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Zhaoqing at Night - Seen from 7-Stars Lake and Crags

Making a Silk Fan by Hand In Guilin

Lion Dance

Ancient and Modern Mix in Foshan City

Terracotta Warriors, Xi'an

Local Vendors Stall at a Foshan Wet Market

Owner of a Dumpling Shop - ShenZhen

Local Fisherman of the Li River, Guilin. The Cormorant's are trained birds used for fishing! They can count up to 7 fish, after which time they will not dive again unless fed!

Owner of My Local Corner Shop - Foshan

Typical Foshan Backstreet

Security Saluting With a Cup of Tea

Bea Making Chinese Tea - Shunde Long Jiang

Uncle Tending His Chinese Aga - Toisan

Uncle Preparing Chicken for the Table - Toisan

Ding Hu San, personal picture - This is a very BIG cooking pot! It is Used For Cooking on Special Days and can Feed over 2, 000 People

Farmer Collecting Firewood - Guilin

Rice Terraces near YangShuo, Guilin

View Over Irrigation Channel and Rice Fields - Toisan

Babas Ox Having a Break From Tilling the Fields, Toisan

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Chinese History
Neolithic Cultures
Early Times
This era represents earliest human pre-history, and times of myths and legends - perhaps a time when Dragons walked the earth and flew the skies? Many modern Chinese still talk about these legends today = so just mention The Yellow Emperor ‘Huang Di’, if you want to start an animated discussion. This would be very similar to Britons and Celts talking about King Arthur– only Huang Di lived about 6 millennia earlier, and did exist in real life!

This also represents the change from hunter/gatherers who used simple stone and wooded tools: to times of settlement, farming, and the use of metals. Language in the modern sense is invented and recorded for the first time, and ceramic ware also comes into being, plus making fire has become easy. Some of these events were written down many millennia later, and until recently have been regarded as having no factual basis. However, recent archaeological discoveries have confirmed the existence of Huang Di and his contemporaries, Yan Di and Chi You

China is one of the oldest world civilisations still in existence, and can trace direct ancestry back to neolithic times and the Old Stone Age. Historians most notably focus on the Yellow River people of Circa 5, 000 BC (Also the nearby Yangtze River People), and quote these as being a small unassociated groups. Here is what was really happening:

Pre-Chinese Cultures

Early Chinese tribes from after the ice age to before the dawn of the modern empires (Circa 10, 000 - 3, 000 BC) are amalgamated from a small area of land between Xi'an in the west and Beijing in the east. They are based in the area bounded by the \Yellow River to the north, and the Yangtze River to the south. This is a very small area on the global map.

What our own research indicates, which no scholars are apparently picking-up upon, is that countless hordes of new tribes seem to generate from the North of China's borders - continuously! We would arbitrarily place this point of inception around Lake Baikal in Russia, and to the East.

What you will find is that all these 'new' tribes head South, and most flounder when meeting northern China. In the earliest days, some could progress east a little, but basically everybody else had to either go west or become extinct. This appears to be the case because even more new tribes were continuously heading down from the North over millennia.

All over the world, people gathered in small groups and clans. Some became larger. They battled for survival on a daily basis, and had to defend themselves from animal predators, and other clans. Slowly an order develops out of the chaos, and then expansion. In China the first records are of 8-groups:

1. Yangshao culture (5000-3000 BC), finds stretch from the Yellow River   plain in the east into Gansu, and are mainly centred upon Hunan Province
2. East to the Yangshao communities the Dawenkou culture  (5000-3000 BC) was located, in modern Shandong Province
3. In the lower Yangtze  area we find three distinctive cultures:
a) Majiabang  (5000-3500 BC)
b) Hemudu  (5000-3500 BC)
c) Qingliangang  (4500-3000 BC) .
d) The existence of these three cultures proves that civilisation was not means confined to the Yellow River plain. They were also consecutive, meaning they developed out of each other in some ways.
4. In the middle Yangtze valley the Daxi and Qujialing cultures (5000-3000 BC) are located.
5. Far in the south, including sites in Taiwan, was the region of the Dapenkeng culture (5000-2500 BC)
6. In northern China, in the Liao River basin , three successive cultures occupied this once fertile area:
a) Xinglongwa (8500-7000 BC)
b) Xinle  (7000-5000 BC)
c) Hongshan  (3000-2500 BC).
d) These cultures were the first to make intensive use of jade as workable material, carved with dragon motifs.

