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Yellow River Valley Civilization

April 16, 2016

It was a tiring day, and I loved today as in history class, X IIS 2 learned a lot about the Yellow River Valley civilization. What is the Yellow River Valley civilization and how did it affect human life?

The Yellow River Valley civilization is a Chinese civilization that appeared in the Yellow River (Huang Ho or now called Hwang He) valley. The Huang Ho River is known as the Yellow River from the yellow river it brings along its flow. The river is sourced from the Kunlun Mountains in Tibet and flows through the North China Plain, forming a lowland and emptying in the Gulf of Bohai in the Yellow Sea. On this fertile river valley the culture of the Chinese people started.

In history, the region complicated the ancient Chinese people to do their life activities because the freezing of ice in the winter and when the ice melted, floods occurred.

On the Yellow River downstream, stands the fertile Chinese lowlands and is the center of the life of Chinese people. Chinese people generally plant wheat, rice, tea, maize, and soybeans. The ancient Chinese agricultural activities are already known since the Neolithic Age (about 5,000 BC) and the main crop planted is rice. In the Bronze Age, the key priorities in Chinese agriculture were rice, tea, soybeans, and ramie. Agricultural activities progressed rapidly in the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC). At that time, Chinese people had applied intensive agricultural system with the use of fertilizers, good irrigation, and expansion of wheat fields.

In the Zhou Dynasty, Chinese philosophy developed rapidly from the birth of three Chinese philosophers; Lao Zi, Confucius, and Mencius. Lao Zi wrote his teachings in a book entitled “Dao De Jing”. Lao Zi’s teachings were called Taoism and taught human beings to accept their fate. Confucius’ teachings were also based on Taoism. According to Confucius, Tao is a power that sets this universe in order to achieve harmony. Adherents of Taoism believed that disasters in this world are a result of human’s disobedience to the rules of Tao. Confucius’ teachings that covered the areas of governance and family gave a great influence to Chinese people because it affects the way of thinking and the life attitude of most of China.

Ancient Chinese society had known handwriting since 1,500 BC, written in tortoiseshell or bamboo. At first the Chinese letters made were very simple, namely one symbol for one meaning. In the Han Dynasty, the art of ancient Chinese literature progressed rapidly along with the discovery of paper. The teachings of Lao Zi, Confucius, and Mencius were mostly recorded by the philosophers themselves or their followers. In the T’ang Dynasty governance, lived two leading poets who mostly wrote old poets. They were Li Tai Po and Tu Fu. Aside from literature, Chinese cultures that appeared and developed in the Yellow River Valley include art painting, ceramics, temples, and palaces. The most famous result of Chinese culture until today is the Great Wall of China, built in the Qin Dynasty to counteract attacks from enemies in northern China. Emperor Qin Shi Huang connected the built ramparts into a massive wall with a length of 7,000 km.

Ancient Chinese society had many astronomers who could help them making the calendar system. From these we know the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac. Can you guess? Yep. Rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig.

I was born in October 8, 1999 – my Chinese zodiac is rabbit.

Thanks to Aldiansyah Jafar Sidiq, Hizkia Abdillah, Muhammad Haikal Nurcahyana, and Nauval Brianata Ranaputra who helped us during their presentation of the Yellow River Valley Civilization.

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