Sunday, July 7, 2013

China and Geography of Ancient China

China

Geography of Ancient China
In ancient times the geography of China separated it and its people from the rest of the world. Mountains, deserts, and large bodies of water made travel to and from China difficult. This led the people of China to develop a unique respect for the land around them. China's geography helped shape the civilization, culture, and beliefs of the people who lived there.

The Land of China
China is located at the far-eastern end of the continent of Asia. Present-day China covers more than 3,696,100 square miles (9,572,160 sq km) and is the third-largest country in the world. It stretches about 3,100 miles (4,989 km) from east to west and about 3,400 miles (5,472 km) from north to south. The entire United States mainland could fit inside China's borders.

China has many long and wide rivers that flow across the country The largest of these rivers are the Huang He (HWAHNG HUH), or "Yellow River," in the north and the Chang Jiang (CHAHNG JYAHNG), or "Long River," in the south

The Huang He twists and turns about 2,900 miles (4,667 km) from its source in the high plateaus of western China to its mouth at the Yellow Sea. It picks up loess (LOH»uhs), a yellow silt, as it flows through China's northern deserts. This yellow silt colors the water and gives the Huang He, or "Yellow River," its name.
The largest tributary of the Huang He is the Wei River. The Wei River begins in central China and travels to the east until it empties into the Huang He.

The Chang Jiang, also called the Yangtze (YAHNG.SEH), is the third-longest river in the world. Only the Nile River in Africa and the Amazon River in South America are longer. The Chang Jiang flows about 3,430 miles (5,520 km) from the highlands of Tibet to the Pacific Ocean. It winds through mountains and plunges through deep gorges before it reaches the ocean.

China is known not only for its mighty rivers but also for its rugged mountains. Most of China's many mountain ranges are high, rocky, and hard to cross. One such mountain range the Taihang Mountains runs north and south through the center of northern China. Another range, the Qinling (CHIN.LIN) Mountains, runs east and west.

What are some of China's most important waterways and mountains?

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