East Asia: China, Korea, Japan 1500 BCE

The first urban civilization has appeared in the ancient history of East Asia, under the Shang dynasty in China.

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What is happening in East Asia: China, Korea, Japan in 1500BCE

Over the past thousand years trade networks have grown to cover the area of present-day China. This results, amongst other developments, in the spread of metallurgy into the Yellow River and then the Yangtze Valleys. Bronze technology has come to East Asia, ultimately from the Middle East via a chain of small-scale exchanges across central Asia.

These developments coincide with the emergence of urban civilization in both the Yellow River and Yangtze valleys. In particular, the rise of the Shang dynasty in northern China marks the beginnings of written history in ancient China. The pictographic script used is very similar to the modern-day Chinese writing system.

Meanwhile, rice farming is spreading into South East Asia from southern China. Rice cultivation also appears in Korea. Japan, on the other hand, remains beyond the reach of agriculture, and the elaborate and ancient Jomon hunter-gatherer culture continues to thrive there.

Next map, East Asia in 1000 BCE

 

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Ancient East Asia

Ancient Chinese civilization

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