River valley civilizations and the xia dynasty
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River Valley Civilizations and the Xia Dynasty. Ancient China 5,000 BCE – 1,750 BCE. River Valley Civilizations. How is the geography of India and China similar?

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River Valley Civilizations and the Xia Dynasty

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River valley civilizations and the xia dynasty

River Valley Civilizations and the Xia Dynasty

Ancient China

5,000 BCE – 1,750 BCE


River valley civilizations

River Valley Civilizations

How is the geography of India and China similar?

Based on what you know about the Indus Valley Civilization (or the Mesopotamian and Egyptian civilizations) what are characteristics you would expect to see in early Chinese civilization?


Yang shao people

Yang Shao People

Started around 5,000 BCE

Found in 1928

Existed around the Huang He (Yellow) River

Discovered 1921 by a Swedish Archaeologist—100 different sites so far

Compounds with an orderly layout, surrounded by a ditch

Stone/bone tools/pottery

Subsistence agriculture and hunting


Longshan people

Longshan People

Also along the Yellow River

3000 BCE

Private Property

Social Classes

Advanced tools

Advanced farming

‘Black Pottery Culture”

Baked bricks

Walled settlements

Silk Production


Yu the great

Yu the Great

No written language—comes from legend/poetry

How much is true?

Story goes:

Great Flood—years and years

Leader Shun told Gun to deal with the flood

Tried dams to block the water/raise the river banks—doesn’t work

Executed


Yu the great1

Yu the Great

Gun’s son Yu takes over his work

Successful by digging channels and dredging

Unites the people to help him

Works for 13 years

Passes home 3 times

Shun makes Yu his heir


Legend

Legend?

  • Some stories of Yu include mythical characteristics

    • Yu is born from his father’s body

    • Yu gets a dragon’s help to dig the channels

    • Yu gets a black turtle’s help to re-route the water

    • Yu has ‘god-like’ powers

    • “Tames the Flood”

      Other times the story is presented without those features

    • Yu is very smart, hardworking, and taught people practical skills about flood control, irrigation, and agriculture

    • Yu is a model of loyalty and personal sacrifice


Xia dynasty

Xia Dynasty

Yu becomes the founder of the Xia Dynasty

2200-1750 BCE

For a long time—thought to be only legend that was written down in books 1500 years later

Archaeologists have uncovered ruins that date to that time

Similar characteristics to earlier river civilizations

The rest? Who knows


Yellow river

Yellow River

6th longest River (5000 km)

Changed major course 26 times in 2000 years

Provides water for 12% of China’s population and 15% of its farmland


Why is it called the yellow river

Why is it called the Yellow River?

Loess

Fine dirt that is washed into the River giving it the yellow color

Provides fertile soil when deposited on the land

Causes MAJOR problems too


River of sorrow

River of Sorrow

Silt builds up the river bedflooding

1500 floods in 2000 years

Worst floods in history come from this river

1887: 2 million deaths

1931: 4 million deaths

1928: 900,000 deaths

Why?

Ice breaks unleash massive amounts of water

Silting causes the river bed to rise

Mass population along the river

Fertile farm land—hunger leads to death toll


Whoever controls the yellow river controls china

“Whoever controls the Yellow River, controls China”

  • Every Dynasty has tried to deal with flood control

  • How? Canals, holding pools, dams, building of levees

  • Modern Times:

    • Rebuilt Levees

    • Silt Removing Dams

    • Resettlement to higher ground

  • Ready for a 100 year flood?

Other Problems:

  • Pollution

    • Flow through coal producing areas

    • 4000 chemical plants on the river

    • 1/3 fish species extinct

    • 50% of river biologically dead

    • Sewage from massive cities

    • High cancer and disease rates

  • Overuse: Over grazing, deforestation, too much irrigation

  • 1972 Ran dry, 30 times since then

    Fix? South-North Water Transfer Project


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