|These pottery figures (see next page) were made during the Jin Dynasty (1115 - 1234), They were used as burial objects and were excavated in Weinan. Perhaps a sports fan wanted entertainment in the afterlife.
While we have moved onto the Jin Dynasty, that doesn't mean that the Song Dynasty ended. It continued concurrently with the Jin until both were conquered by the Mongols and the Yuan Dynasty was founded.
During the Song Dynasty, China was much smaller than it was during the Tang Dynasty. As was discussed on the previous page, the Tangut and Khitan peoples ruled the west and north of China. In 1125 the Liao were conquered by the Jurchens from the far northeast. The Jurchens were a Manchurian people who swept down both south and west and both occupied the Liao territories and pushed the Song Dynasty to the south of the Huai River to center around the Yangtze River.
It is at that point that the distinction between Northern Song Dynasty and Southern Song Dynasty becomes pertinent. The Liao moved west and established the Western Liao Dynasty.
The Jurchen Jin Dynasty engaged in many building projects, expanded canals, and built temples. Although the dynasty lasted but a hundred some years, it was extremely productive, building on a base of culture begun in their homelands and soaking up the refinements of the Liao and Song cultures.
The Jin Dynasty ended when Genghis Khan swept down from the norther steppes of Mongolia. He conquered the western areas first and worked east toward the Jin. The Jin managed to win some major battles an end off the Mongols but were finally overpowered by superior numbers. After the Jin fell, it was short work to take over the Southern Song.
Last update: March 2010
© Marilyn Shea, 2010