Explore the story of the world's oldest empire, from the ancient dynasties to the end of the Golden Age of China. Learn about the three main religions that shaped Chinese society: a society made up of four "layers." See why the Chinese called calligraphy, poetry and painting the "three perfections." Most of all, experience the Chinese spirit of exploration, a spirit that led to the building of the Great Wall and the Great Canal, and the development of the Silk Road. From the Inside Flap: Ancient Chinese life comes into ever-clearer focus thanks to 21st century science, especially archaeology, geology, and paleontology. New discoveries continuously contribute to the information store of each period and culture. Ancient China uses the newest and most significant archaeological findings to bring young, modern readers up close to an intriguing, complex society, and shows them what those findings tell about a great nation's evolution. Each chapter brings readers to a place of archaeological significance in the vast land we now call China. From the banks of the Yellow River to the hot sands of the Gobi Desert, readers go to the spots where pieces of history have been unearthed-and in many cases, are still being discovered, because many excavations are active today.