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Dig History and Archaeology Magazine for Kids and Children

Dig History and Archaeology Magazine for Kids and Children November/December 2018

Budding archaeologists are off to new adventures at archaeological sites around the world, where they look over the shoulders of professional archaeologists working in the field to unearth important finds. DIG also brings readers right into working laboratories and museums to learn about cutting-edge conservation techniques. Interviews with onsite archaeologists give children a well-rounded view what archaeology is really all about. Grades 5-9

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United States
Cricket Media, Inc.

in this issue

2 min.
editor’s note

JUST WHO ARE THE CHU? Was it a topic that could complement the China portion of the World History Standards? I began searching for more information. As I did, an email came in from the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco about upcoming exhibitions, and it mentioned Chu! I called the museum. Yes, they would be willing to work with DIG on a Chu issue, and so I added it to my list. I choose nine themes per year, and I try to circle the world with topics of interest to DIG’s readers, topics that supplement and broaden the core curriculum. Still, I was a little skeptical about Chu. Why were they not mentioned regularly in history books? The answer came as I kept digging into Chu history: The First…

5 min.
the phoenix kingdom

Despite the lack of records about Chu’s early history, legends do exist that tell of its people, land, and religious beliefs. The people were said to be remote descendants of the native Hua and Xia tribes who lived in China’s Central Plains along the middle stretches of the Huang He or Yellow River. There were many regional cultures in China 5,000 years ago. Among them were the Dongyi peoples in the lower reach of the Yellow River. Others were the Miao and Shu peoples along the Yangtze River and the Yue peoples in the southern and coastal regions. Huangdi, the famed leader of the Hua and Xia tribes, was believed to be the first of the Five Legendary Emperors in Chinese history. He was also considered the official ancestor of…

1 min.
getting to know the chu

As the dominant power in southern China, the Chu state lasted more than 800 years. During that time, it achieved remarkable advancements in art, music, literature, and philosophy. As a result, its impact on Chinese culture has lasted into the present. Chu culture, however, was largely destroyed by the Qin Empire, which conquered the Chu and other rivals on its way to unify China. In an attempt to establish Qin as a model for all later dynasties and to set the course for the development of Chinese culture, the First Emperor of Qin, Qin Shi huangdi, ordered that all historical and intellectual books of other states be destroyed. Recent archaeological finds offer new opportunities to re-examine the significance of the Chu from multiple perspectives. These discoveries offer new knowledge about…

3 min.
breaking with the zhou

The dominant Zhou ruled their kingdom through a vassal system. This meant that they appointed royal family members or worthy subjects as lords. In turn, each lord controlled a separate region. All, however, supported the central throne, and the “all” included the Chu. The most important state that helped Zhou control the South was Zeng. It was located in the Jianghan Plain, the fertile farmlands between the Yangzi and the Han rivers. ‘Talking’ Tomb Finds Zeng served as the Zhou agent to oversee a major trade route connecting northern and southern China. In addition to crops, Zeng had important copper and tin mines, which were key to being able to produce bronze. Bronze was used to make weapons and ceremonial vessels. Both were necessary for the state’s two most important functions: war…

5 min.
in control & then not

During the Spring and Autumn Period, Chu was actively involved in the politics of the states of the Central Plains. After helping the Zhou king defeat a nomadic group in 606 B.C.E., King Zhuang of Chu was able to march his army outside the Zhou capital of Luoyang to show off his military might. Zhuang even sent an envoy to ask the weight of the symbolic Nine Cauldrons at the Zhou court. These cauldrons were said to have been cast by the Legendary Emperor Yu the Great. It was said that Yu saw them as representing all the land of China and the king’s right to rule as granted by the Mandate of Heaven. ZHUANG’S STRATEGY In response to Yu, a Zhou official gave a clever answer: The weight of the cauldrons…

1 min.

Daoism (also spelled Taoism) is considered by many to be the oldest philosophy and also a religion in China. Its first main text, the Daodejing (“The Classic of the Dao and of Virtue”) is also known as the Tao Te Ching. It was compiled around 270 B.C.E. and is attributed to a legendary individual named Laozi. This book is considered a masterwork of religious thought. Its central principle is that of the Dao, a single, eternal universal force or principle that infuses everything in the world as its central, guiding thread. The symbol of yin (dark and passive/female/ soft) and yang (bright and active/male/hard) balance each other in this symbolic circle.…