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China’s Geography. China is a huge country, but there is very little farmable land A lot of mountains like the Himalayas A lot of deserts like the Gobi desert Yellow River- a.k.a. Huang He river Yellow from pollen and silt that floods the river River of Sorrows Important to China’s economy.

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China’s Geography

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China’s Geography

  • China is a huge country, but there is very little farmable land

  • A lot of mountains like the Himalayas

  • A lot of deserts like the Gobi desert

  • Yellow River- a.k.a. Huang He river

    • Yellow from pollen and silt that floods the river

    • River of Sorrows

    • Important to China’s economy.

    • Northern China

  • Long River- a.k.a. Yangtze river

    • Longest river in China

    • Flows through central China


China’s First Civilizations

  • Yang-Shao Culture

    • Earliest Neolithic Culture along the Yellow River.

    • 5000 b.c.- 3000 b.c.

    • They domesticated pigs and dogs

  • Hemudu Culture

    • same time as Yang-Shao Culture, along the Long River

    • Rice Farmers


China’s First Civilizations

  • Eventually these 2 cultures began to associate with each other and in about 3000 b.c. They officially joined and became known as the Middle Kingdom.

  • Out of this came China’s first Dynasty: the Xia Dynasty


Shang Dynasty

  • After the Xia Dynasty, the Shang Dynasty ruled from 1750 b.c. to 1045 b.c.

  • Their capital was at Anyang

  • They had a social class system, similar to others of the world.

  • Polytheistic- believed in many spirits and gods- they also honored ancestors with offerings. Shang kings believed they received wisdom and power from these gods, spirits, and ancestors.


Shang Dynasty

  • Oracle Bones

    • Beginning of Chinese writing.

    • This is where we get most of our information about the Shang Dynasty.

    • Inscriptions have been found on the shoulder blades of Oxen and sometimes on turtle shells.

    • These are considered Sacrificial rites.

      • They would scratch a statement or prediction into the bone, heat it with a bronze tool that would crack the bones. These cracks were interpreted as a response to the question or prediction.

      • These inscriptions are about kings, weather, wars, crops, etc.

      • They use over 3000 ideographs and pictographs.


Zhou Dynasty

  • The Shang lived very richly, while their subjects were very poor- this caused unrest throughout China.

  • Wu Wang, an aristocrat, led a rebellion of the unhappy against the Shang and created the Zhou Dynasty.

  • The Zhou Dynasty lasted longer than any other dynasty in Chinese history.

  • They divided their kingdom into small territories with their own officials so that they could better govern.

  • They also used the Mandate of Heaven to keep control. They used this to say that the gods told them they were to have all power in China.


Zhou Dynasty

  • Good things that came out of the Zhou Dynasty:

    • Irrigation and flood control systems

    • Farm tools such as the plow

    • Silk was an important trade item.

  • Period of the Warring States- towards the end of the Zhou, the local rulers began fighting with each other over land.


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