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Notes - Emptiness is an important concept in Buddhism Early...

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1/15/2008 Emptiness is an important concept in Buddhism 1/17/2008 Early Chinese History The two main languages are Mandarin and Cantonese, both dialects of Chinese. Two major rivers: Yellow and Yangtze Xsia (Hsia) Dynasty: 2000-1700 BC The Xsia dynasty replaces the late Neolithic period in China (3000-2000BC) The cradle of Chinese civilization occurs in the Hunan Valley. Major archaeological finds occur during the 1920’s: urban sites, bronze implements, and tombs. Xsia people show no major evidence of writing. Agriculture allows them to settle into denser and more permanent settlements. “Yu the Great.” Shang Dynasty: (1700-1027 BC) (Chan: 1751-1112) Economy - Society was mostly agricultural, supplemented by hunting and animal husbandry. - Chief crops were millet, rice, and wheat. - The introduction of slavery made possible new economic advantages for those in power. - Silk worms were used for various purposes, traded as far as Egypt. Technology - Shang people developed bronze metallurgy. - Large wheeled bronze chariots. Rammed Earth Housing The palaces, temples, and altars in the centre of Anyang were built upon rammed earth foundations. A frame of logs is constructed, the earth is pounded into place in think layers, and after it is dry the frame is removed. Walls can be as strong as concrete. Rammed earth houses were partly underground, possibly as a way of preserving heat in bad weather. Writing The first evidence of complete sentences occurs in oracle bones: tortoise shells or flat cattle bones. When punctured or heated, the oracle bones would produce cracks, which a shaman interprets.
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About 50,000 bone fragments have been published in the last century. Logographic wiring, like Sumerian or Egyptian, has one picture for each word. Over 1,000 of these graphs existed. More than half of the words on the oracle bones are compounds of these graphs. Since every graph corresponds with a concept the written language unifies the Chinese long after they developed different word sounds for pictures. Government Anyang was the site of the earliest Shang capitol. Shang kings ruled from (1200-1045 BC) (27 to 28 kings). The king was the head of the ancestor and spirit worship cult; Royal people were buried with articles of value, presumably for use in the afterlife. Hundreds of common people, possibly slaves, were buried alive with the royal corpse. The Shang king was also the high priest for the high god Ti (Di) who commands rain, thunder and wind. Rulers sometimes sacrificed human beings. Divination ceremonies could include the sacrifice of 300-400 individuals at once. 1/24/2008 Zhou (Chou) Dynasty: 1027-221 BC Time periods - Western Zhou (1027-771 BC) - Eastern Zhou (770- 221 BC) - Spring and autumn period (770- 476 BC) - (1) Zhou Zhan is the most important chronicle and political narrative - Warring states period (475-331 BC) - (2) Intrigues of the warring states is a collection of lengthy narratives organized by state not by chronology.
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