ANCIENT CHINA. PRE-HISTORIC CHINA Paleolithic China: Peking Man  Fossils found...

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Transcript of ANCIENT CHINA. PRE-HISTORIC CHINA Paleolithic China: Peking Man  Fossils found...




  • Paleolithic China:Peking ManFossils found in 1920s -30s -- date to 500,000 bceZhoukoudian Cave -- 40 km. south of BeijingClassified as HOMO ERECTUS

  • Neolithic China ca. 12,000-2000 bce

  • Neolithic China ca. 12,000-2000 bceAlthough Neolithic period began ca. 12,000 bce in China, good evidence dates back only to 4,000 bceLargest concentration of agriculture near Yellow River: millet was main crop Much wetter geography: most of N. China was lakes and marshes, and central China was covered with enormous lake. Silk production in Northern China began even before the Neolithic period.Clustered dwelling suggest importance of kinship

  • 9000 year-old flutesThese 9,000-year-old Chinese flutes are believed to be the oldest known playable instruments. They're made from the forelimbs of a rare crane.

  • Yangshao Culture5000-2500 bcePrimitive techniques of cultivation: millet main cropSemisubterranean houses in mountains of northern and western China Their handcrafted, Painted Pottery occasionally bears a single incised sign that may be a forerunner of Chinese writingDomesticated the dog and the pig

  • Lung-shan Culture ca.2500-1000 bceMore advanced agriculturePermanent settlements in the eastern plains, and expansion into Manchuria, and Central and South China. Black PotteryPracticed ancestor worshipDomesticated pig, dog, sheep and ox

  • JadeEarly Chinese describe jade as embodying five virtues: Benevolence is typified by its luster that is bright and warm Integrity by its translucencyWisdom by its sonorous ring when struck Courage by its hardnessSteadfastness by its durability

    Ornament in shape of pig-dragon (zhulong) Neolithic, Hongshan culture ca. 3600-2000 bce

  • Neolithic JadeModern jade includes nephrite and jadeite: only nephrite used in Neolithic timesRanges widely in color, from pale to dark green, from white to yellow, from brown to black.Extremely hard, so inordinately difficult to work. It cannot be carved, but must be ground by a material harder than itselfThe Neolithic tools of choice were probably a gut saw and bamboo drill together with an abrasive in the form of river sand or sludge. Earliest pieces date ca. 7000 bce

  • Hongshan JadeFar to the northeast, in the Manchurian hills, archaeologists have uncovered traces of a ceremonial center at Niuheliang associated with the Hongshan culture (4700-2920 B.C.).Jade objects found in tombs

  • Liangzhu Jade CongsFound almost exclusively in burial contexts, indicating ritual and religious significanceUnique form of a circle within a square suggests some cosmological significance. Perhaps the circle symbolizes heaven, and the square symbolizes earth

  • Xia Dynasty 21st-16th c. bce

  • Xia Dynasty 21st-16th c. bceFirst prehistoric dynasty: descendants of Lung-Shan cultureEarly bronze age sites in Henan first discovered in 1928 Urban sites, bronze implements, and tombs that point to the existence of Xia civilization in the same locations cited in ancient Chinese textsEvolutionary stage between the late neolithic cultures and the urban civilization of the Shang dynasty.


  • Shang Dynasty16th-11th c. bce

  • Shang Dynasty Central Yellow River Valley Oldest examples of Chinese writing Hunters and farmers Brilliant bronze culture Cities Cheng Chow (16th c. bc) Anyang (C. 1384-1111 bc)Ornament of the late Shang, 7 cm The figurine shows the costume and headdress usually worn by people in the Shang Dynasty

  • Shang Social OrganizationCity-states under the nominal rule of a high kingProto-feudalism. The area under the jurisdiction of the king quite probably was small, perhaps not more than 100-200 miles in any direction from Anyang. Traces of a family ruling system and of ancestor-worship are discernible. Rigidly patriarchal society. Shang Tang - the first ruling king of the Shang dynasty

  • WritingOracle bones used for divination. A question was written on the bone, which was then fired and a T shaped crack was produced to be interpreted; the interpretation was then written on the bone. After the predicted event occurred, the date of the occurrence was also written on the bone.

  • Astronomy and CalendarOracle bone with record of solar eclipseOx bone inscribed with a table of the Heavenly Stems and Earthly Branches

  • ZhongqiShang BronzesRitual bronze vesselsRange from the very small and light to very large Bronze vessels are called "zhongqi" or heavy vessels in Chinese.

