Ancient China Early China (3000 BC – 221 BC) Built around another River Valley Isolation from the rest of the World Called kingdom Zhong Guo (“middle kingdom”) Oldest Continuous Civilization (isolation) Ancient China • Geography of China • Mountains make up 1/3 of area Himalayas, Kunlun Shan, Tian Shan • Gobi Desert • Hinder cultural diffusion Ancient China • Fertile Area between Rivers • 3 Major Rivers dominate China – Huang He (Yellow River) – Yangtze River – Xi Jiang (West River) “the Great Sorrow” China’s Sorrow (The Huang Ho) • River cultures depend on regular flooding for water and renewal of the soil • Huang Ho was not predictable nor regular • Massive floods and sever draughts are common • Death and depravation is common! Ancient China • Hsia Dynasty built around first cities • Yang-shao culture explains painted pots, goblets • Chinese Myths explain development – Pan Gu – Yao – Shun – Yu A cosmic egg floated within the timeless void, containing the opposing forces of yin and yang. After eons of incubation, the first being, Pan-gu emerged. The heavy parts (yin) of the egg drifted downwards, forming the earth. The lighter parts (yang) rose to form the sky. Pan-gu, fearing the parts might re-form, stood upon the earth and held up the sky. He grew 10 feet per day for 18,000 years, until the sky was 30,000 miles high. His work completed, he died. His parts transformed into elements of the universe, whether animals, weather phenomena, or celestial bodies. Some say the fleas on him became humans, but there is another explanation. The goddess Nuwa was lonely, so she fashioned men out of mud from the Yellow River. These first humans delighted her, but took long to make, so she flung muddy droplets over the earth, each one becoming a new person. These hastily-made people became the commoners, with the earlier ones being the nobles the first example of mass-production! Shang Dynasty (1766-1027 BC) • Civilization Begins around Shang Dynasty • (1766-1027 BC) Anyang • Developed Society • Indicates wheeled chariots • Work with Bronze tools, weapons • Maize, Wheat, Millet, Rice • Domesticated Fowls, Pigs, Dogs, Elephants • Basis for Chinese Language Appliqué in the Form of T’ao T’ieh Mask - Bronze inlaid with turquoise Fang I (Ritual Wine Vessel) This bronze ritual wine vessel, dating from the Shang Dynasty in the 13th century BC, late 13th-12th century B.C. Ko (Dagger-Axe) Bronze Oracle Bones • Validated the history that was previously only oral. • Script on the bones are the direct ancestors of modern Chinese writing. Chou Dynasty (1000-221 BC) (Zhou) • Capital of Anyang falls to Rebels led by Wu • 4-5 times larger than Shang • New form of Leaders (strong, more militaristic) Chou Dynasty (1000-221 BC) (Zhou) • Capital of Anyang falls to Rebels led by Wu • 4-5 times larger than Shang • New form of Leaders (strong, more militaristic) • Origins of Mandate of Heaven (mandates) • Determine effectiveness of Rule • Money used (coins of metal) • Iron tools and weapons Bell (ceramic) Stoneware with appliquéd and incised décor under a yellowgreen glaze Ya Chang Scepter 1122-722 B.C. Mottled brown jade with light and dark clouds Tripod (Ritual Food Vessel) Bronze Among the more unique ceramics recovered from the Warring States (480-221 b.c.)B.C.) tombs of Kiangsu and Chekiang provinces are ash-glazed stonewares made in imitation of ritual bronze vessels. Several excavations have yielded a variety of carefully crafted replicas of specific vessel and bell types that were used in prestigious burials as substitutes for far more expensive ceremonial bronzes. Yung-cheng bells were typically made in graduated sets. Suspended from a wooden beam, they were struck on the exterior to create sound, and entire sets have been excavated from late Chou burials. This vessel is applied overall with a thin, yellowishgreen glaze that can be seen as a predecessor to the famous Yueh celadon made later in this same region of southeast China. The hand-built object is accurately modeled with sculpted bosses, incised decorative zones, and correct proportions. Chou Dynasty (1000-221 BC) • 2nd Capital @ Loyang • Switch to a Feudal System • New Farming Methods (ox drawn plow) • New irrigation, canals • End of dynasty suffers from instability from feudal warfare • Looked to Philosophers for advice (3) – Taoism – Confucianism – Legalism TAOISM • Lao-Tze (~604 BC) • “The Old Philosopher” • Taught the Way of Virtue • People were corrupted by civilization • Follow the way, could not be explained • Shun the world, retire as hermits The natural is the essence of all that must be known, and the place where all must return Always without desire we must be found, If its deep mystery we would sound; But if desire always within us be, Its outer fringe is all that we shall see. Confucianism • Confucius (551-479 BC) • Known as Kung Tzu or Master Kung • People were good by nature • Concerned with ways to organize a stable and just society • Value of Jen (sorry Ben) Confucianism • 5 ethical codes of conduct Ruler & Subject, Parent & Child, Husband & Wife, Brother & Brother, Friend & Friend • Duties and Responsibilities • Teachings collected in Analects Confucius These heavenly patterns were also inscribed in the patterns of music and dance, yüeh , so that order in this life could be attained by understanding and practicing the order of traditional and solemn music and dance. Because traditional music and dance perfectly embody the humaneness and wisdom of their composers, who understood perfectly the order of the world and heaven; one can create within oneself this wisdom by properly performing this music and dance. LEGALISM • Han Fei Tzu (d. 233 BC) • Rejected Confucian Thought • People were Dishonest and Lazy by nature • Favored authoritarian view of society • Strict Laws / Harsh Punishments ensured Order in Society Qin Dynasty • • • • • • 221 BC - 207 BC Legalist Rule Warring states Aggressive & Army Qin Shi Huang – Emperor Killed and Palace burned The figures were discovered in 1974 near Xi'an, Shaanxi province, China A modern statue of Qin Shi Huang, located near the site of the Terracotta Army HAN DYNASTIES 206 BC - 220 AD • China officially became a Confucian state and prospered domestically: agriculture, handicrafts and commerce flourished, and the population reached 50 million. • Intellectual, Artistic, Literary • Paper • Beginning of Silk Road • Enlightened One or Awakened One • Siddhattha Gautama • Buddha was born around 565 B.C. in Lumbini in modern day Nepal • Buddha taught the four noble truths: • that there is suffering, that suffering has a cause, that suffering has an end and that there is a path that leads to the end of suffering. • Karma Chinese Dragons • The symbol of the dragon represents spiraling DNA, the path into greater enlightenment. • Chinese around the world, proudly proclaim themselves "Lung Tik Chuan Ren" (Descendents of the Dragon). Dragons are referred to as the divine mythical creature that brings with it ultimate abundance, prosperity and good fortune. THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA 万里长城 • The Great Wall of China was built mainly to protect the Chinese Empire from the Mongolians and other invaders. • 6th century B.C. - 16th C. • the Great Wall of China extends 4,000 miles westward: from the China Sea town of Shanhaiguan to Gansu province.