China is a vast country with a huge range of terrains and climates within it.
As well as the country’s sheer size, geographical features such as mountain ranges, deserts and coastlands have all helped shape Chinese history.
Farming was possible in central Asia only in the scattered oases.
From an early date, these hosted villages which were in contact with one another, in a chain covering thousands of miles across Asia, right to the Middle East and beyond (what would much later be called the “Silk Road”).
Shaughnessy, says the likely date for the earliest oracle bones is about 1200 B. This speculation is based on the earliest reference to the origins of writing, which dates to the 3rd century B. The legend developed that a scribe of the Yellow Emperor invented writing after noticing bird tracks.
[Source: Francoise Bottero, French National Center for Scientific Research Chinese Writing: Ancient Indigenous Perspective.] Scholars in the Han Dynasty thought the earliest Chinese writing was pictographic, meaning the characters are stylized representations, while the Qing thought the first writing was of numbers. the angular script that characterizes modern Chinese writing had developed in the form called Xiaozhuan.
This would involve clearing forests, terracing hillsides and draining lakes and marshes.
To the north and west of the Yellow River region are the wide plains of central Asia.Ancient China is one of the places where writing appears to have developed independently, along with Mesopotamia, which developed cuneiform, and Egypt and the civilization of the Maya, where hieroglyphs developed.The earliest examples of ancient Chinese writing come from oracle bones at Anyang, a Shang Dynasty capital, and contemporary bronze inscriptions.Today, the earliest Chinese writing is described as pictographic (picture) or zodiographic (graph of the name of the thing), words that for non-linguists mean similar things. Bureaucrats of the Qin Dynasty used Lishu, a script still sometimes used.As the writing of the ancient Chinese evolved, a phonetic component was added to the pictographic, as is true of the paired writing system of the Maya. During the Shang Dynasty, the writing, which was pictographic, could use the same graphic to represent homophones (words with different meanings that sound the same).Above all, the great river systems of China, the Yellow River to the north and the Yangtze to the south, which have given Chinese civilization its distinctive character.