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Subject Test World History

Question 19 of 22

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SAT Subject Test

Which of the following was characteristic of the physical environments of early river-valley civilizations in the Near East?

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Cool summer temperatures encouraged the production of grain crops.

Correct Answer: 
No

Tropical forests along the riverbanks provided the population with most of its food.

Correct Answer: 
No

The rivers maintained a steady flow year-round, fed by melting mountain glaciers.

Correct Answer: 
No

The rivers flowed through deep mountain valleys, which sheltered early civilizations.

Correct Answer: 
No

Rainfall was low, requiring irrigation of crops with river water.

Correct Answer: 
Yes

The earliest river-valley civilizations in the Near East arose in Lower Mesopotamia, the alluvial plain of the lower Tigris and Euphrates rivers in present-day central and southern Iraq. The region lies outside the Near East’s “Fertile Crescent” and is one of very low precipitation receiving on average between 4 and 10 inches of rainfall per year. On the other hand, with the development of early irrigation techniques and irrigation canal infrastructure (beginning circa 3,000 B.C.E.), Lower Mesopotamia could be transformed into an extremely productive agricultural environment, as the region’s rivers could provide not only sufficient water for irrigation but also fertile silt to improve the fertility of the soil.

Question Difficulty: 
hard