Early China

Becca, Bridget, Amy, Hailey

Geography

  • Was on the coast of the Yellow Sea and the Pacific Ocean

  • West and South- deserts and high mountain ranges (Tian Shan and Himalayas)

  • Southeast- thick rain forests

  • North- Gobi Desert

  • East- big and open Pacific Ocean

  • Had fertile farming regions by the East coast valleys of Huang(Yellow) River and Chang River (in heartland of China)

  • Rivers provided water for irrigation and transportation routes

  • Harsh climates and rugged terrain in regions of Xinjiang and Mongolia

  • Huang(Yellow) River flooded many times

Society of Early China

Shang Dynasty:
  • social classes much like other civilizations with royal family at top and peasants at bottom
  • peasants worked in fields, repaired dikes, fought in civil wars
  • artisans made weapons, silk robes, jewelry, and other goods
  • merchants exchanged food and crafts for salt, shells, and other goods
  • civilization was based on agriculture
  • women had considerable status during this period
  • prayed to their many gods and nature spirits
Zhou Dynasty:


  • promoted idea of Mandate of Heaven and expanded to dynastic cycle
  • type of government: feudalism- local lords governed their own lands but owed military service and other forms of support to the ruler
  • rewarded by being granted control over certain areas of land
  • iron axes and plows, new crops, and money economy that made trade easier
  • developed two major beliefs of Confucianism and Daoism

Violatti, C. (2014, January 3). Zhou Dynasty. Retrieved December 17, 2015, from http://www.ancient.eu/Zhou_Dynasty/

Early China. (n.d.). Retrieved December 17, 2015, from http://www.shsu.edu/~his_ncp/China1.html

Interesting Information

Fascinating Facts

  • Ironworking developed in the 600s B.C.
  • Feudal lords made a large-scale irrigation works for farming
  • To honor ancestors spirits they offered food and other necessities
  • Movement of planets
  • Recorded eclipses of the sun
  • 2640 B.C.- make silk thread the cocoons of silkworms
    • Complex system of writing

      • Oracle bones

      • Characters

      • Calligraphy

        • Writing of an elegant art
  • Waterwheel