Time The story of Ancient China is told in traditional historical records that refer as far back to the Five Emperors and Three Sovereigns about 5,000 years ago this is enforced by archaeological records dating to the 16th century BC. China is one of the worlds oldest continuous civilizations. 221 BC is the commonly accepted year when China became unified under a large kingdom or empire. China was first united by Qin Shi Huang in 221 BC.
The Three Sovereigns, were said to be god-kings or demigods who initiated very important aspects of the ancient Chinese civilization and culture these being: agriculture, fishing, herbal medicine, writing, and the drinking of tea, and in some cases created men and animals.http://history.cultural-china.com/en/46History5031.html The Five Emperors were legends that were morally perfect sage-kings.
Geography The geography of ancient China can be convenientlydivided up into three regions: 1) The Yangtze and Yellow Rivers 2) The Gobi and Taklamakan Deserts 3) The Himalayas In ancient China, the importance of the Yangtze and Yellow Rivers is hard to overstate. People mostlysettled along these rivers, and different settlements were ruled by different kings
THE HIMALAYAS YELLOW RIVER YANGTZE RIVERTAKLA MAKAN DESERT GOBI DESERT
Economy Ancient Chinese people traded salt, iron, fish, cattle, and silk. Silk was traded for goods and services – Silk route Through the famous Silk Route, they also traded externally: goods from China could wind up in Greece. At the eastern end of the route, the Chinese traded with people from India, providing them with silk and getting lapis lazuli, coral, jade, glass, and pearls in exchange. Fish, farmed and irrigated the land The ancient Chinese first used cowrie shells for money in China as early as 1800 BC. Then people used metal imitations of cowrie shells, and then metal strings of beads called cash.
Economy• Cowry shells were used as the medium of exchange / money in the late Xia Dynasty (21st century BC). • Those from the Shang Dynasty usually had “teeth” on one side and a hole for stringing on the flat polished other side.• As natural cowries were limited in quantity, copies made of stone, other seashells, bone and bronze were also in circulation.• Bronze replicas of cowries became the first Chinese cast coins. http://www.calgarycoin.com/reference/china/china1.htm
Society In ancient China there was a massive demographic gap between farmers and kings and the nobles. The farmers were far more in population numbers and were made to work very hard for little money. The nobles lived in palaces while the farmers survived in tiny huts. The nobles were highly regarded and lived with great riches. Painting of five Han nobles conversing and wearing elegant clothing
Position of Women Male domination was common in ancient China. The women were asked totake care of the children and household. They never hadtheir choice in marriage and were not included in any decision making. The ancient Chinese had many peculiar customs one being foot binding. Girls at the age of pubertywere made to go through this painful custom. Their toes were broken and bandaged. This normally reduced the http://www.suite101.com/view_image.cfm/1600261size of their feet. This process continued for a long time.
Society: Religion and Art Ancient China practiced The ancient Chinese were mainly three religions master creators, artists, craftsmen Buddhism and warlords. Confucianism They developed many martial arts and other art Taoism forms such as calligraphy. They had a rich spiritual heritage and they believed in YIN and YANG - the male and female energies which complimented each other.
Yin - Yang• This Symbol represents the ancient Chinese understanding of how things work (Male and Female energies that complement each other)• The outer circle represents "everything", while the black and white shapes within the circle represent the interaction of two energies, called "yin" (black) and "yang" (white), which cause everything to happen.
Trade and Production• Many ethnic groups in the ancient times • Han people, mainly living in the yellow river areas and Yangtze River • Some minority groups in the north and south YANGTZE RIVER YELLOW RIVER
Trade Routs "The Silk Road" is a special term which describes the trade route between the Central Asia and China. 5000 mile long trade route. In ancient times, Chinese people transported silk, tea and other products to exchange for horses with small kingdoms in west of China. The famous explorer Marco Polo opened this trade route to the Middle East, Western Europe and North Africa. Over time the Silk Road became one of the most important trade route linking China and Europe.. From 206 BC a sea route was added to the silk road land routes. Sea route began at mouth of the Red River, through SouthEast Asia to Sri Lanka and India, then to Persia, Axum and Rome…..
…Trades along the route were conducted by central Asian Merchants from who brought horses, cattle, furs, hides and luxuries such as ivory and jade. New goods were also introduced to the Chinese by the traders such as Cucumber, walnut, sesame, figs, alfalfa and pomegranate, and new skills such as using grapes to make wine, which enriched Chinas ancient civilization Chinese emperor Wu Di (141-87 BC) dispatched missions to the west , thirteen years later missioner returned. 119 BC lead a second expedition to the west. Effectively establishing diplomatic relations, beginning a process of regular diplomatic missions to the Chinese capital.
RelationshipsCONFUCIUS: Latin name for chinese philosopher Kung Fu-tze. 551-479 BC.•Created ethical system called CONFUCIANISM – system of ideal humanrelationships based on happiness, respect for elders and family unity.•Human behaviour and contact•Not religion•Formed the basis of society, government and justice.•Practiced correctly would bring order.•Each person was to strive to be •Polite •Honest •Hardworking •Respectful •Wise•Power and right to rule belonged to superiors over subordinated: •Older over younger --- Each having to give obedience and respect to superior. •Man over woman --- Superior owed loving respect to inferior.•Emphasised importance of education.• Chinese Agricultural Productivity resulted inn relationships with other countries in trading.
Marriage• Arranged• Bride moves into husbands home.• Becomes daughter to husbands mother• If widowed, will take care of in-laws and children• Very improper to remarry.• Pressure for son – Carry on family name – Daughters unwanted burden and cannot care for aging parents. Sometimes left to die or sold in poorer families. – Reason for men to have more than one wife.• Wealth and social status• Unfamiliar until wedding day• Wear red – believed meaning of foreshadowed delight.
