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oracle bones

An animal bone or turtle shell used by the Shang kings of China to communicate with and influence the gods.


a picture or drawing representing words or ideas

dynastic cycle

the historical pattern of the rise, decline, and replacement of dynasties.

Mandate of Heaven

The concept developed by the Zhou dynasty that the deity granted a dynasty the right to rule and took away that right if the dynasty did not rule wisely


a study of basic truths and ideas about the world


A belief that a ruler should use the legal system to force people to obey laws


It is a philosophy which is founded by Laozi that emphasizes living in harmony with nature


a Chinese philosophy that emphasizes proper behavior

filial piety

respect shown by children for their parents and elders


Dynasty that came to power in China in 221 B.C. unuder which the first true empire of China was created

Shi Huangdi

founder of the Qin dynasty and China's first emperor

Han Dynasty

A Chinese dynasty that began in 202 BC and reunited China


A large, complex organization composed of appointed officials

Silk Roads

Land trade routes used between China and places such as Europe and Mesopotamia


involving the continents of Europe and Asia

cultural diffusion

The spread of ideas, customs, and technologies from one people to another

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