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08/05/2014

Something about Yangtze Culture Evolution

The Yangtze River Basin has long been the center of southern China in terms of economy, culture and politics. Meanwhile, the Yangtze River Yangtze River tour culture also represents the culture of the southern China area. However, culture of different areas along Yangtze River, due to an intricate natural environment, developed at different paces. During the Qin and Han periods, the cultural center of Yangtze Basin was in the upper reaches, especially in the Sichuan Basin. However, from the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907), the cultural center began to move eastward along the Yangtze River. To the Ming and Qing Dynasties, the prosperous “Jiangnan” (South of Yangtze River) of that time only referred to the present Shanghai, Zhejiang and Jiangsu in the regions of the river as it runs to the coast.

Ba & Shu Culture, Jing & Xiang Culture, and Wu & Yue Culture are respectively representatives of the upper, middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River.

Ba & Shu Culture
Ba & Shu Culture originated in the Sichuan Basin in the upper reaches of Yangtze River. It is recorded that the Ba people were an ancient tribe that lived near the Han River. The Ba Kingdom was first established in the Western Zhou Dynasty (11th Century - 771BC). Defeated by Chu State during the Spring and Autumn Period (770BC - 476BC), Ba people moved southward to Sichuan and Chongqing areas, where the Ba Kingdom was reestablished. The earliest Shu Kingdom was founded during the Xia and Shang Dynasties in the Sichuan Basin, which set Chengdu as the capital in the Warring States Period (476 - 221 BC). The Ba and Shu kingdoms both were defeated by the Qin State and the Sichuan Basin became the territory of Qin in 316 BC.

Archeological excavations indicate that human activities appeared early in the late Paleolithic Age and Neolithic Period in Sichuan China vacation deals area. Because of the isolation caused by rugged mountains, Sichuan area was not influenced by wars. The favored natural environment of the Sichuan Basin also ensured the economic and cultural development, especially during the Qin and Han Dynasties. The achievement in agriculture, bronze wares, lacquer wares, and tapestry were much more advanced than those of the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River. Even the lacquer wares uncovered in the middle reach of the river were stamped “Made in Chengdu”.

Jing & Xiang Culture
Jing & Xiang culture originated from the middle reaches of the Yangtze River, including present Hubei and Hunan provinces. Centered on Dongting Lake and the Xiang River, the area has, since ancient times been the transportation hub of China.

Archeological excavation has turned on traces of human activity in the area from as early as the Paleolithic Period. Jing & Xiang culture reached its peak during the Spring and Autumn and Warring States Periods. Copper work reached its peak and made contribution to the improvement and spread of ironware. The area was also famous for silk waving and embroidery production. The great philosopher Lao Zi and patriotic poet Qu Yuan both lived in the Spring and Autumn and Warring States Periods in the area.

The Jing & Xiang culture declined from the Qin and Han Dynasties to the Song Dynasty (960 - 1279). Until the establishment of Yuelu Academy in the Song Dynasty, Jing & Xiang Culture saw its revival, but the center was moved to Jiangxi Province rather than Hubei or Hunan top China tours.

Wu & Yue Culture
Wu & Yue Culture refers to the culture in Southern Jiangsu, Southern Anhui, and Zhejiang Provinces in the lower reaches of the Yangtze River. Archeological research shows that the Wu & Yue culture originated from the Paleolithic Period. The famous Hemudu Culture, Majiabang Culture, and Liangzhu Culture of the Neolithic Period were all uncovered in the area.

The Wu & Yue Culture was named after the Wu and Yue States of the Spring and Autumn and Warring States Periods. Wu and Yue were both powerful states, and their copper smelting, shipbuilding, seafaring, agriculture, and textile industries ranked the top among all the states. From the Sui and Tang Dynasties when the Grand Canal was opened and economic center was moved southward, Wu & Yue culture gradually became important and saw its best days in the Yuan, Ming, and Qing Dynasties. Small towns sprang up in the lower reach of Yangtze River since the Tang and Song Dynasties up till the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Well-developed small towns in the area attracted large amount of merchants. Industry, commerce, and culture of the area were prosperous.

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