|Warring States Period||476-221BC|
The dynasties that preceded the formation of the Qin in 221BC have much less historical documentation and represent a smaller geographic area. Chinese civilization emerged principally in the Yellow and Yangzi river basins. Chinese are proud of the 5,000 years of unbroken civilization which is unique in the world.
The Shang dynasty are famous for their skills in casting elaborate bronze vessels and artefacts. It is in this period that the Chinese characters were developed and used on 'oracle bones' and in books made of bamboo strips. The Zhou dynasty saw the development of large planned cities.
During the Warring States, the country broke up into small precarious feudal states constantly fought with each other. It was at this time that the philosophers Confucius (Kongfu Zi) and Lao Tse (Lao Zi) lived. Indeed, the time is known for the 'hundred schools' of philosophers. The detailed historical documents of the period are quite incredible when compared to the big blank picture of life in the U.K. and much of Europe at this time. Eventually the 'legalist' philosophy won out and the small state of Qin took over the other small states that made up China.
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