of 69 /69
ANCIENT CHINA

ANCIENT CHINA. PRE- HISTORIC CHINA Neolithic 12,000-2000 bce Yangshao Culture 5000-2500 bce Hongshan Culture 4700- 2900 bce Lung-shan Culture 2500-1000

Embed Size (px)

Text of ANCIENT CHINA. PRE- HISTORIC CHINA Neolithic 12,000-2000 bce Yangshao Culture 5000-2500 bce Hongshan...

  • ANCIENT

    CHINA

  • PRE-HISTORIC

    CHINA

    Neolithic 12,000-2000 bce Yangshao Culture 5000-2500 bce Hongshan Culture 4700- 2900 bce Lung-shan Culture 2500-1000 bce Xia Dynasty 21st 16th c. bce

  • Paleolithic China:Peking ManFossils found in 1920s -30s -- date to 500,000 bce

    Classified as HOMO ERECTUS

  • Neolithic China ca. 12,000-2000 bce

  • Neolithic China ca. 12,000-2000 bceNeolithic period began ca. 12,000 bce in China, but good evidence dates back only to 4,000 bceAgriculture concentrated near Yellow River: millet was main cropSilk production began even before the Neolithic period.Clustered dwellings suggest importance of kinship

  • 9000 year-old flutesThese 9,000-year-old Chinese flutes are believed to be the oldest known playable instruments. They're made from the forelimbs of a rare crane.

  • Yangshao Culture5000-2500 bceTheir handcrafted, Painted Pottery occasionally bears a single incised sign that may be a forerunner of Chinese writingDomesticated the dog and the pig

  • Lung-shan Culture ca.2500-1000 bce

    Black PotteryPracticed ancestor worshipDomesticated pig, dog, sheep and ox

  • JadeEarly Chinese describe jade as embodying five virtues: Benevolence is typified by its luster that is bright and warm Integrity by its translucencyWisdom by its sonorous ring when struck Courage by its hardnessSteadfastness by its durability

  • Neolithic JadeModern jade includes nephrite and jadeite: only nephrite used in Neolithic timesRanges widely in color, from pale to dark green, from white to yellow, from brown to black.Extremely hard, so very difficult to work. It cannot be carved, but must be ground by a material harder than itselfThe Neolithic tools of choice were probably a gut saw and bamboo drill together with an abrasive in the form of river sand or sludge. Earliest pieces date ca. 7000 bce

  • Hongshan JadeFar to the northeast, in the Manchurian hills, archaeologists have uncovered traces of a ceremonial center associated with the Hongshan culture (4700-2920 B.C.).Jade objects found in tombsJade coiled pig-dragon, Hongshan Culture (c. 4700-2920 B.C.)

  • Liangzhu Jade CongsFound almost exclusively in burial contexts, indicating ritual and religious significanceUnique form of a circle within a square suggests some cosmological significance. Perhaps the circle symbolizes heaven, and the square symbolizes earth

  • Chinese Creation MythIn the beginning there was nothing in theexcept a formless chaos. The chaos coalesced into acosmic eggfor about 18,000 years. Within it, the perfectly opposed principles ofYin and Yangbecame balanced and Pangu emerged from the egg.Pangu set about the task of creating the world: he separated Yin from Yang with a swing of his giant axe, creating theEarth(murkyYin) and theSky(clearYang). To keep them separated, Pangu stood between them and pushed up the Sky.

  • Pangu

  • Chinese Creation MythAfter the 18,000 years had elapsed, Pangu was laid to rest. His breath became thewind; his voice thethunder; left eye thesunand right eye themoon; his body became themountainsand extremes of the world; his blood formed rivers; his muscles the fertile lands; His facial hair the stars and milky way; his fur the bushes and forests; his bones the valuable minerals; his bone marrows sacred diamonds; his sweat fell as rain; and the fleas on his fur carried by the wind became the fish and animals throughout the land.

  • Nwa Nwa is the goddess who is credited with the creation of mankind and the maintenance of the heavens Half-woman, half-dragon

  • Nwa and the Creation of ManWhen Nwa looked down upon the earth for the first time, she saw that it was full of life but empty of creatures. She took handfuls of yellow clay from the banks of the rivers and molded beings from them. She found that the clay was not strong enough to remain erect, so she reinforced it with carefully woven ropes spread throughout their bodies. Once she had created all the animals of the world and begun work on mankind, Nwa became tired and no longer wished to form each one individually; instead, she dipped a great rope in the mud and began flicking it, causing drops of the clay to spin off and form humans on their own. These were the common people of the world, and those she had created with her own hands became the nobles.

  • San Huang (Three August Ones)ca. 3000-2700 bceA succession of legendary sage-emperors taught the ancient Chinese to communicate and to find sustenance, clothing, and shelter.Fu Xi, the first legendary Emperor, taught many arts, such as the use of fishing nets, the breeding of silk worms, and the taming of wild animals. He invented music, the casting of oracles and the one hundred Chinese family names.

  • San HuangSuiren taught how to build a fire and to cook food.Shennong, "Divine Farmer," also known as theEmperor of the Five Grains, taught the practices of agriculture and the use of herbal drugs and acupuncture.

  • Wu Di (Five Emperors)2700-2200 bce Legendary, morally perfect sage-kings inventors and giver of gifts to mankind. According to Sima Qians Shi Ji or The Records of the Grand Historian: Huang-di, The Yellow Emperor Zhuanxu Ku YaoShun

  • Xia Dynasty 21st-16th c. bce

  • Xia Dynasty 21st-16th c. bceFirst prehistoric dynasty: descendants of Lung-Shan cultureUrban sites, bronze implements, and tombs point to the existence of Xia civilization in the same locations cited in ancient Chinese textsEvolutionary stage between the late Neolithic cultures and the urban civilization of the Shang dynasty.

  • HISTORIC DYNASTIES

  • ANCIENT

    CHINA

    Earliest Dynasties

    Xia Dynasty 21st-16th c. bce

    Shang Dynasty 16th-11th c. bce first writing

    Zhou (Chou) Dynasty 1027 bc-221 bcConfucianismTaoism

  • Shang Dynasty16th-11th c. bce

  • Shang Dynasty Central Yellow River Valley Oldest examples of Chinese writing Hunters and farmers Brilliant bronze culture casting of intricate ritual vessels tools Cities Cheng Chow (16th c. bc) Anyang (C. 1384-1111 bc)

  • Shang Social OrganizationCity-states under the nominal rule of a high kingProto-feudalism. The area under the jurisdiction of the king quite probably was small, perhaps not more than 100-200 miles in any direction from Anyang. Traces of a family ruling system and of ancestor-worship are discernible. Rigidly patriarchal society. Shang Tang - the first ruling king of the Shang dynasty

  • Writing: Oracle BonesOracle bones used for divination. A question was written on the bone, which was then fired and a T shaped crack was produced to be interpreted; the interpretation was then written on the bone. After the predicted event occurred, the date of the occurrence was also written on the bone.

