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Discussion Forum 3Part 1 : Define the terms (provide date, definition, and historical significance)- The Yellow River : The second-longest river in China, after the YangtzeRiver, and the sixth-longest river system in the world,Its basin was thebirthplace of ancient Chinese civilization, and it was the most prosperousregion in early Chinese history.Also winds blowing from Central Asiadeposit a yellowish-brown dust called loess and its particles is what makesthe river yellow and it as used for agriculture.- Shang Dynasty : The first historical dynasty lasted from 1500 BC to 1000BC.They heralded the Bronze Age in China,they Pioneered the productionof silk cloth,they were known for their advances in math, astronomy,artwork and military technology. The Shang writing system is the ancestorof the system still used in China and elsewhere in East Asia today;theyalso created the Oracle Bones, and worshiped Di.- Lineage : A line of people descended from the same ancestor.- Pictograms : Chinese characters and Picture Dialects.Originally pictures ofobjects that become simplified over time, with each character representinga one-syllable word for an object or idea. It is likely that only a smallnumber of people at court used this system. Ancestor of the writing systemin China and elsewhere in East Asia today.- Oracle Bones : Documents that are made from the shoulder bones of cattleand the bottom shells of turtles employed by Shang rulers to obtaininformation from ancestral spirits and gods.The writing on the oraclebones concerns the king, his court, and religious practices, with little aboutother aspects of Shang society.- Shang Bronze : Shang and Chou craftsmen learned to use bronze for morethan weapons. They made tools out of bronze which helped farmers andcraftsmen and miners produce more food, goods, and minerals. They madebowls, bells, drums, cups, axes, and art out of bronze. Also made Bronzevessels only the elites have.- Zhou : Overthrew the Shangs and its era is from 1000 BC to 221 BC soknown as the longest reigning dynasty.Founders were Wen and his sonWu,they worshiped Heaven. Zhou made significant cultural contributions toagriculture, education, and military organization.There were 2 Zhou erasWestern and Eastern, The Western Zhou Era ended In 771 b.c.e. When Zhoucapital was attacked by a coalition of enemies, and the dynasty withdrew toa base farther east, at Luoyang.The Eastern Zhou era was the golden age ofChinese philosophy and was the era when Confucianism and Daoism weremade.- Heaven : The highest Zhou deity,who was more compassionate than thealoof Di of the Shang. Wu declared that Heaven granted authority andlegitimacy to a ruler as long as he looked out for the welfare of hissubjects.- Son of Heaven : A Person or Family chosen by Heaven to bring prosperityand stability to the kingdom. But if the ruler persistently failed in theseduties and neglected the warning signs of flood, famine, invasion, or otherdisasters, Heaven could withdraw this “Mandate” and transfer it to another,more worthy ruler and family.- Mandate of Heaven : Validated the institution of monarchy by connecting thereligious and political spheres, and served as the foundation of Chinesepolitical thought for three thousand years.Part 2: What are oracle bones? How were they made? What do they tell us aboutancient China?Oracle bones were inscriptions that the Shang people bore into one of twomediums, a tortoise plastron or a cattle sculpa. The king or his diviner wouldpose a question and then press a hot bronze rod into the bone, producing a largecrack or even several. These cracks are interpreted to answer the question posedby the king or his diviner. The oracle bones tell us that the Shang people werevery spiritual, they depended on what they believed to be the spirits of theirancestors to guide their lives.Part 3 : Analyze the sources- Source 1: General1. Reading the inscriptions, how would you describe the relationshipbetween deceased ancestors and their living descendants ?Deceased ancestors and the living descendants had a very affirmativerelationship. Their relationship was so good because as you see in thedocument they communicated agreely. When it came to different thingsthey would have a discussion about it.2. Who is Di and what is his relationship with the Shang rulers?In my very own opinion, Di seems like a God or a very strong King to me.The Shang rulers already seemed to always approve of what Di decides todo. Like he is their king. Shang rulers had a good relationship because theybelieved that ancestors communicated through the god Di.3. What are some of the concerns of the Shang elite as reflected in theseinscriptions? Are these concerns unique to them?Many concerns people would have about the inscriptions is him notapproving something they would want. Or being unfair to them in a wrongway.- Source 2: On Warfare1. What is Di’s role in war?Di’s role in war was to “confer assistance” on those seeking his guidanceand help.2. What information can you glean and what conclusions can you draw aboutwarfare and the Shang’s relations with their neighbors from these inscriptionsWarfare was a big part of their beliefs and they justified their decisions byreligion. These inscriptions make it clear that Di was a very respectedfigure to the Shang people as well as an important figure in war.- Source 3: On Childbearing1. What do the inscriptions indicate about the relative status of males and females in theShang family structure?The inscriptions provided indicate that the relative status of males in the Shangfamily structure is that they are to have a great lineage by having sons to be theirsuccessor while the females are to be the ones who provide the males withchildren, specifically a son.2. What cultural characteristics would explain the desire for a male child?Culturally for the Shang people, males were the superior sex; the male was thehead of the household, made all the decisions, represented the entire family, etc.Females were looked at as a housewife that was supposed to stay at homecooking, cleaning and raising the children as well as remaining silent aboutfamilial matters and such. Due to the fact that men were idealized, it would onlymake sense as to why there was such a strong desire for a male child rather thana female.3. How does the concern expressed here compare to the ideals of other civilizations inother times and places?The concern expressed for birthing a daughter instead of a son

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CSUDH HIS 120 - Oracle Bones

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