Asian Cultures Unit

Report
ASIAN CULTURES UNIT
350 BCE – 1400 CE
China and India
350 BCE – 600 CE
Defense
Trade
Advances
East Asia
550 – 1400
Technological Advances
The Mongols
Status of Women in Asian Cultures
Comparisons to Americas &
Africa
Americas:
Government, Achievements, Religion
Africa:
Adaption to Environment, Trade & Blending of
cultures
China & India
350 BCE – 600 CE
First Chinese Empire



221 BCE: Qin became the first unified Chinese
empire
LEGALISM: political philosophy taught efficient
government key to maintaining order and
control
Qin Reforms
 To
strengthen security, workers joined separate
defensive walls in Northern China
 GREAT WALL OF CHINA

hundreds of thousands of peasants toiled and many
died
Trade & Buddhism

China’s most prized possession is: SILK
 Revealing
the secret of its making was
punishable by death


Merchants traveling between China and
Central Asia used a series of overland routes
SILK ROADS: network of routes stretched
from China to Mediterranean
 Linked
China to India, Middle East, and Roman
Empire

Brought Buddhism to China
 Brought
more hope to Chinese than
Chinese Advances

Paper – made by grinding plant fibers, like
hemp, into a paste and left to dry
 “books”
created by connecting several sheets to
create scroll



Iron plow and wheelbarrow
Seismograph – measured earthquakes
ACUPUNCTURE: inserting fine needles into
skin at specific points to cure disease and
relieve pain
Indian Advances

Hindu-Arabic Numerals: first to use the symbol
for 0
 Without
which modern math would not be
possible
 Numerals we use today


Earth revolves around the sun
Circumference of the earth
 Accurate
to 1%
View map on pages 242-243





Compare insets on Roman and Han conflicts
with Nomads
What effects did nomads have on the Roman
empire?
The Chinese empire?
What was the most extensive empire between
100-400 CE?
Which group of nomads traveled the farthest?
East Asia
550-1400
China – Inventions &
Innovations

Porcelain – ceramic known as “china”
 Sought

after around the world
Woodblock Printing
A
page of text is carved into a block of wood
 Wood is coated with ink
 Pressed to paper

THE DRAGON IS THE IMPERIAL SIGN
Movable Type – individual
letters
or characters
OF CHINA
carved
 Rearranged
and reused
China – Inventions &
Innovations

Paper Money
 Facilitated



Trade
Trade expanded along improved roads and
canals
Silk Roads – routes connected china to
markets in Central Asia, India and beyond!
Ship Building advances led to sailing around
Asia
Status of Women

Foot Binding:
 Feet
tightly wrapped with pieces of
cloth
 Restricted growth of feet so they
appeared small and dainty
 Extremely painful
 Over time bones deformed
 Also limited movement
The Mongol Empire

STEPPES: grasslands, stretch across
north-central Eurasia
 Home
to nomadic people
 Too dry for farming
 Lived as pastoralists, relying on herds
 Traded for items they lacked
 Or, swept through and took what they
wanted
Mongols





Sheep and Goat herders
Skilled with horses
Divided into clans
Each clan led by a KHAN: CHIEF
1206: Genghis Kahn “Universal
Leader” conquered rival Mongol
clans and became leader of all
Mongols
Genghis Khan






Built an Empire!
Built a powerful military machine
Enforced strict discipline
Demanded complete loyalty
Highly mobile, struck quickly
Military leader
Surrounded and trapped enemy
 Brutality
 Psychological warfare
 Burned any town that resisted
 Sent agents ahead to build fear of approaching forces

Mongol Empire




Over 20 years, Mongols conquered much of
Asia
Learned the art of siege warfare and
gunpowder
1227: at his death, Genghis Khan controlled
much of China and Central Asia
Mongols divided his empire into
 Khanates:
regions
 Heirs ruled each region

PAX MONGOLIA: Mongols ruled peacefully,
tolerated local beliefs, allowed local rulers to
stay in power, created stability
Japan

Archipelago: large island chain
Japan is the length of the eastern coast of the US
 Volcanic


Early Japan
SHINTO: everything in nature, sun, rocks, trees,
animals has a spirit (kami)
 No sacred text or structure
 Build shrines to kami and perform ceremonies for
blessings
 Shrines located in natural settings dedicated to
unusual trees, waterfalls, etc
 Red Gateway marks the entrance to a shrine

Similarities with the Americas
Government
Achievements
Religion
Government



City-States throughout
Mesoamerica (Mexico)
formed alliances
Aztecs (1100s) required
conquered people to pay
tribute – tax
Inca (Peru) put governors
throughout their conquered
empire
Achievements


Maya and Aztecs kept
written records
Incans kept tax records,
census, livestock records
on
 QUIPU:
knotted, colored
cords


Aztecs created a 365 day
calendar
Accurate calculations of the
movements of the planets
Trade & Architecture



Inca Roads: paved with stone
blocks, 14,000 miles, crossed
every terrain imaginable (sea
level to 12,000 miles high)
First known suspension bridges
crossed canyons and rivers
Machu Pichu: as advanced as
Rome
Religion




Inca kept mummies of
dead kings and
worshipped them
Created temples to
worship
Polytheistic
Ceremonies
led by found 3
In 1999, Archaeologists
priests
preserved bodies of Inca who
were sacrificed to the gods in the
mountains, and preserved
thanks to the dry cold.
Similarities with Africa
Adaption to Environment
Trade & Blending of cultures
Environment
Large size (3xs the USA)
has a wide variety of
climates and vegetation
 Low,
wide plains run across
Northern and Western
interior:
 SAHARA DESERT:
LARGEST DESERT IN THE
WORLD
 East
is the Great Rift Valley,
 Rivers:
Congo, Zambezi,
Niger, Nile
 Outer
parts have several
mountain ranges
Agriculture & Trade
Hunter-Gatherers, to
Pastoralists, to farmers
As farming developed, people
needed more land and spread
out
 Women
farmed, men raised cattle
Islam spread to Africa through
trade
 Iron,
gold, cattle, salt,
Trade led to blending of African,
Arab, and Asian cultures
 SWAHILI:
AFRICAN-ARAB

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