Culture• Girls and women were seen as weak and submissive• Boys and men stronger, active and dominant• Woman had to behave respectfully, put others first, never mention their own good deeds or deny faults, endured insults and mistreatment, went to bed late, woke up early, never put off work, served their husbands, rarely laugh nor told jokes .. Kept to them selves• With the influence of Conficius, Chinese have become more reserved.• Some Chinese cultures: – Chinese arts – Architecture – New years – Martial arts• Chinese are not so much religious as they are superstitious.• Many different gods• ancestors.• Mandate of heaven
Dwellings• Poor dwellings • One roomed • Mud brick • Thatch roof • High wall surrounding house made of earth • No windows, just one door • Screen wall as soon as entered ( short wall which kept people from seeing into court yard.)• Rich dwellings • Two stories • Balconies • Courtyard • Ponds • Built with wood Structural principles of Chinese architecture remains unchanged. As old as Chinese civilisation
Transport• Inland water transport• 215bc first contour canal built• 210bc, extensive network of roads, 4000 miles of imperial highways.• Romans used throat and girth harnesses, choked horses – slowed them down. Chinese made improvements, placed force load on horses chest .. Horse pulled load 6times greater• Same path followed by stirrup .. Chinese invention .. Greatly improved ability to ride a horse.
Communication China considered oldest civilization in the world Worlds oldest records of continuously used writing system Many of the ancient characters still used today Symbols represent whole concepts and carry complete meaning Most ancient Chinese symbols discovered in form of oracle bone scripts – symbols etched into animal bone and shell Also discovered symbols etched in to bronze vessels.
Inventions Paper AD 105 - the year in which Early Chinese paper papermaking was invented. appears to have been made In that year, historical by from a suspension of records show that the hemp waste in water, invention of paper was washed, soaked, and reported to the Chinese Emperor by Tsai Lun, an beaten to a pulp with a official of the Imperial Court. wooden mallet. Recent archaeological investigations - the actual invention of papermaking some 200 years earlier.
InventionsToilet Paper interesting fact Compass The compass was invented This invention was during the Feudal invented during the Sui Period, in 4th century BC. Dynasty, about 581-618 The first compass was AD. created out of bronze and lodestone. It was the Chinese who first exchanged water to The pointer was a spoon toilet paper to clean created out of lodestone themselves. From then, this The plate was bronze. invention moved all over the world.
Chinese Cuisine• Food in China has been the foundation of life for many centuries.• Rice is a well know crop in Southern China and has been grown since the fourth mellenium BC. Millet, a well known crop in Northern China has been grown since the fifth millenium BC.• The first Chinese crop was grown in the upper Yellow River Valley.
Food Rice was the first grain that people Tea grows wild in China. By about 3000 farmed in China. BC people in China had begun to drink tea. People cooked rice by boiling it in water, the way they do today. Or they Tofu and Bean Curd in food as a source made it into wine. of protein as the Buddists didn’t eat meat. Rice wouldn’t grow in Northern China, so they farmed millet. They ate it boiled into a kind of porridge. The ancient Chinese began eating ice cream-like deserts around 2000 B.C. Ancient noblemen were particularly fond of a soft paste made with soft rice and milk, packed with snow. Soybeans and Cucumber are native to china.
Clothinghttp://www.solomon.cps.k12.il.us/roeschleyindex.html http://www.solomon.cps.k12.il.us/roeschleyindex.htm l
. • Once the ancient chinese had invented a needle made of bone. They began to sew. From there then began to spin and weave and created coats made with linen.• Soon dress became a token of social status.• There were very strict rules about color, design, and adornment of the clothes. • Rules were made by the emperor and the officials. • The color yellow was for the emperor only. Green, red, white, and black were symbols for north, south, east, and west. The robe embroidered with dragon patterns was made for the exclusive use of an emperor during the Qing dynasty.
Hair • Ancient Chinese Hair used to be considered holy and a deeply personal item.• “Our body, our hair and skin are granted by our parents and we should not be allowed to destroy them”. • Both Chinese men and women would sometimes wear their hair in a coiled bun and use a hairpin to secure it.• Womens hair ornaments were as your can see far more embellished than mens.
Unmarried Chinese girls hair was usually worn long and braided. Women combed the hair back from the face and wound into a knot at the nape of the neck. The Manchu regime of the time dictated that men shaved the front of the head and wore the back hair long and braided, tied with black silk. There were many interesting styles seen that branched off those particular rules. http://www.chinahistoryforum.com/index.php?/topic/266 04-ancient-chinese-childrens-hairstyles/
Jewellery Jewellery is seen to provide Colours and semi precious power and strength to the stones –give power wearer. Cure some diseases, give The dragon - power and longevity, and to be healthy. good luck The most famous stones The goldfish - abundance of used for many centuries are gold coral, turquoise and jade. The phoenix - good fortune, opportunity and luck Others - bird, tiger, monkey, bat, peac ock. Clouds, flowers and twigs were also symbols of good luck.
Jade “Stone of heaven,” The use of carved jade has been a very important part of Chinese society for more than 6,000 years. Played significant roles in Chinese politics, economics, philosop hy, and religion. They felt it embodied qualities of nobility, perfection, constanc y and immortality; a symbolic link between man and the spiritual world
Jade• Anciently jade was made into sacrificial vessel, tools, ornaments , utensils and many other items.• To preserve his body, Liu Sheng, the ruler of the Zhongshan State (113 BC) was buried in a jade burial suit composed of 2,498 pieces of jade, sewn together with gold thread.