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China before Qin debate

shang zhou china civilization

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#1    Big Bad Voodoo

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 07:31 PM

Hello dear UMers!

Recently I was involved in one debate in which we discuss who deserve to be called civilization, culture, tribes and who not.
I pointed out that civilization emerged in Sumer, Egypt, India, and China. However our Kmt Sesh pointed out that China was not civilization till Qin dynasty in 221 BC. I agreed. But...


I didnt respond well about China civilization because I was in hurry plus I was not sure about my knowledge. Now I talked with on history professor. Here is correction.
I love Mongolia, China, Japan, India. I especially like Han, Tang, Song, Ming dynasties.  From Han dynasty China become center of the world till industruial revolution and that we can easy explain. Who needs machines when you have popluation who can do it? Famous Needham question goes why China didnt developed modern science since China was center of science till modern science took place. Famous four great inventions Paper, Gunpowder, Printing and Compass changed the world and they were all Chinese inventions. Even toilet paper was their invention. (?) For example after Arabs and Tang dynasty clashed paper making spread through Arab world to Spain. And in Spain King said: „What ever yo do just dont write on that thin?“ Thats kind explain where Europe was to China. Anyway, from 221 BC to 1911 China was Empire. Before that many interesting things happened such as cultures and civilization. China is often refuted for unknown reasons. I guess because rulers there were doing all kind repressions. Such as Qin burned books or when Emperor Yuan of Liang (ruled 552-555) burned collection of paints when he wanted to become Budhist monk or because human sacrifice was common till Han.

In 1921 Swede Gunnar Andersson  found near village Yangshao culture. 5000 BC to 3000 BC Yangshao culture in China near Yellow river. It was matriarchal society
Then in 1928 we found amazing black thin ceramics in village Longshan in Shadong province. Longshan culture is from 3000 BC to 2000 BC. Longshan culture have realy amazing pottery.

Then came (mythical) Xia (2050-1500 BC) and five emperors such as Yu the great. However for this culture we dont have evidence but many things hints us that actually existed. Also  many Chinese archaeologists claim that we already found some sites from Xia like Erlitou culture.
We also have Dawenko culture 3000-2500 BC, Huating culture where we can see probably firsts atempt of writing but this still science didnt accepted.
Before we get to term civilization I will point out that before we have Zong-mysterious objects realy beautifull probably for astronomical purpose. Or jade bi disks.

Then came what many believe to be beging of Chinese civilization in full term.Shang dyansty or Yin dynasty from 1700  to 1200 BC. They done extraordinary work in Bronze and worked with very hard Jade.City Yin / Yinxu near Anjang in Henan province is fine example that they were civilization.Where we can found earliest example of Chinese writing. Because Shang were so sophisticated from beging it wouldnt be surprise to world of archaeology that we one day found Xia. Shang had highly developed urban culture in Anyang. Shang were experts in casting bronze. One interesting city was Zhengzhou which many think it could be Ao first capital of Shang . Or city Gaocheng in Hebei. Taotie mask and vases were trademark of this civilization. Intersting statues of animals such as tiger, snake, elephant and surprisingly cricket which we can see on pottery too. Many graves of Shang civlization were robbed. One grave which show us how Shang was developed and rich is tomb of lady Fu Hao.

Xian become capital of Zhou dynasty. Next dynasty or civilization which ruled from 1200 BC to Qin 221 BC. This civilization show us high tech of poterry, bronze making, jade disks with details. Suprisingly show us Siberian influence such as that animals have curved fangs/claws. What marked Zhou is  money.  Long coins like spear or ball looking coins or even polyigonal gold coins like those in state Chu. So we have usage of gold as money before Han as people used to believe. They were great iron casters. Ceramics was burned at 1200 C. They have had like feudalism society. Philosophy was in zenith till that time. Master Kong or Confucius, Lao Tse and etc. They have bronze seals of families. They done paints on silk. First terracota warriors dates from this period.

So I want to hear whats your opinion about Chinese. When China ends to be culture and become civilization? Do we have cut and dry time line where we can see how different civilization rise in full meaning of that world?
Thanks in advance.

L.

Edited by the L, 09 October 2012 - 08:08 PM.

JFK: "And we are as a people, inherently and historically, opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths, and to secret proceedings.
For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy..."

#2    Big Bad Voodoo

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 08:04 PM

Now look this Longshao black thin pottery. 3000-2000 BC.

Posted Image


Or Yangshao city 5000-3000 BC

Posted Image

Posted Image

Although city doesnt mean civilization I will stressed out that we can see urban planing such as in Indus valley civilization.

JFK: "And we are as a people, inherently and historically, opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths, and to secret proceedings.
For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy..."

#3    Big Bad Voodoo

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 08:52 PM

From 1700 to 1200 BC Yin(shang) civilization made tombs for their leaders. Almost all tombs are robbed as I said. Now look some piceies from Lady Hao tomb.
I made this compilation so it isnt something. So is this done by cultural people or civilized people or tribe people?


Posted Image

Edited by the L, 09 October 2012 - 09:03 PM.

JFK: "And we are as a people, inherently and historically, opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths, and to secret proceedings.
For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy..."

#4    Big Bad Voodoo

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 09:11 PM

So I will again point out that civilization start in Sumer following by Egypt, China, India and I will add Peru to the list. As far as we know for now...

Edited by the L, 09 October 2012 - 09:11 PM.

JFK: "And we are as a people, inherently and historically, opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths, and to secret proceedings.
For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy..."

#5    Sir Wearer of Hats

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 09:54 PM

I honestly think the biggest "clue" to there being a thriving Chinese "civilisation" befoe Qin is the Terracotta Warriors. It was firstly a massive undertaking to creae them, involving specialised techniques and fine and intricate art detailing - inclusing copying people's faces realistically to he point that archaeologists tell us no two warriors are the same.

This is not therefore a "recent" (ie contemporary woth Qin) development, it's the culmination of decades if not centuries of craftsmen eaching and refining their trade anymore then Michaelangelo's David is an isolated case of marblework.

I must not fear. Fear is the Mind-Killer. It is the little death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and to move through me. And when it is gone I will turn the inner eye to see it's path.
When the fear is gone, there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.

#6    cormac mac airt

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 10:05 PM

 Wearer of Hats, on 09 October 2012 - 09:54 PM, said:

I honestly think the biggest "clue" to there being a thriving Chinese "civilisation" befoe Qin is the Terracotta Warriors. It was firstly a massive undertaking to creae them, involving specialised techniques and fine and intricate art detailing - inclusing copying people's faces realistically to he point that archaeologists tell us no two warriors are the same.

This is not therefore a "recent" (ie contemporary woth Qin) development, it's the culmination of decades if not centuries of craftsmen eaching and refining their trade anymore then Michaelangelo's David is an isolated case of marblework.

Sorry WoH, but the Terracotta Warriors are Qin, since they are sculptures of the warriors of Qin Shi Huang from whom China gets its name.

cormac

The city and citizens, which you yesterday described to us in fiction, we will now transfer to the world of reality. It shall be the ancient city of Athens, and we will suppose that the citizens whom you imagined, were our veritable ancestors, of whom the priest spoke; they will perfectly harmonise, and there will be no inconsistency in saying that the citizens of your republic are these ancient Athenians. --  Plato's Timaeus

#7    Big Bad Voodoo

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 10:09 PM

 cormac mac airt, on 09 October 2012 - 10:05 PM, said:

Sorry WoH, but the Terracotta Warriors are Qin, since they are sculptures of the warriors of Qin Shi Huang from whom China gets its name.

cormac

First terracota warriors came from Zhou period.

JFK: "And we are as a people, inherently and historically, opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths, and to secret proceedings.
For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy..."

#8    cormac mac airt

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 10:45 PM

 the L, on 09 October 2012 - 10:09 PM, said:

First terracota warriors came from Zhou period.

The most notable Terracotta Warriors are Qin though, which is how Wearer of Hats wrote it.

cormac

The city and citizens, which you yesterday described to us in fiction, we will now transfer to the world of reality. It shall be the ancient city of Athens, and we will suppose that the citizens whom you imagined, were our veritable ancestors, of whom the priest spoke; they will perfectly harmonise, and there will be no inconsistency in saying that the citizens of your republic are these ancient Athenians. --  Plato's Timaeus

#9    Sir Wearer of Hats

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 11:08 PM

 cormac mac airt, on 09 October 2012 - 10:05 PM, said:

Sorry WoH, but the Terracotta Warriors are Qin, since they are sculptures of the warriors of Qin Shi Huang from whom China gets its name.

cormac
exactly my point, they're from the Qin dynasty, what ... 50 years into hos reign? there's no way IMO that the skills needed to create them as artistically and technically sophisticated as they are in that short amount of tme,therefore they,re the result of a long chain of refining and devekopment that started long before Qin. Qin is reaping the rewards of the work of sn obviously "vcultured" people from before his reign.

You need leasure time and an artistic class o peopl in order to refine art, something lik that requires civilisation.

I must not fear. Fear is the Mind-Killer. It is the little death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and to move through me. And when it is gone I will turn the inner eye to see it's path.
When the fear is gone, there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.

#10    cormac mac airt

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 11:18 PM

 Wearer of Hats, on 09 October 2012 - 11:08 PM, said:

exactly my point, they're from the Qin dynasty, what ... 50 years into hos reign? there's no way IMO that the skills needed to create them as artistically and technically sophisticated as they are in that short amount of tme,therefore they,re the result of a long chain of refining and devekopment that started long before Qin. Qin is reaping the rewards of the work of sn obviously "vcultured" people from before his reign.

You need leasure time and an artistic class o peopl in order to refine art, something lik that requires civilisation.

I understand and agree with most of what you're saying, with one exception. What prior culture meets the requirements of "civilization" which is the word you used? You can have art and the progressions thereof without having an actual civilization.

cormac

The city and citizens, which you yesterday described to us in fiction, we will now transfer to the world of reality. It shall be the ancient city of Athens, and we will suppose that the citizens whom you imagined, were our veritable ancestors, of whom the priest spoke; they will perfectly harmonise, and there will be no inconsistency in saying that the citizens of your republic are these ancient Athenians. --  Plato's Timaeus

#11    Sir Wearer of Hats

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 11:23 PM

true, you can have a civilised opele without them  eing a civilisation.

I must not fear. Fear is the Mind-Killer. It is the little death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and to move through me. And when it is gone I will turn the inner eye to see it's path.
When the fear is gone, there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.

#12    Big Bad Voodoo

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 05:59 AM

So, according to you, when China ends to be culture and become civilization?

JFK: "And we are as a people, inherently and historically, opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths, and to secret proceedings.
For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy..."

#13    cormac mac airt

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 06:26 AM

 the L, on 10 October 2012 - 05:59 AM, said:

So, according to you, when China ends to be culture and become civilization?

Since China, as such, doesn't begin until the reign of Qin Shi Huang then one can't call China a civilization before that. Prior to his reign there were several cultures/dynasties in existance, sometimes at the same time. So the real question would be which culture/dynasty began the earliest civilization in what is now known as China? Was it the Xia, the Shang, the Zhou or some other? An argument could probably be made for any of the three, but they were not "China".

cormac

The city and citizens, which you yesterday described to us in fiction, we will now transfer to the world of reality. It shall be the ancient city of Athens, and we will suppose that the citizens whom you imagined, were our veritable ancestors, of whom the priest spoke; they will perfectly harmonise, and there will be no inconsistency in saying that the citizens of your republic are these ancient Athenians. --  Plato's Timaeus

#14    Big Bad Voodoo

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 10:59 AM

 cormac mac airt, on 10 October 2012 - 06:26 AM, said:

Since China, as such, doesn't begin until the reign of Qin Shi Huang then one can't call China a civilization before that. Prior to his reign there were several cultures/dynasties in existance, sometimes at the same time. So the real question would be which culture/dynasty began the earliest civilization in what is now known as China? Was it the Xia, the Shang, the Zhou or some other? An argument could probably be made for any of the three, but they were not "China".

cormac

Lets put this this way, Is Shagn dynasty civilization or culture?
Same on Xia?

What do you say about Longshao pottery, they found it very small portion of it and scientists think that they are too sophistiaced to be unique.
In some vases and pots walls are thiny as shell of egg.

JFK: "And we are as a people, inherently and historically, opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths, and to secret proceedings.
For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy..."





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