbourne).
Section 2.1: Where do civilisations begin?
What do you know about selecting a site?
1 The riverside land was dark from the black silt deposited by the regular flooding of the Nile. Kemet means ‘black land’.
2 Any description that approximates the following definition: a highly advanced society, which has defined systems of government, social organisation and religion, sophisticated technologies and large-scale urban settlements. By settling around rivers, societies had a ready source of water (to drink, to plant and water crops and to support stock). This meant they could settle in one place rather than being always on the move in search of food and water.
3 It began in the highlands of central Africa, with most of its waters sourced from the Blue Nile, the White Nile and the Atbara River. It ended in a delta that discharged into the Mediterranean Sea.
4 The civilisation of ancient Egypt was located around the Nile River. The river is very long and runs through mainly desert country. It provided the people with a reliable and quick means of transport (by boat). It was also a constant source of water (e.g. irrigation for agriculture), and a source of water-dependent food (e.g. fish). Because the site was largely surrounded by desert to the east and west, a sea to the north and mostly mountainous terrain to the south, it was well protected against outside attack.
5 a 28°C
b December to March
c It is hot in summer and cool in winter.
d Yes, because it receives, on average, only about 25 mm of rainfall per year.
e December and January
6 a To the south-east
b 200 to 500 m
c Approximately 250 km
7 Responses provided with worksheet.
What do you know about life on the Nile River?
1 a The annual flooding of the Nile River; each year the fertile silt it carried enriched the lands around the river, supporting the agriculture that sustained the people.
b Flooding, which if too severe, might drown stock and people, wash away some structures and possessions (e.g. boats) and destroy crops. It might also wash away crop boundary lines and damage irrigation canals.
c A shaduf, to help pump water up from the river; canals and small dams
d Sun-dried bricks were used to construct buildings. These bricks were made from river mud, mixed with straw, which was packed into moulds to dry in the sun. Most buildings were box-like in shape, with flat roofs. They were clustered together on raised parts of land to minimise any damage during serious floods.
Cattle, oxen, baboons, horses, donkeys, sheep
Fish, water birds, frogs, ducks, turtles, geese, desert animals such as lions, wolves, hyenas and hares
Crocodiles, hippopotamuses, venomous snakes, scorpions
f Transporting goods and people, fishing, hunting, gathering papyrus.
2 It sustained their lives and made it possible for the people to live in a harsh and barren landscape. The regular floods made it possible to grow food. The Nile’s location within north Africa also meant the people were well protected from external attack.
3 Responses provided with worksheet.
What do you know about trade and transport?
1 Merchants were able to transport exported and imported goods up and down the Nile River. Because the delta opened into the Mediterranean Sea, they also had access to many of the markets located around the sea’s rim.
2 The wood was needed to make many of the boats and trees were in short supply.
3 When goods, agreed by two parties to be worth approximately the same value, are exchanged. A small bag of grain might be exchanged for two chickens.
4 Horses, monkeys (baboons), chickens, camels, leopards – brought to ancient Egypt through trade.
5 Monkey, baboon, leopard (or cheetah).
6 Grain, papyrus, flax, sandals, linen cloth, dried fish.
7 Silver, spices, cedar wood, incense, lapis lazuli, gold, ivory, semiprecious gemstones, ostrich feathers, leopards, baboons, ebony, timber, olive oil, copper, purple dye.
What do you know about adapting to a site?
1 Sketch needs to include these features: flat roof with shade cloths, two storey, high-set windows, painted white, thick walls (for insulation).
2 They built their houses to provide as much insulation as possible against the heat and with features (e.g. a flat roof, courtyard) that allowed outdoor living. They wore minimal clothing (in the case of children, slaves and men); clothing was usually lightweight (often transparent) and white to reflect the heat. Make-up and wigs (often with wax cones that melted in the heat) helped to cool the skin and reflect heat. Many activities, such as cooking and washing, were conducted outdoors and most leisure time involved outdoors activities (such as swimming, boating, fishing).
