Peking Man and Lantian Man lived in the period around 21 BC. In prehistoric times dating back 1.7 million years people in China developed stone tools and the time was divided into the Neolithic Age and the Paleolithic Age when the Yuanmou man lived. Fire was discovered during this period of time. In the Neolithic age people built houses and began to farm. They also began to use grinding stones and developed carving skills. During this time many legends began about the Creation of the World by Pan Gu and Dayu’s Control of Water.
During the Xia Dynasty the Primitive Society ended and the Class Society began. It is the first known dynasty in China and lasted for 500 years. The calendar system with solar and lunar phases was created during this period. Bronze and jade craft work was developed during this time.
The Shang dynasty began in 1675 BC and lasted over 600 years with 30 emperors. It is best known for ending oppression and the people were treated with compassion by Emperor Jie. The fishing industry was started and porcelain was invented. Silk weaving became a highly prized craft. Musical instruments were invented including cymbals and drums.
The Zhou Dynasty was the longest lasting dynasty lasting over 800 years with 37 emperors. The Zhou clan took power in the 11th century BC. King Zhou’s son killed the reigning emperor of the Shang dynasty ending it in 1046 BC.
The first unified and multi-national dynasty was the Qin Dynasty. It survived only 15 years but held significant roles in Chinese history. Standardized weights and measures were introduce and the round coin with the square hole was created. The Great Wall of China was built. And the famous Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses were crafted.
The Han Dynasty began in 207 BC when the capital city Xianyang was overthrown in 206 BC after four years of war. Within this dynasty there were two dynasties, the Western Han Dynasty from 206 BC to 24 AD and the Eastern Han Dynasty from 25 BC to 220 AD. There were 24 emperors during this time and it was period of peace and prosperity. Some of the achievements of this dynasty influence lives of the Chinese people today.