Historical Relics

China is blessed with two great rivers nurturing the northern and southern China from the very beginning of their existence. The Yellow River wanders itself in northern China has long been overwhelmingly recognized as the birthplace of Chinese culture and reputed as 'The Cradle of Chinese Civilization'. Sure it is, but perhaps we missed something here, what about the Yangtze River?

Water is source of life. The fact that water brought up civilizations has well proved by relations between water and the ancient civilizations we had already known, for instance, ancient Egypt and the Nile, the ancient India and the Ganges, etc. In China, continuous remarkable excavations in the Yangtze River region were brought to the limelight in around the 1950s, which recorded the process of the activities of primitive human beings spanning from Paleolithic Period three million years ago to the Eolithic Period. Site of ancient ruins proved that Yangtze is also the birthplace of Chinese civilization.

According to fossil of ape man found in the Three Gorges region and the Yunnan province as well as other valuable discoveries, scientists concluded that the upper reach of the Yangtze River could be the origin of Chinese nation. People marveled at the relics that had been excavated each time, from which the track of Chinese civilization can be sensed. The Yangtze region witnessed the transitions from slavery to feudalism and experienced the evolution from the survival economy to the peasant economy. And each alternation of each dynasty marked the development of the society, although it was accomplished by the battles and wars. The most notable era should be the Spring and Autumn Period and the Warring States Period (770 BC-221BC) when the profound Bashu Culture and Jingchu Culture as well as Wuyue Culture emerged and became the earliest keynote of the Chinese southern culture.

Findings show that the Yangtze region was kept in advance in each past era. The ancient site found in Hunan Province shows that the planting technology of rice had been mastered 8,000 years ago, which was 2,000 years earlier than that in India. Silk industry is also a great contribution from the Yangtze region. A piece of silk 4,750 years old excavated in the Zhejiang Province was the earliest one found around Yangtze. Center of silk industry was transferred to Yangtze River region during the Sui Dynasty (581-618); while the period of Tang Dynasty (618-907) witnessed the prosperity of silk industry. Thus 'Silk Road'--one symbol of Chinese civilization could lead its way much further.

There are so much historical and cultural treasures left in Yangtze area ranging from tangible heritages such as ancient city wall (in Jingzhou City) to intangible asset such as literary works passed down from celebrities though all the ages. All in all, Yangtze River counts a great deal in the evolvement of Chinese civilization. It is the Yellow River and the Yangtze River as a whole that gestate the profound Chinese culture. 

Comments and Questions

ReplyBabylyn Fajilagutan ,   Philippines10/1/2008 12:13:00 AM

It's really informative. bu i wish this could help my test in social studies!
thank you!