China boasts the oldest continuous culture in the world. Its ancient history dates back to 5,000 BC. So it is when farmers, traders, and artisans set up permanent settlements along the Yellow River.
Thousands of years since then, China has seen dramatic changes in government, architecture, and even language, from the ancient silk road to the great modern wall of China. Chinese history tells some fascinating stories about this great empire you must know.
Below is a brief guide to the facts about the Chinese dynasties.
Three Main Dynasties
The Three Main Dynasties of the Ancient Chinese were the Xia, Shang, and the Zhou. These dynasties had unique and exciting contributions to Chinese culture and the world.
During the Xia Dynasty, the first pottery and the first use of bronze were established. Then, the Shang period marked a time when civilization was in full swing, writing was established, and cities were constructed.
Lastly, during the Zhou Dynasty, iron was first used. They also saw the first use of a complex calendar, advances in agriculture, and coins as a form of currency.
These three inventions had far-reaching effects that are still seen today in the modern world.
Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China is one of the world’s most iconic landmarks, having been named one of the world’s seven wonders. The wall was built by several ancient famous dynasties as a defense structure. The first Chinese dynasty to create a section of the Great Wall was the Qin Dynasty, under the rule of Emperor Qin Shi Huang, around 221 BC.
The Qin Dynasty was the first ruling dynasty of unified China and is remembered for its significant architectural feats, such as the Great Wall and various fortifications. The Ming Dynasty, which ruled from 1368 to 1644, is commonly associated with the Great Wall due to the major repair works and extensions that took place during that period.
The Great Wall of Ming measured 5,500 miles, the wall’s longest length. The best fact about ancient China concerning the Great Wall of China is that the wall defended China from invasion until the end of the Qing Dynasty in 1912.
Inventions and Collections
The Ancient Chinese Dynasties were incredibly innovative and pioneers of many of the inventions and collections we use today. For example, the Silk Road was started by the Han Dynasty and spread silk, inventions, and culture to Europe, Africa, and Asia.
The Qin Dynasty created the first standing army and some of the earliest forms of paper and printing. The Han Dynasty invented paper money and the early versions of the compass. During the Tang Dynasty, they created the first gunpowder weapons and documented the first use of coal for fuel.
Last but certainly not least, the Ming Dynasty created the first porcelain and introduced the world to superb silk embroidery. They also created Chinese ceramics, and there is some Weisbrod ceramic collection. These inventions and collections make famous Dynasties essential to history.
Influence of the Chinese Dynasties on Today’s World
The ancient Chinese dynasties have had a significant impact on shaping the world we know today. From the invention of paper to the Great Wall of China, these dynasties left a permanent mark on history and culture. If you’re eager to learn more about China’s past, there are plenty of books, movies, and online resources to explore!
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