3 Rich people might have a two-storey home (with the top storey providing a cooling insulation for the bottom storey), a pool and a shady garden. Poor people, in contrast, often lived in a cramped, airless, single room. But poor people spent much of their time outdoors. Rich people could afford to wear very fine linen (which was cooling) and thick wigs with a cooling fat cone on top. Poor people kept cool by wearing very little clothing. People’s diet was made up of grain and fruits grown locally, fish, honey, water birds and hunted animals. Rich people’s diet would have been more varied and exotic than the simple fare of poor people.
4 Eye make-up was thought to protect the eyes from dust, glare and infection. Wigs helped to protect the head from the sun (especially if a man had a shaved head). They sometimes were used to support a cone of sweet-smelling fat that cooled the wearer’s face and upper body as it melted.
5 Responses provided with worksheet.
1 Because it provided a constant water source to support life, irrigate crops, fertilise the land and provide transport.
2 Trade: it provided the means to transport exported and imported goods along the river and, to the north, with trading nations around the Mediterranean Sea.
Hunting: it supported fish, eels, turtles and water birds suitable for eating.
Agriculture: it provided the water needed to irrigate crops; its annual flooding provided rich silt to fertilise the otherwise barren desert soil.
House construction: the mud on its banks was used to make sun-dried bricks.
3 Children and slaves often wore no clothes. Men were often bare-chested; some shaved their heads. The clothing that was worn was often fine linen cloth that ‘breathed’ and was not heavy on the skin. It was commonly white to reflect the heat. Many went barefoot.
4 a Cutting the crop with scythes; storing grain in a storehouse and recording details of the harvest.
b Responses will vary: typical answers should be hard working, organised, obedient, cooperative, fit.
c The farm workers have no clothing on their upper bodies, no shoes and wear only short tunics.
5 A: The mountainous terrain and high location would be good for defence and strategic reasons.
B: The riverside location would provide a ready source of water, and the surrounding flat land would probably be fertile and good for growing crops. The river would also provide a means of transport.
C: The cliff-top location at the end of a peninsula would be good for defence. Being close to the sea would help support industries such as fishing and be well suited to sea transport (for trade and defence).
D: Same reasons as C.
E: The flat land around the mouth of the river would commonly be fertile (especially near a delta). The flat land would make for easy construction of buildings. Also, the site’s proximity to the sea would provide the same advantages as for C.
6 a The answer will depend on the time of year this chapter is studied.
b Advantage: rich, fertile silt was deposited over the riverside lands. Disadvantage: heavy flooding might damage or destroy buildings, irrigation canals and crop boundary markings.
c Water was channelled (or lifted by a shaduf) into irrigation canals and dams.
7 This is a creative response that will depend on the student’s choice. Tell students to look carefully at the detail of the illustration and to take note of the labels when preparing their text.
8 This is a creative response that will depend on the student’s viewpoint. You may need to explain a PMI chart beforehand, and give students a template:
Plus (the good things)
Minus (the bad things)
You may wish to hold a class discussion afterwards, asking students to explain their evaluation (or selected parts of it).
9 This is a creative response that will depend on the interest and ability of students. Explain the ‘rules’ of brainstorming before the task: any suggestions are valid, even if they seem silly, because a silly suggestion might then prompt someone to think of a more credible idea. Set a limit for the brainstorm component. You may wish to select some pairs to advise the class on what they identified and discussed.
Section 2.2: How are civilisations organised?
Skills feature: Understanding propaganda
1 An approximation of the following definition: the spreading of ideas or statements (e.g. through the media) designed to strengthen a particular point of view and weaken an opposing point of view. Propaganda is a biased viewpoint. Examples will vary but might include statements made during an election campaign, during key sport matches, by groups promoting racism (e.g. the Ku Klux clan), by certain competing businesses etc.
2 Propaganda relies on strongly presenting one point of view only; the audience may not hear the other side, or it may be expressed only very weakly. Often the language and images used in propaganda are very powerful, appealing to the emotions.
