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Encyclopedia of World History, The Ancient World Prehistoric by Marsha E. Ackermann, Jiu-Hwa Lo Upshur, Michael J.

By Marsha E. Ackermann, Jiu-Hwa Lo Upshur, Michael J. Schroeder, Mark F. Whitters, Janice J. Terry

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Extra info for Encyclopedia of World History, The Ancient World Prehistoric Eras to 600 c.e

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The two great empires, the Roman and Chinese, had extended dominion over much of the Eurasian world, imposing the Pax Romana and the Pax Sinica. The resultant trade and cultural interactions along the Silk Road that linked Chang’an (Ch’ang-an, the Chinese capital) and Rome by land and sea and that included Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent, Persia, and the Middle East would survive the fall of both the Roman and Han and Gupta Empires. e. due to several factors, among them improved roads and navigational techniques.

At about the same time they began to cast iron the Chinese also began to make steel. Researchers have recently uncovered a Chinese belt buckle made of aluminum, showing that they began to refine this metal some 1,500 years before Europeans. e. e. Western Hemisphere cultures also began to smelt silver and copper but never processed iron or bronze. e. Scientific Tools and Speculation. Peoples of the Near East were the first to develop writing. They used papyrus, animal skins, and clay tablets. The earliest surviving writing in China was found incised on animal bones and turtle shells and cast into bronze vessels.

As history progressed and wealth and resources became more concentrated around cities, trade and cultural exchanges become more deliberate. In fact, a reliable barometer of the health of a civilization can be found in the level of trade and exchange it maintains with others. Along with the movement of goods among the ancient cities in the river valleys of Mesopotamia, Egypt, India, and China, there were movements of peoples and tribes that affected the balance of power and development. e. from their homeland between the Black and Caspian Seas.

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