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Name __________________________________________________ Date ______________________________
Assessment: Achievements of the Maya, Aztecs, and Incas
Mastering the Content
Fill in the circle to the best answer.
1. Which of these sources best helps scholars learn about the cultures of the Mayan, Aztec, and Incan people?
A. paintings by recent Spanish painters
B. artifacts from the sites of modern cities
C. accounts written by English authors
D. traditions found among descendants
2. Which describes the solar year calculated by the Mayas?
A. the year of 260 days on the sacred calendar
B. the number of days in a single Calendar Round
C. the time it takes Earth to go once around the sun
D. 12 times the period from one full moon to the next
3. What was one way the Mayan system of numbers differs from ours?
A. It lacked a way to show zero.
B. It was based on 20 rather than 10.
C. It could not be used to do subtraction.
D. It used symbols to represent different amounts.
4. Which picture shows a Mayan stele?
A. A
B. B
C. C
D. D
5. A Maya sees a stranger and knows what town he or she is from. What traditional Mayan art makes this
A. weaving cloth in complex patterns
B. making jewelry from silver and gold
C. carving sculptures in animal shapes
D. making hats out of grasses and feathers
6. Why did the Mayas create hundreds of glyphs?
A. to raise crops on steep mountain slopes
B. to communicate sounds, words, and ideas
C. to teach men, women, and children their duties
D. to protect themselves from attack by foreign invaders
7. How can tourists in Mexico observe Aztec technology still in use?
A. ride to the top of a skyscraper built with steel
B. walk into the lobby of a typical downtown hotel
C. take a boat to see flowers grown on artificial islands
D. hire a horse-drawn carriage for a ride through the park
8. What achievement did the Aztecs adapt from the Mayas?
A. floating gardens
B. use of causeways
C. chariots with wheels
D. system of two calendars
9. What does this translation of a short Aztec verse tell about Aztec culture?
I, the singer, I make a poem
That shines like an emerald
A brilliant, precious, and splendid emerald
A. Poetry was highly valued.
B. Emeralds were quite common.
C. Men sang while women danced.
D. Long-distance traders got wealthy.
10. Suppose you are an archeologist and find an old, overgrown temple. You know it is Aztec because it has
A. a domed roof.
B. a double stairway.
C. carved pillars by the door.
D. beautiful stained-glass windows.
11. The Aztec system of writing made use of
A. knots.
B. weaving.
C. pictographs.
D. an alphabet.
12. What challenge did the Incas face to a much larger extent than other peoples in the Americas?
A. speaking many dialects
B. surviving a severe climate
C. building homes in wetlands
D. controlling a very large empire
13. How did travelers on Incan roads cross rivers?
A. They rode across on llamas.
B. They swam with a strong stroke.
C. They paid a ferry boatman to row them.
D. They walked on suspension bridges.
14. Why did Incan farmers terrace their fields?
A. to keep wild animals away
B. to increase available cropland
C. to get enough water in the desert
D. to do required labor for the emperor
15. What material is described below?
The Inca covered almost every inch inside
their Temple of the Sun with it. They also
made masks, sculptures, knives, and jewelry
with it.
A. gold
B. bone
C. copper
D. mahogany
16. The sets of strings called quipus helped solve what problem of the Incas?
A. shortage of water
B. lack of transportation
C. lack of a written language
D. shortage of administrators
Applying Social Studies Skills
Use the images and your knowledge of history to complete the sentences.
17. Both artifacts above have survived for hundreds of years because they are made of
18. An archeologist who found the Mayan artifact might conclude that the Mayas
19. An archeologist who found the Aztec artifact might conclude that the Aztecs
Exploring the Essential Question: What were the significant achievements of the Mayas,
Aztecs, and Incas?
20. Suppose you are writing a tourist guide for the Mayan, Aztec, and Inca civilizations.
Write one sentence in each of the nine empty boxes below. Your sentences should:
• describe an achievement that fits the row and column headings
• say something about that achievement to capture the reader’s interest
• use clear and vivid language