Open Court Unit 2

Digging Up the Past


site    archaeologist   artifact   excavate   sift   documents   mason   trowel

Comprehension Questions 1

1.                 What do archaeologists contribute to our society?2.                 What made Damien and Joe decide to start digging?3.                 Who helped Damien dig the site, and what was the person's expertise?4.                 How did Damien and Joe dig their site; specifically, what was the first thing they did?5.                 What is a datum point, and why is it important?6.                 Why did Ms. Shea grid the hole, and what was the purpose of the grid?7.                 Why does an archaeologist initial his finds?8.                 Describe the layers of strata the boys dug.9.                 How did the boys dig with their trowels?10.           What did the mayor find that excited him?Comprehension Questions 21.     Where did the boys make their first great discovery, and what was it?2.     Why was Ms. Shea so serious about the boys' digging project?3.     Who did the boys believe lived in the field?4.     Name the equipment the boys used.5.     Why did they need such an elaborate grid system?6.     What types of skills does an archaeologist need?7.     How did the boys react when they found the sheep skull?8.     What is the difference between an artifact and a nonartifact?9.     How did Joe react to the mayor finding a coin?

Island of Bulls


1. presumed  2. civilization  3. moonstones  4. curious  5. gypsum  6. stucco  7. enlightened  8. oblivion  


Questions 11.                 What is a Minotaur?2.                 Who was King Minos?  Describe his kingdom.3.                 Name some of the famous Greeks that talked about the Minoan civilization.4.                 Why didn't the Minoans leave a very detailed history?5.                 Who was Arthur Evans?6.                 How did the Minoan palace get so big?7.                 Describe the sport the Minoans played with bulls?8.                 How do we know about this sport?9.                 How did the Minoans acquire wealth?10.           How do we know the Minoans were peace loving?

Comprehension Questions 2

1.                 Describe the character Theseus.  What was his personality like?2.                 What did Theseus forget to do at the end of the story that makes this legend tragic?3.                 How did Theseus escape the maze and kill the Minotaur?4.                 What kingdom did some people confuse Crete with?5.                 How was Arthur Evans like an archaeologist?6.                 What are some of the traits that archaeologists must have?7.                 What is a fresco?8.                 What did Evans learn from Minoan artifacts?9.                 How did the Minoans display uncommon grace and elegance?10.           What happened to end the Minoan civilization?

People on the Beach


1. anthropologist  2. dank  3. balustrade  4. sulphur  5. eruption  6. excavation  7. magma

Comprehension Questions 1

1.                 Who is Sarah Bisel, and who contacted her to work on the Herculaneum project?2.                 What is Sarah's profession, and why do you think that she is called the bone lady?3.                 Where is the town of Herculaneum located?4.                 Who is Pliny the Younger, and what did he write?5.                 How did Pliny describe the eruption of Mount Vesuvius?6.                 What were some of the signals that a volcanic eruption what about to occur?7.                 What was the difference between the destruction of Herculaneum and Pompeii?8.                 Who first discovered the remains of Herculaneum, and what happened to the artifacts that were found?9.                 What did the skeleton of Portia look like?10.           Describe the two skeletons found next to Portia.11.           How old was the Ring Lady when she died, and what did she look like?12.           How was Ms. Bisel able to figure out what the Herculaneuns had eaten?13.           How tall was the Roman soldier next to Portia?14.           List all the things that Sarah Bisel was able to determine by examining the skeletal remains of the Herculaneans.15.           Would you like to be an archaeologist?  Why or why not?

Comprehension Questions 2

1.                 Name some of the tools an archaeologist uses.                                                                   2.                 Describe the way bones are taken out of the ground.3.                 Describe the smell of the chamber as Dr. Maggi opened the door.4.                 How is Sarah Bisel able to determine how the people died?5.                 Describe the life of the slave girl Sarah Bisel found.6.                 How is Dr. Bisel able to determine how the people who died lived their lives?7.                 How does the science of archaeology amaze you?8.                 Why is the science of archaeology so important?9.                 What is this selection mostly about? 10.           List five new things you learned by reading this story.