3 Crown, jewelled collar, whip, false beard, bull’s tail, uraeus (on the crown)
4 He is shown about twice as tall as his enemies and is holding them by the hair. This sends a clear visual message about his great power. Ramses II was a tall man, but not this tall. It is propaganda because it is exaggerating his strength and power.
5 The poem presents him as all-powerful—he personally destroyed an army of 2500 pairs of horses (and their chariot riders). The army was so afraid they could not even fight back. The poem is strong propaganda as it presents him as invincible like Superman—nothing, not even a large army, can stand against him.
6 Propaganda always presents a biased viewpoint. The opposing point/s of view are suppressed. The full facts are not evident in propaganda. Historians need to identify different sources, which may well express widely differing points of view, before they can form more reliable conclusions.
What do you know about the power of the pharaoh?
1 The pharaoh was the head of the society, or a king. The pharaoh owned all the country’s resources, was the army’s supreme commander and was all-powerful in the society. The pharaoh was also god in human form who controlled the Nile River and harvests.
2 It would be clear where the power lay in society and who would inherit the role of pharaoh. There would be a lesser likelihood of people trying to seize power when it was obvious who the next ruler would be. This would help to strengthen the power of the ruling pharaoh.
3 Amenhotep III—marrying women from ruling families of other countries; building great temples, including his funeral temple; having scribes record and promote his achievements; moving the capital from Memphis to Thebes (only a powerful man would attempt such a feat).
Ramses the Great—building a great many monuments and temples (mostly to himself); strengthening the position of the army under his leadership.
Hatshepsut—constructing many impressive buildings (including her funerary temple); funding many trade expeditions and restoring trade networks.
4 Earthly and divine responsibilities. Earthly responsibilities included directing the civil administration; commanding and controlling the army; protecting the people; making all laws and some court decisions; ordering tax collection; managing building, mining, trade and irrigation projects. Divine responsibilities included acting as chief priest; keeping the gods happy so the Nile River flooded every year; appointing priests; overseeing religious ceremonies and festivals; building temples and performing religious duties.
5 Responses will vary. Acceptable responses would be:
Protect the people—making sure the army was strong and ready to fight in the event of an external threat; ensuring food supplies were stored to feed the people should the Nile floods fail
Keep peace and order—taking action to resist invaders (through the army); passing necessary laws to preserve the structure and order of the society; providing lots of activities for work (e.g. building projects) to occupy people’s time and energies.
6 This answer is approximate. You might like to tell students to assume the man in the foreground is 180 cm. He represents about 2 cm on the image (if projected down to his feet). Statue is about 8 cm on image, that is, four times the height of the man (i.e. 4 x 180 cm = 720 cm). Estimated height of the statue: 7.2 metres. The larger the statue, the more impressive it was. Large statues emphasised the pharaoh’s supreme role as both king and a god.
7 Pharaohs wore different sorts of crowns. One of the crowns, a red and white crown that combined the crown designs of the former kingdoms of Upper and Lower Egypt emphasised the pharaoh’s position as supreme ruler. It was worn on the more formal occasions. The snake-like uraeus worn at the front of the crown indicated the pharaoh’s powers of magic (in doing things that were humanly impossible). The whip was a symbol of the pharaoh’s power and authority. The false beard worn on the chin and the animal’s tail (usually a bull’s tail) worn around the waist symbolised strength. The heavy jewelled collar showed off the pharaoh’s enormous wealth (in itself a symbol of power).
What do you know about the social order in ancient Egypt?
1 The vizier was the pharaoh’s second-in-command. He advised the pharaoh, supervised other officials and judged law breakers. He also supervised officials in making sure people paid their taxes (in grain and other produce).
2 Answers may vary, in fact it may be a useful activity to ask students to defend their choices as part of a class discussion. Some may answer Deputy Prime Minister; some may answer the Prime Minister (regarding the monarch, or her representative, as the equivalent of the ‘pharaoh’). Some may defensibly say there is no equivalent; teasing out their view would be useful.
