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Ancient China

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Andrea Mah

on 23 April 2013

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Transcript of Ancient China

Ancient China Clara, Andrea, and Martin Geography Originated in areas along the Yellow and Yangtze River, neighboured by Tibet and Mongolia. The area surrounding these rivers yielded healthy soil for farming, while the actual rivers were often used for fishing. Xia Dynasty: 1994 BCE- 1766 BCE Shang Dynasty: 1766-1122 BCE Zhou Dynasty: 1122 BCE-221 BCE Consisted of long periods called "dynasties" which is a sequence of rulers considered members of the same family. I Note: the Xia Dyansty has not yet been proven with reliable historical evidence, but has been mentioned in ancient historical chronicles. Golden Age Rise and Fall The Iron Age (About 600 BCE- 300 BCE) Of the Shang and Zhou Dynasties Ancient Chinese Dynasties usually end after a war or rebellion within it's civilization. Government Their system was similar to a monarchy. A result of the last ruler being a cruel tyrant. The government had various jobs, including: Protecting the citizens from nomadic (traveling) tribes. Bad ruler Controlling the armies and labor forces. Keeping China in a healthy, safe state. Once a king died, his closest relation (usually one of his sons) took the throne. A new dynasty would steadily rise once a ruler from a different bloodline Ancient China had no civil law; most laws had to do with moral teachings from legal-code books and obeying the Emperor. has overthrown the former dynasty. A system known as the "Five Punishments" were enforced at this time. Tattooing their face Having their nose cut off Amputation of one or both legs Castration A slow, painful execution Economy Trade was a major contributor to a thriving economy and increase in productivity. They exported resources like salt, fish, cattle, jade, and their most treasured trading item: silk. Famines and other environmental problems would have affected the trade. Resources would become hard to farm while workers died from bad living conditions. Even before the Xia Dynasty, the Chinese owned slaves. Most slaves farmed, but many would also be seen doing housework, building roads, and collecting taxes. Religion Unlawful Warring States Period: 403 BCE - 221 BCE Technology Knowledge The Zhou Dynasty ruled for about 900 years, and the Chinese civilization greatly expanded during this dynasty. Starting from the Shang dynasty, people worshiped their deceased ancestors in a form of respect (Ancestor veneration). They were polytheists (worshiped more than one god) and had 54 gods of different elements. Religion and government were combined, as citizens thought that their rulers were chosen by gods. Before Buddhism was introduced in the imperial age, they believed in However, it was too difficult to govern the large population, so it was separated into different areas (known as states) and a ruler was assigned to each one. There were a total of eight religious holidays. This included the Moon Festival: a holiday where families get together and eat moon cakes for the celebration of the mid-autumn moon. Some states rose in power, while Zhou started to become weaker.
The situation in China at this time was unstable because areas were fighting against each other in order to maintain/gain power. In this time period, China was known for many innovations including silk, fine china, row-planting, the bell, and chopsticks. They were also known to have been the first to make food and drinks like tea, noodles, and alcohol. Iron and bronze were melted and shaped into decorative pots and statues. Structures were usually made by slaves with stone tools. Because the average commoner's diet consisted of rice, wheat, millet, tea, etc., their food was grown by farmers. It is supposed that they had developed water-supply facilities and that their water traveled through ceramic pipes. Knowledge was commonly passed down from generation to generation (taught by parents) or shared in schools. Old Chinese (also known as Archaic Chinese) can be traced back to as far as the late Shang Dynasty. They were formed from pictograms and look very different from modern-day Chinese. This writing was found on oracle bones and bronze inscriptions. Schools taught the Six Arts. They first measured time using sundials, but then later moved on to use water clocks. The current ruler would then impose actions that would improve the issues caused by the past king. Arts and Culture Served as an expression of Chinese philosophy, religion and culture. The Arts The civilization produced painted pottery, bronze vessels, paintings and sculptures. The peak of Ancient China appeared sometime during the Iron Age (about 600 BCE- 300 BCE), while the decline slowly occurred during the Warring States period (475 BCE- 256 BCE). The origins of Chinese calligraphy are dated back to the Shang Dynasty. Artistic products are found almost everywhere. From loyal palaces (sculptures) to a pheasant's house (painted rice bowls). Culture Literature only came into popularity in Imperial China (after the end of the Warring States Period). Music generally consisted of wind and percussive instruments, and imitated the sounds of nature. The skill of melting and shaping iron spread across China and brought many new inventions. These new tools contributed to farming, resulting in an increase of citizens. An expansion of horseback communication eventually came to fit the number of merchants and traders. A rapid advance in weaponry also emerged from the competitiveness between the states. This period lasted about 300 years and ended when the state of Qin started taking over. - a philosophical and religious tradition that emphasizes living in harmony with Tao, which means "path" or "principle". Rites The Nian Monster Music Chinese Dragons Archery Chariot racing Mathematics Calligraphy Legend has it that in ancient times, a monster named "Nian" ("year") would terrorize villages and eat children on the eve of Chinese New Year. Chinese people would decorate the exterior of their doors with red paper, and let off firecrackers in order to scare away "Nian". These mythological creatures are thought to control the weather. Represent power, strength, and good luck Dragons where used to symbolize the "Son of Heaven" (current ruler of Ancient China). Architecture The Great Wall of China Started construction in 7th Century B.C.E Built to protect against intrusions by various nomadic groups or military attacks by various warlike peoples or forces Architectural Styles Taoism Buildings should be long and low, and both sides are symmetrical to emphasize balance. The Peasant's House Made of mud brick
Had one room and a dirt floor Used strict rules of design to follow Chinese philosophies Contributions Many of Ancient China's contributions to our modern world come from it's inventions (noodles, chopsticks, the production of silk, bone flute etc.) The Chinese system of writing has been adapted by other asian dialects, including Japanese and Korean Confucius Several Asian countries have been influenced by China famous Ancient Chinese philosopher "Do not do to others that you do not want to be do to yourself,” Earlier Version of the Golden Rule Role of Artists Serve loyal families through sculpture, paintings, pottery and music Sold pottery and crafts in the street market Some values and morals that we believe in today can be traced back to Confucius, a Taoism. What are three of the six arts that are taught in Ancient China? How many gods/goddesses did the Chinese believe in? Who is the Nian Monster? Thanks for watching The People supported their emperor because of the "Mandate of Heaven" -A belief that, if the gods approved of the emperor, he would receive their blessing and become prosperous. If the emperor didn't fulfill his job, however, he would lose the mandate and be overthrown. Social Structure: Emperor Smaller Kings Less- powerful Lords Farmers
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