From these small villages and farming communities grew centralized government; the first of which was the prehistoric Xia Dynasty (c. The Xia Dynasty was considered, for many years, more myth than fact until excavations in the 1960’s and 1970’s CE uncovered sites which argued strongly for its existence.Bronze works and tombs clearly point to an evolutionary period of development between disparate Stone Age villages and a recognizable cohesive civilization.
However one interprets this data (the Chinese conclusions have been disputed by the international community), the solid evidence provided by other finds substantiates a very ancient lineage of hominids and human beings in China and a high level of sophistication in early culture.
One example of this is Banpo Village, near Xi’an, discovered in 1953 CE.
Banpo is a Neolithic village which was inhabited between 45 BCE and comprises 45 houses with floors sunk into the ground for greater stability.
A trench encircling the village provided both protection from attack and drainage (while also helping to fence in domestic animals) while man-made caves dug underground were used to store food.
The dynasty was founded by Yu the Great who worked relentlessly for thirteen years to control the flooding of the Yellow River which routinely destroyed the farmer’s crops.
He was so focused on his work that it was said he did not return home once in all those years, even though he seems to have passed by his house on at least three occasions, and this dedication inspired others to follow him.Peking Man, a skull fossil discovered in 1927 CE near Beijing, lived in the area between 700,000 to 200,000 years ago and Yuanmou Man, whose remains were found in Yuanmou in 1965 CE, inhabited the land 1.7 million years ago.Evidence uncovered with these finds shows that these early inhabitants knew how to fashion stone tools and use fire.(derived from the name of the Chinese Qin Dynasty, pronounced `Chin’) which was translated as `Cin’ by the Persians and seems to have become popularized through trade along the Silk Road from China to the rest of the world.The Romans and the Greeks knew the country as `Seres’, “the land where silk comes from”.Because he was so remote and so busy, however, the people seem to have required more immediate intercessors for their needs and so the practice of ancestor worship began.When someone died, it was thought, they attained divine powers and could be called upon for assistance in times of need (similar to the Roman belief in the ).The design of the village, and the artifacts discovered there (such as pottery and tools), argue for a very advanced culture at the time it was constructed.It has generally been accepted that the Chinese `Cradle of Civilization’ is the Yellow River Valley which gave rise to villages sometime around 5000 BCE.While this has been disputed, and arguments have been made for a more wide-spread development of communities, there is no doubt that the Henan province, in the Yellow River Valley, was the site of many early villages and farming communities.In 2001 CE, archaeologists uncovered two skeletons “buried in a collapsed house, which was covered with a thick layer of silt deposits from the Yellow River.