3 Soldiers—They were skilled fighters who helped to protect the people; they also provided supervisory assistance on major building projects.
Priests—They carried out the temple rituals believed to be necessary to make sure bad things did not happen to the people; they were a point of contact between the people and their gods.
Scribes—As one of the few types of people in society who could read and write, they recorded the pharaoh’s decisions and orders, helped to keep tax records, recorded accounts for the army, wrote letters for the people and prepared inscriptions for tomb walls and sculptures.
4 A wealthy woman would be any of those sitting down and a slave any of those standing up. Wealthy women are distinguished by their elaborate clothing, wigs and jewellery. Slaves are distinguished in some instances by their shaved head and by the fact they have little clothing on (many slaves were typically almost naked). The slaves are those who are serving the wealthy women.
5 Women in ancient Egypt had more freedom than women in some other ancient societies (e.g. ancient Greece), although the man was still the head of the household. They could own land and businesses, testify in court and bring legal actions against men. They could also keep children if there was a divorce and openly breast feed their children. Upper class women had a more pampered and privileged life than lower class women, and had many servants and fine clothing and jewellery. Lower class women did mostly menial work such as farming.
6 Women paid to cry and perform as part of a funeral procession. Lots of noisy mourners added status to someone’s burial occasion.
1 A paraphrase of some of the following: Earthly responsibilities included directing the civil administration; commanding and controlling the army; protecting the people; making all laws and some court decisions; ordering tax collection; managing building, mining, trade and irrigation projects. Divine responsibilities included acting as chief priest; keeping the gods happy so the Nile flooded every year; appointing priests; overseeing religious ceremonies and festivals; building temples and performing religious duties.
2 a A dynasty is a series of rulers/leaders of the same family. Typically, a father would pass leadership to his son, who, in turn, would pass it on to his son. Sometimes, leadership might pass to another person within the family (e.g. a nephew), particularly if there was no direct heir, such as a son.
b Refer to the timeline on page 35.
Old Kingdom—approx 505 years
Middle Kingdom—approx 254 years
New Kingdom—approx 485 years
c 560 years
3 a She was a woman.
b Scientists matched a tooth found in a box inscribed with her name with a gap in the jawbone (due to a missing tooth) of a mummy they had already found and discovered that it matched within a fraction of a millimetre.
4 Yes, because it combined the designs of the crowns of Upper and Lower Egypt in such a way that they were more or less equal parts of the new crown. Politically, this symbolised the union, suggesting that one kingdom was not greater than the other—they had simply united.
5 Responses will vary depending on the students. Encourage the students to vary their choices so that as many characters as possible are presented. Tell them to use information in the speech bubbles, and any other information they may research, to write and perform their scripted interaction. If there is time, students might like to dress for their parts.
6 The task will encourage students to use their intrapersonal skills. Responses will vary depending on the students. Responses could be delivered via short oral presentations, or a brief written statement. They could also be made the subject of group or class discussions. The emphasis should be on teasing out students’ self-knowledge through their demonstrated understanding of social roles in ancient Egypt.
7 a Cleopatra is the woman reclining on the sofa with her arm draped over the chair. The other woman is a slave, as she holds the fan. Cleopatra’s status is also indicated by her elaborate dress and headgear and the fact that she has an exotic animal such as this small leopard at her feet.
b Her bored and relaxed body language and the fact she is so casually watching poisoned prisoners being carried away (because they are being used as test ‘guinea pigs’ for a poison) reinforce her absolute power.
8 Essentially, this diagram should be a stylised version of the illustration on pages 38 and 39. Ask students to represent roles in tiers, with the most senior person on the top tier, the next most senior on the next tier and so on. Some tiers will contain more than one role; this is indicated in the illustration. Before drawing a comparative diagram to represent the social structure in Australia, you might like to have a class discussion to identify a number of key roles and their considered rank relative to each other.