  • Astronomy and CalendarOracle bone with record of solar eclipseOx bone inscribed with a table of the Heavenly Stems and Earthly Branches

  • ZhongqiShang BronzesRitual bronze vesselsRange from the very small and light to very large Bronze vessels are called "zhongqi" or heavy vessels in Chinese.

  • 4 Elements of ZhongqiSophisticated bronze technologyLi-qi: ritual art -- used for worship, not utilitarianRestricted decoration and shapeShang bronze types were copied and reused later in Chinese history, even into the nineteenth century

    TaotieMiddle Shang Li , 14th or 13th century BCE

  • TaotieThis pattern appears on nearly all Shang bronzes, and has been interpreted as a vague suggestion of an animal's head. The animal is unclear, as are many of the elements of the decoration, so it is called zoomorphic: shaped like an animal.

  • Bronze Ritual Wine Vessels13th-12th c. bce

  • Shang Religion The Shang worshipped the "Shang Ti," a supreme god over lesser godsHighly ritualized, ancestor worshipSacrifice to the gods and the ancestorsWhen a king died, hundreds of slaves and prisoners were often sacrificed and buried with him. Ornament of the late Shang, 7 cm high The figurine shows the costume and headdress usually worn by people in the Shang Dynasty

  • Woman Warrior: Fu Hao13th c. bceThe tomb of Fu Hao is the only royal Shang tomb to have been found unlooted. The floor level housed the royal corpse and most of the utensils and implements buried with her. Below the corpse was a small pit holding the remains of 6 dogs, and the skeletons of 16 humans. Fu Hao was mentioned in oracle bone inscriptions as the consort of King Wu Ding and a general who participated in several campaigns.

  • Shang Tomb of Fu HaoExcavating Fu Hao's tomb

  • Objects from Fu Haos tombIvory cupBronze Wine vesselJade tiger

  • ZHOU (CHOU) DYNASTY 1027 bc-221 bc

  • Periods of Zhou Dynasty771 bce -- Zhou invaded by barbarians allied with rebel lords; king killed. Capital moved eastward to Luoyang in Henan Province Western Zhou: 1027-771 bce Eastern Zhou 770-221 bce 770-476 bce: Spring and Autumn Period475-221 bce: Warring States Period

  • Zhou (Chou) Dynasty

    Introduced organized agriculture Feudal societyLand grants in return for support in war and loyalty Ruler: Tian or Son of Heaven Principal of societal relationships illustrated in the Book of Songs and the Book of RitualsConfucianism and Taoism introduced

  • Zhou Jade: Ornamental

  • Zhou Jade: RitualThe appearance of jade-piece masks and jade burial suits signalled changes in funeral customsBelief that jade could protect the corpse from decay, thereby providing the spirit with a "living" home. The pieces of this jade mask were sewn on a silk veil to define the facial features of the deceased.

  • Zhou BronzesNot as intricate or elaborate as Shang bronzesOften utilized animal shapes and motifsZhou bronze tigers

  • Musical InstrumentsBian zhong was the main ritual instrument played at sacrificial activities or feasts of aristocrats in the Western Zhou Dynasty.

    Percussion instrument of Western Zhou, height 38.5-48 cm

  • ConfuciusKung fu-tzu or Kongfuzi

    551-479 bce Son of aristocrat, raised in poverty Itinerant teacher Sayings collected in The Analects Possibly edited The Book of Songs

  • Confucian Canon of Texts

    The Book of Songs The Book of Documents (Shang Shu) The Book of Changes ( I Ching) rituals Chun-ch iu: a chronicle The Analects By study and self-cultivation, individuals can merge their instinctive beings and their social beings.

  • Followers of Confucius

  • Confucianism Importance of traditional values: self-control, filial piety, propriety, ritual Individual virtue leads to societal virtue Contextual morality -- guided by circumstances of a particular problem Obedience contingent upon benevolence

  • Confucian ValuesLi: propriety, ceremony, civility. 4 basic rules of human conduct: courtesy, politeness, good manners, respect (reverence for age)Jen (Ren): respect for self and others:Do not do to others what you do not want done to you. Charity and courtesyTe: virtue, the power of moral example as in a strong leader who guides by example or in the forces of natureWen: the arts of peace: music, poetry, art -- conducive to harmony and order and a model of excellence. Traditional Chinese art always strives for beauty.

  • The Six RelationshipsObedience in The Six Relationships is contingent upon the superior members observing their duty to be benevolent and caring.RulerTeacher Older FriendSubjectStudentYounger Friend

  • In society, the ancient principles of Confucius formed the basis of this order, giving the Chinese a value system of stable harmony

  • Lao Tzu or Lao ZiOld Sage or OldMaster Born c. 604 bce Author of Tao te Ching or Taodejing: The Way and Its Power Legendary life: Lao Tzu means "old sage or "old boy Native of Ch'-jen, in the Honan Province.

  • Just as the Chinese sought harmony in society, they sought harmony in nature through the philosophy of Taoism: following the way of nature

  • Taoist CanonDao De Jing (Tao Te Ching) : Written supposedly by Lao Zi (81 chapters often divided into two parts) Book of Dao : Chapter 1-37 Book of De : Chapter 38-81 Zhuang Zi (Chuang Tzu) : Written supposedly by Zhuang Zi (inner chapters) and others (misc and outer chapters) Hua Hu Jing: Unknown author (81 chapters) Lie Zi: Written supposedly by Lie Zi (111 chapters)

  • TAOISMTao: the ultimate reality behind existence, a transcendant essence.Highly individualistic and mystical characterExistential skepticismWu-wei: spontaneity -- to discern and follow the natural forces -- to follow and shape the natural flow of events, not to struggle against nature"Both heaven and earth endure a long time. The cause of their endurance is their indifference to long life. Thus the wise man, indifferent to himself, is the greatest among men."

  • Yin and Yang

    Negative and positive principles of the universe. One cannot exist without the other, and they often represent opposites in relations to each other. As there is more and more Yang, eventually, Yin will appear and replace this increase. Similarly in the opposite direction, Yang will appear to replace the increase in Yin

  • YIN YANGNegative Female Dark Evil Earth

    Positive Male Light Good Heaven

  • The yin - soft, female elements- complement the yang - hard, male elements - without contradiction

  • Lao Tzu: There is nothing weaker than water but none is superior to it in overcoming the hardWeakness overcomes strength and gentleness overcomes rigidity

  • Three JewelsCompassion - leads to courage Moderation - leads to generosity Humility - leads to leadership

  • The Mandate of Heaven The moral order of the Universe: right and wrong Fate: Life and death are beyond our control. The right to rule is based upon knowing and observing the moral order of the Universe The judgement of history: losing the Mandate of Heaven results in loss of power.

