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By Marcie Flinchum Atkins

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Marriages were arranged early in a child’s Citizens of ancient Chinese cities performed a wide variety of roles and jobs. indd 39 11/5/14 4:20 PM life and were designed to continue the family line. Elders expected respect, and it was a common Growing Rice Rice has been grown in China since Neolithic times. It may have been cultivated as early as the 6000s BCE. Rice grows most easily in standing water. The farmers used a foot-powered pump to bring water from a canal or river to flood the rice field.

Ancient Chinese art included forms ranging from elaborate calligraphy to paintings to pottery. This art was both beautiful and practical. Many of these artifacts have been discovered in archaeological sites in China. Many forms of ancient Chinese art, particularly pottery, have been excavated from tombs. indd 51 11/5/14 4:20 PM POTTERY Lacquer The lacquer tree is common in China at high altitudes of 3,000 to 7,500 feet (900 to 2,300 m). The tree contains a unique resin that was used as a varnish, or a plastic-like coating, as early as the Neolithic period.

3 People with cash The Grand Canal China had two big rivers, the Huang and the Yangtze, which served as major waterways for transportation. Connecting these rivers to each other allowed the Chinese to link different parts of the empire. In the north, farmers grew wheat, and in the south, they grew rice. Canals provided a way to exchange goods between the two regions. The canals also increased the military power of the government because the military could more easily transport troops and supplies along the waterways.

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