Nb. Yes, I only count six or eleven as well - Here is China!

Here is another version, again supplied by Wikipedia
Dated English name Chinese name Modern-day location
7500 BCE – 6100 BCE Pengtoushan culture Central Yangtze River region in northwestern Hunan
7000 BCE – 5000 BCE Peiligang culture Yiluo River valley in Henan
6500 BCE – 5500 BCE Houli culture   Shandong
6200 BCE – 5400 BCE Xinglongwa culture   Inner Mongolia-Liaoning border
6000 BCE – 5500 BCE Cishan culture   Southern Hebei
5800 BCE – 5400 BCE Dadiwan culture   Gansu and western Shaanxi
5500 BCE – 4800 BCE Xinle culture   lower Liao River on the Liaodong Peninsula
5400 BCE – 4500 BCE Zhaobaogou culture   Luan River valley in Inner Mongolia and northern Hebei
5300 BCE – 4100 BCE Beixin culture   Shandong
5000 BCE – 4500 BCE Hemudu culture   Yuyao and Zhoushan, Zhejiang
5000 BCE – 3000 BCE Daxi culture   Three Gorges region
5000 BCE – 3000 BCE Majiabang culture   Taihu Lake area and north of Hangzhou Bay
5000 BCE – 3000 BCE Yangshao culture   Henan, Shaanxi, and Shanxi
4700 BCE – 2900 BCE Hongshan culture   Inner Mongolia, Liaoning, and Hebei
4100 BCE – 2600 BCE Dawenkou culture   Shandong, Anhui, Henan, and Jiangsu
3400 BCE – 2250 BCE Liangzhu culture   Yangtze River Delta
3100 BCE – 2700 BCE Majiayao culture   Upper Yellow River region in Gansu and Qinghai
3100 BCE – 2700 BCE Qujialing culture   middle Yangtze River region in Hubei and Hunan
3000 BCE – 2000 BCE Longshan culture   Central and lower Yellow River
2800 BCE – 2000 BCE Baodun culture   Chengdu Plain
2500 BCE – 2000 BCE Shijiahe culture   Middle Yangtze River region in Hubei
2100 BCE – 1500 BCE Erlitou culture   Yanshi, Henan Province

1. This above all relates to what we would consider to be cultures of the Middle-Yangtze River.
2. Contemporary cultures also are recorded in Southeastern China, and known for their ‘Corded Ware’ – which did not arrive in Europe until millennia later.
3. If you look Southwest, then you will find the Bon culture of Tajikistan, Kashmir and Tibet.
4. Modern ChongQing (Probably the largest city on earth today) has relics dated to this era also, but different ancestry of course. China is a very big place!

Let’s be specific:

The oldest documented civilisation from China is in fact the ‘xinglongwa’ or ‘Xing Long Wa’ from ’Northern China’. The modern meaning of the Chinese characters  would mean ‘Rising from glorious depth’, which could mean a transformed Carp (Carp can become Dragons btw [By The Way]). This would be fine for Mandarin speaking historians replicating pre-history in modern Chinese character conception.

My reading is that these people already consider themselves to be descendents of ‘The Dragon’. This is a type of Cantonese I know today, and means ‘People of the Star Dragon Tongue!’ or similar
– Simple and obvious! The sounds mean this, and the later applied Chinese characters are wrong, especially because they are the first people to carve jade into dragons; therefore ‘Long’ means Dragon, and cannot mean anything else! Wa = wah, and means ‘talking’ and most likely ‘tongue’. Xing means star. This is all daily spoken Cantonese on the streets of Foshan in 2009 . is my personal translation of the correct characters for this tribe

Population Movement:
In The British Isles, it is a common perception that most invasions come from the East and sometimes South – thereby pushing the existing population North or Westwards. I believe this is a fairly correct generalisation.