  • THE MANDATE OF HEAVENThe Emperor, as father to his people, commanded obedience as long as he ruled with wisdom and justice

  • Warring States Period475-221 bce

  • Qin (Chin) Dynasty 221 bce -206 bceFirst unified the country by subjugating the Warring StatesEstablished central bureaucracyLegalism supplanted Confucianism: scholars persecuted and books burnedStandardized writing, currency, weights and measuresQin Shihuangdi

  • Qin Building ProjectsUsed forced labor of convicts and peasantsRoads and canalsPalacesConnected fortification walls to build 5000 kilometer Great Wall

  • Mausoleum of Qin Emperor ShiHuangdi (First Emperor)Qin ShiHuangdis Mausoleum was discovered in 1974 by farmers digging a well. The 13 year-old emperor had ordered 800,000 workers to build his tomb.Terra Cotta ArmyRebellions broke out after Emperors death in 210 bce: dynasty overthrown after only 15 years of rule

  • PRE-HISTORIC

    CHINA

    Neolithic 12,000-2000 bce Yangshao Culture 5000-2500 bce Hongshan Culture 4700- 2900 bce Lung-shan Culture 2500-1000 bce Xia Dynasty 21st 16th c. bce

  • ANCIENT

    CHINA

    Earliest Dynasties

    Xia Dynasty 21st-16th c. bce

    Shang Dynasty 16th-11th c. bce first writing

    Zhou Dynasty 1027 bc-221 bcConfucianismTaoism

  • CLASSICAL

    CHINA

    Dynasties

    Qin (Chin) Dynasty 221 bc-206 bc origin of name of China

    The Han Empire206 bce-220 ce

    **Thousands of archaeological finds in the Huang He ( ), Henan Valley ( ) --the apparent cradle of Chinese civilization--provide evidence about the Shang () dynasty, which endured roughly from 1700 to 1027 B.C. The Shang dynasty (also called the Yin () dynasty in its later stages) is believed to have been founded by a rebel leader who overthrew the last Xia ruler. Its civilization was based on agriculture, augmented by hunting and animal husbandry. Two important events of the period were the development of a writing system, as revealed in archaic Chinese inscriptions found on tortoise shells and flat cattle bones (commonly called oracle bones or ), and the use of bronze metallurgy. A number of ceremonial bronze vessels with inscriptions date from the Shang period; the workmanship on the bronzes attests to a high level of civilization. A line of hereditary Shang kings ruled over much of northern China, and Shang troops fought frequent wars with neighboring settlements and nomadic herdsmen from the inner Asian steppes. The capitals, one of which was at the site of the modern city of Anyang, were centers of glittering court life. Court rituals to propitiate spirits and to honor sacred ancestors were highly developed. In addition to his secular position, the king was the head of the ancestor- and spirit-worship cult. Evidence from the royal tombs indicates that royal personages were buried with articles of value, presumably for use in the afterlife. Perhaps for the same reason, hundreds of commoners, who may have been slaves, were buried alive with the royal corpse.

    *Located about 40 kilometers south of Beijing, China, Zhoukoudian Cave is the source for the largest collection of Homo erectus fossils from any single site. The fossils from Zhoukoudian represent about 40 individuals, and account for about one third of the fossils from the species. Among the bones discovered were five skullcaps, numerous facial and cranial elements, and 147 teeth. The most famous of these remains is cranium XII, which is commonly referred to as "Peking Man." The majority of the fossils were excavated in the 1920s by W.C. Pei and his team of excavators from the Cenozoic Research Laboratory. Initially, the fossils were given the name Sinanthropus pekinensisby Canadian physician David Black on the basis of a few teeth. After the first skull cap was discovered in 1929, the fossils were reassigned to the species Homo erectus. As more fossils were accumulated in the 1930s, they were studied extensively by German anatomist Franz Weidenreich. Weidenreich's analysis has contributed a great deal to the Multiregional View of human evolution based on Weidenreich's recognition of twelve anatomical features that he believed Peking Man shared with modern Chinese. The five skullcaps have a mean cranial capacity of 1,043 cc, which is slightly below the modern human average of 1500 cc. The Zhoukoudian fossils are characterized by flat, thick rectangular parietal bones, massive facial bones, and bulky mandibles. The superorbital torous of Peking Man is smaller than that of Java Man to which it is commonly compared. Unfortunately, the Zhoukoudian fossil assemblage mysteriously disappeared in the wake of the Japanese invasion of China during WWII after being packed for shipment to the United States in December 1941. Fortunately, Weidenreich had anticipated the invasion and made exacting casts of each specimen. These casts are housed in New Yorks's American Museum of Natural History where they can still be seen today.

    *The Neolithic period began in China about 12,000 B.C. However, good evidence of Neolithic settlements exists from only about 4,000 B.C.The Neolithic lasted until about 2,000 B.C. It is defined by a spread of settled agricultural communities, but hunting and gathering was still practiced. The largest concentration of agriculture was below the souther bend of the Yellow River and millet was the main crop. The geography of Neolithic China was different from today. It was much wetter, with most of Northern China being lakes and marshes and central China covered in an enormous lake. The climate was warm and moist, rather than the colder, arid China of today. The mountains were well forested and there was a variety of animals.Silk production, for which China is famous, had already been invented before this time period began. The process began in Northern China. It involved feeding the silkworms mulberry leaves, helping them molt and spin their cocoons, and finally, boiling the cocoons to produce the raw silk. Pottery was also present during this time period. The two main types, Painted Pottery and Black Pottery, belong to the two distinct cultural groups of the Neolithic, the Yangshao and the Lungshan. These two types of pottery were not for everyday use, rather, a plain course type of pottery was used that varied between the colors gray, black, red, and white. The dwellings of this time were in clusters that suggest kinship was important. Clothing was made of hemp and the main domesticated animals were pigs and dogs.*These 9,000-year-old Chinese flutes are believed to be the oldest known playable instruments. They're made from the forelimbs of a rare crane.Six 9,000-year-old flutes found in China still toot, and are believed to be the oldest known playable instruments. At least one scholar says the discovery could mean China had an advanced civilization 2,000 years earlier than Sumeria, widely thought to be the oldest known civilization in the world. According to a report in the current journal Nature, the flutes were excavated at a site called Jiahu in Henan Province, China, occupied from 7000 B.C. to 5700 B.C. The instruments have between five to eight holes and are made from the forelimb bones of the red-crowned crane -- Grus japonensis Millen -- a bird once plentiful in the region, but now endangered. Garman Harbottle, a senior scientist emeritus in the department of chemistry at Brookhaven National Laboratory who led the study, thinks the ancient flutes were used for rituals because ancient Chinese tradition held that music was connected to both cosmology, nature and animals. "The Chinese associated cranes with longevity," explains Harbottle. "Certain legends support this." One legend concerns a pair of lovers. The man plays a flute for the woman. When they die, the couple turns into beautiful cranes, flying through the skies.

