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Discussion Forum 3 Part 1 Define the terms provide date definition and historical significance The Yellow River The second longest river in China after the Yangtze River and the sixth longest river system in the world Its basin was the birthplace of ancient Chinese civilization and it was the most prosperous region in early Chinese history Also winds blowing from Central Asia deposit a yellowish brown dust called loess and its particles is what makes the river yellow and it as used for agriculture Shang Dynasty The first historical dynasty lasted from 1500 BC to 1000 BC They heralded the Bronze Age in China they Pioneered the production of silk cloth they were known for their advances in math astronomy artwork and military technology The Shang writing system is the ancestor of the system still used in China and elsewhere in East Asia today they also 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 of objects that become simplified over time with each character representing a one syllable word for an object or idea It is likely that only a small number of people at court used this system Ancestor of the writing system in China and elsewhere in East Asia today Oracle Bones Documents that are made from the shoulder bones of cattle and the bottom shells of turtles employed by Shang rulers to obtain information from ancestral spirits and gods The writing on the oracle bones concerns the king his court and religious practices with little about other aspects of Shang society Shang Bronze Shang and Chou craftsmen learned to use bronze for more than weapons They made tools out of bronze which helped farmers and craftsmen and miners produce more food goods and minerals They made bowls bells drums cups axes and art out of bronze Also made Bronze vessels only the elites have Zhou Overthrew the Shangs and its era is from 1000 BC to 221 BC so known as the longest reigning dynasty Founders were Wen and his son Wu they worshiped Heaven Zhou made significant cultural contributions to agriculture education and military organization There were 2 Zhou eras Western and Eastern The Western Zhou Era ended In 771 b c e When Zhou capital was attacked by a coalition of enemies and the dynasty withdrew to a base farther east at Luoyang The Eastern Zhou era was the golden age of Chinese philosophy and was the era when Confucianism and Daoism were Heaven The highest Zhou deity who was more compassionate than the aloof Di of the Shang Wu declared that Heaven granted authority and legitimacy to a ruler as long as he looked out for the welfare of his made subjects Son of Heaven A Person or Family chosen by Heaven to bring prosperity and stability to the kingdom But if the ruler persistently failed in these duties and neglected the warning signs of flood famine invasion or other disasters 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 the religious and political spheres and served as the foundation of Chinese political thought for three thousand years Part 2 What are oracle bones How were they made What do they tell us about ancient China Oracle bones were inscriptions that the Shang people bore into one of two mediums a tortoise plastron or a cattle sculpa The king or his diviner would pose a question and then press a hot bronze rod into the bone producing a large crack or even several These cracks are interpreted to answer the question posed by the king or his diviner The oracle bones tell us that the Shang people were very spiritual they depended on what they believed to be the spirits of their ancestors to guide their lives Part 3 Analyze the sources Source 1 General 1 Reading the inscriptions how would you describe the relationship between deceased ancestors and their living descendants Deceased ancestors and the living descendants had a very affirmative relationship Their relationship was so good because as you see in the document they communicated agreely When it came to different things they 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 to do Like he is their king Shang rulers had a good relationship because they believed that ancestors communicated through the god Di 3 What are some of the concerns of the Shang elite as reflected in these inscriptions Are these concerns unique to them Many concerns people would have about the inscriptions is him not approving something they would want Or being unfair to them in a wrong way Source 2 On Warfare 1 What is Di s role in war and help Di s role in war was to confer assistance on those seeking his guidance 2 What information can you glean and what conclusions can you draw about warfare and the Shang s relations with their neighbors from these inscriptions Warfare was a big part of their beliefs and they justified their decisions by religion These inscriptions make it clear that Di was a very respected figure to the Shang people as well as an important figure in war Source 3 On Childbearing Shang family structure 1 What do the inscriptions indicate about the relative status of males and females in the The inscriptions provided indicate that the relative status of males in the Shang family structure is that they are to have a great lineage by having sons to be their successor while the females are to be the ones who provide the males with children 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 the head 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 home cooking cleaning and raising the children as well as remaining silent about familial matters and such Due to the fact that men were idealized it would only make sense as to why there was such a strong desire for a male child rather than a female other times and places 3 How does the concern expressed here compare to the ideals of other civilizations in The concern expressed for birthing a daughter instead of a son is very common among other civilizations during those times In many

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CSUDH HIS 120 - Oracle Bones

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