UGC101 Term Paper
Student Name: Yue Wu
Student Number: 37496035
Compare and Contrast of Agriculture technology between Shang Dynasty and Han Dynasty
Due Date: 11/29/11
For the past five thousand years, human civilizations have existed on the earth and constantly reforming and contributing to our society. The excellences human made are unprecedented, and the experience theses civilizations cumulated can also be continuously studied by the people nowadays. This year, we learnt many great civilizations, among the civilizations in ancient China, the Shang dynasty and the Han dynasty are the most outstanding civilizations. Their cultures are distinct and their contributions are tremendous. Although now we can find their stories, cultures and inventions only on history books, their contributions and achievements are still having deep affection to us. Agriculture is a very significant part of a civilization. Without agriculture, making progress is impossible. Agriculture is the foundation of everything. Agriculture is a good reflection of science and technology in a civilization. During the comparing and contrasting of the agriculture of Shang dynasty and Han dynasty, we can get a deeper understanding of the great knowledge and intelligent of the people of the two dynasties. We can also discover the development and progress they have made. The Shang dynasty is the second dynasty in Chinese history. The Shang Dynasty last from 1600 B.C. to 1046 B.C. and experienced three big stages. The Han dynasty can be divided into two historical period which are western Han dynasty (202 B.C. to 9 A.D.) and eastern Han dynasty (25A.D. to 220 A.D.) Both Shang dynasty and Han dynasty are important civilization in Chinese history. Also, both dynasties made big breakthrough in agriculture. From the research of a large number of archaeological material and oracle records, archaeologists concluded that the Shang dynasty is operating mostly on agriculture. Although at that time, the handicraft industry has been developed, agriculture is still the lifeline of the economy during Shang dynasty. Basically, the main type of agriculture during Shang dynasty was glebe farming, and in the southward of Shang dynasty, which is the Yangtze River area, the popular agriculture type was paddy fields farming. A very important reason that stimulates the development of agricultural technology during the Shang dynasty is the development of bronze industry. During Shang dynasty, the bronze industry developed very quickly. Especially in the late Shang dynasty, the development of bronze industry came into its own stage. The appearance of bronze tools made the agricultural technology developed quickly. The question that most people will concern is that how did people in Shang dynasty make bronze tools? It is true that it was a very hard process for people in the Shang dynasty to make bronze tools. So, at the beginning, the amounts of bronze tools are very limited. People in the Shang dynasty usually use carpentry tools including knife, adz, and axes to make bronze tools. In the middle Shang period, craftsmen can already made variety kinds of bronze tools like shovels, Jues, adz. However, at that time, there were no enough sources of cooper metal compared with sources of stone tools; also, the process of making bronze tools is complicated. As the result, in the middle period of Shang dynasty, bronze tools were not widely used. Also, most of the bronze tools were under the control of agricultural officers. Civilians and slaves cannot have these bronze tools. They can only use the heavy farm tools like stone spade, axes. Then, at the late period of the Shang dynasty, this problem got solved because of the expansion of the production scale. At the same time, the appearance of irrigation technology and the strict management also...
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