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Shaanxi Provincial History Museum
The Prehistoric Age

The first section of the exhibition of the ancient history of Shaanxi covers the Prehistoric Age, which dates back about 1,150, 000 years to the 2lst century B. C.. Shaanxi is an important source of information on the origin of the human race. The fossil remains of an Ape-man skull discovered in Lantian County, Shaanxi Province was the earliest known Homo erectus in the North of Asi- a. The latest dating data proved that the I.antian Ape-man lived about 1,150,000 years ago.

This background picture shows Gongwangling, where the fos- sil remains of the hominid were discovered. In the display case are the large pointed implements excavated in Gongwangling, which were made and used by the Lantian Man. These slightly chipped and shaped irregular stone implements were used for multi-purpos- es.

After the discovery of the Ape-man in Lantian, the fossil re- mains of a rather complete hominid skull were found in Dali Coun- ty, Shaanxi Province in 1978. The hominid lived about 100,000 years ago, and belonged to a new stage of human evolution, i. e. the stage of "Homo Sapience". The fossil remains of the Dali man's skull are the most complete of those of the early hominid skulls ex- cavated in China. The stone implements of Dali Man are character- istically and relatively small in size.

The Laoguantai Culture represents the earliest Neolithic cultur- al ruins in Shaanxi, dating back about 8,000 years. The Laoguantai Culture is so named because it was first discovered at Laoguantai, Huaxian County in 1955. The three important characteristics that differentiate Neolithic Culture from Paleolithic Culture include first- ly polished stone implements, secondly the invention of pottery and thirdly settled habitation and primitive farming. The polished stone spades and knives on display here indicate that the livelihood of our ancestors was not solely dependant on food gathering and hunting, but supplemented with a simple form of agriculture.

The Yangshao Culture dates about 7000--5000 years back. On display here are amphoras, stone balls, pottery plummets, bone --made arrows, fishing fork and various pointed pottery utensils which indicate that the Banpo Man lived in the matriarchal society during the Yangshao Culture improved his productivity greatly. With the progress of material civilization, people began to seek for a spiritual civilization. The pottery wind instrument known as xun unearthed in Banpo is the earliest musical instrument so far in Chi- na. In 1985, a Chinese folk musician played music pieces on it, arousing great interest among the international musical circles.

China went into the Longshan Culture period about 5,000 years ago. The Longshan Culture was so named after Longshan Township, Zhangqiu County, Shandong Province, where it was first discovered. Village ruins representative of Longshan Culture are scattered extensively across a large area in Shaanxi province, with a dense concentration along the Weihe River.

Ever since the Longshan Culture, mankind had moved into a period of patriarchal clan society. With social and economic develop- ment, men replaced women and played a dominant role in social ac- tivities. Thanks to the "fast wheel" method adopted in the art of pottery-making, the earthen ware made thus were evenly thick and enjoyed a great variety of style. Additionally, the painted pottery disappeared, and the grey pottery emerged.

This is a gigantic of Emperor Huangdi's Mausoleum, which is located in Huangling County in Northern Shaanxi Province. Huang- di was born about 4,700 years ago, an outstanding leader of the Huaxia tribesmen in the patriarchal clan society during the Long- shan Culture. Shaanxi was then the central area of their activities. Under the Leadership of Huangdi, the Huaxia tribesmen unified the Chinese nation after fighting 53 battles. Therefore, Huangdi was considered as the forefather of the Chinese nation. Every year dur- ing Qingming (Tomb-cleaning) Festival, people of Chinese origin from home and abroad come here to seek their ancestral roots and offer sacrifices to their ancestor.

The Prehistoric Age

the Zhou Dynasty (771--221 B. C. )

The Qin Dynasty (221--206 B. C. )

The Han Dynasty (206B. C. --220A. D. )

The Wei, Jin, South & North Dynasties (220--581 A. D. )

The Sui and Tang Dynasties (5817-907 A. D. )

The Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties (960--1840 A. D. )

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