Ancient China

Topics: Shang Dynasty, China, Han Dynasty Pages: 16 (5893 words) Published: March 2, 2014

Ancient China
Geography
Where is China located? How did the ancient Chinese adapt to their environment?

China is located on the continent of Asia.
The climate in ancient China includes seasons similar to those in North America. The ancient Chinese fished, farmed, and irrigated the land. There is a variety of plant life in China. The land in ancient China consists of forests, hills, mountains, and deserts. back to top

Government
Who ruled in ancient China?

Chinese rulers, called emperors, based their government on the Confucian model, which taught that the best ruler was a virtuous man who led by example. Legalists stressed strength, not goodness, as a ruler's greatest virtue, while Daoists, who rejected the everyday world, believed that the best government was the one that governed least. back to top

Economics
What did the ancient Chinese people use to buy and sell goods and services?

The ancient Chinese traded goods with other cultures. In addition, they used metal coins in community bartering. The ancient Chinese fished, farmed, and irrigated the land.
Silk was traded for other goods or services as they traveled the "Silk Route." Contributions
A contribution is the act of giving or doing something.
Many of the ancient Chinese inventions are used today.

The ancient Chinese used characters and symbols as their written language. They invented many things which we still use today. Some of their inventions were: kites, silk cloth, fireworks, compass, and bronze. The Great Wall of China was built by Shi Huangdi. He united China and built a strong, centralized, authoritarian government. His most remarkable achievement was building the Great Wall .

The Ancient Dynasties

[Picture of Huang Di's Tomb] Chinese civilization, as described in mythology, begins with Pangu (), the creator of the universe, and a succession of legendary sage-emperors and culture heroes (among them are Huang Di , Yao, and Shun) who taught the ancient Chinese to communicate and to find sustenance, clothing, and shelter.

The first prehistoric dynasty is said to be Xia (), from about the twenty-first to the sixteenth century B.C. Until scientific excavations were made at early bronze-age sites at Anyang ( ), Henan ( ) Province, in 1928, it was difficult to separate myth from reality in regard to the Xia. But since then, and especially in the 1960s and 1970s, archaeologists have uncovered urban sites, bronze implements, and tombs that point to the existence of Xia civilization in the same locations cited in ancient Chinese historical texts. At minimum, the Xia period marked an evolutionary stage between the late neolithic cultures and the typical Chinese urban civilization of the Shang dynasty.

The Dawn of History

Thousands of archaeological finds in the Huang He ( ), Henan Valley ( ) --the apparent cradle of Chinese civilization--provide evidence about the Shang () dynasty, which endured roughly from 1700 to 1027 B.C. The Shang dynasty (also called the Yin () dynasty in its later stages) is believed to have been founded by a rebel leader who overthrew the last Xia ruler. Its civilization was based on agriculture, augmented by hunting and animal husbandry. Two important events of the period were the development of a writing system, as revealed in archaic Chinese inscriptions found on [Picture of Oracle Bone] tortoise shells and flat cattle bones (commonly called oracle bones or ), and the use of bronze metallurgy. A number of ceremonial bronze vessels with inscriptions date from the Shang period; the workmanship on the bronzes attests to a high level of civilization. [Picture of Bronze Pot]

A line of hereditary Shang kings ruled over much of northern China, and Shang troops fought frequent wars with neighboring settlements and nomadic herdsmen from the inner Asian steppes. The capitals, one of which was at the site of the modern city of Anyang, were centers of glittering court life. Court rituals...
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