60+ Fascinating Trivia Questions About Ancient Civilizations

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Are you ready to test your knowledge of history and delve into the fascinating worlds of ancient India, China, Peru, Mesoamerica, and more?

Ancient civilizations are remarkable for their innovation, ingenuity, and enduring legacies. They pioneered groundbreaking advancements in technology, art, architecture, governance, and philosophy that continue to influence our modern world.

By appreciating the achievements and challenges of these civilizations, we gain perspective on the complexities of human existence and are better equipped to navigate the complexities of our own time! From the mystical beliefs of ancient Egyptians to the ingenious inventions of the Chinese dynasties, we’ve got trivia questions that will challenge and delight your history-loving brain.

Ready to dive into the mysteries of the past? Get that brain juices flowing and let’s dive right into all the ancient civilizations we all know and love!

Before we get started — we invite you to bookmark or save some of these other history-related trivia quizzes for later!

60 Fascinating Trivia Questions About Ancient Civilizations

Sphinx in front of the Pyramids of Giza
The Sphinx in front of the Pyramids of Giza

What ancient civilization built the Great Pyramids of Giza?

Answer: Ancient Egypt.

Which ancient civilization developed the first known system of writing called cuneiform?

Answer: Sumerians (Mesopotamia).

Who was the first emperor of Rome?

Answer: Agustus.

What ancient city was the center of the Indus Valley Civilization?

Answer: Mohenjo-Daro.

What ancient civilization is credited with the creation of the first known democracy?

Answer: Ancient Athens (Greece).

Athens Greece
Athens, Greece

Which ancient civilization developed the concept of zero and a base-10 numerical system?

Answer: The Maya.

What was the name of the ancient Mesopotamian law code, one of the oldest legal documents in history?

Answer: The Code of Hammurabi.

What crop became a significant agricultural product in Mesoamerica?

Answer: Corn.

What advancements are the Zapotec civilization noted for?

Answer: Developing Mesoamerica’s first written calendar and writing system.

How many days were in the Aztec solar calendar?

Answer: 365 days.

What was the name of the Aztec capital city founded in 1325?

Answer: Tenochtitlan.

What year did the Hernán Cortéz-led Spanish invasion bring an end to the Aztec civilization?

Answer: 1521.

Where is the Valley of the Kings?

Answer: Luxor.

Which army used the “testudo” as a military ploy?

Answer: The Roman.

Which ancient Greek philosopher died after drinking hemlock?

Answer: Socrates.

The famous “300 Spartans” fought at which battle?

Answer: Thermopylae.

Which Roman emperor ordered the invasion of Britain in 43 CE?

Answer: Claudius.

From which ancient civilization did the word “theater” originate?

Answer: Greek.

Which ancient civilization built the city of Machu Picchu in the Andes Mountains?

Answer: The Incas.

Macchu Picchu

What is the Kingdom of Benin most famous for?

Answer: Benin Bronzes.

Which ancient civilization did not develop a writing system?

Answer: The Incas.

Ancient Egyptian queen Hatshepsut is shown on official art wearing a beard. True or False?

Answer: True.

What is considered to be the “cradle” of Chinese civilization?

Answer: The Yangtze River.

What were early precursors to the Great Wall of China built to defend against?

Answer: Mongols from the north.

Great Wall Of China

Why did the ancient Romans sometimes flood the Colosseum or the Circus Maximus?

Answer: For mock naval battles.

What medical technique did the Incas use to relieve pressure in the head and also to release demons?

Answer: Trepanning.

Who was the famous Carthaginian general who led an army, including war elephants, across the Alps to attack Rome during the Punic Wars?

Answer: Hannibal Barca.

What ancient civilization built the city of Petra, famous for its rock-cut architecture?

Answer: The Nabateans.

What ancient civilization built the city of Tenochtitlan, which later became Mexico City?

Answer: The Aztecs.

