Ancient China: A History by John S. Major, Constance A. Cook

By John S. Major, Constance A. Cook

Ancient China: A History surveys the East Asian Heartland zone – the geographical region that finally grew to become often called China – from the Neolithic interval throughout the Bronze Age, to the early imperial period of Qin and Han, as much as the brink of the medieval interval within the 3rd century CE. for many of that lengthy span of time there has been no such position as "China"; the titanic and sundry territory of the Heartland zone was once domestic to many assorted cultures that merely slowly coalesced, culturally, linguistically, and politically, to shape the 1st recognizably chinese language empires.

The box of Early China experiences is being revolutionized in our time by way of a wealth of archaeologically recovered texts and artefacts. significant and cook dinner draw in this interesting new proof and a wealthy harvest of up to date scholarship to present a leading-edge account of old China and its antecedents. 

With convenient pedagogical positive factors comparable to maps and illustrations, in addition to an intensive checklist of suggestions for additional analyzing, Ancient China: A History is a vital source for undergraduate and postgraduate classes on chinese language heritage, and people studuing chinese language tradition and Society extra in general.

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Extra resources for Ancient China: A History

Sample text

In some places in the highlands the loess soil is as much as 100 meters (330 feet) deep. Geologists believe that, through successive Ice Ages over the course of hundreds of thousands of years, each time the ice sheets retreated they caused long-enduring patterns of strong winds that blew from northwest to southeast. Passing over what is now the western Gobi Desert, the winds scoured the land, picking up the surface soil in huge annual dust-storms, century after century, and depositing it when the winds got farther away from the glacial margins and slowed down.

The Yellow River Plain (also known as the North China Plain, and anciently as the Zhongyuan or Central Plain) forms an extensive area of good soil and fairly level terrain, highly suitable for the growing of grain; it was one of the cradles of civilization in eastern Asia for that reason (see Focus: Millet). Generally speaking, the Yellow River Plain merges imperceptibly with the sea in dull vistas of tidal mudflats, shallow waters, and what in ancient times apparently were extensive marshes dominated by tall reeds (now almost entirely cleared to create cultivated land).

It includes the spectacular and world-famous limestone karst formations along the Li River near modern Guilin. Agriculture, including rice cultivation in terraced fields, is practiced in the region’s many valleys, but much of the land is unsuitable for agriculture and historically was heavily forested (although much of the forest has been clear-cut for timber in recent decades). The area’s remoteness and difficult terrain have made it a marginal part of the Heartland Region to the present day, and its population continues to be dominated, at least outside major urban centers, by Zhuang, Miao, and other so-called “national minority” peoples.

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