    *The Yangshao lived in the mountainous regions of northern and western China in round or rectangular houses that were below ground level and surrounded by little walls of earth. They created Painted Pottery that had geometric designs on it. The pottery was fired at 1000-1500C, but the potters wheel was not used. Axes and arrowheads were made of polished stone and other tools were made of stone chips. Millet was the main crop of the Yangshao. They domesticated two main animals, the dog and the pig, with the pig being the more important

    *During the second, or Lung-shan, phase (c.2500-1000 BC) agriculture became more advanced. Farmers lived in more permanent settlements and began a wide-spreading cultural expansion into the eastern plains, Manchuria, and Central and South China. Lung-shan farmers worshipped their ancestors, a Chinese custom that still persistsThe Lungshan lived on the plains of eastern China. Their villages were similar to those of the Yangshao, but evidence of stamped earth fortresses is found in some sites. They created Black Pottery. This pottery was of exceptional quality. It had a polished exterior, was never painted, and is almost always without decoration. This pottery may have been a direct predecessor to later Chinese pottery, as the forms of the vessels are typical of Chinese pottery. Firing bones for the purpose of divination, which continued into the following dynasties, also began during this time. The Lungshan began to bury their dead facing downwards, which is how all bodies were buried during the Bronze Age. They used bones for arrowheads and small tools, but used polished stones for axes and sickles. Their domesticated animals were the pig, dog, sheep, and ox.*

    **Far to the northeast, in the Manchurian hills, archaeologists have uncovered traces of a ceremonial center at Niuheliang associated with the Hongshan culture (4700-2920 B.C.). The remains include foundations of one of the earliest temples built in China, as well as clay fragments of statues, perhaps representing goddesses, that were twice or even three times life-size. Excavations in a nearby cemetery have brought to light more than sixty tombs made of stone and covered with stone mounds. Twenty-six contained jade objects. The coiled dragon (no. 10), found in 1984 on the chest of the deceased, is so called because the earliest known Chinese character for "dragon" depicts just such a coiled body attached to an animal head. In this case, the large snout suggests that the animal derived from a pig, a staple of the Neolithic economy

    *Far greater quantities of carved jades were produced by people of the Liangzhu culture (3300-2200 B.C.), which flourished at some three hundred sites in the Yangzi River basin near modern Shanghai. It was in this warmer, southern climate that rice cultivation began some ten thousand years ago. Liangzhu tombs at Fanshan and Yaoshan have yielded more than three thousand carved jades, lending credence to ancient historians' claims that a "jade age" preceded the Bronze Age. Because jade can be shaped only by slow grinding with abrasive crystals, jade-carving is labor-intensive and requires special skills. The Liangzhu jades thus provide evidence of the existence of a stratified society in which an upper class employed workers to fashion precious goods for the elite's use in the afterlife. Later Chinese texts associate jade with immortality and purity because of its durability and translucency. The discovery of Neolithic jades in a funerary context signals that the Chinese reverence for jade, which persists even today, originated in remote antiquityCong, prismatic tubes of the Liangzhu culture,have been found almost exclusively in burial contexts, indicating ritual and religious significance. Their precise meaning and function in Neolithic times are not clear, but their unique form of a circle within a square suggests some cosmological significance. One theory is that cong represented models of the universe, the circle symbolizing heaven, the square symbolizing earth. Although the surface of the inner circle is undecorated, the squared exterior is sometimes scored and often features highly abstract mask images, variously interpreted as humanoid or zoomorphic. This exceptionally large cong from Fanshan, called the"king of cong," is the most magnificent of all cong excavated to date. At each of the four corners tiny masks consisting of hypnotic, circular eyes and dash-like mouths and noses are carved in lowrelief. On each side between these masks are semihumans wearing feathered headdresses that embrace below creatures with extended limbs and clawsIn the beginning there was nothing in theuniverseexcept a formless chaos. However this chaos coalesced into acosmic eggfor about 18,000 years. Within it, the perfectly opposed principles ofYin and Yangbecame balanced and Pangu emerged (or woke up) from the egg. Pangu is usually depicted as a primitive, hairygiantwith horns on his head and clad in furs. Pangu set about the task of creating the world: he separated Yin from Yang with a swing of his giant axe, creating theEarth(murkyYin) and theSky(clearYang). To keep them separated, Pangu stood between them and pushed up the Sky. This task took 18,000 years; with each day the sky grew ten feet (3 meters) higher, the Earth ten feet wider, and Pangu ten feet taller. In some versions of the story, Pangu is aided in this task by the four most prominent beasts, namely theTurtle, theQilin, thePhoenix, and theDragon.After the 18,000 years had elapsed, Pangu was laid to rest. His breath became thewind; his voice thethunder; left eye thesunand right eye themoon; his body became themountainsand extremes of the world; his blood formed rivers; his muscles the fertile lands; his facial hair the stars and milky way; his fur the bushes and forests; his bones the valuable minerals; his bone marrows sacred diamonds; his sweat fell as rain; and the fleas on his fur carried by the wind became the fish and animals throughout the land.Nwathe Goddess then used the mud of the water bed to form the shape of humans. These humans were very smart since they were individually crafted. Nwa then became bored of individually making every human so she started putting a rope in the water bed and letting the drops of mud that fell from it become new humans. These small drops became new humans, not as smart as the first. The first writer to record the myth of Pangu wasXu Zheng() during theThree Kingdoms() period.

