By Marcie Flinchum Atkins

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Rice grew naturally along the Huang River and was likely harvested as early as 8000 BCE. Starting in the 200s BCE, the Chinese irrigated their crops using canals. In rural areas, daily life centered on farming tasks. Men and women typically each had their own jobs. Men worked the soil with hoes and wooden spades. They tilled the fields, hunted, and fished. indd 41 11/5/14 4:20 PM time cooking, making wine, raising silkworms for silk production, and weaving. In agricultural Chinese The Importance of Tea society, an oxcart was the most common mode of Tea came to China, probably from Burma, no later than the early first century CE.

AGRICULTURE The literature and paintings of ancient China depicted the lives of rulers and aristocrats. Historians do not have as much information about what daily life was like for commoners, except for the few artifacts uncovered in archaeological digs. Historians know farming played an important role in ancient Chinese society because of tools and pottery found in large village sites near the Huang River. Agriculture was important across different regions of China. More than one-half of the crops we eat today originally came from Asia.

The ores were heated over very high heat and poured into clay molds to make the shape desired. After cooling, artisans broke the molds apart. Chinese craftsmen cast vessels for wine and food. Some of the vessels had legs on the bottom so a flame could be placed under the legs to warm the food. Other vessels for wine were in the shapes of animals. People during the Zhou dynasty used bronze to make boxes for food offerings for their This bronze deer was uncovered in Qin Shihuangdi’s tomb. indd 53 11/5/14 4:20 PM ancestors.

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Ancient China by Marcie Flinchum Atkins

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