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CHINESE
CIVILIZATION
Prepared By
Ronnith Nandy
INTRODUCTION
China is an East Asian country with a large territory, a huge population
and an ancient history. With written records dating back 4,000 years.
Fossils that have been found in Chinese territory
include those of Yuanmou Man, the first Homo
erectus, who lived 1.7 million years ago, those of
Laotian Man, who lived 750,000 years ago, and those
of the Peking Man, who lived at Zhoukoudian in
today's suburban Beijing 600,000 years ago.
LOCATION
The Yellow River is said to be the cradle of Chinese civilization, although
cultures originated along both the Yellow River and the Yangtze
River valleys millennia ago in the Neolithic era.
The first light of Chinese civilization revealed itself
7,000 to 8,000 years ago, as indicated by the ruins
of the Daxi Culture in Sichuan and Hubei
provinces, the Majiapang Culture in Jiangsu and
Zhejiang provinces, the Hemudu Culture in
eastern Zhejiang and the Yangshou Culture along
the middle reaches of the Yellow River and its main
tributaries.
MAJOR RIVERS
Two great rivers run through China Proper: the Yellow River in
the north, and the Yangtze (or Yangzi ) River to the south.
In fact, most of China Proper belongs to the drainage-
basins of these two rivers. Both originate to the far
west in the Tibetan Plateau.
Sometimes the Yellow River has emptied south of the
Shandong peninsula, rather than north of it as it
does today. And for long periods, the Huai River
emptied into the sea.
SOCIETY
The social structure of Ancient China was the key to determining who was the
more important and most respected people of Ancient times in China. Five
groups; The Shi, the Nong, the Gong, the Shang and the Nubi
The KING and his family were placed on the topmost level of the ancient
Chinese social pyramid.
SHI- The Shi were the gentry scholars in
the time of ancient Zhou and Shang
dynasties.
NONG- The Nong class was comprised
by the peasant farmers.
GONG-The Gong class was composed
by the craftsmen and artisans.
SHANG- The Shang class composed by
traders and merchants.
NUBI- The Nubi class consisted of Slaves.
RELIGION
The Chinese were worshippers of nature.
They worshipped the earth, heaven, sun,
moon, stars and other aspects of nature.
The earth god was named as ‘Si’ and the
god of crops as ‘Chi’ by the Chinese.
‘Shangti’ was another famous god of the
Chinese.
The Chinese worshipped their ancestors by organising
family feasts.
They did not offer any prayer to help the dead; rather
they believed that the dead would help the living.
In the sixth century B.C. drastic change came in the field of
religion. The reformers like Lao-Tse and Confucius emerged
in China who changed the religious outlook of the Chinese by
their reforms.
CONFUCIANISM
Confucius was another great reformer of ancient
China.
He was born in 551 B.C. in an ordinary family of a
small village of the ‘Lu’ province (modern
shantung).
He said he wanted to teach about the Mandate of
Heaven . This important belief of his political
philosophy was that Heaven would choose a person
and his clan to rule . He mixed his theology with
his ideas of politics.
He taught what is called the Silver Rule of
behavior that is less expansive than the Golden
Rule:
His teachings have been reflected in ‘Five Classics’
such as—‘the ‘Book of History’, ‘Book of Poetry’, ‘Book
of Changes’, ‘Book of Spring and Autumn’ and ‘Book of
Rites’.
AGRICULTURE
Agricultural sites dating back 6,000 to 7,000 year include rice, millet and
spade-like farm tools made of stone or bone. At the sites, indications of
rice cultivation are in great abundance, as piles of rice grains, husks,
stalks and leaves have been found there
In one of the ancient Chinese legends, there is a story
of Shen Nong Shi (also known as the Red Emperor or
Yan Emperor) concerning the origin of agriculture.
Before Shen Nong Shi, people ate reptiles, little
animals, mussels, and wild vegetables.
SERICULTURE
China was the first country in the world to raise silkworms and make silk.
Jade effigies of silkworms as well as silk fabrics pasted on the surface of
bronzes have been unearthed.
The great varieties of silk products, including thin
tough silk, figured woven silk, different types of
gauze, brocade and embroidered silk which itself
came in more than a dozen types, the complicated
ways of weaving and bright colors
DOMESTICATION OF ANIMALS
Dogs were the first animals to be domesticated in ancient China
After millet domestication both pig and dog helped build
the Yangshao culture, one of northern China's most
important early civilizations.
POTTERY
Different kinds of pottery appeared in different times and regions. Yangshao
Culture, 5,000 - 7,000 years ago to today, developed a technique for painted
ceramic wares.
Qujialing Culture and Longshan Culture, dating back
about 4,000 years ago, were known for their black
ceramic wares.
Another fine example of
beautifully crafted
pottery is the tricolor
glazed pottery of the
Tang Dynasty (618 -
907).
Another choice pottery
that won great
reputation for hundreds
of years is purple clay
pottery.
WOODWORK
The progenitors of Chinese woodworking are considered to be Lu Ban (??) and his
wife Lady Yun, from the Spring and Autumn Period.
Lu Ban is said to have brought the plane, chalkline, and other tools to
China. His teachings are supposedly left behind in the book Lu Ban
Jing (???, "Manuscript of Lu Ban"), although it was written some 1500
years after his death.
This book is filled largely with
descriptions of dimensions for use in
building various items—such as
flower pots, tables, altars, etc.—and
also contains extensive instructions
concerning Feng Shui, the ancient
Chinese practice of geomancy. It
mentions almost nothing of the
intricate glueless and nailless joinery
for which Chinese furniture was so
famous.