9 Through the construction of many elaborate structures such as temples, statues and pyramids; through art and through accounts and poems etc. written by others. You might like to extend this question further by asking the students which form of ‘advertising’ they considered would be most effective, and why.
10 Responses will vary, depending on the student cohort. It would be best before you start to clarify, through class discussion, what you might expect in a society with ‘an advanced state of social development’. You could prompt students by suggesting such features as: established law and order; established language and social practices; evidence of customs and beliefs shared by the group; evidence of the arts (painting, sculpture, literature etc.), evidence of complex structures and settlements; evidence of clear social order and roles. Points could be written on the board. One by one they could be interrogated in respect to ancient Egypt, with examples given by students to back viewpoints.
11 Responses to this question will tend to flow on from the class discussion for activity 10. Depending on the student cohort, it may/may not be the place to introduce the idea articulated by some today that it is wrong to suggest that indigenous societies (e.g. Australia’s Indigenous society) are not civilisations. Are we judging what is and is not a civilisation by pre-determined criteria that may/may not be relevant? Generally, this idea will be too cerebral for most students at the age level, but some more advanced groups may enjoy teasing out this idea.
Section 2.3: How do beliefs and values influence a civilisation?
1 Ra (or Re), the god of the sun. The sun god was also called Amon (in Thebes) and, later, Amon-Ra. Aten was another version of the sun god.
2 Priests and priestesses in ancient Egypt served the deities believed to live in the temples built for the gods and goddesses. They burnt incense, sacrificed animals as offerings and held festivals in which the ordinary people might participate. Shrines were kept in homes where ordinary people worshipped local gods. They put out food and drink, and played instruments to keep away evil spirits and attract the protection or favour of good gods. Deities were often associated with particular animals. These animals were protected and cared for, and often mummified when they died.
3 Mummification was a process whereby the dead body was preserved by drying it out completely soon after death. It was done so the dead person’s soul and spirit would have a ‘body’ to occupy in the afterlife.
4 The scarab, which was shaped a bit like a scarab beetle, was the symbol of life after death. The ancient Egyptians had seen baby scarab beetles emerging from piles of animal dung—seemingly from ‘nowhere’. It was a mystery to them. To them it represented what happened when a dead person started their new life.
5 Firstly, because it was made of gold. Only a very wealthy person could afford such a mask. Secondly, because the mask shows one of the headdresses worn by the pharaoh (a blue and gold striped cloth called a Nemes), a uraeus (symbol of pharaoh’s magical powers) and a false beard. These were all worn only by a pharaoh.
6 Responses provided with worksheet. Students should be encouraged to study the illustration on pages 44 and 45 before attempting this worksheet, and to thoroughly examine the labels, perhaps through classroom or group discussion.
7 Responses will vary according to student choices. Encourage students to display and defend their choices. This is a good opportunity for students to use their imagination and their visual/spatial skills. Typical responses will be a dove for peace, a pig for greed and a lion for courage, but encourage students to also think more imaginatively.
8 a It is a primary source for a study of ancient Egypt as it was painted around 1200 bc.
b Thoth was the god of scribes. He is recording the outcome of the weighing of the heart ceremony. The dead person would value Thoth’s presence because he would produce a record of the weighing. Thoth was also the god of wisdom. His presence would ensure that the process was carried out wisely and justly.
d If the heart weighed more than a feather, it was eaten by the monster god Ammut. This would mean the dead person would never join the god Osiris in the afterlife.
e The illustration shows that ancient Egyptians understood the consequences of not living a good life, and therefore having a ‘heavy’ heart. Their afterlife depended on it. The ancient Egyptians would have regarded it as a terrible thing not to join the god Osiris in the afterlife.
9 a They stressed that the dead person had lived a good life (which would be a factor during the weighing of the heart ceremony).
b No, probably not. A person who had such a prayer said over their dead body would be likely to have a heart that weighed less than a feather, as evident in the illustration shown as Source 2.39. This would mean Ammut would not gobble it up.
