Chinese History – Xia Dynasty

Xia dynasty (c. 2100 – c. 1600 BC) 

Learned from:

The first of Chinese history was from approximately 2100 to 1500 before christ and was called the Xia Dynasty.  Records of this time were found in ancient texts such as the Bamboo Annals.

Interestingly there is an adverse conversation about whether or not the Xia dynasty is a legtimate dynasty in Chinese history, however there has been evidence found via archeaology that suggests that it did exist.

The evidence of this dynasty has been found in bronze smelt.  And that about it.

Along comes the Shang Dynasty:

The Shange dynasty has some historical records on oracle bones.
The Shang period of the dynasty and the Late Shang (Yin) period are seperated from one another.  Divine records were thought to have first appeared in these times.
The writing during this time occured on bones or shells of dead organisms and were called oracle bones. With carbon dating, the age of the bones can be dated to approximately 1200 BC.
Many remnants from the Shang society were discovered in the Yellow River Valley.
There were a total of thirty one kings that ruled during the Shang Dynasty and the capital city was moved multiple times during this period in Chinese history.
The most important and final move was to Yin in 1350 BC and what led to the “golden age” of the Shang dynasty. Because of this move, Yin has often been associated with the latter part of the Shang dynasty when it was moved.
Some historian believe that the  Xia and Shang are more political entities than they are separate periods in time.  It is possible that the dynasties overlapped one another and exited together.


Zhou dynasty (1046–256 BC)


Zhou was the longest dynasty to last in Chinese history and was a dynasty that started to arrive in the Yellow River Valley .   The Zhou defeated the Shang in territorial battles, in particular the famous Battle of Muye.
During the Zhou rule, the king of the time introduced the concept of Heaven (Kind of like karma) and if you messed up, the world would let you know.  In the Zhou whenever a disaster occurred it was attributed to the loss of the mandate of heaven due to bad rulers.  When this occurred the bad ruler (royal house) would be replaced by new rulers and therefore replace the Zhou’s right to heaven.

Is China Being Dealt a Fair Hand?

A small, yet successful looking city nestled in the palm of an open hand

In the past, China was seen as a land of poverty and huge differences from the poorest of the poor to the richest of the rich.  As China has developed, the living standard has slowly increased.  In the past the life expectancy was about 32 years old and has significantly increased to well over 69 years of age today.  The amount of poverty in China has declined, although it is still a problem being addressed.

As far as comparing China to other countries that are industrialized, China got the small end of the stick in regards to their residents having adequate food, shelter and clothing.  Economic reforms int he 80’s have brought much improvement since then. Continue reading “Is China Being Dealt a Fair Hand?”

Really Cool Facts about China that you might not know!


So you think you know China huh?

Check out these cool facts on china:

  • China is known as the People’s Republic of China!
  • Did you know that China houses the MOST PEOPLE in the entire world?  They have over 1.3 billion people!  Imagine how crowded it must be in China.  Not all of the people are spread out. Many live in large cities.  China has so many people that they have a rule that you are only allowed to have one child. Wow!
  • Being the third largest country by size, China takes up over three million square miles.
  • China is located on the Asian Continent.
  • Several countries surround china. The countries that touch china’s borders are:
    • Afghanistan
    • Bhutan
    • Burma
    • India
    • Kazakhstan
    • Krygystan
    • Laos
    • North Korea
    • Mongolia
    • Nepal
    • Pakistan
    • Russia
    • Tajikistan
    • Vietnam
  • One of the most popular moutaineering peaks on Earth is located between China and Nepal. Know what it is?  It’s Mount Everest!
  • Chinese is not the only language in China. China has people who speak Mandarin, Wu, Yue, Minbei, Xiang, Gan, Hakka and Minnan.
  • Beijing is the capital of China although it is not the most populated.
  • The most populated city is Shanghai followed by Chongqing, Shenzhen and Guangzhou.
  • Over 40% of the Chinese Population live in urban areas.
  • Typhoons occur each year in China along with floods, earthquakes, tsunamis and dry droughts.
  • The Yangtze River, which is located in China, is the fourth largest in the world and is over 3500 miles long.
  • The Yellow River (sixth largest in the world) is also located in China and is about 2,900 miles long.
  • Did you know that China is NOT the biggest economy?  The biggest economy is the United States. China is number 2.
  • China sent people to space in 2003, several decades after the Russians and the Americans.
  • Pandas live in China.
  • The Great Wall of China was made by hand and is over 5,500 miles long.

Chinese Art

Because we love art, we decided to talk about Chinese are for our first blog post.

Our information is mainly from this site:, however we have taken the liberty to add our own art knowledge as appropriate.

Both ancient and modern art that is practiced by people of China is considered Chinese art.

Chinese Art starts as early as 10,000BC and a lot comes from samples of pottery or sculptures. Some of the first kaolin made items were made in China and utilized the element Cobalt to decorate.

Kaolin is a type of clay, when heated, that becomes porcelain. Chinese porcelain that is from the earliest ages is some of the most valuable pottery and ceramics in the world.

Along with pottery, Chinese art includes textiles and other artistic items that were used in the Chinese courts to resemble ranks, demonstration of power and wealth and was kept among emperors.

Items on paper, such as ink paintings, were more likely to be found with court painters and teachers of teh court.  When the Western world began more prolonged contact with China, the art become more and more contemporary and competitive with World Art.  Prior to that, art was very regimented and predictable.

Check out this art: