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Prehistoric Age in Chinese History

June 05, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 261

The prehistoric age is composed of the Paleolithic age and the Neolithic Age in Chinese history. The recent archaeological findings show that earliest australopithecines lived in South China about 4,500,000 years ago, and the Homo erectus set feet on China from 2,240,000 to 25,000 years ago, including Little Dwarfs, Yuanmou Men, Lantian Men, Nanjing Men and Beijing Men, and it's the earliest track of hominids ever known.

The prehistoric culture of China had gone through four phases on the whole, which are the early & middle period of the Paleolithic Age (represented by Homo erectus living between 400,000 and 500,000 years ago), the middle & late period of the Paleolithic Age (represented by the Upper Cave Men living between 100,000- 200,000 years ago), the early & middle period of the Neolithic Age (represented by Peililang Culture and Yangshao Culture dated back to 7,000 to 12,000 years ago) and the middle & late period of the Neolithic Age (represented by Longshan Culture dated back to 4,100 to 4,900 years ago). China was in the matriarchal clan society during the early period of the Neolithic Age with no distinct social classes, and it was followed by the patriarchal clan society during the middle period of the Neolithic Age, when the gap between the rich and the poor had greatly been widened and the social divisions of labors emerged with the social productive forces greatly improved.

With the development of natural science and high-technology, a number of ancient city clusters have been discovered in the Yangtze River area and the Yellow River area in recent years, including remains of Zhongyuan City, Jianghan City and Haidai City, which fully shows that great changes had taken place in the social structure system and proves that the multi-culture had coexisted during Longshan Culture Period, with a number of ancient painted potteries unearthed from the Henan Province, the Hebei Province, the Gansu Province and the Shanxi Province. At the same time, there existed Hemudu Culture of the Zhejiang Province and Dawenkou Culture of the Shandong Province during Longshan Culture Period. The subsequent Erlitou Site of Henan Province and Sanxingdui Site of Sichuan Province are representatives of cultural essences in the Bronze Age (21 B.C.-5 B.C.).

The culture in prehistoric period is comprised of the matriarchal clan culture and the patriarchal clan culture, of which the former includes Peililang Culture, Cishan Culture, Yangshao Culture, Hemudu Culture, Majiamiao Culture and Qujialing Culture, and the latter contains Longshan Culture, Dawenkou Culture and Liangzhu Culture. Compared with the matriarchal clan society, the patriarchal society made more progress in the social productive forces, which is manifested in the emergence of bronze wares, silk fabrics and Chinese letter symbols.

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