East Asia: China, Korea, Japan 2500 BCE

Agriculture is spreading out from its core areas in ancient China, and one of the greatest civilizations in world history is emerging.

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What is happening in East Asia: China, Korea, Japan in 2500BCE

The spread of farming

The past thousand years have seen the two farming traditions, the one based on millet, the other based on rice, continue to expand in East Asia. In particular wet-rice agriculture is spreading outwards from its core area in the Yangze Valley in all directions. From the southern China region will spring two major migrations down into South East Asia, one moving down from South West China, the other from the south China coast. The end point of these migrations will occur thousands of years hence, as far afield as Africa and Hawaii.

Technology

In both northern and southern China, material culture is advancing, and both have seen the rise of powerful chiefdoms who can support the services of skilled craftsmen. Trade routes cover the entire East Asia region (except Japan), leading to cultural and technological exchanges between widely dispersed areas; and East Asia has also received influences from further west: pastoralists from the steppes of Central Asia arrive bringing with them skills in metallurgy. These various stimuli are leading to the emergence in China of one of the greatest civilizations in world history.

Korea and Japan

To the north east, millet cultivation has spread across the Korean peninsula, whilst in Japan, the ancient Jomon hunter-gatherer culture continues to thrive.

Next map, East Asia in 1500 BCE

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Ancient East Asia

Hunter-gatherers

Pastoralists

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Early Civilizations

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