    * Nwa is the greatly revered creator goddess, a being who predates the Bureaucracy itself and is credited with the creation and maintenance of the world in the earliest times. She is a goddess of the firmament, particularly the moon, and a gentle caretaker of not only mankind but every living thing in creation; she is a cosmic mother, creator, and creature of ineffable mystery and wisdom, whether she appears as a woman or in her true dragon-serpent form. She is also the goddess of marriage, and listens closely to prayers offered by husbands or wives. Nwa and the Creation of Man When Nwa looked down upon the earth for the first time, she saw that it was full of life but empty of creatures. Seeking to create some, she took handfuls of yellow clay from the banks of the rivers and molded beings from them, first creating all the animals and finally beginning work on humans, forming them with clever hands and feet and minds. She found that the clay was not strong enough to remain erect, so she reinforced it with carefully woven ropes spread throughout their bodies. However, once she had created all the animals of the world and begun work on mankind, Nwa became tired and no longer wished to form each one individually; instead, she dipped a great rope in the mud and began flicking it, causing drops of the clay to spin off and form humans on their own. These were the common people of the world, and those she had created with her own hands became the nobles. She breathed life into all of them and gave them the ability to bear children, and henceforth mankind began to populate the earth. Nwa and the Wall of Heaven Long ago in the beginning of the world, a great wind of chaos and calamity swept through the heavens and toppled the four pillars that supported the universe. The earth began to crumble from lack of support, the sky began to blow away from lack of an anchor, and fires, floods, and great dragons and monsters rampaged across the world, destroying helpless men and beasts. When she saw what was happening, Nwa descended into the roiling oceans and found the great turtle Ao, whose feet she cut off to make new bases for the four pillars; she righted them and the world was once again able to support itself. She hunted the greatest of the great black dragons that menaced the world and slew it, and poured water over the fires and ash to stop the flooding. Once the world was restored, she saw that the sky was damaged from the chaos; ascending to the heavens, she melted down five colored stones and used them to repair it, allowing it to once again cover all of the earth and letting the moon and stars resume their motion.**Fu Xi - from Turtles to TrigramsFu Xi was the first of three noble emperors, the San-huang, in Chinese mythology. According to tradition he ruled from 2952 to 2836 B.C. (116 years). Fu Xi taught many arts, such as the use of fishing nets, the breeding of silk worms, and the taming of wild animals. He also purportedly invented music, and, most importantly, the eight Trigrams (Bagua), which is used as a template for Feng Shui. Also attributed to him is the invention of casting oracles by the use of yarrow stalks. Furthermore, Fu Xi is said to have invented the one hundred Chinese family names and decreed that marriages may only take place between persons bearing different family names.In the beginning there was the one. [Lao Zi (Lao Tse) the father of TaoismFu Xi's most original invention is the development of the 8 trigrams that order the world according to 8 principles: Sky, Earth, Thunder, Mountain, Water, Fire, Marsh and Wind. These trigrams represent an abstract vision of the world and its changes. Each trigram results from another by the change of only one line, and the knowledge of the essence of these changes enables the user to find out more about themselves and the environment.

    *The Five Emperors were legendary, morally perfect sage-kings. According to theRecords of the Grand Historianthey were:The Yellow Emperor ()Huangdi(Traditional Chinese:;Simplified Chinese:;pinyin:Hungd), or theYellow Emperor,is considered the ancestor of allHan ChineseinChinese mythology. According to the historianSima Qian(145B.C.E.-90B.C.E.), the Yellow Emperor reigned from 2697B.C.E.to 2598B.C.E.During theHan Dynasty(202B.C.E.-220C.E.), he emerged as a chief deity ofTaoism. His legendary victory in the war against Emperor Chi You at the Battle of Zhuolu is seen as the establishment of the Han Chinese nationality. Among his other accomplishments, the Yellow Emperor has been credited with the invention of the principles ofTraditional Chinese medicine. TheHuangdi Neijing( Inner Canon of Huangdi) was supposedly composed in collaboration with hisphysician, Qibo. However, modern historiographers generally consider it to have been compiled from ancient sources by a scholar living between theZhouand Han dynasties, more than 2,000 years later. He is said to have lived to the age of 100, and to have attained immortality after his physical death.His wife, Lo Z, is said to to have taught the Chinese how to weave thesilkfromsilkworms, and his historian, Cng Ji, to have created the first Chinese characters. Legend also says that the Yellow Emperor invented a magical compass, played a part in the creation of theGuqin(seven-stringed musical instrument), together withFuxiand Shennong, and to have invented the earliest form of theChinese calendar, whose current sexagenary cycles are counted based on his reign. Atop Mount Dongwang, Huang Di captured the beast, Bai Ze, who described to him all the 11,520 types of monsters, shape-shifters, demons, and spirits in the world. Huang Di's retainer recorded this in pictures, which later became the book,Bai Ze Tu,which no longer exists.[6]Ling Lun is supposed to have given the emperor flutes tuned to the sounds of birds, which is said to be the foundation of Chinese traditional music.Zhuanxu ()Zhuanxu(Traditional Chinese:;Simplified Chinese:;pinyin:Zhunx), also known asGaoyang(), a grandson of the Yellow Emperor, led the Shi clan in an eastward migration to present-dayShandong, where intermarriages with the Dongyi clan enlarged and augmented their tribal influences. At age twenty, he became their sovereign, going on to rule for seventy-eight years until his death.He made contributions to a unified calendar andastrology, instigated religious reforms to oppose shamanism, advocated the patriarchal (as opposed to the previous matriarchal) system, and forbade close-kin marriage.Emperor Ku ()K (Traditional Chinese:) was the great grandson of the Yellow Emperor. According to speculative dates (from after 100B.C.E.) he ruled from c. 2436B.C.E.c. 2366B.C.E.Emperor Yao ()Chinese Emperor Yao. Silk painting,Ming Dynasty.Yao(Traditional Chinese: ,Simplified Chinese: ) (2358-2258B.C.E.), also known as Yaotang-shi (), was born Yi Fangxun () or Yi Qi (), the second son of Emperor Ku and Qingdu (). He is also known asTang Yao().Often extolled as the morally perfect sage-king, Yao's benevolence and diligence served as a model for future Chinese monarchs and emperors. Early Chinese often speak of Yao, Shun, and Yu as historical figures, and contemporary historians believe they may represent leader-chiefs of allied tribes who established a unified and hierarchical system of government during a transition period to patriarchal feudal society.According to legend, Yao became the ruler at 20, and died at the age of 119, when he passed his throne to Great Shun, to whom he gave his two daughters in marriage.Of his many contributions, Yao is said to have invented the game ofweiqi(go), reportedly as an amusement for his slow-witted son.Emperor Shun ()Shun(Traditional Chinese:) was a legendary leader of ancient China during the 23rd - 22nd centuryB.C.E., whose half-century of rule was one of the longest in Chinese history. Born Yao Chonghua (), he was also known as Youyu-shi (), the Great Shun () or Yu Shun (). The name of Shun's mother was Wudeng (), and his birthplace was Yaoxu (). He received the mantle of leadership from Emperor Yao at the age of 53 and died at 100, after relinquishing the seat of power to Yu, who founded the legendary Xia Dynasty. Shun's capital was at Puban () (presently inShanxi).In later centuries, Yao and Shun were glorified for their virtue by Confucian philosophers. Shun was particularly renowned for his modesty and filial piety (xiao, ). According to legend, he was treated with hostility and jealousy by his parents and younger brother, yet he remained loving and free of resentment towards them. Emperor Yao chose Shun as his successor and put him on the throne in the year of Jiwei (). Yao's capital was in Ji () which, presently, is also in Shanxi province. Shun is also renowned as the originator of the music called Daoshao (), a symphony of nine Chinese music instruments.In February of the seventeenth year of his reign, dancing was first taught at schools. In the twenty-fifth year of his regime, he received the bow and arrowas gifts from an envoy of the Xishen () tribe. In January of the thirty-third year of his regime, nine provinces were re-established in China.Yao and Shun are also known as theTwo Emperors,and, along with Yu the Great (), founder of the Xia dynasty, were considered to be model rulers and moral exemplars by Confucians in later Chinese history.

