Gobi desert map

Gobi desert map (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ancient Chinese architecture is modeled
on basic principles of order and balance; wood was the first material
used, supplemented later with brick. The earliest buildings
were laid on foundations of packed earth; in the areas of China where
wood was sparse, a lightweight architectural structure was devised
whereby the fewest number of pillars, spaced far apart, would support
lightweight rectangular roofs. Plaster walls, made thinner with

the inclusion of latticework and other decorative elements, filled the
areas between the pillars. It was the roof that ultimately received the
most attention, however, with an ingenious system of brackets supporting
a hipped roof that featured corners tilted upward, giving the
effect of weightlessness.
China, located in the center of Asia, can be traced back 8,000
years; it is one of the oldest continuous cultures


china (Photo credit: the world. Most of

its inhabitants live along rivers: the Yellow River to the north, the
Yangzi River in the middle, the Xi River in the south. While the
northern part of China has a more forbidding climate along the Gobi
Desert, the south is green and fertile, with a lively maritime trade
along the coast. By the Neolithic period, small but relatively advanced
communities appeared throughout the center of China, where
structural foundations have been excavated.

More recent excavations
have shown a larger number of Neolithic settlements spread more
widely across China, and these ongoing excavations are transforming
our understanding of early Chinese history.


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