The Ancient Dynasties in China

In Chinese mythology, the civilization of China began with Pangu, who is the creator of the universe. Chinese civilization went on with the series after the sage-emperors and culture heroes, the renowned ones are Huang Di, Yao and Shun. These emperors were known for having taught the ancient Chinese to find things for clothing, shelter and food.

In today’s date, three old Chinese dynasties are being named as legendary. The characteristic traits for all types of Chinese dynasties help us know better the characteristics of Chinese culture. All other traditions that got developed in the later period were inspired from the unique cultural characteristics of China ever since China got evolved. Many historians have found the basics of Chinese culture and traditions evolved therefrom in China for many centuries.

The first prehistoric dynasty to have come into existence was Xia Dynasty, which took place between 21st to 16th centuries BC. The Xia dynasty had more of myths imbibed in the Chinese culture during that period. After certain scientific excavations took place at early Bronze Age sites in Henan Province of China in 1928, they were able to separate the existing myths from reality. Post this period and during 1960s and 1970s, archaeologists were able to find urban sites, bronze implements and tombs that indicated the presence of Xia civilization in the locations as mentioned in old Chinese history. To some extent, the Xia period brought development between the late Neolithic cultures and the Chinese urban civilization of that of the Shang dynasty.

Archaeologists found many locations in the Huang He Valley that traced back to the Shang dynasty that continued from 1700 to 1027 BC. The Shang dynasty (later called the Yin Dynasty) was founded by a rebel leader who believed to have overthrown the last emperor of Xia dynasty. The Shang dynasty focused on agriculture, hunting and animal husbandry. It also developed a Chinese writing system and the usage of bronze metallurgy. Many ceremonial bronze vessels were made with inscriptions from the Shang period denoting a high level of civilization.

Many Shang kings ruled over the entire northern China for quite a much longer period and won battles against neighboring countries and nomadic herdsmen from within the Asia. Development of court rituals to deal with spirits and honor sacred ancestors also took place; the king was regarded as the head of the worshiping of spirits and sacred ancestors.