    *For many years, the Xia Dynasty was thought to be a part of a myth that the Chinese tell as part of their history. The Xia Dynasty was in oral histories, but no archaeological evidence was found of it until 1959. Excavations at Erlitous, in the city of Yanshi, uncovered what was most likely a capital of the Xia Dynasty. The site showed that the people were direct ancestors of the Lungshan and were predecessors of the Shang.Radiocarbon dates from this site indicate that they existed from 2100 to 1800 B.C. Despite this newarchaeological evidence of the Xia, they are not universally accepted as a true dynasty.The Xia were agrarian people, with bronze weapons and pottery. The ruling families used elaborate and dramatic rituals to confirm their power to govern. The rulers often acted as shamans, communicating with spirits for help and guidance.

    *The first prehistoric dynasty is said to be Xia (), from about the twenty-first to the sixteenth century B.C. Until scientific excavations were made at early bronze-age sites at Anyang ( ), Henan ( ) Province, in 1928, it was difficult to separate myth from reality in regard to the Xia. But since then, and especially in the 1960s and 1970s, archaeologists have uncovered urban sites, bronze implements, and tombs that point to the existence of Xia civilization in the same locations cited in ancient Chinese historical texts. At minimum, the Xia period marked an evolutionary stage between the late neolithic cultures and the typical Chinese urban civilization of the Shang dynasty.

    *Thousands of archaeological finds in the Huang He ( ), Henan Valley ( ) --the apparent cradle of Chinese civilization--provide evidence about the Shang () dynasty, which endured roughly from 1700 to 1027 B.C. The Shang dynasty (also called the Yin () dynasty in its later stages) is believed to have been founded by a rebel leader who overthrew the last Xia ruler. Its civilization was based on agriculture, augmented by hunting and animal husbandry. Two important events of the period were the development of a writing system, as revealed in archaic Chinese inscriptions found on tortoise shells and flat cattle bones (commonly called oracle bones or ), and the use of bronze metallurgy. A number of ceremonial bronze vessels with inscriptions date from the Shang period; the workmanship on the bronzes attests to a high level of civilization. A line of hereditary Shang kings ruled over much of northern China, and Shang troops fought frequent wars with neighboring settlements and nomadic herdsmen from the inner Asian steppes. The capitals, one of which was at the site of the modern city of Anyang, were centers of glittering court life. Court rituals to propitiate spirits and to honor sacred ancestors were highly developed. In addition to his secular position, the king was the head of the ancestor- and spirit-worship cult. Evidence from the royal tombs indicates that royal personages were buried with articles of value, presumably for use in the afterlife. Perhaps for the same reason, hundreds of commoners, who may have been slaves, were buried alive with the royal corpse.

    **The Shang, rather than the Xia, is considered by most to be the first true dynasty of China. Like the Xia, the Shang were originally considered to be a myth. They were discovered because Chinese phamacists were selling oracle bones the Shang had created; the parmacists sold the bones as dragon bones. The bones were first noticed in 1899 and by the 1920's were traced to Anyang, where the last Shang capital was found and excavated. Excavations were halted in 1937, when Japan attacked China. In the 1950's an earlier Shang capital was found near present day Zhengzhou. Traditional Chinese history indicates that the Shang Dynasty consisted of 30 kings and seven different, successive, capitals. The Zhou, the dynasty that followed the Shang, are responsible for the recordings of the kings and capitals of the Shang Dynasty. The center of the Shang capitals had the ruler's palace. Surrounding this were houses of artisans. These houses were rectangular, using a post and beam construction and were built on stamped earth platforms. Subterranean pithouses were located near the capital, which may have been used for storage and service quarters. The Shang people had bronze weapons, bronze fittings for chariots and harnesses, and bronze vessels connected with worship. Everyday vessels were of earthenware, rather than bronze, because metals were scarce in China. The earthenware of this time was almost porcelain, only missing the glaze that would have made it porcelain. Despite being agriculturalists, the Shang had rather primitive implements. They did not use ploughs, favoring hoes instead, and most of the implements were made of wood and stone. They grew grains such as millet and some wheat, which were harvested with sickles. The Shang had a unique form of descent. Rather than passing from father to son, the Shang form of descent passed from the eldest brother to the youngest brother.

    The Shang king had considerable power over his subjects. Public works were built that required many people. The capital at Zhengzhou, for example, had a wall of stamped earth around it that was four miles long and up to 27 feet high in areas. Stamped earth walls were made by pounding thin layers of earth within a movable wooden frame. The earth then becomes as hard as cement.

    *A brilliant bronze culture was created during the Shang Dynasty, which deserves to be called the zenith of China's Bronze Age. Bronze casting became the country's foremost handicraft industry. Diverse forms of composite-mold casting were in wide use, and numerous finely crafted and intricately shaped bronze objects were produced. Most of them were ritual vessels and weapons, but bronze tools were also used in farming, though the number was small. Agriculture was still the principal productive occupation, so much so that the term zhongren (literally "the masses") generally meant the peasantry in those days. Dark green glazed pottery made of kaolin dating from the Shang possessed the basic characteristics of porcelain. Some bronze vessels of the Shang had traces of silk fabrics on their surface, including plain-woven fabrics of spun silk and damask with lozenge design, suggesting that the Shang people already had an apparatus similar to the jacquard loom. Among other crafts of this period, lacquer painting was widely used and practiced, and carved and engraved works were vivid in design and exquisite in workmanship. Commercial activities appeared in the early Shang, and vehicles became important means of transportation. In music, Shang musicians already had concepts of semitones and standard tones, the introduction of semitone intervals paving the way for the invention of the twelve-tone temperament. The characters in the oraclebone inscriptions of the Shang were akin to Han characters in their basic structure, and may be regarded as a mature form of written language

    *Shang Dynasty, 14.8 cm long, 12.5 cm wide; said to have been discovered in Anyang, Henan Province. The inscription on the bone says that a Shang king ordered peasants to farm collectively.One of the most important technological developments of the Shang was the invention of writing. They are the first group of people from China of which written records are found. The most common place these writings are found is on oracle bones used for divination. The bones used for this purpose originally came from a number of animals, but were eventually done exclusively on turtle shells. A question was written on the bone, which was then fired and a T shaped crack was produced which was interpreted, and the interpretation was then written on the bone. After the predicted event occurred, the date of the occurrence was also written on the bone. Writing is also found on bronze and stone, but the majority of the records have decayed as they were recorded on bamboo strips. The Shang may also have written on silk.

