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Ancient India vs. Ancient China

Ancient Asian Civilizations
by

Daniel Kim

on 19 October 2015

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Transcript of Ancient India vs. Ancient China

Ancient China
vs.
Ancient India

Along what geographic feature do most civilizations begin?


What examples can you think of that we have learned about already?


China is the same!
Review!
How did China’s geography affect its early civilization?
Ancient China
Huang He (Yellow River)
Yangtze
Rivers of China
Like the Fertile Crescent, the early Chinese settlers flourished near the
river valleys
of the
Yangtze
and the
Yellow Rivers
High Deserts
Gobi
Takla
Makan
China’s Physical Geography
Because of China's many and formidable geographic barriers like their
rivers, mountains, and deserts
,

much of China was difficult to invade.
Great Mountains
Altai Mountains
Tien Shan
Himalayas
Create isolation!
Tale of Two Dynasties
Shang Dynasty
Zhou Dynasty
The Shang and the Zhou
Dynasties
Now on to the Civilizations!
Based on archaeological evidence, Chinese Society began 4-5,000 years ago in the Yellow River Valley
We will take a look at two major Civilizations, the
Shang Dynasty
and the
Zhou Dynasty
.

These two civilizations were responsible for many
institutions
and
customs
that carried into Chinese culture for centuries
The Shang Dynasty
was one of the first Chinese societies to leave written records. Like the Babylonians and Egyptians, the Shang developed a
strong central government
to develop agriculture and trade.
The Shang also created large tombs filled with precious goods for use in the after life just like the Egyptians
Sometimes living animals and servants would be buried alive with their dead masters!
After the decline of the Shang Dynasty in
1100 BCE,
a new tribe called the
Zhou
invaded and

established a
new dynasty
To give legitimacy to their rule, they claimed they had a
Mandate of Heaven.
This stated that their rule was
divine
and that they had the backings of the
Gods
.

Clearly the Shang Dynasty lost the Gods' Favor!

This created the
Dynasty Cycle,
which stated that any dynasty that fell from power, fell because they became corrupt and lost the
gods' favor
Zhou Achievements
While most civilizations of the era used
bronze
to create their tools, the Zhou
mastered the use of Iron
. It was stronger and cheaper than bronze.
The Zhou also made huge gains in
agriculture, transportation, and communication.
They also created a system of currency and used

chopsticks!
Geography of China
Ancient India
Although the rivers supplied the ancient Chinese with water and silt, they
flooded unpredictably,
and many drowned. The Huang He earned the infamous nickname,

"China's Sorrow."
Society in the Shang Dynasty revolved around the idea that the
group was more important than the individual
. The Family was the most important social structure in Chinese life.
Filial Piety
is the powerful concept of virtue and respect towards one's elders and ancestors. Even today language and social order is centered around this idea
The importance of the Family persisted even in death, as the
spirits of dead ancestors
were thought to bring luck or doom upon the living.
The Shang also believed in many different gods, the primary one being Shang Di. These gods were thought to communicate through
Oracle Bones,
animal bones and tortoise shells Chinese priests would write on and then touch with a torch.
Chinese Language
Like hieroglyphics of Egypt, the early Chinese language was based off of picture representations of objects, or
pictographs
. In order to be literate, one would have to know thousands of different characters!
The Zhou also established a system called
Feudalism
A political system where lords or nobles are granted lands that legally belong to the king. In return these lords
owe economic and military loyalty to the king
.
Full transcript