Resources Organized by Time Period: BCE 4000-1000



ALL | China | Japan | Korea | Vietnam/Southeast Asia | India/South Asia | Tibet/Himalaya | Asia General
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Ancient China: From the Neolithic Period to the Han Dynasty
Asian Art Museum of San Francisco
"An historical overview of ancient China—from the Neolithic period (approx. 6,000–2000 BCE) to the end of the Han dynasty (220 CE)—this packet explores the rise of ancient Chinese civilization and how belief systems and cultural values are reflected in surviving examples of its material culture. The packet features important archaeological excavations such as the Tomb of Fu Hao, created in the Shang dynasty (approx. 1600–1050 BCE); the Tomb of Marquis Yi of Zeng, created in the Warring States period (approx. 480–221 BCE); and the Terracotta Army of Qin Shi Huangdi, the First Emperor of the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BCE), created approx. 210 BCE. Other highlights include Chinese jades, bronzes, and ceramics in the Asian Art Museum’s collection galleries. The packet includes interactive activities for the classroom and student handouts." Please note that the .pdf version of this educator resource packet can be downloaded for free. The PayPal link next to the resource is for buying the packet in booklet form with an image CD and slides.

Go to Museum Resource: http://www.asianart.org/educatorresources.htm
Ancient Tombs
University of Washington, Visual Sourcebook of Chinese Civilization
"This unit contains summaries of five archaeological sites, ranging in date from about 2300 BC to 100 BC. The tombs selected for examination were all advanced for their time. Their occupants were members of the ruling class of the period, able to afford the highest standard of material comfort, technical excellence, and artistic embellishment then available." A Visual Sourcebook of Chinese Civilization was prepared by University of Washington history professor Patricia Buckley Ebrey. With questions for discussion, timelines, maps, and suggested readings. Select HOME to find link to teachers' guides for all topics featured on the website.

Go to Museum Resource: http://depts.washington.edu/chinaciv/archae/2tommain.htm
The Art and Archeology of Ancient China: A Teacher's Guide
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
An illustrated 106-page teacher's guide that can be downloaded in .pdf format, in three parts. Go to middle of HTML page and select Part I, Part II, and Part III to download the guide. Includes historical background from China's Late Neolithic Period (BCE ca. 5000-2000) to the Han Dynasty (BCE 206-220 CE), plus a timeline, vocabulary list, pronunciation guide, four lesson plans, plus featured object studies on 1) Clothing and Personal Adornment (Silk and Jade); 2) Food Preparation and Utensils; 3) Transportation; 4) Ceremonies (Music); 5) Writing (Chinese Characters); 6) Industry (Bronze Casting); 7) Building. Also a special chapter on Ancestor Worship, then and today.

Go to Museum Resource: http://www.asia.si.edu/education/teacherResources/onlineGuidesChinese.htm
Art of the First Cities: The Third Millennium B.C. from the Mediterranean to the Indus
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Website designed to complement the 2003 exhibition Art of the First Cities, which "survey[ed] the flourishing of the world’s earliest civilizations in Mesopotamia and surrounding regions—stretching from the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean across Iran and Central Asia to the Indus Valley—during one of the most seminal and creative periods in history." Topics include: Cities; The Ruler; The Divine World; Death and Burial; Writing; Seals and Sealing; and Clothing and Personal Adornment.

Go to Museum Resource: http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/trdm/hd_trdm.htm
The Ban Chiang Project
University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
"Ban Chiang is a village/mortuary site in northern northeast Thailand, in the province of Udon Thani. Excavated by Chet Gorman of the University of Pennsylvania Museum and Pisit Charoenwongsa of the Thai Fine Arts Department in 1974-1975, this extraordinary site was among the first to establish the existence not only of a hitherto unknown prehistoric culture, but also of a separate bronze age in Southeast Asia." See the FINDINGS section for descriptions and images of the many objects excavated from this site.

Go to Museum Resource: http://penn.museum/banchiang/about/background/
Chinese Bronzes (Shang and Chou)
Minneapolis Institute of Arts
"Few works of art are as remote or alien to western eyes as ancient Chinese bronzes. Nevertheless these beautiful ritual vessels constituted the mainstream of Chinese art for nearly 1500 years. Spanning both the Shang (1523-1028 B.C.) and Chou dynasties (1027-256 B.C.), these ceremonial utensils, often of unsurpassed technical refinement and varied decor, define the very essence of early Chinese art." A short introduction to ancient Chinese bronzes, with 33 related objects, all with descriptions.

Go to Museum Resource: http://www.artsmia.org/art-of-asia/explore/explore-collection-chinese-bronzes.c...
Classical Civilization: The Bronze Age (1600-221 B.C.E.)
National Palace Museum
A brief introduction plus one-page guide to cultural production during China's bronze age. With 12 related objects.

Go to Museum Resource: http://www.npm.gov.tw/exh95/bronze/index.html
Creating a Bronze Vessel
Princeton University Art Museum
An excellent interactive unit that illustrates, step by step, the ancient methods by which bronze vessels were cast.

Go to Museum Resource: http://etcweb.princeton.edu/asianart/interactives/bronze/bronze.html
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