Chapter 1 eas103.txt

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University of Toronto St. George
East Asian Studies
Linda Feng

Chapter1 TextbookChapteroneChina in the Bronze Age The Shang and Western Zhou Dynastiesca 1500771BCE Chinas Bronze Age began soon after 2000 BCE and by 1200 BCE therewerebronzebased civilizations in several regions of China Bestknown of these werecentered Anyang in northcentral China wherethe Shang Dynasty developed a complexstate with writing and largesettlements 1045 BCE Shang Dynasty overthrown by an erstwhile ally vassal the stateofZhou Early Zhou Dynastyknown not only from archaeological evidence butfromtransmitted texts which provide them their righteous victory over thedecadentShang Zhou rulers sent out vassals to establish settlements in distant regionscreating afeudallike system The Geography of the Chinese Subcontinent Historical China China proper was smaller than presentday China andchanged insize over timeContemporary Peoples Republic of China includes territories like TibetInnerMongolia Turkestan and Manchuria that weretraditional homes of otherpeoplesand were not incorportated into Chinese states until relatively late intheir histories Geographical context in which Chinese civilization developed changed slowlyovertime rivers and coastlines have shifted forests have been cleared andclimates havewarmed and cooledChinaproperby19Th century about a thousand miles north to south and eastto westoccupies much of the temperate zone of East Asia North drained by Yellow Rivercolder flatter and more aridthan thesouth Rainfall in many northern area is less than 20inches a year making itbest suited to crops wheatmillet Dominant soil is loessfertile and easyto work with ends up as silt in the Yellow River causing the riverbed toriseover time People dike river became flood prone since when dikes break hugefloods result Drought another perennial problem for farmers in the northYangziRiverisdominantfeatureofthewarmerwetterandmorelushsoutha region wellsuited torice cultivation and to growing two crops a yearYangzi and many of its tributaries arenavigable so boats were traditionallythe preferred means of transportation in the south Mountains deserts and grasslands separated China proper from sites ofother earlycivilizations Tibet inbetween China and India vast mountain ranges andhighplateaus North are great expanses of desert where nothing grows except inrareoases north of them grasslands stretch from Ukraine to eastern TheShang DynastyCA 15001045 BCE
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