Answering Pompeii and Herculaneum Practice Questions for section I of the HSC Ancient History exam is the best way to brush up on your exam skills, especially to maximise marks in your assessments.

From 2019 onwards, the layout of the Ancient History HSC exam has changed.

In Section One, on the Core Study of Pompeii and Herculaneum, there will no longer be any multiple-choice questions.

Now, the 25 marks in this section will be made up by 3 or 4 short answer questions, one of which is worth 10-15 marks.

In this section, you will be asked to interpret and analyse sources and apply your own knowledge in order to answer the questions. Your answers should be supported by evidence from primary or secondary sources.

Check out our range of questions to help you prepare for the new Part I of the HSC Paper!

To make things easier for you, we’ve compiled a practice Section 1 of the new HSC Ancient History Paper!

HSC Ancient History Pompeii and Herculaneum Practice Questions:

Question 1 (3 Marks)

Outline the evidence for Egyptian influences at Pompeii and Herculaneum.

Question 2 (4 Marks)

Describe the natural features and geographical setting of the Campania region.

Question 3 (5 Marks)

How did the eruption of Mount Vesuvius affect the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum?

Question 4 (5 Marks)

What has modern archaeology revealed about the diet of the citizens of Pompeii and Herculaneum?

Question 5 (6 Marks)

Describe the leisure activities which were practised at Pompeii and Herculaneum. Use Source A and your own knowledge.

Source A

Pompeii and Herculaneum Practice Questions

Painting on marble of women playing knuckles, Herculaneum.

Question 6 (6 Marks)

How useful is Source B as evidence for the social status and role of women in Pompeii and Herculaneum?

Source B

Eumachia, daughter of Lucius, a public priestess, in her own name, and in the name of her son, Murcus Numistrius Fronto, made the chalcidicum, the crypta and the porticus with her own money and dedicated the same to Concordia Augusta and to Pietas.

Inscription on the Building of Eumachia, Pompeii

Question 7 (6 Marks)

Assess the values and limitations of Source C as evidence for foreign influences on religion.

Source C

Pompeii and Herculaneum Practice Questions

Temple of Isis, Pompeii

Question 8 (8 Marks)

What does the evidence reveal about political structure in Pompeii and Herculaneum?

Question 9 (8 Marks)  

Discuss the Italian and international contributions to the conservation of Pompeii and Herculaneum.

Question 10 (10 Marks)

To what extent does Source D and E provide a comprehensive understanding of the lives of slaves in Pompeii and Herculaneum? Support your answer with reference to these and other relevant sources.

Source D

Pompeii and Herculaneum Practice Questions

Gold bracelet inscribed “from the master to his slave girl” found in Pompeii

Source E

Pompeii and Herculaneum Practice Questions

Fresco depicting slaves at work, Herculaneum

Question 11 (13 Marks)

Discuss the ethical issues relating to the study and display of human remains in Pompeii and Herculaneum. In your answer refer to Source F and your own knowledge.

Source F

Pompeii and Herculaneum Practice Questions

Skeletons in a Herculaneum Boathouse

Question 1(12 Marks)

What contributions have archaeologists made to understanding of Pompeii and Herculaneum since the 1900s?

Question 13 (15 Marks)

What do Sources G and H reveal about trade and commerce in Pompeii and Herculaneum? Support your answer with reference to these and other relevant sources.

Source G

Pompeii and Herculaneum Practice Questions

Modern Diagram of the Forum in Pompeii

Source H

Pompeii and Herculaneum Practice Questions

Building remains in Herculaneum

Question 14 (15 Marks)

Assess the values and limitations of Sources I and J as evidence for religion and daily life in Pompeii and Herculaneum. In your response, refer the sources and your own knowledge.

Source I

Pompeii and Herculaneum Practice Questions

Lararium at the House of Vettii, Pompeii

Source J

Pompeii and Herculaneum Practice Questions

Mosaic depicting Neptune and his wife Amphitrite, in the dining room of the House of Neptune and Amphitrite, Herculaneum.

Question 15 (15 Marks)

Assess the impacts of new research and technologies in the changing interpretations of Pompeii and Herculaneum.

Don’t forget to download your practice Section 1 of the new HSC Ancient History Paper below!

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When he’s not devouring every book, film and television show he can get his hands on, Jack Theodoulou studies a double degree of Education/Arts majoring in English at the University of Sydney. Previously an instructor of classical guitar, Jack began coaching at Art of Smart in 2015. In his spare time, Jack often finds himself entangled in a love-hate relationship with creative writing and an occasional obsession with video games.