History Of China
China, one of the world's most ancient civilizations,
has a recorded history of nearly 4,000 years. Anthropologists
working in Yuanmou, in Yunnan Province, have uncovered
the remains of China's earliest discovered
hominid, ¡°Yuanmou Man,¡± who
lived in this area approximately 1.7 million years ago.
¡°Peking Man,¡± who lived in
Zhoukoudian, to the southwest of modern Beijing 400,000
to 500,000 years ago, had the basic characteristics
of Homo Sapiens. Peking Man walked upright, made and
used simple tools, and knew how to make fire.
Man in China passed from primitive society
to slave society in the 21st century B.C., with the
founding of China's first dynasty, that
of the Xia. The subsequent dynasties, the Shang (16th-11th
century B.C.) and the Western Zhou (11th century-770
B.C.) saw further development of slave society. This
era was followed by the Spring and Autumn and Warring
States periods (770-221 B.C.), marking the transition
from the slave society to feudal society.
China was one of the countries where
economic activity first developed. As early as 5,000
to 6,000 years ago, people in the Yellow River valley
had already started farming and raising livestock. During
the Shang Dynasty (more than 3,000 years ago), people
learned how to smelt bronze and use iron tools. White
pottery and glazed pottery were produced. Silk production
was well developed, and the world's first
figured inlaid silk weaving technique was being used.
During the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 B.C.),
steel production technologies appeared.
During the Warring States Period (475-221
B.C.), Li Bing and his son directed the construction
of the Dujiang Dam near present-day Chengdu in Sichuan
Province. This brilliant achievement in water conservancy
made possible rationalized irrigation supply, flood
diversion and sand discharge, and is still playing a
tremendous role in this regard even today.
During the Spring and Autumn and Warring
States periods, philosophy and other branches of scholarship
were unprecedentedly thriving, with the representatives
of various schools vying with each other in writing
books to discuss politics and analyze society. Hence
the appearance of a situation in which ¡°a
hundred schools of thought contended.¡±
Famous philosophers in this period included Lao Zi,
Confucius, Mo Zi and Sun Zi.
Brief Intro. of China