The chronology of ancient and classical chinese civilization

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8,500 – 6,500 BCE

Domestication of cattle, pigs, chickens, sheep, and goats

8,000 – 4,000 BCE

Transition to sedentary agriculture in Yellow River area; silk weaving begins

6500 BCE

Rice cultivation imported from SE Asia; intensive landscaping begins

5000 – 2000 BCE

Yangshao Neolithic village culture; cultivation of millet, soybeans

2200 – 1800 BCE

Legendary Xia Dynasty; Chinese traditions arise, flood control begins

1800 – 1122 BCE

Shang Dynasty of Indo-Aryan warrior kings, aristocrats; chariot warfare

1800 – 1122 BCE

Ideographic writing develops as part of religious divination; bronze castings

1800 – 1122 BCE

Ancestor worship; society patriarchal, patrilineal; nobles, commoners, slaves

1122 – 221 BCE

Zhou Dynasty replaces Shang Dynasty; Mandate of Heaven justifies revolt

1122 – 770 BCE

Zhou kings simply strongest of noble families; towns largely military camps

770 – 256 BCE

Rise of regional states; Zhou lose centralized control; vassalage common

722 – 481 BCE

Spring and Autumn Period: Constant warfare reduces Zhou to figurehead

681 BCE

Increasing pressure on northern, western borders by nomads

600 BCE

Iron metallurgy; cities become commercial, industrial centers; coins circulate

551 – 220 BCE

Age of 100 Philosophers (Confucius, Lao Tze, Mencius, Legalists)

403 – 222 BCE

Warring States Period: civil war between leading families to control Zhou

5th Century BCE

Rise of Qin state with large, well-trained army; uses Legalist philosophy

5th Century BCE

Sunzi writes The Art of War; massed infantry, cavalry replace chariots

256 BCE

Qin deposes last Zhou emperor; civil war devastates nobles, traditions

247 – 210 BCE

Shi Huangdi proclaimed first emperor; abolishes feudalism, centralizes rule

247 – 210 BCE

Qin standardizes weights, systems; Great Wall completed; roads built

202 BCE – 9 CE

Han Dynasty begins; development of horse collar, water mill, rudder

202 BCE – 9 CE

Silk Road established; nomads put pressure on border; trade with nomads

202 BCE – 9 CE

Han expands free peasant holdings; limits power of aristocrats

202 BCE – 9 CE

Han Dynasty begins to settle Chinese peasants south of Yangzte River

202 BCE – 9 CE

Rise of Shi, Confucian trained civil servants; examination system begins

202 BCE – 9 CE

Merchant class arises but socially rated lower than peasants

201 BCE

Xiong-nu nomads attack; emperor buys off nomads with tribute

141 – 87 BCE

Han Wu Di emperor expands borders in all directions; Golden Age of China

141 – 87 BCE

State control of grain supply; state monopolies on iron, salt, and liquor.

1st Century BCE

Scholar-gentry, landed elite become dominant class, replace Shi as leaders

1st Century BCE

Increasing conservatism in society; women, commoners lose status

1st Century BCE

Chang-an, the capital has more than 200,000 inhabitants; many cities

73 BCE

Defeat of nomadic alliance; Xiong-nu forced to migrate to west

9 – 23 CE

Rule of Wang Mang temporarily overthrows Han; seeks reforms but fails

23 – 220 CE

Restoration of Han Dynasty but little innovation or brilliance of earlier Han

23 – 220 CE

Invention of paper, print, compass, porcelain; trade with Rome, Persia

88 – 220 CE

Han decline begins; constant pressures from nomads; rise of secret societies

88 – 220 CE

Rule by great families; local nobles select men for bureaucratic appointment

220 – 589 CE

Period of disunion; mass migrations, constant invasions; population declines

220 – 589 CE

Population assimilates non-Chinese, nomads; spreads Chinese culture

220 – 589 CE

Militia system of farmer-soldiers replaces regular army; troops self-sufficient

220 – 589 CE

Land cultivation increased; states own all land;

300 – 700 CE

Spread of Buddhism; Confucians react, become largely xenophobic

300 – 700 CE

Neo-Daoism blends with Confucianism; Religious Daoism is folk religion

NAME: ______________________________ PERIOD: __________ DATE: ______________





  • Economic, Social Classes

  • Gender Roles, Relations

  • Inequalities

  • Family, Kinship

  • Racial, Ethnic Constructs

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