Buildings and Civilization

During the course of our lectures, we have learned about the world’s first civilizations in Egypt, Mesopotamia, Persia, the Indus Valley, China, and Peru. From ONE of these civilizations choose ONE building that you think effectively represents building construction techniques used by that culture.

Use four different, well-chosen, clear images (such as drawings, maps, photographs, or models) of the building you have selected. Write a caption for each image responding to the four prompts below:

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Image 1: Please provide a general view of the building in its geographical context. For the caption: identify the building, its location, and its approximate date of construction.
Image 2: Please provide an image that shows a construction detail. For the caption: describe the primary system of construction used? 30 words minimum.
Image 3: Please provide an image that helps show the process of selection, preparation and/or treatment of the building’s material. For the caption: say how the builders made use of available materials (for example, you might answer one or more of these questions: Did the builders use natural or man-made materials? Were the materials used covered with color or other ornamental design, or they were left unfinished and raw? Were the materials used disposable or reusable?) 30 words minimum.
Caption 4: Please provide an image that helps illustrate the relationship between the construction material and technique and the culture’s belief system, worldview, economy or political structure. For the caption: explain what the choice and use of material in this building tell us about the culture that built it. 30 words minimum.

Note: You may choose a building discussed in one of the lectures, or you can choose a building not mentioned in any of the lectures but still from one of the ancient civilizations mentioned above (built before 200 bce). If you choose a building discussed in a lecture, however, you may not use images from the lecture. You must choose different images. Also you can take images from any source (except the lecture PDFs), as long as you cite the sources for your images. Images should be varied and support your points of discussion.

Assemble the images on a SINGLE page, oriented horizontally (minimum 800 points horizontal x 600 vertical; maximum 1600 x 1200 points, or 11 in. by 8.5 in. landscape orientation). You may use any software you like to assemble your images, but make certain to maintain a clear layout and legible text. Cite the source for each image; this can be incorporated in each caption, or included as a separate page. Use Chicago format for image citations ( (Links to an external site.)
(Links to an external site.)

Submit the file as single pdf file no larger than 2 MB. The submission is due by 11:00 pm Pacific time on Thursday, November 5.

The rubric below will give you an idea of what we are expecting. Also, click here for an example with three different layouts.


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