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Chinese History

For the history buff, no other culture goes back as far as the Chinese culture. It is rich in it's own heritage and was also influenced heavily by numerous other cultures in it's long, long history.

Overall historical timeline:

The roots of chinese civilization dates back to thousands of years B.C.(4000 to 5000 B.C.) As with all ancient cultures, the first societies were agriculture based. The first dynasty(Hsia or Xia dynasty) occurring around 2000 to 2100 B.C. Chinese history can be tracked from those beginnings through mid 20th Century, by a series of chinese "dynasties". Each dynasty added to the wealth of china and it's unique culture.

Chinese Dynasties:

Much is written about chinese dynasties. Educational sites on the net have covered the topic well. The dynasties believed they had a "Divine Mandate" to rule, given to them from the gods.The following link gives an excellent starting point for a more in-depth journey through time visiting each of these dynasties through to today.

Silk Road:

  • Marco Polo romanticized the Silk Road, documenting his travels in the late 13th century.

  • The routes of the Silk Road began during the Han dynasty around 125 B.C. as numerous expeditions west from China established the route.

  • The Silk Road begins in the ancient city of Changan and traverses westward along a variety of paths into Persia(Iran).

  • Zang Qian is considered the Father of the Silk Road.

  • The Silk Road gets it's name because caravans of traders travelling westward brought with them silk material which was exotic, soft and colorful, quickly gained popularity.

  • While silk transport and trade is the root for it's name, caravans and traders carried a wide variety of goods.

  • The "Silk Road" name was coined by German scholar Von Richthofen in the nineteenth century.

  • The Silk Road experienced a long up and down history. Warring tribes, the impact of different dynasties, the effects of harsh climate in the region and eventually alternate means of moving people and goods, especially ocean routes all impacted the popularity and use of the route over thousands of years.

  • A very significant blending of cultures existed along the route, caused by both the traders passing through and the many tribes and dynasties warring across this area.

  • Today, the route is not a means of travel, but retains much historic, archeologic and some tourist value.


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