In China, the general and similar trend is invasion from the North, thus pushing existing peoples further south, and eventually Westwards (Due mainly to terrain and the Pacific Ocean)

Before Empire

Lets assume that between 10, 000 BC (The end of the last Ice Age and Neolithic Period) and documented history, much of China consisted of secular clans and warring states. It is a human preoccupation, and quite a reasonable assumption. People would also gather at the best known good places, which perhaps gave rise to The Yellow River Peoples, amongst others.

1. Around this time, the Chinese Tiger and Alligator were responsible for many human deaths and feared. Rivers were also infested with highly poisonous snakes, whilst sometimes other animals such as the Chinese Elephant (Now virtually extinct with less than 300 left in the wild) would invade for resources, of which the human fields and sheltering trees were excellent fodder. Daily and annual survival was key thinking
2. Plant and animal husbandry was complicated, as there were no predictions for 10-yearly floods or tidal surges.
3. When not fighting, they would be trading and gaining in knowledge

Meanwhile, others with different cultures and beliefs would pass by, seeking new and virgin lands to make their own; as would others break away. Times of flux and uncertainty for all, so what changed?

The ice sheets receded, the oceans rose, and the weather got warmer.

Do not think that people stopped moving around. Otherwise how would you explain that the flags of modern day South Korea and South Vietnam have Bagua inscriptions; or the more universal Yin and Yang symbol?

The basic human drive is to live as well as practicably possible, and grow as a family, and by extension - grow as a tribe or village. Early cultures are far more vulnerable than modern ones, with scarcity of food, natural disasters, and animal predators all being of great concern. Therefore it is rational to suppose some tribes would die out, whilst others moved, grew, and/or forged new alliances with similar groups. The names we know them by today may be unreliable, and archaeologists tend to treat all new finds as separate occurrences, and do not look for links to other civilisations.

What does become apparent is that some of these tribal groups took control of good areas of land and settled in fixed communities where farming became the norm. This does not mean they stopped all forms of hunter-gathering, but that the emphasis shifted to sustainable crops.

Becoming settled in one location also brings advances in technology and military discoveries. Associated with this comes the rise of powerful warlords and turf wars. The period is now 5, 000 BC; and the first Chinese Dynasty is soon to be created by Huang Di in the fertile valley of the Yangtze River east of modern day Xi'an.

We will therefore continue this study in our next chapter 'Huang Di', before beginning documented Chinese history with the Xia Dynasty circa 3, 000 BC.

China Expats Quiz

In modern China others have a similar but different views, as passed down to them from their families and culture. Below is a current version from my friend in Xi’an, who lists her top 10 Events of Chinese history as follows.

This is Mindy’s version:

1. Pangu separated the heaven and the earth from chaos
2. Nvwa, the Goddess with fish tail creates human beings and patched the Sky
3. Shennong (Yan Emperor) initiated Chinese Agriculture
4. Yu the Great subdued the flood and created the first dynasty in Chinese history and his son, Qi, became the first king
5. Qin Shi Huang unified law, currency and characters, built the first imperial dynasty and was the first emperor in China
6. Wu Zetian, the first and the only women emperor in Chinese history. Yes, powerful Tang is an open dynasty and Tang people are also open, I think.
7. Genghis khan leaded his strong army expanded Yuan's territory to Europe.
8. The construction of the Great Wall and Forbidden City gave us the most fatuous treasure
9. You know what did Chairman Mao do, right? :-)
10. My mother gave birth to me 24 years ago. :-) (just for fun)
This information is as supplied by Wikipedia, as dated March 2009 or later, and/or other reliable sources.

Maps (Unless stated otherwise) are provided in association with Thomas Lessman

Please check this information yourself as it may alter without notice, and whilst we try our best to ensure it is correct, please do not hold us responsible for any errors - this is intended as a simple guide only
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