The River Valley Civilizations Nile River Valley Civilization Indus River Valley Civilization Tigris-Euphrates Civilization Paleolithic - Neolothic Era


Around 4000 B.C the Yellow (Hueng He) River valley Civilization began in China. Which was the start of the many Chinese Empires. Many of the ethnic groups and cultures began in this era in China. This history, in which a vast area populated by diverse ethnic groups became, over time, a more or less single culture, began in the Yellow River Valley.

Impact of Geography

The Huang He (yellow) river stretches across China for more than 2,900 miles. It carries its rich yellow silt all the way from Mongolia to the Pacific Ocean. Also the Chang Jiang river or Yangtze river is longer, stretching about 3,400 miles across central china. The two major rivers both merge together to create a great food-producing area. Although China has to major rivers running through it only 10% of its land is fertile and has rich enough soil to grow crops unlike the 19% by the United States. Also another negative is that China is surrounded by mountain ranges and river valleys, which make it hard for people to travel and trade their crops and live stocks, so they have to mostly rely on their food.

Social Structure

The Shang King ruled from the capital city of Anyang. His kingdom was divided into different territories that were ruled by aristocratic warlords(military leaders). Although they were leaders of their land the King had the power to add and remove them whenever he chooses. The Chinese believed in supernatural forces so that they could talk to the Gods and receive help when needed.

Gender Roles

Family is very important for the Chinese culture. The authority of the family belongs to the father. The father always arranges the marriages for his daughters, controls the amount of education received by the children and chooses the career for his sons. The mother occupies a subordinate postion in the family and they are unable to own their own property. A typical Chinese family contains a mother, father the sons and the unmarried daughters live in the home together. All the rituals are performed by the males.


There was a lot of literature back in the civilization time. The Zhon literature was very important to the Chinese people. There was a few different books the "Book of History" is the actual history of the Zhou. Another is the "Book of Change" is the manual of diviners. The "Book of Rites" is the tules of Etiquette and rituals for the aristocrats. Another piece from Zhou is the "Book of Songs." It tells about the condition and early Zhou. Also it is most notable of the classic works. Most of the Zhou writings have been destroyed by the first empire.


 The Three Wise Sage Kings
King Yao: a virtuous ruler bringing harmony to society
King Shun: regulating the four seasons, weights, measures, and units of time
King Yu: rescued China from raging floods of the Yellow River


The yellow river valley in perticular lacked written language for an extensive period. Because of this, documented economics are rare. What is known is that the civilization primarily focused on day to day agriculture, rather than spontanous growth.

The Silk Road was a major part of the this agricultural purpose in china that helped it grow. People would travel all over the silk road for trading purposes which brought cultural immersion, and agriculure was an immediate profit due to the fertile soil.


Iron Metallurgy was used for farming tools, utensils and weapons because of its strength