Module 3: IntroductionHello,

I am an Anthropology major with 2 minors in Statistics and Biology. I hope to be a Bio-Archaeologist. I will be doing my Wiki on Gender in Ancient China. As a young Vietnamese woman, my culture is strongly influenced by Chinese philosophy, so I would like to use this opportunity to research about gender in China. By doing so, I hope to learn about how gender differences originated in China as to further my understanding of my own culture's beliefs.

Thank you and have a wonderful day! :)

Module 4: Relevant Website

The following website was written by student (I'm assuming) from the University of Northern Texas. I found it in the university's archives. This student is of Chinese descent and offers his/her perspective on the gender stereotypes and inequalities that he/she has researched about through scholarly articles and through personal experience.

Module 5: Relevant ImageThe link to the image can be found here:

CAPTION: An illustration of Wu Zetian, the only female emperor of China. She reigned successfully during the Tang Dynasty.

Module 6: HistoryLink to the History of a Wiki related to my topic:

Link to the History of a Wiki controversial:

Information on these wikis is not very reliable because it can be edited by just about anyone depending on the page. The editor has not established his or her credentials because many times, the wikis can be edited by the public.

Module 7: Brainstorming IdeasTopics I am interested in:
  • Archaeology of beauty tools used by women of the Imperial Court
  • Hierarchy of Emperor's concubines
  • Process of becoming an Emperor's concubine
  • Documents revealing how emperors managed their time with all their concubines
  • Hierarchy of princesses and their arranged marriages

I am interested in the social structure of the Imperial Palace regarding the women that served the emperor, including his many concubines and many daughters. Emperors have many women to satisfy their sexual urges and to produce a suitable heir for them. Consequently, these concubines often rivaled each other for the emperor's attention and for the chance to become his empress. The emperor also fathered many children as a result of his numerous concubines and treated his daughters as mere pawns. A social hierarchy developed within the Imperial Palace due to the women struggling to gain the high seat next to their beloved emperor.

Module 8: Finding a Source“The floodplains along the Nile constitute an important but as yet little utilized series of laboratories for the comparative study of the origins and interaction of ancient civilizations.”

Excerpt taken from “Kerma: The Rise of an African Civilization,” Bruce G. Trigger, The International Journal of African Historical Studies, Vol. 9, No. 1. (1976), pp. 1-21.

Module 9: Looking for a Relevant Source
Female Rulers in Imperial China
Lien-sheng Yang
Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies
Vol. 23, (1960 - 1961), pp. 47-61
Published by: Harvard-Yenching Institute
Article Stable URL:

This article is relevant to my Wiki topic because it discusses the importance of past female rulers in China that have often been belittled, ridiculed, and criticized for their sex.

"Woman is still more of a slave of man among the Chinese than among Anglo-Saxons...It is common knowledge that, in the whole history of imperial China from 221 B.C. to 1912 A.D., Chinese society was predominantly patriarchal and patrilineal. Attention is rarely called, however, to the fact that in many periods of its long history the country was governed by female rulers. Empress dowagers served as regents for both Chinese and alien dynasties, and they were particularly powerful under the Han, the Northern Wei (Hsien-pi), the Liao (Ch'i-tan), the Sung, the Yuan (Mongol), and the Ch'ing (Manchu). The T'ang dynasty witnessed the unique female emperor, Wu Chao, who founded her own dynasty (r. 690-705, d. 705, aged 8o). Altogether, these female rulers exerted considerable influence in Chinese history."

From the Harvard Journal Of Asiatic Studies

Module 10 & 11: Coherent Section
Chinese Palace-Style Poetry and the Depiction of a Palace Beauty
Ellen Johnston Laing
The Art Bulletin
Vol. 72, No. 2 (Jun., 1990), pp. 284-295
Published by: College Art Association
Article Stable URL:

In ancient China, a woman was to appear like a flower in the springtime, lovely and alluring. The painting A Palace Beauty depicts this ideal Chinese woman of the Imperial Court standing near a banana tree, adjusting her hair. This stereotypical woman was supposed to care deeply about her physical appearance because, according to various love poems, she could only keep a man's love by her beauty. This ideology illustrates that Chinese women, from an anthropological viewpoint, were acknowledged only for the way they looked and less for how intelligent or talented they were. This superficial belief in beauty was most likely the reason why there was a limitless quantity of young concubines for an emperor because aging and the gradual loss of beauty were inevitable. Therefore, a constant resupplying of young beauty would have been necessary to satisfy an emperor's sexual appetite. In regards to the woman shown in the painting, A Palace Beauty, she was probably a concubine, tidying herself up before meeting with her beloved emperor for as long as her physical appearance allowed her to do so.

After reading the following website...I have added the following sentences.

Women of the Imperial Palace were admired for their beauty regardless of how plump or slender they appeared. Many concubines who wished to catch the Emperor's eye often paid large amounts of money to a painter so that he can draw them at their finest. In addition to their looks, they were taught palace etiquette because a concubine had to know her place within the palace.

Module 12: Google EARTH file
This is an aerial view of the Forbidden City. It served as the location of the Imperial Palace between the Ming and Qing dynasties. Readers might also find interest in seeing a map of the warring states of Ancient China to further understand the political history of this region.


Module 13: Interest Paragraph

The article "The Selection of Women for the Qing Harlem" discusses Xiunu, which was a practice of the Qing Dynasty where all girls between the ages of thirteen to sixteen were sent to the Forbidden City every three years so that the current emperor could select a bride. Such a practice became popular after the Song dynasty because emperors wanted to limit the power of their bride's families by choosing brides from common families. This article is a great resource for anyone who is interested in learning more about women in the Imperial Palace because it provides background information about one of several practices in ancient China regarding bride selection for the emperor.

Module 14: Interest Paragraph

The article "Tomb Architecture of Dynastic China: Old and New Questions" by Qinghua Guo discusses the typical structure of tombs from the Han dynasty era. An alarming number of sites have been recovered from this time period. The article is helpful in understanding general Chinese tomb archaeology because it provides detailed reports on numerous tombs that have been excavated. It also describes the common terminology used when studying Chinese tombs. For those interested in my wiki, I will be focusing on burials of emperors and analyzing the grave goods found in the tombs in order for me to comprehend the importance of concubines during an emperor's reign and in the afterlife. The article written by Guo is interesting and of great importance to anyone interested in my wiki topic because it explains the basics of ancient Chinese burials.