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History for Kids >> Ancient China
8000 - 2205 BC: Early Chinese settlers build small villages and farm along the major rivers including the Yellow River and the Yangtze River.
2696 BC: Rule of the legendary Yellow Emperor. His wife Leizu invented the process of making silk cloth.
2205 - 1575 BC: The Chinese learn how to make bronze. The Xia Dynasty becomes the first dynasty in China.
1570 - 1045 BC: Shang Dynasty
1045 - 256 BC: Zhou Dynasty
771 BC: End of the Western Zhou and beginning of the Eastern Zhou. The Spring and Autumn period begins.
551 BC: Philosopher and thinker Confucius is born.
544 BC: Sun Tzu the author of the Art of War is born.
500 BC: Cast iron is invented in China around this time. The iron plough was likely invented shortly after.
481 BC: End of the Spring and Autumn period.
403 - 221 BC: The Warring States period. During this time leaders from different areas were constantly fighting for control.
342 BC: The crossbow is first used in China.
221 - 206 BC: Qin Dynasty
221 BC: Qin Shi Huangdi becomes the first Emperor of China. He has the Great Wall of China built by extending and connecting existing walls to protect the people from the Mongols.
220 BC: The writing system of China becomes standardized by the government.
210 BC: The Terra Cotta Army is buried with Emperor Qin.
210 BC: The umbrella is invented.
206 BC - 220 AD: Han Dynasty
207 BC: The first Han Emperor, Gaozu, establishes the Chinese Civil Service to help run the government.
104 BC: Emperor Wu defines the Taichu calendar which will remain the Chinese calendar throughout history.
8 - 22 AD: The Xin Dynasty overthrows the Han Dynasty for a short period of time.
2 AD: A government census is taken. The size of the Chinese Empire is estimated at 60 million people.
105 AD: Paper is invented by Imperial court official Cai Lun.
208: Battle of Red Cliffs.
222 - 581: Six Dynasties
250: Buddhism is introduced to China.
589 - 618: Sui Dynasty
609: The Grand Canal is completed.
618 - 907: Tang Dynasty
868: Wood block printing is first used in China to print an entire book called the Diamond Sutra.
907 - 960: Five Dynasties
960 - 1279: Song Dynasty
1041: Moveable type for printing is invented.
1044: This is the earliest date that a formula for gunpowder is recorded.
1088: The first description of the magnetic compass.
1200: Genghis Khan unites the Mongol tribes under his leadership.
1271: Marco Polo begins his travels to China.
1279 - 1368: Yuan Dynasty
1279: The Mongols under Kublai Khan defeat the Song Dynasty. Kublai Khan establishes the Yuan Dynasty.
1368 - 1644: Ming Dynasty
1405: Chinese explorer Zheng He begins his first journey to India and Africa. He will establish trade relationships and bring back news of the outside world.
1405: The Chinese begin construction on the Forbidden City.
1420: Beijing becomes the new capital of the Chinese Empire replacing Nanjing.
1517: Portuguese traders first arrive in the country.
1644 - 1912: Qing Dynasty
1912: The Qing Dynasty comes to an end with the Xinhai Revolution.
For more information on the civilization of Ancient China:
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