Clay warrior head from Terracotta Army, Lintong, Shaanxi Province
Han Dynasty clay minature warior, Shaanxi Provincial Museum, Xian


The Qin Dynasty and the Han Dynasty ruled China for over 400 years between 221 BC and 220 AD with a short interregnum (or another dynasty's rule) in between them. However, the legacy they left was far greater than these years would suggest. The Qin name, pronounced Ch'in, is the foundation for the name of the country of China and the majority of the Chinese population identify themselves as "Han" people.

This webquest is designed to help you understand what it was like to live as one of the lower classes of Ancient China. It is very easy to find out how the Emperors and the nobility lived but a great deal harder to work out how the poorer people - the majority - lived.

Your challenge therefore, is to investigate one of these groups, describe what it would have been like to live under the Qin and the Han from their perspective and explain what changed and what continued for them under the two dynasties.

So! Peasant, Artisan or Merchant? Which one will it be?

Use the links on the left hand tool bar to navigate your way through the WebQuest. Start by going to Setting the Scene