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The benevolent and upright character of men such as the semi-historical Duke of Zhou served as exemplars for Chinese elites for nearly over 2,500 years!

It was through Confucius and his acolytes that the influence of the Zhou echoed down through the generations, even into the 20th century.

There is extensive discussion of the environment and geography of China, and how it related to agricultural expansion and migration southward.

The Retreat of the Elephants by Mark Elvin chronicles this process of the expansion of rice farming into the jungles of southern China through natural history and human geography.

Because of their use of oracle bones as a form of divination, the Zhou still provide the first evidence of a state deploying literacy in East Asia.

The distinct writing style of the modern Chinese has its roots in this place and time. Originally a semi-barbarian state on the western fringes of the Shang state, the Zhou needed to be more cultivated than the Shang because they were .

Interested in learning where your ancestors came from?

For Y chromosomes on the paternal side, Y Chromosomes of 40% Chinese Descend from Three Neolithic Super-Grandfathers.

Though most people are aware of the Mongols, fewer are cognizant of the interregnum between the Han and Sui-Tang, when many steppe nomads settled in China, Buddhism took root, and many elite Han lineages migrated from the north to the south.

For those curious about this period, China Between Empires: The History of the Northern and Southern Dynasties is an excellent introduction accessible to all.

China, as we understand it, began more than 3,000 years ago.

During the Late Bronze Age, the centuries before 1000 BC, the Shang dynasty emerged as the paramount military group in the middle reaches of the Yellow river basin.