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What Do We Know About Ancient China: Interesting Facts

The civilization of ancient China has long been a mystery. Ancient China was separated from the rest of Eurasia by huge natural barriers: dry steppes and hot deserts, the highest mountain system in the Himalayas, and the highest plateau – the Tibetan.

Hillary Walker

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Despite the large distances and differences in development, the antique civilizations of Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece, Persia, and Rome were interconnected. This led to a certain unity of the old world in the existence of different cultures. But the civilization of ancient China has long been a mystery. Ancient China was separated from the rest of Eurasia by huge natural barriers: dry steppes and hot deserts, the highest mountain system in the Himalayas, and the highest plateau – the Tibetan.

The era of the old Chinese civilization dates back to the turn of 3-2 millennia BC. This is a time when the first settlements appeared on the banks of the Yellow River. The main periods in the history of ancient China are traditionally named after dynasties and kingdoms: 

  • Yin (Shang), 

  • Zhou, 

  • Qin, 

  • and Han. 

In this review, we will tell you some fun facts from Chinese history, which you can learn by heart with the help of the ancient china vocabulary visualized on storyboardthat.com.

The Son of Heaven

The main role in creating a huge empire was played by the Qin Empire, which was located in western China. Its rulers first achieved full independence, and in the 4th century BC expanded the territory to the south and east. During this period, bronze weapons were replaced by iron, and chariots were replaced by mobile and maneuverable cavalry. Qin troops managed to defeat all their rivals and put an end to the rule of the Zhou dynasty. The final unification of the country took place during the reign of the power-hungry Ying Zheng (259-210 BC). He proclaimed himself emperor (Huangdi) and ascended the throne under the name of Qin Shihuang (the first emperor Qin).

The new ruler called himself the “Son of Heaven”, and his empire was named “Celestial”. This meant that China was under the protection of heaven, in the middle of the world, so this is the main country on Earth.

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Amazing Discoveries

China has achieved great results already in ancient times. Gunpowder was invented here, alongside important astronomical discoveries, a progressive tax scale, etc. But because ancient China was a rich country, many wanted to get profit from the property of its inhabitants. Unfortunately, the Chinese did not know how to fight in the past and lost all wars, but they found an amazing way to fight the attacks of barbarians – losing battles to them, they assimilated and simply dissolved in their culture. Here are some interesting discoveries made by Chinese in the Ancient times:

  • The world’s oldest printed book, the Diamond Sutra, was made in China;

  • The people of ancient China began making silk in the third millennium BC. According to legend, the inventor of this material was the wife of Emperor Huang Di Lady Xi Lin Sui. The very idea of creating silk appeared suddenly during one of the tea ceremonies when the cocoon of the mulberry silkworm accidentally fell into the Empress’s cup;

  • Ancient China is considered to be the homeland of domestic dogs. Pekingese are actually Chinese dogs. This breed was kept exclusively by members of the imperial family, and the theft of these animals was punishable by death;

 

  • The people of the Celestial Empire have been using sunglasses since the twelfth century. These accessories were usually made of flat plates of smoky quartz. These glasses do not protect from sunlight, but they were used to avoid prying eyes;

  • The ancient Chinese hated body odor. They found it disgusting and always tried to smell nice. Thus, Chinese women usually wore perfumed bags on their belts;

  • Another invention of the ancient Chinese is varnish. They covered wooden products and shoes with it to protect them from getting wet;

  • In ancient China, scientists knew that blood moves through blood vessels due to the beating of the heart, in the II century BC. Europeans did not know this fact until the XVII century;

  • Celestial, in fact, is the birthplace of ice cream. It was first prepared four thousand years ago. It was made from a mixture of snow and milk. By the way, the famous traveler Marco Polo once brought to European countries the secret of cooking this product.

Ancient China has given the world many inventions, including the compass, paper, instruments for measuring distances and earthquakes, etc. This is an incredible country, the history of which deserved decent attention during the studying. Enjoy!