What ancient civilization is associated with the construction of Stonehenge in England?

Answer: The Druids or Ancient Britons.

What ancient civilization developed the first known system of centralized government and extensive road networks?

Answer: The Romans.

What was the purpose of the Colosseum in ancient Roman times?

Answer: The Colosseum was primarily used for gladiatorial contests, animal hunts, mock sea battles, and other public spectacles to entertain the Roman populace.

What were Roman public baths called?

Answer: Roman public baths were called thermae, and activities included relaxation, socializing, and getting clean through a series of baths, exercises, and massages.

How did ancient Romans keep track of time during the workday?

Answer: Ancient Romans kept track of time using the position of the sun and devices such as sundials, with the workday typically ending at noon.

What was the purpose of the Roman Forum, and what activities took place there?

Answer: The Roman Forum was the center of public life, where citizens shopped, socialized, attended gatherings, and participated in religious ceremonies and court proceedings.

The Colosseum Rome

Can you describe what the Great Sphinx of Giza looks like?

Answer: A giant statue with the head of a human and the body of a lion.

Who was the god of the sea in ancient Greece?

Answer: Poseidon.

What were aqueducts used for?

Answer: To channel water into Roman towns and cities.

Who was the god of the sun in ancient Egypt?

Answer: Ra.

What type of gladiator fought with a net and a trident?

Answer: Retiarius.

Which Greek physician devised the “four humors” theory in medicine?

Answer: Galen.

Which king built the Hanging Gardens of Babylon?

Answer: Nebuchadnezzar.

From which ancient civilization did Hippocrates come?

Answer: Greek.

What was the Roman name for the English town of Bath?

Answer: Aquae Sulis.

What religious concepts are outlined in the Upanishads, sacred Hindu texts?

Answer: Reincarnation and the caste system based on birthright.

What unique feature distinguished the urban planning of the Indus River Valley Civilization?

Answer: Sophisticated city planning, including uniform baked-brick homes and drainage systems.

What was papyrus used to make in ancient Egypt?

Answer: It had multiple uses, but it was specially cultivated to make paper.

Which civilization was credited with inventing the abacus, sundial, and printing press?

Answer: The ancient Chinese.

Which of the following is not one of the four main dynasties of ancient China: Xia, Shang, Zhou, or Qin?

Answer: Qin.

What was a “ziggurat” in Babylon?

Answer: A temple.

What was the name of the famous slave who led a revolt against Rome?

Answer: Spartacus.

What did the Nile do every year in ancient Egypt that enabled crops to be sown?

Answer: Flood.

Thoth Anubis and Horus

For how many years did the ancient Egyptian civilization last?

Answer: 3,000 years.

What original color were the pyramids at Giza?

Answer: Sandy white.

The pharaoh wore the crown of Upper and Lower Egypt to symbolize the country’s unity. True or False?

Answer: True.

Which pharaoh commissioned the temple of Abu Simbel to be built?

Answer: Ramesses II.

What does the word “pharaoh” mean?

Answer: It means “Great House”.

Which pharaoh commissioned the Great Pyramid?

Answer: Khufu.

How many limestone blocks are in the Great Pyramid? 1.3 million, 2.3 million, 3.3 million?

Answer: 2.3 million.

After the pyramids were raided by grave robbers, where were the pharaohs buried?

Answer: The Valley Of The Kings.

The tomb and treasure of which pharaoh was famously discovered in the Valley of the Kings in 1922?

Answer: Tutankhamun.

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    So, how did you do on our Ancient Civilizations trivia? In either case, we hope you learned something entirely new. There’s nothing quite like learning new tidbits of random knowledge!

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    Elle Liang

    Elle is a travel blogger and entertainment publisher by day and a trivia fanatic by night. Her favorite hobbies include hiking mountains, traveling anywhere in the world, watching documentaries, playing bingo, and brushing up on world knowledge through games like Trivial Pursuit.

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