10 a Amulets were like lucky charms; they attracted the protection or good will of the gods.
b The amulets are (from left to right) an akhet (symbol of the sun rising at dawn above the horizon, although in this instance the representation of the amulet is upside down), a djed (symbol of stability) and an ankh (symbol of life). The amulet shown underneath is a wadj (symbol of the stem and flower of the papyrus plant, and of eternal youth). Ask students to think about different ways the amulets could be viewed (e.g. the wadj viewed vertically, the akhet viewed upside down). Based on clues (e.g. the importance of the sun and papyrus in ancient Egypt) you might prompt them to respond, given the information provided earlier. Later, you could tell them the names of the amulets and they could do their own Internet research (e.g. by looking for ‘akhet’ and selecting an ‘Images’ search from the menu).
c Responses will vary depending on the student. This is an opportunity for students to use their visual/spatial skills. If desired, students strong in bodily/kinaesthetic skills could be encouraged to make a model of their amulet, rather than sketching it. The important thing will be to get students to make links between their design features and the aspect of ancient Egyptian life they are representing.
11 Aspects that could be mentioned include: temple worship, involvement in temple festivals, shrine worship in the home, wearing of amulets, playing of musical instruments to ward off evil spirits and encourage the protection of good deities, treating animals associated with deities in particular ways (e.g. special foods and care, mummification), the mummification process after death and all that this entailed, the burial process (particularly for the wealthy) which involved filling the tomb with all the possessions the dead person might be likely to need in the afterlife.
12 The nature of the class discussion will depend on the student cohort. You might begin by nominating some societies in today’s world that students may have some familiarity with. This could include our Indigenous society. Explore, through discussion, the extent to which religious beliefs are important in those societies. You could compare, too, the way in which religion is playing a decreasing role in modern Western society and why (e.g. advance of science, theories such as Darwin’s etc.) and possibly tease out what impact this has had on social behaviour (e.g. reduced church attendance, impact on codes of behaviour etc.). As indicated above, though, the extent to which this is explored will depend on the ability of students to extend their thinking and the make-up of the student cohort itself.
Section 2.4: How do civilisations progress?
What do you know about communication?
1 It allows people to keep records, give written instructions, document prayers and customs and promote the achievement of leaders. It also allows people within a society to make their needs and wants clear to others.
2 Hieroglyphics was a pictorial system of writing used by the ancient Egyptians. It dates back to around 3250 bc. It was used mostly for inscriptions on temple walls, tombs, coffins etc. It was decoded in 1822 when the translator Jean François Champollion used the three scripts carved on the Rosetta Stone (found in 1799)—hieroglyphics, demotic (an everyday form of hieroglyphics) and Greek—to work out the message.
3 Hieratic and demotic scripts. These were simplified versions of hieroglyphics, better suited to writing quickly.
4 Papyrus. It was used by scribes to record instructions, messages, poems etc.
5 Reading from left to right: pharaoh, scribe, nomarch, vizier
6 Responses will vary. To save time, it may be helpful to ask students to photocopy Source 2.47 a number of times and cut out copies of the alphabet letters.
7 Responses provided with worksheet.
What do you know about the pyramids?
1 As tombs for pharaohs and members of their family (e.g. wives, children).
2 The answer will depend on students’ viewpoints. They will find source information in the labels to the illustration on pages 50 and 51. Encourage students to justify their choices.
3 Most blocks were locally mined limestone. Heavier blocks, used around the burial chamber and to line some passageways were carved from granite mined in Aswan (about 800 kilometres away) and transported down the Nile on barges.
4 Most historians think the blocks used to build the pyramids were dragged across the sand (from the Nile River or local limestone mines) on sleds. A ramp would have been needed to drag the blocks up to the level being built. Different views are held about the shape of the ramp. Some think it was a single ramp, as shown in the illustration on page 50. Others think the ramp coiled around the outside of the growing pyramid.
5 The pharaoh is the man being carried in a chair in the lower part of the illustration on page 51. He is recognisable as pharaoh not only because he is being carried in chair, but also because he is surrounded with armed soldiers and being fanned by two slaves.
