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Civilization in the Huang He
Valley
China today has the most people of
any nation on Earth: over 1.2 billion
China has one of the longest continuous histories on Earth. Their
civilization began in the fertile valley of the Huang He or “Yellow River.”
The river is yellow due to the
yellow silt it carries. The silt is
called Loess
The river valley was so fertile that wars were started to
control the food production of the area.
The people of China believe that
the world was created by a giant
named Pan Gu.
The Chinese believed in many
gods, and even prayed to their
ancestors.
The Chinese would ask questions
about the future using “oracle
bones.”
The oracle would cast the bone into a fire. How the bone broke in
the heat determined the answer. The answer was then written on
the bone with Chinese pictographs. That is how we know so
much about life back then.
The Xia were the first dynasty. They ruled with a Mandate
of Heaven, or an order to the king to rule, given by the
gods.
The Shang Dynasty came next. They greatly expanded the
empire. The greatest advancement was the invention of
Chinese writing (pictographs).
Because of the difficult terrain (landforms) around China, communication and travel were difficult. It is
surround by the Pacific Ocean, The Himalayan Mountains, The Gobi and Takla Makan Deserts just to
name a few. The Chinese people thought that they were the center of the universe as a result of this.
They knew very little about the world outside.