Why was there a split in cultures in bronze age Northern China?

Jul 2017
1
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Why was there such a sharp contrast between a pastoral, 'barbarian' group of peoples who dwelled in the more northern and arid parts of the North China and a 'civilized' Sinitic group of peoples centered around the Yellow River?

What exactly made this a development that took place for more than a millennia of Chinese Bronze Age civilization until the beginning of the Iron Age in China and why were these cultures not unified under a common Sinitic culture in the first place when both groups were purported to speak similar languages?
 
Feb 2011
1,018


Why was there such a sharp contrast between a pastoral, 'barbarian' group of peoples who dwelled in the more northern and arid parts of the North China and a 'civilized' Sinitic group of peoples centered around the Yellow River?

What exactly made this a development that took place for more than a millennia of Chinese Bronze Age civilization until the beginning of the Iron Age in China and why were these cultures not unified under a common Sinitic culture in the first place when both groups were purported to speak similar languages?
The contrast was never this sharp. I'd recommend reading more detailed studies on the period, rather than relying on general maps. States like Qin moved in and out of the 'barbaric' category according to politics, and states like Zhao adopted barbaric practices even while claiming to be orthodox. The term 'barbarian,' in ancient China, was both subjective and heavily politicized. It cannot be treated like scientific classification. Unfortunately, certain historians tend to do just that.
 
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