    *Shang Dynasty, approximately 12 cm long; unearthed in Anyang, Henan Province. This oracle bone is valuable for studying the astronomy and calendar of the Shang DynastyShang Dynasty, 22.5 cm long and 6.6 cm wide; unearthed from the Yin ruins of Anyang, Henan Province. The calendrical system of Heavenly Stems and Earthly Branches originated in the Xia Dynasty, and was inherited by the Shang and Zhou and passed down to modern times. It is the oldest calendrical system in use in the world today

    *The Four Elements of ZhongqiFirst, zhongqi (Shang bronzes) require a vast mobilization of people-power in order to create them at all. To make objects as elaborate and intricate as these, the Shang dynasty needed to be centralized and quite powerful. That way, they could afford to have many skilled laborers working on these bronzes, from the mining of the ore to the final product. For a look at how complex the bronze-casting process is, see the page on bronze technology. Second, most of these objects were used only in ritual settings. Bronze was expensive- not the type of thing you might serve macaroni and cheese on! Ritual bronzes are a part of "liqi" or ritual art, and so were either a part of elaborate burial practices or they were precious sacred objects. The use of these objects separated them from the mundane, everyday world, and elevated them to special status. For more on the use and function of these objects, check out the page on "liqi", or ritual art.

    *Third, the decoration and shape of Shang bronzes was relatively restricted. The similarity in shape and decoration is a sign of the large, centralized production of these objects. There are only a few shapes you can choose from if you want to make a Shang bronze, and only a few decorative motifs, or patterns, that you can choose to put on the surface. For a look at possible decorations, see the taotie page. For the shape of Chinese bronze, see the Ding, Fang Ding, and Other Mysteries page. Fourth, Shang bronze types (shapes and decoration) were copied and reused later in Chinese history. These forms endure and resurface during later dynasties, even into the nineteenth century. Their meaning shifts and changes with these copies, but their existence remains significant across time. For the propagation of Shang forms in later dynasties, check out the Shang, Shang Everywhere page. Do these four facets of Shang bronzes add up to monumentality? You'll have to be the final judge of that. Wu Hung, the author of the reading assignment for this section, has his own ideas about Chinese monumentality. Those ideas will expand those presented here, and offer further food for thought, which you may or may not be able to eat from your Shang bronze vessel!

    * The Shang dynasty (also called the Yin ( ) dynasty in its later stages) is believed to have been founded by a rebel leader who overthrew the last Xia ruler. Its civilization was based on agriculture, augmented by hunting and animal husbandry. Two important events of the period were the development of a writing system, as revealed in archaic Chinese inscriptions found on tortoise shells and flat cattle bones (commonly called oracle bones or( ), and the use of bronze metallurgy. The Shang held their royal ancestors in high regard. Bronze was found in royal tombs as well as the skeletons of about three hundred servants who were to accompany the king to the heavenly world. Funerary tablets were kept in the front of temples and all rituals were carried out in their presence. These tablets were thought to contain the souls of the ancestors. Every royal event was announced aloud in the temples to inform the ancestors. In addition, the diviners often consulted the ancestors by offering sacrifices and reading the cracks of burnt bones. (details of a bronze vessel from Shang) A line of hereditary Shang kings ruled over much of northern China, and Shang troops fought frequent wars with neighboring settlements and nomadic herdsmen from the inner Asian steppes. The capitals, one of which was at the site of the modern city of Anyang, were centers of glittering court life. Court rituals to propitiate spirits and to honor sacred ancestors were highly developed. In addition to his secular position, the king was the head of the ancestor- and spirit-worship cult. The cities around the capital were called palace-cities. Each city was surrounded by a wall. Within the walls were the military and religious centers as well as the nobility residences. Every palace-city was a copy of the capital city. The buildings were identical and arranged in the same format. The capital of the Shang moved seven times before finally settling in Yin which became the permanent capital.http://www.regenttour.com/china/history/shang.htm

    *SOURCE: The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin - Summer 1990 (The Arts of Ancient China), p. 17. item on left DESCRIPTION: a ritual wine beaker (ku), bronze inlaid with pigment, 10 1/4 in high PROVENANCE: China. Shang dynasty, early An-yang period, 13th century BCE, MMA item 1979.434 item on right DESCRIPTION: a spouted ritual wine cup (cheh), bronze, 7 3/4 in high PROVENANCE: China. Shang dynasty, An-yang period, 12th century BCE, MMA item 49.135.15

    *Shang Zhou(1,154 1,134 B.C.)One of the cruelest Kings in the history of China, Zhou and his queen TaJi were known for their novelties of torture and for the invention of chopsticks. Killed Bi Gan, imprisoned Qi Zi, and Wei Zi fled (1,123 B.C.)

    *Shang royal burial practices confirm the abiding interest of the Shang rulers with their ancestors. At Anyang (in present-day Henan province, review map), the last capital of the Shang, many huge royal tombs have been found. The one we examine here, the tomb of the consort Fu Hao, is the only royal Shang tomb of a member of the Shang royal family to have been found unlooted. Dated around 1250 BC, it is a tomb of modest size located outside the main royal cemetery. The tomb is a single large pit, 5.6 m by 4 m at the mouth. The floor level housed the royal corpse and most of the utensils and implements buried with her. Below the corpse was a small pit holding the remains of six dogs, and along the perimeters lay the skeletons of 16 humans. Inside the pit was a wooden chamber 5 m long, 3.5 m wide and 1.3 m high. Within the chamber was a lacquered coffin which has since rotted away. There also seems to have once been a structure built over the tomb for holding memorial ceremonies.Fu Hao was mentioned in oracle bone inscriptions as the consort of King Wu Ding and a general who participated in several military campaigns. She also presided over important sacrificial ceremonies and controlled her own estate.Altogether Fu Hao's tomb contained: 468 bronze objects including 130 weapons, 23 bells, 27 knives, 4 mirrors, and 4 tigers or tiger heads 755 jade objects 63 stone objects 5 ivory objects 564 bone objects including nearly 500 bone hairpins and over 20 bone arrowheads 11 pottery objects 6,900 pieces of cowry shell