6 Huge stores of treasure were buried with the mummified pharaoh. Also, their coffins and funeral masks were probably often made of precious metals such as gold and studded with precious stones.
7 When built, the outer surface of the pyramid was coated with panels of white limestone. On top there was a pyramidion coated with a metal that was a mixture of gold and silver. The pyramid would have gleamed in the sunlight. During the Middle Ages, the limestone panels were removed to use in building palaces and mosques. The pyramidion has long gone.
Fresh Ideas: Disappearing wonders
1 a Suggested responses are as follows:
Wonders that definitely existed: the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, the Pharos of Alexandria
Wonders that probably existed: the Colossus of Rhodes, the Statue of Zeus at Olympia
Wonders that probably didn’t exist: the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.
b Student responses will depend on the extent of their Internet research. Ask students to consider aspects such as height, size in area, location and technical features when forming their viewpoint.
c The report will be largely based on Internet research. Remind students to carefully document and acknowledge any sources they use and to think about the validity of the websites they explore. (For example, a BBC, university, government or school website is likely to be a more reliable source than one published by an individual.) If you wish, students could be encouraged to produce the report electronically, incorporating downloaded and/or imported images.
2 Responses will vary. The key thing is to get students to think about and justify their choices. You may wish to conduct this activity as a class discussion or small group activity.
1 By breaking the hieroglyphics code.
2 pyramids, hieroglyphics
3 a They were among the very few who could read and write.
b Scribes documented things such as instructions so that people clearly understood what was required of them. In inscribing messages in tombs and temples, they helped to reinforce beliefs and customs. In detailing things such as tax and storage records and matters related to building temples and pyramids, they helped to order and organise many of the important processes of the society.
4 The response will depend on individual groups. Using a model such as sugar cubes or Lego® blocks or similar, groups could be encouraged to brainstorm other ways by which the very heavy stones could have been transported up a ramp (or ramps) and secured in position. A spokesperson from each group will defend the group’s decision for the class.
5 Responses will vary, depending on individual students. Some possible responses might include: motor car, telephone (land line), electricity, computer, aeroplane, mobile phone, air conditioning, solar power, movies, television, digital camera, supermarkets, trains.
6 a Papyrus stalks were peeled and cut into strips. The strips were overlaid in a criss-cross pattern and pounded with a heavy stone or hammer until they meshed together. The sticky sheet was then rubbed with a stone to press the mixture together and smooth the surface. It was then air dried under a heavy weight.
b It was used to make small boats and baskets and was a source of food.
7 a The faces are quite detailed. Also the pleats of the mens’ tunics and the fingers of their hands are intricately carved.
b They may be praying to or worshipping the pharaoh Horemheb, who would also have been regarded as a god. It is not clear from this stone relief, which is cut off at the top, but some students may defensibly argue that they are carrying the coffin of Horemheb to his tomb.
c The tunics worn by the men are elaborately pleated and many appear to be wearing wigs. This suggests the people at this time had a level of refinement in their appearance. The upraised hands (whether in prayer or carrying the coffin) suggest that the people had belief systems and/or established cultural practices in place when people died.
8 Suggested responses for each of the bullet points follow:
• The proximity to the Nile River meant that many of the blocks used in the construction could be transported from great distances. The Nile was also a ready source of water that may have been needed during the building process.
• During the Inundation, farmers could not work their flooded lands. This freed them up to provide labour needed to build the pyramids (e.g. dragging blocks across the sand).
• Because they were initially covered with white limestone panels and there was a pyramidion coated in a metal made from gold and silver at the top.
9 The painting shows evidence:
• that hieroglyphics use was established and used in tomb inscriptions
• of the sophisticated and elaborate level of dress and jewellery worn by pharaohs at this time
• that musical instruments such as harps existed and were played
• that music was then considered a form of entertainment
• that the civilisation was a united kingdom (evident in the united pharaoh crown on the harp)
• that artists had developed sophisticated decorating techniques (evident in the design on the harp).
