At the beginning of the Shang Dynasty, the Chinese already had hemp, silk, sophisticated pottery and pictographs on the oracle bones. It is unclear if these pictographs were a complete written language, capable of narrative, or if these pictographs represented only names, abstract ideas and objects. Participating in rituals and divinations were a major part of the kings duties. Family was extremely important, as ones ancestors would give help and guidance to dutiful descendants, and one would someday be receiving offerings from ones own sons and grandsons. Bronze vases from the Shang, made with sophisticated casting techniques, are large enough to hold a man, and are exquisitely decorated with Chinese characters, plants and animals. The molds were made in pieces, then joined together. Several philosophies important to Chinese thought developed at this time: Daoism is difficult to define, especially since it has resisted attempts at definition. Dao means way or path, although the Tao Te Ching, attributed to Laozi, says, The way that can be walked is not the true way. Because of this the early civilization of China developed more independently than those of the Indus, Tigris and Euphrates, and Nile River valleys, which were always in contact with each other.
How Did Geography Affect Early China Before the Silk Road
There was seen to be a hierarchy not only of humans, but of the entire Universe. Every person and organization was in an exact hierarchy. There were no parallel systems, no place or situation outside the hierarchy, so there was no loyal opposition or legitimate opposing point of view. Eastern Zhou 770 BC - 256 BC In 771 BC, the Zhou king was killed, his son put on the throne, and the capital was moved, dividing the Zhou Dynasty into the Western Zhou and the Eastern Zhou. Within the Eastern Zhou Dynasty were periods known as Spring and Autumn Period-from the title of a book, Annals of Spring and Autumn and the Warring States Period. As the many small states within China fought for dominance, the victorious state would add the territory of the vanquished to its own territory; it was then in a better state to.