  • 4 Elements of ZhongqiSophisticated bronze technologyLi-qi: ritual art -- used for worship, not utilitarianRestricted decoration and shapeShang bronze types were copied and reused later in Chinese history, even into the nineteenth century


  • TaotieThis pattern appears on nearly all Shang bronzes, and has been interpreted as a vague suggestion of an animal's head. The animal is unclear, as are many of the elements of the decoration, so it is called zoomorphic: shaped like an animal.

  • Shang Religion The Shang worshipped the "Shang Ti," a supreme god over lesser gods, the sun, the moon, the wind, the rain, and other natural forces and places. Highly ritualized, ancestor worshipSacrifice to the gods and the ancestorsWhen a king died, hundreds of slaves and prisoners were often sacrificed and buried with him.

  • Woman Warrior: Fu Hao13th c. bceThe tomb of Fu Hao is the only royal Shang tomb to have been found unlooted. The floor level housed the royal corpse and most of the utensils and implements buried with her. Below the corpse was a small pit holding the remains of 6 dogs, and the skeletons of 16 humans. Fu Hao was mentioned in oracle bone inscriptions as the consort of King Wu Ding and a general who participated in several campaigns.

  • ZHOU DYNASTY 1027 bc-221 bc

  • Periods of Zhou Dynasty771 bce -- Zhou invaded by barbarians allied with rebel lords; king killed. Capital moved eastward to Luoyang in Henan Province Western Zhou: 1027-771 bce Eastern Zhou 770-221 bce 770-476 bce: Spring and Autumn Period475-221 bce: Warring States Period

  • Zhou Dynasty

    Introduced organized agriculture Feudal societyLand grants in return for support in war and loyalty Ruler: Tian or Son of Heaven Principal of societal relationships illustrated in the Book of Odes and the Book of RitualsConfucianism and Taoism introduced

  • Zhou Jade: RitualChanges in ritual and funeral custom manifested themselves in the appearance of jade-piece masks and, much later, jade burial suits. Belief that jade could protect the corpse from decay, thereby providing the spirit with a "living" home. The pieces of this jade mask were sewn on a silk veil to define the facial features of the deceased.

  • Musical InstrumentsBian zhong was the main ritual instrument played at sacrificial activities or feasts of aristocrats in the Western Zhou Dynasty.

    Percussion instrument of Western Zhou, height 38.5-48 cm

  • Qin (Chin) Dynasty 221 bce -206 bceFirst unified the country by subjugating the Warring StatesEstablished central bureaucracyLegalism supplanted Confucianism: scholars persecuted and books burnedStandardized writing, currency, weights and measuresQin Shihuangdi

  • Qin Building ProjectsUsed forced labor of convicts and peasantsRoads and canalsPalacesConnected fortification walls to build 5000 kilometer Great Wall

  • Mausoleum of Qin Emperor ShiHuangdi (First Emperor)Qin ShiHuangdis Mausoleum was discovered in 1974 by farmers digging a well. The 13 year-old emperor had ordered 800,000 workers to build his tomb.Terra Cotta ArmyRebellions broke out after Emperors death in 210 bce: dynasty overthrown after only 15 years of rule

  • ConfuciusKung fu-tzu or Kongfuzi

    551-479 bc Son of aristocrat, raised in poverty Itinerant teacher Sayings collected in The Analects Possibly edited The Book of Songs

  • Confucianism Importance of traditional values: self-control, filial piety, propriety, ritual Individual virtue leads to societal virtue Contextual morality -- guided by circumstances of a particular problem Obedience contingent upon benevolence

  • Confucian ValuesLi: propriety, ceremony, civility. 4 basic rules of human conduct: courtesy, politeness, good manners, respect (reverence for age)Jen (Ren): respect for self and others:Do not do to others what you do not want done to you. Charity and courtesyTe: virtue, the power of moral example as in a strong leader who guides by example or in the forces of natureWen: the arts of peace: music, poetry, art -- conducive to harmony and order and a model of excellence. Traditional Chinese art always strives for beauty.

  • The Six RelationshipsObedience in The Six Relationships is contingent upon the superior members observing their duty to be benevolent and caring.RulerTeacher Older FriendSubjectStudentYounger Friend

  • The Mandate of Heaven The moral order of the Universe: right and wrong Fate: Life and death are beyond our control. The right to rule: knowing and observing the moral order of the Universe The judgement of history: losing the Mandate of Heaven results in loss of power.

  • Lao Tzu or Lao ZiOld Sage or Old Master Born c. 604 bc Author of Tao te Ching or Taodejing: The Way and Its Power Legendary life

  • TAOISM Tao: the ultimate reality behind existence, a transcendant essence. Highly individualistic and mystical character Existential skepticismWu-wei: spontaneity -- to discern and follow the natural forces -- to follow and shape the natural flow of events, not to st