    *The last Shang ruler, a despot according to standard Chinese accounts, was overthrown by a chieftain of a frontier tribe called Zhou (), which had settled in the Wei () Valley in modern Shaanxi ( ) Province. The Zhou dynasty had its capital at Hao (), near the city of Xi'an ( ), or Chang'an ( ), as it was known in its heyday in the imperial period. Sharing the language and culture of the Shang, the early Zhou rulers, through conquest and colonization, gradually sinicized, that is, extended Shang culture through much of China Proper north of the Chang Jiang ( or Yangtze River). The Zhou dynasty lasted longer than any other, from 1027 to 221 B.C. It was philosophers of this period who first enunciated the doctrine of the "mandate of heaven" (tianming or ), the notion that the ruler (the "son of heaven" or ) governed by divine right but that his dethronement would prove that he had lost the mandate. The doctrine explained and justified the demise of the two earlier dynasties and at the same time supported the legitimacy of present and future rulers. The term feudal has often been applied to the Zhou period because the Zhou's early decentralized rule invites comparison with medieval rule in Europe. At most, however, the early Zhou system was proto-feudal (), being a more sophisticated version of earlier tribal organization, in which effective control depended more on familial ties than on feudal legal bonds. Whatever feudal elements there may have been decreased as time went on. The Zhou amalgam of city-states became progressively centralized and established increasingly impersonal political and economic institutions. These developments, which probably occurred in the latter Zhou period, were manifested in greater central control over local governments and a more routinized agricultural taxation. In 771 B.C. the Zhou court was sacked, and its king was killed by invading barbarians who were allied with rebel lords. The capital was moved eastward to Luoyang ( ) in present-day Henan ( ) Province. Because of this shift, historians divide the Zhou era into Western Zhou (1027-771 B.C.) and Eastern Zhou (770-221 B.C.). With the royal line broken, the power of the Zhou court gradually diminished; the fragmentation of the kingdom accelerated. Eastern Zhou divides into two subperiods. The first, from 770 to 476 B.C., is called the Spring and Autumn Period ( ), after a famous historical chronicle of the time; the second is known as the Warring States Period (475-221 B.C. ).

    ****After the first decades of the Western Zhou dynasty, changes in ritual and funeral custom manifested themselves in the appearance of jade-piece masks and, much later, jade burial suits. The use of jade to bedeck corpses reflects the belief that, by virtue of its own indestructibility, jade could protect the corpse from decay, thereby providing the spirit with a "living" home. The pieces of this jade mask were sewn on a silk veil to define the facial features of the deceased. Paired pieces signified the eyes, eyebrows, ears, and temples, and individual pieces represented the forehead, nose, mouth, cheeks, and chin. Below this jade mask, along the chest and waist of the corpse, lay a long necklace composed of arc-shaped jades, called huang, that were strung with agate and faience beads. Additional, flanking jades in the form of bi disks and ge dagger blades, exhibited in the adjacent cases, accompanied the ensemble. Later, in the Warring States (475-221 BCE) and Han (206 BCE-220 CE) periods, the dead were buried in complete body suits made of thin wafers of jade sewn together through tiny holes at their four corners. Old jades were often recarved to create the thin plates that compose later suits and masks.

    ***During the Spring and Autumn and Warring States period, many new ideas arose among warring regional rulers who competed in building strong and loyal armies and in increasing economic production to guarantee a wider base for tax collection. In order to pursue their goals, the rulers sought skilled, literate officials and teachers. Because so many different philosophies developed during this time, this era is also referred to the Hundred Schools of Thought. The school of thought that had the greatest impact on Chinese life was the Confucian school in the West. Confucius looked to the early days of Zhou rule for an ideal social and political order. He based his teachings on this past system, and believed that the only way such a system could be emulated would be if everyone let "the ruler be a ruler and subject be a subject." However, though Heaven elected certain men to be rulers, it was also believed that if he was selfish and cruel and abuses his people, Heaven would cease to protect him or sanction his rule, and he will fail. This concept was known as the Mandate of Heaven. In fact, the Zhou used this concept to justify their overthrowning of the Shang.

    ******Lao Tzu's Tao Teh Ching, which dates from about 550 BC has been described as one of the most eminent masterpieces of the Chinese language: one of the profoundest philosophical books the world has ever produced. Indeed it is so profound as to be almost unintelligible to the Western mind. The philosophy which it inculcates is an anti-social philosophy. In somewhat the same way as Buddhism it finds the supreme good for the individual in quietism and indifference. Among its most famous passages are the following: "Both heaven and earth endure a long time. The cause of their endurance is their indifference to long life. Thus the wise man, indifferent to himself, is the greatest among men." "Heaven is eternally at rest, yet there is nothing that it does not do." "He who humbleth himself shall be exalted; he who exalted himself shall be humbled." "It is the way of reason not to act from any personal motive; to conduct affairs without feeling the trouble of them; to taste, without being aware of the flavor; to account the great as small and the small as great; to recompense injury with kindness."**Thousands of archaeological finds in the Huang He ( ), Henan Valley ( ) --the apparent cradle of Chinese civilization--provide evidence about the Shang () dynasty, which endured roughly from 1700 to 1027 B.C. The Shang dynasty (also called the Yin () dynasty in its later stages) is believed to have been founded by a rebel leader who overthrew the last Xia ruler. Its civilization was based on agriculture, augmented by hunting and animal husbandry. Two important events of the period were the development of a writing system, as revealed in archaic Chinese inscriptions found on tortoise shells and flat cattle bones (commonly called oracle bones or ), and the use of bronze metallurgy. A number of ceremonial bronze vessels with inscriptions date from the Shang period; the workmanship on the bronzes attests to a high level of civilization. A line of hereditary Shang kings ruled over much of northern China, and Shang troops fought frequent wars with neighboring settlements and nomadic herdsmen from the inner Asian steppes. The capitals, one of which was at the site of the modern city of Anyang, were centers of glittering court life. Court rituals to propitiate spirits and to honor sacred ancestors were highly developed. In addition to his secular position, the king was the head of the ancestor- and spirit-worship cult. Evidence from the royal tombs indicates that royal personages were buried with articles of value, presumably for use in the afterlife. Perhaps for the same reason, hundreds of commoners, who may have been slaves, were buried alive with the royal corpse.

    **