Riddle of the Rosetta Stone:



Blockade          inscription         equivalents        associated        translate

  1. Before the Rosetta Stone was discovered, what did early Greek scholars believe the Egyptian hieroglyphs were?
  2. Why didn’t current Egyptians know what the ancient hieroglyphs mean?
  3. Why were French scholars in Egypt in the 1790’s?
  4. What three kinds of writings are on the Rosetta Stone?
  5. Why did most scholars try to translate the demotic script first?
  6. Who was the first scholar to identify some of the individual letters in the demotic passage on the Rosetta Stone?
  7. What claim did Champollion make the first time he saw a copy of the Rosetta Stone?
  8. Young and Champollion both thought the hieroglyphic symbols represented both sounds and objects.
  9. What three key words led Champollion to understand hieroglyphic symbols?

Comprehension Questions 2

1.                 Describe the Rosetta Stone.  Why is it special?
2.                 Why was it so hard for early scholars to decipher the hieroglyphic writing?3.                 When was the Rosetta Stone discovered?  Who discovered it, and why is it named the Rosetta Stone?4.                 Who was Dr. Thomas Young?5.                 Why were Young's observations so important?6.                 Who was Jean-Francois Champollion?  What did he do?7.                 Describe the different types of writing on the Rosetta Stone.8.                 In 1790, Egypt was not a free country.  What or who was in control of the country?9.                 Why are some groups of hieroglyphs, in the Rosetta Stone, enclosed in cartouches?

10.           What was the first writing that the scholars tried to translate?  What did they pick this type of writing first?

His Majesty, Queen Hatshepsut

1.     frankincense - a tree resin (sap) used in perfumes and incense.

2.    ibis - large, wading bird with long legs and a long, narrow, curved bill

3.    palanquin - a coveredbed, usually for one person, carried by poles on the shoulders of two or more persons

4.    lotuses - water lillies; the sacred plant of Egypt

5.    obelisk - a tall, slender, four-sided stone column that tapers to a point

Comprehension Questions Set 11.     How did Queen Hatshepsut take power?2.     How much power did Queen Hatshepsut have?3.     In a paragraph, describe a day in the life of the Queen.4.     What is the job of priests in Egyptian society?5.     Describe the riches of the Queen.6.     Describe some of the Queen's public projects.7.     How does the Queen feel about Thutmose the III?8.     Describe the lineage (ancestors) of the Queen.9.     Name two of the Egyptian gods.

Comprehension Questions Set 2

1.                 Who is Nefrure?  What does she do to help Hatshepsut during her first appearance?2.                 How does Queen Hatshepsut feel about Senmut?  What kind of job does Senmut do for Hatshepsut?3.                 Why is Queen Hatshepsut suspicious of the royal priests?4.                 Hatshepsut has devised some ways to save Egypt's money.  Describe her ideas to save money.5.                 What does Queen Hatshepsut have planned for her stepson, the prince?6.                 List some of the good leadership qualities of Queen Hatshepsut.7.                 Does Semnut have an easy job teaching the Queen's daughter?8.                 Does Queen Hatshepsut think Semnut is intelligent?  How can you infer this?9.                 What does Queen Hatshepsut plan on building, and who does she want to design her project?10.           What is this story mostly about?

The Silk Route

 1.     artisans2.    caravan3.    steppes4.    mosque5.    laden6.    nomads7.     yurts8.    imperialComprehension Questions Set 11.                 Describe the goods traded on the silk route.2.                 Describe some of the dangers found on the silk route.3.                 What religion is practiced in China?  Who founded this religion?4.                 Describe your favorite kingdom of those described on the silk route.5.                 What is the major reason nomads were able to attack the caravan in the east?6.                 In Damascus, who buys the finest silk?7.                 Name the empire at the end of the silk route.8.                 How was silk made?9.                 Describe life as a member of a caravan.10.           What else was traded on the silk route?Comprehension Questions Set 21.           What is this story mostly about?2.           What effect did the silk route have on the countries it went through?3.           What did the Chinese call their country?4.           What goods did the Chinese trade during the Chang'an Dynasty?5.           Where did the silk route begin?6.           Describe the Taklamakan Desert.7.           Where are the Pamirs Mountains found?  Describe the mountains.8.           What did the artisans of Herat produce?9.           Why is Baghdad so important to the Islamic world?10.       Describe the Byzantium Empire.