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Transcript of Ancient China
IntroductionWelcome to Ancient China. China has been a nation for over 5,000 years. Compare that to the United States which has only been around for about 230 years. Imagine how hard it must be to be a Chinese history student. Chinas culture and history have influenced the entire world and with over one billion people, China continues to be a world power. Come with me as we explore ancient China and its innovations, ancient dynasties, philosophy and historic places. Song Playing: Dragon Chanting In The Vast Sea
Qins Terra Cotta Warriors
More than 30 years ago, in 1974, Chinese farmers were digging a well in central China when they discovered an important archaeological site. They discovered fragments from the burial grounds of a Chinese emperor, Shi Huangdi (Shee-hwang-dee). His name is also spelled Shihuangdi.
Song Playing: Battle Music For Emperor Qins Army
Interactive MapThe Silk Road is the most well-known trading route of ancient Chinese civilization. Trade in silk grew under the Han Dynasty ( 202 BC - AD 220) in the first and second centuries AD.Originally, the Chinese traded silk internally, within the empire. Caravans from the empire's interior would carry silk to the western edges of the region. Often small Central Asian tribes would attack these caravans hoping to capture the traders' valuable commodities. As a result, the Han Dynasty extended its military defenses further into Central Asia from 135 to 90 BC in order to protect these caravans.
Chan Ch'ien, the first known Chinese traveler to make contact with the Central Asian tribes, later came up with the idea to expand the silk trade to include these lesser tribes and therefore forge alliances with these Central Asian nomads. Because of this idea, the Silk Road was born.The route grew with the rise of the Roman Empire because the Chinese initially gave silk to the Roman-Asian governments as gifts.The 7000 mile route spanned China, Central Asia, Northern India, and the Parthian and Roman Empires. It connected the Yellow River Valley to the Mediterranean Sea and passed through places such as Chinese cities Kansu and Sinkiang and present-day countries Iran, Iraq and Syria.
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HomeSong Playing: Lofty Mountains And Flowing Waters
Qin was the name of the part of China he ruled. He had his army of more than one million soldiers conquer the entire country in 221 B.C. He united all the little kingdoms he conquered and became an emperor. An emperor is the supreme ruler of an empire.
Like most Chinese, he believed in taking the real world with him when he died. He wanted his tomb to be spectacular, and he certainly would need an army to protect him when he died. Therefore, he ordered a terra cotta (clay) army be built. He ordered that the terra cotta soldiers be set up in formation with their backs to him. The terra cotta soldiers and horses would stand guard in order to protect him from attack.As many as 700,000 people worked for more than thirty years to make the 7,000 - 8,000 soldiers, horses and chariots. When they were first made more than 2,000 years ago, the soldiers were brightly painted and held real weapons. While molds were used to make the bodies, no two soldiers were alike. They had different hair styles, shoes, expressions and uniformsClick here for more photos
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