Ancient Chinese Culture Essay

Ancient Chinese Culture Essay

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While the fertile banks of the Tigris, Euphrates, and Indus rivers were giving rise to thriving civilizations in the Middle East and India, the same was happening along the banks of the Yellow River in China. A civilization arose untouched by the outside world in parallel to those of Mesopotamia, Harappa, and Mohenjo-Daro. The Yellow River civilization not only mirrored the advances made in the other two civilizations but also contributed unique ones of their own.

Due to China’s geographical location - high mountains of the Tibetan Plateau to the west and vast deserts of the Gobi to the north - communication with the West and South Asia was difficult. Nomadic horsemen to the north referred to as “barbarians” began raiding China for products like silk and lacquer-ware as early as Shang times. In the 3rd century B.C, The Qin dynasty built the first stretch of the rammed-earth fortification to protect themselves from the northern nomads. Hundreds of thousands of laborer were drafted to build this wall along the northern border between the Qin lands and the areas controlled by the nomadic Xiongnu. The Xiongnu or more commonly known as the Huns formed the first confederation of nomadic tribes. Other dynasties after the Qin added to the wall, however most of the work can be contributed to the Ming dynasty. The wall today is 1,500 miles long and runs mostly along the southern edge of the Mongolian plain. Guard stations and watchtowers are placed at regular intervals. In reality, the wall did not do much to protect from outside invasion but exists today as one of the most well known Chinese attractions. It is listed in the Wonders of the World among the likes of Machu Picchu and Taj Mahal.

The Chinese writing system is another illus...


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...otamia, and domesticating animals. They created a unique style of art and literature as illustrated by the poetry in the Book of Songs about the Tang Dynasty. Sun Tzu’s Art of War is still read today and referenced by business, military and political leaders. The Great Wall of China, the Chinese script and Confucianism are not the only contributions of the great Chinese civilization. They had also invented the compass, papermaking, printing, gunpowder, silk, bronze, and porcelain among others. Aside from their innovations, China is also known for its distinct imperial dynastic system of government. From the Shang, Zhou, Qin, Han, Sui, Tang and Song, the Chinese people and culture remained mostly the same. All these elements combined, it is no wonder that East Asia’s growth through history revolved around the Empire of China.



Works Cited

History of World Societies

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