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HISTORY 2401 Study Guide - Book Of Documents, Duke Of Zhou, List Of Neolithic Cultures Of China

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History 2401
8/26/13- Origins and Big Patterns
Origins of East Asian Civilizations
Origins of civilizations
Civilization: an ambiguous term often used to denote more complex societies (but sometimes
used by anthropologists to describe any group of people sharing a set of cultural traits)
Cities as administrative centers
A political system based on defined territory rather than kinship
Many people engaged in specialized, non-food-producing activities
Status distinctions based largely on accumulation of wealth
Monumental building
A system for keeping permanent records
Long- distance trade
Sophisticated interest in science and art
The earliest societies exhibiting these traits appeared in river- valley regions: the Tigris and
Euphrates in Irag, the Indus in Pakistan, the HUANGHE (YELLOW RIVER) IN CHINA, and the Nile
in Egypt.
Geography and resources
Great river systems: the Yellow and the Yangzi Rivers
Two of the biggest things when becoming a civilization- think trade and travel
Monsoons and the south
Had an effect on South China and the culture in Southern China and Asia because of the
Winds (from Central Asia) and the North
The winds from Central Asia brought this, it's a fine (loose) yellow colored dirt. It is not too
hard for humans to work on with wooden sticks.
This made it easier to grow things since it was easy to work with.
The Loess since it is fine and loose makes the region for susceptible to floods.
Deforestation also worsened the problem of the floods
There are many of these in Japan- “you get used to it”
Some important terms
Stone Age: the historical period characterized by the production of tools from stone and other
non metallic substances.
Paleolithic: The period of stone age associated with the evolution of humans.
Neolithic: the period of
Food and Tools (8000-2000 BCE Neolithic Cultures)
There were some western influences from other parts of the world, but the civilization really
appeared independently. They had multiple influences.
Staple Crops:
Millet: indigenous I today's China
Wheat: Originally from the middle east
Rice: origin still debated- Southern China (where the monsoons are)
Japan: Soon after 10,000 BCE (Jomon period, to 300 BCE)

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China and Korea: by 6000 BCE (Korea: Jeulmun period, 8000 BCE- 700 BCE)
Fish and animals
Shellfish, snails, turtles, deer, wild boar, dogs
Sheep, cattle, pigs
Multiple Origins
North- South
Yangshao culture (west- today's western China): painted, patterned pottery
East: Dawenkou (5000- 2500 BCE, Shandong); Hongshan- know for the Jade culture and using
Jade (3500 BCE, Liaodong near Korea)
Don't have to memorize know there was multiple origins
Beginning of East Asian History- There was no China as we know it today in history
2000 BCE Bronze metallurgy (Bronze Age: 2000- 500 BCE)
? The Xia Dynasty
Legends of Yao, Shun, and Yu- floods!
These are very important in East Asian Civilizaiton
Yao- During this period chinese did not have a succession system. The leaders passed on
leadership to the person he felt most worthy. He was the first one.
Shun- He is known to be a very respectful man.
Yu- Established the first dynasty and passed on leadership to his son- beginning of the
patriarchal system. Known to have manage the floods in northern china. Lead people to manage the
Xia: ruling house
Xia ruins
1500- 1045 BCE the Shang Dynasty
1045- 256 BCE the Zhou Dynasty
Western Zhou (1045- 771 BCE)
Eastern Zhou (771- 256)
Jeaulmun to Mumun culture
Jomon to Yayoi
8/28/13- China in the Bronze Age
Quiz next Friday in discussion on philosophers- name philosopher with passage and state why
you picked that philosopher.
Covers Shang Dynasty (1500 B.C.E.- 1045 B.C.E.) and Western Zhou Dynasty (1045-771
Bronze age is a western term, if asked a Chinese person from that time period they would label
it by dynasty alone (not group the two dynasties together).- believed it was classified by the dynasties.
This is how Chinese history has been written.
The dynasty changes are VERY important to the Chinese
The politics of archaeology and history: china as an example
Traditional chinese histriography (center-to periphery diffusion of civilization)
The Yellow River Valley of North China and the Central Plain
Craddle of Chinese civilization- this is the center
Three Sovereigns- Five Emperors- Three Dynasties (Xia- Shang- Zhou)

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Leadership was passed down to virtuous leaders and the dynasties were established.
Invented the dynastic cycles
Bad rulers lead to the lose of dynasties
linear narrative of history
Interpretive paradigms
Two- culture neolithic hypothesis (east-west divisions; Yangshao and Longshan)
There were two cultural centers in neolithic china
Yanghsao- 3000 BCE- ?known for colored pottery, millet farming lived in villages- was
traditionally the “center” of civilization
Longshan Culture- 3000 BCE- 1500 BCE, known for beautiful black pottery, archaeologist
found much symmetry in burial, shows a hierarchy in society.
“Nuclear area” hypothesis (Longshan culture growing out of the Yangshao and then spreading
east to populate the eastern seaboard)
Believed that there was a ncuelar area around the cnetral plain and that the second culture to the
east grew out of the culture int eh central plain, central to periphery transition into culture.
Regionalist approach and concept “interaction sphere”-- radiocarbon dates determined by labs;
more archaeological evidence
Most historians are adotping this approach- believe there were different regions and different
centers of culture at the time, but the interacted with each other.
They learned from each other and kept changing their own cultural practices.
Interaction Spheres- China
By 4000 BCE regional cultures had come into contact as a result of expansion
EX: Ceramic styles (used for cooking, etc.)
Was adopted in other regional centers/ cultures
By 3000 BCE: various regions came be joined together in archeological terms and exhibit
increasing similarities.
This is when we can say that there was a Chinese civilization coming to be and becoming more
of what we know today as “China”
The Shang Period- the ifrst and middle part of the bronze age
The Three Dynasties: Xia- Shang- Zhou
Yao passes on to Shun because he was a virtuous man and a great leader, Shun did the same
with Yu. Yu broke this tradition and passed leadership to his son.
Xia (one of the many states; most powerful): treated as a “dynasty
Only one off the many small states that existed at a time. It was simply the most powerful one
that created cities, armies, and established a ruling system.
Eastly Xia, early Shang, and early Zhou- three of the many states distributed throughout North
China's Yellow River Valley- they all co-existed in the beginning
The Bronze Age: in Chinese context clearly an index of social complexity
There were many more cultures than the ones that were mentioned above.
The bronze age applied to everywhere in China.
Scale: elite patronage; specialization
The elite and powerful would sponsor the production of these objects- the poor couldn't afford
the Bronze.
Laborers were all specilized.
Artistic sophistication
Indicates social complexity.
Bronze discoveries at the last Shang captial Anyang (Henan): Whose Center?
Anyang is one of the many centers of the bronze age.
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