History of China to 1600

History of China to 1600 - Prehistory and Shanghai...

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Prehistory and Shanghai Civilization Peking Man r Group of 40 skeletons, discovered in 1921 At the time, one of the earliest known ancestors of human race, dated to 500000 BCE (now dated to as early as 1 million BCE) Now recognized as a species of hominid know as homo erectus, which first emerged in Africa around 1.8 million BCE Neolithic “New Stone Age” Revolution Era defined in terms of technical criteria: (1) agriculture (2) pottery (3) polished stone tools Neolithic Revolution in East Asia dated to 7 th -6 th millennium BCE Marked by shift in patterns of economic life Neolithic Cultures of China Ca. 5000 BCE Yangshao r (northwest): millet, soybeans, pig, chicken Hemudu r (eastern coast): rice, water buffalo Dabenkeng r China’s Late Neolithic Longshan r culture emerges on the North China Plain around 3200 BCE Longshan cultures spread along China’s eastern coast to the Yangzi River delta and Taiwan Longshan Pottery Types Glossy black surface (unpainted) Made on a potter’s wheel Both design and shapes differ markedly from painted Yangshao ceramics Ceramic Chalice Finely-wrought drinking vessels of this type are common in elite graves of the Longshan culture, but never in ordinary graves The bowl of the chalice is as thin as an eggshell Evidence of violence from Longshan tombs Top: Human skeletons tossed into tomb (probably human sacrifices) Bottom: Scalped skulls from Longshan tombs Three Dynasties of Chinese Antiquity Xia r (mythical?)
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Shang r (ca. 1700-1045 BCE) Zhou r (1045-256 BCE) From Longshan to Shang Era between late Neolithic prehistory and the Shang historical state murky Did the Xia Dynasty exist? Erlitou site, excavated in 1959 in Yanshi (near Luoyang in Henan) is possible capital Archeological view – Xia and Shang eras indistinguishable Ties between Longshan and Shang Civilization seen in ritual bonzes Xia Dynasty Transitional period, but archeological record shows new type of state developing “Palace forms” of architecture on rammed earth technology Large buildings suggest public rituals carried out by elite groups Key archeological site: Erlitou in Henan Erlitou Ritual Elite carry out ritual in large “palace form” complexes Only possible due to agricultural surplus, which allows social differentiation Rituals help legitimize elite rule Content not clear, but most likely ritual interaction with ancestors Rituals fully developed by the Shang Dynasty Myths of Divine Ancestry Shang ruling class composed of patrilineal clans Traced descent through male line back o semi-divine ancestor Inscribed Oracle Bone of Shang China Divination was performed by notching bone and heating it to make it crack After oracle was interpreted, the questions and answers were inscribed on the bone The oracle bone inscriptions Shang Dynasty (1700-1045 BCE) Capitals: Zhengzhou r (1500-1300 BCE?) Anyang r (1200-1045 BCE): the last capital of Shang Dynasty Resources to study about Shang: bronzes, pottery, archaeology evidences, written records in Zhou Dynasty about
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History of China to 1600 - Prehistory and Shanghai...

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