Ancient China

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Ancient China

STONE CARVING: Primary, Artifact Stone artifacts during the period of ancient China were usually made in a sacred way. In front of royal cemeteries, there is usually a divine road for those royal spirits to walk on. Along the road, there are stone statues of animals and men. The traditional name of the giant-sized statues of men is strictly called ‘wengzhong’, or popularly called ‘stone men’. Around 221-206 BC, Emperor Qin Shi Huang had a bronze stone statue carved in Ruan Wengzhong's likeness in order to commemorate him after he was dead. During 140-117 BC, emperor Wudi built stone statues of animals for the achievement of his dead, beloved,and young general Huo Qubing. All bronze statues of animals represent alternate day and night to the dead monarchs, while the human statues imply to firm and popular to the imperial houseposter yourself

TERRACOTTA ARMY : Artifact, Primary The terracotta army of warriors and horses was discovered in 1974 in Lintong District, Xi'an, Shaanxi province, China. The whole collection included more than 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses and 150 cavalry horses. It was said that none of the soldiers looked alike. The sculptures were buried during 201-209 BC to serve the first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang, to rule another empire in his afterlife. The sculptures’ parts were built separately by different workshop before put together to create the actual-size soldiers a nd horses. They were all colored, but the paint fainted greatly after the sculptures were dug up. The construction of the emperor’s tomb told us greatly about the past. It shows the advancement in art and architecture. The achievement demonstrated the power of the emperor to collect the resources, assemble the large amount of skilled labors, and command the gigantic piece of work to be done.

TAOISM : secondary Taoism is a folk religion of China. According to Laozi, the founder of the belief, things would flow the best if the people let the nature has its own way. One of Taoism’s main themes is ‘wu wei’, which means doing by not doing. It seeks the simplest way to accomplish the task, or to try to finish the task with minimal effort. Taoism views the government as unnatural and believes that government that governs least. The famous symbol of Taoism is yin yang. Yin represents the female, the moon, softness, and passivity. Yang represents the male, the energy, hardness, and aggressiveness. To keep things peaceful, both sides need to be in balance. Chaos would be created if they are not. The most influential text on Taoism is called Tao Te Ching, written by Laozi in 3rd or 4th centuries BCE. The religion provided ethical guides for people during the ancient China period. Hanfei Zi, the famous philosopher who lived during 280 BCE – 233 BCE, used the text to justify a structured society based on law and punishment and on the power of the Emperor.

CHINESE WRITING: Primary Source Most linguists believe that writing was invented in China during the latter half of the 2nd millenium BC. The earliest recognizable examples of written Chinese date from 1500-950 BC (Shang dynasty) and were inscribed onto turtle shells and animals bones. Most of the records involved hunting, warfare, the weather and the selection of auspicious days for ceremonies. Chinese writing is logosyllabic that is, a character generally represents one syllable of spoken Chinese and may be a word on its own or a part of a polysyllabic word. The characters themselves are often composed of parts that may represent physical objects, abstract notions or pronunciation. People in early China also wrote on strips of bamboo wood then wrote on silk cloth. Later around 100 BC, people in China invented paper to write on. Paper was cheaper to write on than silk, so more people wrote and copied books during the Han Dynasty.

THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA: Primary The Great Wall of China was built over 2,000 years ago, by Qin Shi Huangdi, the first emperor of China during the Qin Dynasty (221 B.C - 206 B.C.). In Chinese the wall is called "Wan-Li Qang-Qeng" which means 10,000-Li Long Wall (10,000 Li = about 5,000 km). Qin Haungdi ordered the building of the wall to connect the remaining fortifications along the empire's new northern frontier to protect the empire against intrusions by the Xiongnu people from the north.. Stones from the mountains were used over mountain ranges, while rammed earth was used for construction in the plains. Later, the Han, Sui, Northern and Jin dynasties repaired, rebuilt, and expanded sections of the Great Wall to defend themselves against northern invaders. It is estimated that over 1 million workers died building the wall.

SILK: Primary Silk is one of the best materials for clothing in China. It is said that silk was discovered by Empress Si Ling Chi around 2700 BC when she she was drinking her tea and a silkworm moth cocoon fell from a mulberry tree into her tea. She learns the secret of the silk by watching silkworms. Then, she developed the process of making slilk by removing threads from the cocoon and started to build silk cultivation farms. However, the process of making silk is still the same today. In the past, silk was solely for Kings of China for their clothing and gifts for others. Also, in ancient china , silk was used for currency and rewards.



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