Chinese History Timeline

China, as one of the four oldest civilisations in the world, has a long and mysterious history of more than 5,000 years. China can trace her culture back to a blend of various city-states along the Yellow River, which have expanded and became the great country we are today.

China's early primitive human discovered so far is Yuanmou Man, who lived around 1.7 million years ago. Perhaps the most well-known is Peking Man, found in the Zhoukoudian area in the suburbs of Beijing in 1965. Peking Man lived about 60,000 years ago.

During the long process of rise and fall of dynasties, there emerged countless eminent people, cultural relics and historical sites. China is also the inventor of compass, papermaking, gunpowder and printing.

A Brief Chronology Timeline of Chinese History

Primitive Society600,000-4,000 years ago
Slavery SocietyXia2070-1600 BCLuoyang, Dengfeng, ZhengzhouThe first dynasty of Chinese history
Shang1600–1046 BCAnyangThe first dynasty in China with direct written records
Zhou1046–221 BCXi'an, LuoyangThe longest dynasty in the history of China
Feudal SocietyQin221–207 BCXi'anChina came into unification as a country for the first time
Han202 BC to 220 ADXi'an, LuoyangA golden age in the history of China
Three Kingdoms220-280 ADLuoyang, Chengdu, NanjingFrequent changes of regime
Jin266-420 ADLuoyang, Nanjing
Southern and Northern Dynasties420-589 ADNanjing, Datong, Luoyang, Anyang, Linzhang, Xi'an
Sui581-618 ADXi'an, LuoyangA unified period after nearly 300-year-long division
Tang618-907 ADXi'an, LuoyangThe most glistening period in Chinese history
Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms907-979 ADKaifeng, Luoyang, Yangzhou, Nanjing, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Changsha, Hangzhou, Fuzhou, Jian'ou, Zigui, TaiyuanA period of division in the history of China
Song960–1279 ADKaifeng, HangzhouThe first government in world history to issue banknotes
Yuan1271-1368 ADBeijingThe firstst regime in Chinese history ruled by a non-Han nationality
Ming1368–1644 ADNanjing, BeijingThe last dynasty in Chinese history ruled by Han group
Qing1636-1912 ADBeijingThe last imperial dynasty in the history of China
Modern ChinaRepublic of China1912-1949 ADBeijing, Wuhan, Nanjing
People's Republic of China1949–presentBeijing

Recomended China History Tours:

  • 6-day Traces of Genghis Khan Tour Beijing to Zhangjiakou
  • 14 Days China History Tour on Train
  • 16 Day China History & Scenery Combo
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