Ancient China’s history goes back about 7 thousand years. Its territory was somewhat less than that of the modern China and included the valley of the great Yellow River and the Yangtze River and only a few neighboring territories.
As in all other countries of antiquity, ancient China was very much determined by geographical and climatic diversity of the region. China was cut off from other foci of the oldest civilizations by the mountain ranges and vast deserts that stretched for thousands of kilometers. While here, the first settlements appeared in the valleys of the great rivers – the Yellow River and the Yangtze River, the uniqueness of the local climate and the availability of natural resources led to the fact that China was growing at quite a peculiar way.
According to current data, Neolithic archaeological culture Hongshan, which is referred to as the starting point of the ancient Chinese history, was formed in the middle reaches of the Yellow River no later than V millennium BC. However, the study Hongshan culture is far from complete. To date, the direct predecessor of the ancient Chinese civilization is considered the Yangshao culture. In the middle of the III millennium BC, Yangshao culture was replaced by its successor, the Longshan culture, whose representatives was the first Chinese people to use the potter’s wheel.
The lack of written records makes it impossible to determine the ethnicity of the population of the Yellow River valley to the V – III millennium BC. Nevertheless, the Chinese historians, based on ancient legends and traditions, believe that in the III millennium BC in the valley of the Yellow River, there lived the direct ancestors of modern Chinese. Traditional Chinese historiography begins with the story of five ancestors, the founders of the Chinese people: Huang, Chzhuansyuya, Ku, Yao, and Shun. These five ancestors taught men that were before savages, norms of civilization, agriculture, crafts; they also established a form of government, the sacrificial system, the rules of morality, and proper behavior. Their rule is seen as a golden age. Huang birth occurred about 2704 BC, and the reign continued from 2698 to 2598 BC. Huang name is associated with defeating the “barbarians” in a great battle somewhere in modern Shanxi Province, which provided the opportunity to subordinate all the tribes in the Yellow River valley. After ancestors in about 2205 or about 2100 years BC, to power in China came the first ruling dynasty Xia.
Dynasty has seventeen lords, the most famous rulers Yu, Qi, Fa, and Jie. Last one was a despot, destroying entire generations, which insult Heaven, manifested in the uprising of the people, handed power over to a virtuous Cheng Tang, the founder of a new dynasty of Yin.
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