Hi there!Mark Whitworth I am Mark Whitworth -
writer, educator, traveller
and all round good guy.
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The Curious History of Taosi, the Longshan and the Xia

Burial, Taosi, Shanxi, Museum, Longshan,The Curious History of Taosi, the Longshan and the Xia

Many in the west have never heard of the Longshan Culture, the Xia Dynasty, Taosi, Erlitou or Yu the Great and would certainly be hard pressed to differentiate between Shanxi and Shaanxi. At best they could identify the Yellow River or Huang He as Chinese but would then promptly confuse it with the Chang Jiang, a name unknown to them as they would know it only as the Yangtze, not even the Yangzi! If Chinese history and geography are impenetrable enough then Chinese pre-history is even tougher! I can state this with some certainty for, before residing in China and beginning to learn about some of these mysteries, I was as ignorant myself.

Researching Taosi, a major Neolithic settlement in Shanxi, northern China, was an opportunity for me to learn more about Chinese pre-history and I hope, with this short article, for me to share this knowledge and my thoughts with you.

If you enjoy this article you may well enjoy The Curious History of the Hakka and the Tulou.

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Creating a Population Pyramid in Microsoft Excel

population, pyramid, excel, Microsoft, Office, 2007, 2010Creating a Population Pyramid in Microsoft Excel

These instructions are intended to enable school students to construct a population pyramid using Microsoft Office Excel 2007 or 2010. There are alternative methods out there on the Internet, which might suit some students better, but this step-by-step guide is intended to be foolproof.

If you are only interested in copying and pasting someone else’s population pyramid then there are plenty of sources, however doing so will almost certainly not earn marks for the skills involved; the only credit would come from any commentary upon it. MAKE YOUR OWN; IT’S EASY!

Click on this link to find the instructions for creating a climate graph in Microsoft Office Excel.

The first section deals with finding the data, so if you already have this information please click here and you’ll be taken directly to the relevant page and will start at instruction number 10.


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Creating a Climate Graph Using Microsoft Excel

Instructions for Making a Climate Graph Using Microsoft Office Excel

climate, graph, temperature, rainfall, Microsoft, Excel, Office, 2010These instructions are intended to enable school students to create a climate graph, climatograph, or temperature and rainfall chart, using Microsoft Office 2007 Excel. I will not claim it is the slickest method but it is simple and it does work. There are other versions of these instructions out there so you can pick and chose as to which one suits you. Click on this link to find the instructions for creating a population pyramid in Microsoft Office Excel. Please feel free to post comments; I will use them to make improvements.

Click on "read more" to find out how to produce this Excel climate graph!

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The Curious History of the Hakka and the Tulou

Tulou, Hakka, FujianThe Curious History of the Hakka and the Tulou

If you are interested in the Hakka and the tulous you may also be interested in my selection of photos from Fujian or the blog I wrote on our trip to Fujian. Please click these links to enter either piece.

Much of the content of this article, on the Hakka and the Tulous, can be regarded as a hypothesis rather than an entirely factual piece. There is far too much contradictory information, of variable quality, to form many concrete conclusions. It has been written with reference to papers that would probably be best read in Chinese, by someone with a better grasp of Chinese history than I, and a couple of days field work. However, it would be interesting to have a series of unbiased people research sections of this work, to draw their own conclusions and to present their agreement or disagreement. I had hoped that the National Geographic/IBM Genographic Project would shed some more conclusive light on the subject of Hakka migration and origins, but as far as I can see it does not. At the end of the article are my private conclusions, made quite subjectively, I hope no one finds offence in them.

You can hover your pointer over the pictures and diagram in this article and it will show a full description and details.

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A Brief History of the Great Wall

The Great WallFarming began in China between 8000 and 6000BC in the Yellow River valley. Grass based crops were the major food source and the Chinese also kept pigs, chickens and dogs, relying also on river fish. The communities were at first Neolithic, but by 1000BC Bronze was in regular use and by 500BC there was a shift towards iron implements.

Settlements also became larger during this time, at first communities were based solely in villages, but as agricultural output increased towns developed and eventually cities by the time of the Shang dynasty. This was only possible through the development of government, which ensured that the agricultural output could support the growing urban centres. It can be assumed that writing developed, sometime around 1500BC, as a method of recording and calculating the tax burdens of individual communities.

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