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By Marcie Flinchum Atkins

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Concubines also found they could gain power in their roles. Because they were so close to the emperor, they sometimes influenced his decisions. indd 33 11/5/14 4:20 PM TRADE AND THE SILK ROAD Trading contributed to the economic success of ancient China during the Imperial era. Qin Shihuangdi’s standardized measurement system helped make trade between different regions of China easier. Foods, such as fish, cattle, and salt, in addition to goods, including silk and iron, crisscrossed the empire. The Chinese also traded with other civilizations using the Silk Road, which was established during the Han dynasty.

She was the only woman in ancient Chinese history to be truly in charge. She started by working her way up through the ranks. She became a concubine to Emperor Taizong of the Tang dynasty at age 14. After the emperor’s death, she became a concubine to his heir, the new emperor, Gaozong. The emperor’s wife, Empress Wang, did not have any children. However, Wu Zhao had several sons with the emperor. Wu Zhao encouraged the idea that one of them should be Gaozong’s heir. She managed to demote Empress Wang.

Silk comes from a fiber produced by silkworms, which eat the leaves of mulberry trees. The temperature and humidity must be kept even for the silkworm to survive. Eventually, the silkworms spin cocoons made of silk threads. To get the threads off, the ancient silk makers boiled the silkworms and then unrolled the silk strands from the cocoons. 45 kg) of silk. 2 After unrolling the cocoons, silk makers twisted the silk strands together and dyed them different colors. Then they wove the strands to make cloth.

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Ancient China by Marcie Flinchum Atkins

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