THANK YOU
谢谢

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Chinese Civilization

  • 2. INTRODUCTION China is an East Asian country with a large territory, a huge population and an ancient history. With written records dating back 4,000 years. Fossils that have been found in Chinese territory include those of Yuanmou Man, the first Homo erectus, who lived 1.7 million years ago, those of Laotian Man, who lived 750,000 years ago, and those of the Peking Man, who lived at Zhoukoudian in today's suburban Beijing 600,000 years ago.
  • 3. LOCATION The Yellow River is said to be the cradle of Chinese civilization, although cultures originated along both the Yellow River and the Yangtze River valleys millennia ago in the Neolithic era. The first light of Chinese civilization revealed itself 7,000 to 8,000 years ago, as indicated by the ruins of the Daxi Culture in Sichuan and Hubei provinces, the Majiapang Culture in Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces, the Hemudu Culture in eastern Zhejiang and the Yangshou Culture along the middle reaches of the Yellow River and its main tributaries.
  • 4. MAJOR RIVERS Two great rivers run through China Proper: the Yellow River in the north, and the Yangtze (or Yangzi ) River to the south. In fact, most of China Proper belongs to the drainage- basins of these two rivers. Both originate to the far west in the Tibetan Plateau. Sometimes the Yellow River has emptied south of the Shandong peninsula, rather than north of it as it does today. And for long periods, the Huai River emptied into the sea.
  • 5. SOCIETY The social structure of Ancient China was the key to determining who was the more important and most respected people of Ancient times in China. Five groups; The Shi, the Nong, the Gong, the Shang and the Nubi The KING and his family were placed on the topmost level of the ancient Chinese social pyramid. SHI- The Shi were the gentry scholars in the time of ancient Zhou and Shang dynasties. NONG- The Nong class was comprised by the peasant farmers. GONG-The Gong class was composed by the craftsmen and artisans. SHANG- The Shang class composed by traders and merchants. NUBI- The Nubi class consisted of Slaves.
  • 6. RELIGION The Chinese were worshippers of nature. They worshipped the earth, heaven, sun, moon, stars and other aspects of nature. The earth god was named as ‘Si’ and the god of crops as ‘Chi’ by the Chinese. ‘Shangti’ was another famous god of the Chinese. The Chinese worshipped their ancestors by organising family feasts. They did not offer any prayer to help the dead; rather they believed that the dead would help the living. In the sixth century B.C. drastic change came in the field of religion. The reformers like Lao-Tse and Confucius emerged in China who changed the religious outlook of the Chinese by their reforms.
  • 7. CONFUCIANISM Confucius was another great reformer of ancient China. He was born in 551 B.C. in an ordinary family of a small village of the ‘Lu’ province (modern shantung). He said he wanted to teach about the Mandate of Heaven . This important belief of his political philosophy was that Heaven would choose a person and his clan to rule . He mixed his theology with his ideas of politics. He taught what is called the Silver Rule of behavior that is less expansive than the Golden Rule: His teachings have been reflected in ‘Five Classics’ such as—‘the ‘Book of History’, ‘Book of Poetry’, ‘Book of Changes’, ‘Book of Spring and Autumn’ and ‘Book of Rites’.
  • 8. AGRICULTURE Agricultural sites dating back 6,000 to 7,000 year include rice, millet and spade-like farm tools made of stone or bone. At the sites, indications of rice cultivation are in great abundance, as piles of rice grains, husks, stalks and leaves have been found there In one of the ancient Chinese legends, there is a story of Shen Nong Shi (also known as the Red Emperor or Yan Emperor) concerning the origin of agriculture. Before Shen Nong Shi, people ate reptiles, little animals, mussels, and wild vegetables.
  • 9. SERICULTURE China was the first country in the world to raise silkworms and make silk. Jade effigies of silkworms as well as silk fabrics pasted on the surface of bronzes have been unearthed. The great varieties of silk products, including thin tough silk, figured woven silk, different types of gauze, brocade and embroidered silk which itself came in more than a dozen types, the complicated ways of weaving and bright colors
  • 10. DOMESTICATION OF ANIMALS Dogs were the first animals to be domesticated in ancient China After millet domestication both pig and dog helped build the Yangshao culture, one of northern China's most important early civilizations.
  • 11. POTTERY Different kinds of pottery appeared in different times and regions. Yangshao Culture, 5,000 - 7,000 years ago to today, developed a technique for painted ceramic wares. Qujialing Culture and Longshan Culture, dating back about 4,000 years ago, were known for their black ceramic wares. Another fine example of beautifully crafted pottery is the tricolor glazed pottery of the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907). Another choice pottery that won great reputation for hundreds of years is purple clay pottery.
  • 12. WOODWORK The progenitors of Chinese woodworking are considered to be Lu Ban (??) and his wife Lady Yun, from the Spring and Autumn Period. Lu Ban is said to have brought the plane, chalkline, and other tools to China. His teachings are supposedly left behind in the book Lu Ban Jing (???, "Manuscript of Lu Ban"), although it was written some 1500 years after his death. This book is filled largely with descriptions of dimensions for use in building various items—such as flower pots, tables, altars, etc.—and also contains extensive instructions concerning Feng Shui, the ancient Chinese practice of geomancy. It mentions almost nothing of the intricate glueless and nailless joinery for which Chinese furniture was so famous.