By Marcie Flinchum Atkins
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Additional info for Ancient China
In exchange, the Chinese received goods including wool, linen, amber, wine, and gold coins from the Romans. The Silk Road improved the Chinese economy, and it brought ideas, religions, and foreigners into China. indd 35 11/5/14 4:20 PM CURRENCY Silk was more than just a good to be traded. Chinese people wrote on silk before the invention of paper. They also sometimes used silk as currency from the Zhou dynasty through the Tang dynasty. In addition to silk, shells served as ancient Chinese currency.
Most words in Chinese are a combination of two to three characters, and each character is a combination of several standard strokes. The Chinese language has thousands of characters writers must memorize. Writing itself was an art form in ancient China. Calligraphy was the art of writing using a brush and ink. The Chinese saw calligraphy as a way to achieve inner harmony and clear the mind. Calligraphers were great artists, but they were also respected as great thinkers of their time. In the Tang dynasty, one needed to be a skilled calligrapher to obtain a government post.
During the Tang dynasty, walls built to keep invaders out surrounded Chang’an. indd 42 11/5/14 4:20 PM Walls still surround Xi’an, once an important capital in ancient China. Walls wrapped around most ancient Chinese cities and villages. ” Most cities also housed marketplaces. Items for sale were grouped together, so there were rows selling meat, fish, vegetables, medicines, ready-made clothing, silk, gold, silver, axes, and bridles and saddles. CLOTHING The type of clothing a person wore indicated his or her status.