People and Daily Life in Very Early China Illustration

Early China
Ancient China for Kids

10,000 BCE to about 2000 to 1500 BCE

About 12,000 years ago, a group of early people settled along the Yellow River. They lived in mud houses. Archaeologists have found the remains of their homes. But it was not until around 5,000 years ago that things really started happening in ancient China along the Yellow River (the Huang He River).

A new farming group appeared, and settled along the Yellow River. These were the Lungshan people. They were very advanced for their time. They harvested silk! They wove beautiful fabrics from the silk they had harvested. They used a potters wheel to make sturdy and interesting pots and vases. They baked clay bricks in ovens to make them strong, and built their homes out of these baked bricks. They did not have earth floors in their homes. They plastered their floors to keep them dry and free of insects and worms. They had a system of flood control and a system irrigation. They were a very smart people.

These early people did not write things down. So the only record we have of their existence is the ruins of their villages, and a few ancient stories and legends. Legend says that their best engineer, a man named Yu, founded the first dynasty in ancient China. That dynasty was called the Xia Dynasty.

The First Ancient Chinese Dynasty - The Xia Dynasty

Ancient Chinese Dynasties

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