ca. 10,000 to 2,000 BCE
Video Unit Origin Stories [Open Learning Initiative, Harvard Extension School]
Lecture 2 of 37 from the Harvard Open Learning Initiative course, China: Traditions and Transformations. This 50-minute lecture presentation, with an accompanying slide presentation that can be controlled separately, is part of an introductory course on China for undergraduates at Harvard. Taught by two of the leading scholars of the China field — professors Peter Bol and William Kirby — the presentations provide background for teachers and students alike. Suitable for secondary school classrooms, especially AP-World History courses. (The link above leads to the main course page listing all 37 lectures. Scroll to Lecture 2: Origin Stories and select a connection type to view or listen to this lecture.)
Printable Map Maps
of Chinese Dynasties: Neolithic
Era [The Art of
Asia, Minneapolis Institute of Arts]
Color map showing land occupied during China's neolithic period relative to
present-day political boundaries. Can be downloaded as a .pdf file.
Interactive Map Neolithic
Period, ca. 8000-ca. 2000 B.C. [Princeton
University Art Museum]
A detailed introduction to Neolithic China. Discusses the Yangshao (ca. 4800-ca.
3000 B.C.), Majiayao (ca. 3800-ca. 2000 B.C.), Dawenkou (ca. 4300-ca. 2400 B.C.),
Qijia (ca. 2200-ca. 1800 B.C.), and Longshan (ca. 2600-ca. 2000 B.C.) cultures. With
two related objects, both with lengthy descriptions, and an
interactive map with an excellent COMPARE feature that allows the user to
select any two dynastic periods in Chinese history and compare them by moving from
one map to the other.
Period in China [Timeline of Art History,
The Metropolitan Museum of Art]
A brief discussion of the material culture of China's neolithic period, specifically
painted pottery and jade carvings. With three related artworks.
Peking Man and Modern Humans [Nature Journal, 2016]
Fossil finds in China are challenging ideas about the evolution of modern humans and our closest relatives. See also reconstructed images of Peking Man at the American Museum of Natural History.
ca. 7,000 to 5,700 BCE
Jiahu [Timeline of Art History, The Metropolitan Museum of Art]
A brief discussion of the archaeological site of Jiahu, in Henan province, where fragments of 30 flutes were discovered. Six of these flutes represent the earliest examples of playable musical instruments ever found.
5,000 to 4,000 BCE
Neolithic Village of Banpo [The Genographic Project: Atlas of the Human Journey, NationalGeographic.com]
Select the section under "10,000 B.C. to 5,000 B.C." on the timeline, then mouse over one of the four orange pushpin-like icons over China to learn about the Neolithic village of Banpo, which was on the Wei River in northern China. Site removed at NGS temporarily; check back.
5,000 to 3,000 BCE
Yangshao Culture [The Genographic Project: Atlas of the Human Journey, NationalGeographic.com]
Select the section under "10,000 B.C. to 5,000 B.C." on the timeline, then mouse over one of the four orange pushpin-like icons over China to learn about the Yangshao Culture, which flourished in the Yellow River basin area from around 5,000 B.C. Site removed at NGS temporarily; check back.