10 Responses will vary depending on the ICT capability of the student. Typical responses might include:
a Using programs such as Microsoft Office Word or Microsoft Office PowerPoint to document records. Using programs such as Microsoft Excel to document storage records and tax details. Using desktop publishing programs such as QuarkXPress, Adobe InDesign or Microsoft Publisher to present reports to the pharaoh or vizier.
b Using programs such as Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, Paint or DrawPlus 4 to create tomb art.
c Using computer-aided design programs such as AutoCAD or RealCAD to design the pyramids and their internal structures.
11 Responses will vary. Students should be encouraged to study Source 2.48 on pages 50 and 51, especially the labels, in forming their opinion.
12 Responses will vary depending on the student cohort.
Transferring ideas – Ancient Sumer
2.1 Where do civilisations begin?
1 The civilisation was located along the fertile river lands of the Euphrates and Tigris rivers. The site was protected to the east by the Zagros Mountains, to the west and south-west by desert and to the south-east by the waters of the Persian Gulf. Access to the gulf would also have been good for trade, as would access to settlements to the north and west along the rivers. A number of tributaries feed into the Euphrates and Tigris rivers, some coming down from mountains, which would have helped push water and silt (in times of flooding) along the rivers to fertilise the river lands.
2 There were mountains to the east and north-east, and desert to the west and south-west.
3 Fertile lands to grow crops, a food source (from river life such as fish and water birds), access to a transport route for defence and trade
2.2 How are civilisations organised?
1 She was wearing an elaborate headdress and jewellery, most probably made from precious metals and stones. Also her hair is carefully arranged. Such features indicate that she was a person of wealth and hence power in society.
2 Supreme leader of the Sumerian city of Ur (possibly as a queen) and a religious figure (possibly a priestess).
3 Puabi was buried with great riches, and with soldiers and female servants who would look after her needs in the next life. Ancient Egyptian pharaohs were also buried with great riches, and with all they would be expected to need in the next life. It was more usual in ancient Egypt for shabti (small models of people such as servants, soldiers and farmers) to be buried with the pharaohs than actual people, as happened with Puabi’s burial.
2.3 How do beliefs and values influence a civilisation?
1 To keep the gods happy. As the gods were believed to have control over the forces of nature, keeping them happy would ensure good weather events. This, in turn, would make for good harvests and safe living conditions for the people.
2 The ziggurat was a type of pyramid, with each level (as the ziggurat went higher) being smaller in area than the one below. The top level was a temple to the gods, which would have been tended by priests. Ziggurats were large structures that would have been very imposing for the ancient Sumerians. The upper temple, being the highest element and the most removed from ordinary happenings at ground level, would have been significant for religious reasons.
3 The fact that she was buried with riches, soldiers and servants shows that the ancient Sumerians believe she would have lived on in another life after death and therefore needed these items. The soldiers and servants buried with her were people (not models of people as in ancient Egypt). They were therefore a sacrifice. This would have been especially the case if Puabi was also regarded as a religious figure.
2.4 How do civilisations progress?
1 A written language allowed records to be documented, instructions and laws of leaders to be recorded, poems and stories to be handed down and inscriptions to be made in tombs and temples and on columns and slabs of stone.
2 The wheel, thought to have been invented by the ancient Sumerians, would have allowed vehicles such as carts and chariots to be made (as evident in Source 2.62). Carts would have had great benefits for farmers and merchants in transporting goods; chariots would have greatly benefited the army and given it significant advantage (in terms of speed and defence) over an army without such devices.
3 Laws help to create order and structure in a society. They spell out what can be done and what cannot be done, and often describe the punishment for lawbreakers. An ordered and obedient society is much more likely to progress as it is not constantly being broken down and damaged by law breakers or people fighting for power.
Oxford Big Ideas Humanities 1 ISBN 978 0 19 556314 6 © Oxford University Press Australia