The Chinese writing system is non-alphabetic. It applies a specific character to write each meaningful syllable or each nonmeaningful syllabic that is part of a polysyllabic word. History It is not known when Chinese writing originated, but it apparently began to develop in the early 2nd millennium bc.
Prehistory During the long Paleolithic period, bands of predatory hunter-gatherers lived in what is now China. Homo erectus, an extinct species closely related to modern humans, or Homo sapiens, appeared in China more than one million years ago.
Anthropologists disagree about whether Homo erectus is the direct ancestor of Homo sapiens or merely related through a mutual ancestor.
In either case, modern humans may have first appeared in China as far back asyears ago. Beginning in about 10, BCE, humans in China began developing agriculture, possibly influenced by developments in Southeast Asia.
On the fine, wind-blown loess soils of the north and northwest, the primary crop was millet, while villages along the lower Yangtze River in Central China were centered on rice production in paddy fields, supplemented by fish and aquatic plants. Humans in both regions had domesticated pigs, dogs, and cattle, and by BCE sheep had become important in the north and water buffalo in the south.
Over the course of the 5th to 3rd millennia BCE, many distinct, regional Neolithic cultures emerged. In the northwest, for instance, people made red pottery vessels decorated in black pigment with designs such as spirals, sawtooth lines, and zoomorphic animal-like stick figures.
During the same period, Neolithic cultures in the east produced pottery that was rarely painted but had distinctive shapes, such as three-legged, deep-bodied tripods.
Archaeologists have uncovered numerous jade ornaments, blades, and ritual objects in several eastern sites, but jade is rare in western ones. In many areas, stamped-earth fortified walls came to be built around settlements, suggesting not only increased contact between settlements but also increased conflict.
Later Chinese civilization probably evolved from the interaction of many distinct Neolithic cultures, which over time came to share more in the way of material culture and social and cultural practices. For example, many burial practices, including the use of coffins and ramped chambers, spread way beyond their place of origin.
Ancient Bronze Age Ancient Chinese historians knew nothing of their Neolithic forebears, whose existence was discovered by 20th-century archaeologists. Traditionally, the Chinese traced their history through many dynasties to a series of legendary rulers, like the Yellow Lord Huang Diwho invented the key features of civilization- agriculture, the family, silk, boats, carts, bows and arrows, and the calendar.
The last of these kings was Yu, and when he died the people chose his son to lead them, thus establishing the principle of hereditary, dynastic rule. The Xia dynasty may correspond to the first phases of the transition to the Bronze Age.
This civilization was marked by writing, metalwork, domestication of horses, a class system, and a stable political and religious hierarchy. Although Bronze Age civilizations developed earlier in Southwest Asia, China seems to have developed both its writing system and its bronze technology with relatively little stimulus from outside.
However, other elements of early Chinese civilization, such as the spoke-wheeled horse chariot, apparently reached China indirectly from places to the west. No written documents survive to link the earliest Bronze Age sites unambiguously to Xia.
With the Shang dynasty, however, the historical and archaeological records begin to coincide. Chinese accounts of the Shang rulers match inscriptions on animal bones and tortoise shells found in the 20th century at the city of Anyang in the valley of the Huang He Yellow River.
The Shang Dynasty ca. A king was the religious and political head of the society.Introduction. The development of written Chinese has a long history but remains the only ancient writing systems that have never been converted into an alphabetic system (Hessler, ).
The earliest examples of ancient Chinese writing come from oracle bones at Anyang, a Shang Dynasty capital, and contemporary bronze inscriptions. There may have been writing on bamboo or other perishable surfaces, but they have, inevitably, disappeared.
Later stages in the development of Chinese writing include the guwen (“ancient figures”) found in inscriptions from the late Shang dynasty (c. bc) and the early years of . the connection between early Chinese writing and cultural development is that writing became an indispensable tool of government as well as its purpose of expressing ideas and offering reflections on human beings and the world around them.
Sep 22, · This video is unavailable. Watch Queue Queue. Watch Queue Queue. Later stages in the development of Chinese writing include the guwen (“ancient figures”) found in inscriptions from the late Shang dynasty (c.
bc) and the early years of .