Earliest times to 4000 BCE: The Beginnings of Human Society
ca. 460,000 to 220,000 BCE
"Peking Man"     Neolithic China, Yangshao
ca. 10,000 to 2,000 BCE
Paleolithic and Neolithic Japan, Jomon
ca. 50,000 to 300 BCE
Neolithic Korea
ca. 7,000 to 900 BCE
Neolithic Southeast Asia
ca. 7,000 to 1,500
Mesolithic & Neolithic South Asia, Indus Valley / Early Harappan
ca. 9,000 to 1,000 BCE
Related Timelines from Other Websites
Table of Contents - Earliest times to 4000 BCE

| Index of Topics for All Time Periods |

CHINA: HISTORY-ARCHAEOLOGY

Early Humans

ca. 8,000 to 5,000 BCE
Rice Was First Grown at Least 9,400 Years Ago in China [The Atlantic]
"Around 10,000 years ago, as the Pleistocene gave way to our current geological epoch, a group of hunter-gathers near China's Yangtze River began changing their way of life. They started to grow rice."

Debating the Origins of Rice [University College London Rice Project]
Archaeologists and botanists have long debated the origins of rice. For many archaeologists who focus on East Asia or Southeast Asia, it has long appeared that rice agriculture began in South-central China, somewhere along the Yangzte river, and spread from there southwards and to northeast towards Korea and Japan. However, archaeologists working in India have argued that their evidence suggests an origin of rice cultivation in the Ganges river valley, by peoples unconnected to those of the Yangzte... A recent reassessment suggests that rice grains, especially from Lower Yangzte show a progressive increase in size over time between 6000 B.C. and 3500 B.C., and that this size increase suggests a domestication process.

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Neolithic Period

ca. 10,000 to 2,000 BCE
Printable MapMaps 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 MapNeolithic 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.

Neolithic 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
Banpo Neolithic Village [Ancient History Encyclopedia]

Video UnitBanpo – Yangshao Neolithic Site [Archaeology Soup]
Resource on YouTube.

Crops

ca. 8,000 to 5,000 BCE
Rice Was First Grown at Least 9,400 Years Ago in China [The Atlantic]
"Around 10,000 years ago, as the Pleistocene gave way to our current geological epoch, a group of hunter-gathers near China's Yangtze River began changing their way of life. They started to grow rice."

Debating the Origins of Rice [University College London Rice Project]
Archaeologists and botanists have long debated the origins of rice. For many archaeologists who focus on East Asia or Southeast Asia, it has long appeared that rice agriculture began in South-central China, somewhere along the Yangzte river, and spread from there southwards and to northeast towards Korea and Japan. However, archaeologists working in India have argued that their evidence suggests an origin of rice cultivation in the Ganges river valley, by peoples unconnected to those of the Yangzte... A recent reassessment suggests that rice grains, especially from Lower Yangzte show a progressive increase in size over time between 6000 B.C. and 3500 B.C., and that this size increase suggests a domestication process.

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