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Evolution of Chinese Characters


Chinese characters have evolved from Jiaguwen (inscriptions on tortoise shells and animal bones) to today"s characters over a long process.
 
Jiaguwen of the Shang Dynasty (c. 1765-1122BC) is a group of Chinese characters that resemble drawings.
 
In the Shang Dynasty and Western Zhou Dynasty (1121-771BC), there were also inscriptions on bronzeware called Zhongdingwen, which also resembled drawings. After the first emperor of the Qin Dynasty (221-207BC) unified China, he also unified Chinese characters and introduced Xiaozhuan (lesser seal script) -- a very beautiful style of characters.
 
Since the Xiaozhuan script was very time consuming, people of the Qin further improved the characters and created a new style, Lishu (official script). In the Han Dynasty (206BC-AD8), Lishu -- including another type of calligraphy, Caoshu (grass script), followed by Xingshu (running script) -- became the main general typeface. The official script broke away from the pictographic element of ancient Chinese characters laying the foundations for Kaishu (regular script).
 
Kaishu came into being in the late Han Dynasty and was based on Lishu. After Kaishu appeared, the block-shaped Chinese characters were finalized and Kaishu has been used ever since. Kaishu is the standard calligraphy that has been used for the longest period of time.
 
In addition, when Lishu was used, there was.
 
   
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