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History of Hunan

Hunan is a province of China with a long history.According to a number of discoveries,modern human lived in Hunan in 8,000-Hunan History12,000 years ago.The historic site of  Fuyan Cave, Yuchanyan Cave, Chengtoushan, Squarish Four-ram Zun, bamboo slips unearthed from Liye which date back to the Qin Dynasty, the Mawangdui Han Dynasty Tombs and the southern Great Wall all bear witness to the length of Hunan’s history. 

Prehistoric Times 

According to the historical records, human activities can be traced back to at least 50,000-100,000 years ago within the boundary of Hunan.The paddy discovered at the ruins of Yuchanyan Cave in south Hunan's Daoxian county, traced back to 15,000 years ago. It is known as the earliest paddy sample in the world, demonstrating a transition trend from wild paddy to artificial cultivation. According to archeological excavations from Pengtoushan Site in Lixian county, Hunan has entered the Neolithic Age since 9,000 years ago. According to archeological excavations from Mengxi Sanyuan Palace site in Lixian county and Huachenggang site in Anxiang county, Hunan reached the boom period of matriarchal clan society 6,500 years ago. According to archeological excavations from Huachenggang site in Anxiang county and Chegu Mountain site in Huarong county, Hunan entered patriarchal society 5,000 years ago. 

Read More: A Brief Prehistory of Hunan Legend about Ehuang and Nvying  

  Tour Guide of Mausoleum of Yandi   Emperor Yan's Mausoleum Scenic Area

Xia Shang & Zhou Dynasties 

2,200 B.C, Hunan entered the late Neolithic Age, with primitive cultivation culture relics spreading over the province. Ancient residents in Hunan area belong to ancient Miao and Yue clans. About 1,500 years ago, with the disintegration of primitive societies in most areas, Hunan gradually envovled into class society. After the middle period of the Shang Dynasty (1600 BC-1046 BC), Hunan entered the Bronze Age.

Spring and Autumn Period and Warring States 

During the Spring and Autumn Period and Warring States (770 BC-221 BC), Hunan was brought into Chu kingdom's territory. With expansive production of brozen, Hunan entered the Iron Age. In the late period of the Warring State (475 BC-221 BC), Hunan became a stronghold of Chu kingdom, with its economy and culture gaining rapid growth. Changsha and its sourrounding areas developed into a main grain production base of the kingdom.

Qin Dynasty

Changsha Jun (prefecture) and Qianzhong Jun (prefecture) were established during Qin Dynasty, and Lingqu Canal was dug to connect Xiangjiang River and Lijiang River in today's Guangxi province.  Read More:  Legend of Meng Jiangnv

Han Dynasty

In the Western Han Dynasty (206 B.C.- 24 A.D.), a paralle system (allowing the coexistence of kingdom and Jun) was implemented in Hunan, with three Jun namely Guiyang, wuling and Lingling and Changsha kingdom established. Changsha Kingdom was the first feudal vassal state and the king was Wu Rui. In the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220 A.D.), Changsha Kingdom was changed into Changsha Jun.  

Read More: Mawangdui Han Tombs  Hunan Provincial Museum

Three Kingdoms-Northern and Southern Dynasty 

Going through the Three Kingdoms, Jin, and the Northern and Southern Dynasty (220 A.D.-581 A.D.), Hunan became a famous grain production area for its political stability and growing economy.  Read More: Liye Ancient Town  

Tang Dynasty

During the Tang Dynasty (618 A.D.-907 A.D.), Hunan occupied parts of the western Jiangnan Dao, the eastern Shannan Dao and Qianzhong Dao. The government office for "Hunan militia officer" was set then, which was the earliest mention of "Hunan" in China's history. In the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period (907 A.D.- 979 A.D.), Ma Yin established the Post-Chu regime. Hunan became one of the ten separated feudal kingdoms that time.

Song Dynasty

During the Song Dynasty (960 A.D.-1297 A.D.), Hunan belonged to the Hubei Lu and Hunan Lu of Jinzhou. 

Read More: Yuelu Academy   Tianxin Pavilion Park

Yuan Dynasty

Yuan Dynasty (1279 A.D.-1368 A.D.) implemented the provincial system. Except that Yongshun local government belonging to Sichuan province, all the rest of Hunan became under the jurisdiction of Huguang province. Tusi system was implemented in Xiangxi minority settlements.

Ming Dynasty

In Ming Dynasty (1368–1644), Hunan belong to Huguang provincial administrative government. The Tusi system was further completed.

Read More :  The South Great Wall of China   Laosicheng : the World's Cultural Heritage Site in China's Hunan Province  

Qing Dynasty 

In the third year of the reign of Emperor Kangxi in the Qing Dynasty (1664), left Huguang provincial admistrative government office was set up in Changsha, hence the Hunan province was officially established. Read More Top Important Events in Modern Hunan History

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