Ancient China's Culture and Customs. This is very simple and straighforward, but has a bibliography.

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Ancient China was a time filled with many unique customs and had a most fascinating culture. Some of the people lived like people in modern China, but some people did not. Customs have changed some but not very much. The people of China lead very interesting and difficult lifestyles.

Most Chinese people lived in country villages. Peasants going to town to sell their goods at market looked in awe at the town houses with their tiled roofs, and the busy teahouses (Williams, B., 1996, pg.27). For the people who lived in the countryside, their lives were ruled by family, the seasons, and the crops. In some areas the sound of a drum called the workers together and beat out a work rhythm. The drum could be heard from sunrise until dusk (Millar, H., 1996, pg.19). Poor people's houses were made of mud and straw, while rich houses were wood and tiled (Kids Discover, April 1997, pg.7).

The center of a city found was roughly rectangular. An earth wall surrounded the city. The houses were laid out in parallel streets. Some of the important buildings, like temples and palaces, were on raised platforms (Caselli, G., 1995, pg.38). Towns and cities were built on a grid system and divided into sections called wards. Every ward was surrounded by walls and gates that were locked each evening. Usually wealthy people and government officials lived at one end of the town and poor lived at the other end (Cotterell, A., 1994, pg.40).

Every member of a peasant family had to work hard on the farm, especially at harvest time. Many peasant farmers had to give a large share of their harvest to a wealthy landlord, as well as pay tax to the emperor. If crops failed, the family was in danger...