The Neolithic Age refers to period of archaeological culture between Paleolithic and Bronze Age, usually between 10,000 and 4,000 years ago, but in many regions it can extend up to 3,000 years ago. The Neolithic Age is a critical period when humanity gradually moved from a barbarian society to a civilized age. During this period, people gradually learned how to farm and livestock. China is one of first countries in world to practice agriculture and is also birthplace of rice and millet. Neolithic culture in China also played an important role in world.
About 6000 BC Neolithic cultures appeared in both northern and southern China, most famous of which was Dadiwan culture. Millet and rapeseed, which are 7,000 years old, have been found in Dadiwan culture, proving that this is one of origins of Chinese agriculture. The Dadiwan culture had a profound impact in Yellow River basin, and later Yangshao cultures and Majiayao culture developed from this base. In addition to Dadiwan culture, in 6000 BC. Peiligang, Howli, Xinglongwa, Qishang, and Pengtoushan cultures also emerged. The origin of Chinese civilization can be described as full of stars.
5000 years ago, China's maternal clan society gradually reached its peak. At this time, Yangshao culture developed and expanded in middle and lower reaches of Yellow River, covering provinces of Shaanxi, Shanxi, Gansu, Henan and other provinces. Yangshao culture may be in legendary "Era of Three Emperors", Shennong may be originator of Yangshao culture. In addition, Zhaobaogou culture, which is forerunner of Hongshan culture, arose in northeast; Beixin culture, which is predecessor of Dawenkou culture, appeared on Shandong Peninsula; forerunner of culture; The Tangjiagang culture emerged in middle reaches of Yangtze River. The culture of each region is in a constant process of development.
About 4000 B.C. e. Yangshao culture was still strong, and other cultures also developed rapidly. The Hongshan culture originated in northeast, a nomadic and agricultural culture that embodies characteristics of Western Liaohe River Basin. Hongshan jade products occupy an important place in Chinese jade culture. Among them, C-shaped dragon found in Chifeng has a unique shape, so Chifeng City is known as "Hometown of Chinese Jade Dragons." In molecular anthropology, creation of Hongshan culture is mainly of N-type and has a certain connection with Yangshao culture.
The Dawenkou culture originated on Shandong Peninsula. It is a farming culture created by Dongyi tribe. Some textual inscriptions have been found on pottery in Dawenkou. A typical is symbol of sun and clouds on mountain. This symbol may be totem symbol of Dongyi tribe. Some people interpret this as "Hao." There were such leaders as Taihao and Shaohao.
About 5,500 years ago, matrilineal tribal society began to transition into patrilineal tribal society, and burials of Yangshao culture, Hongshan culture, and Dawenkou culture showed hierarchical differentiation, which shows that era of classes had begun. In northwest, Majiao culture emerged, which was created by ancient Qiang people and may have some kinship with Rongdi. This culture is earliest culture in China to introduce bronze tools, marking China's gradual transition from Neolithic to Chalcolithic era.
About 5,000 years ago, Yangshao culture disappeared. The reason may be influence of east-west rise of Majiayao culture and Dawenkou culture. The Historical Records says, “During Xuanyuan's time, Shennong family declined. The princes invaded and tyrannized people, but Shennong family was able to win.” The culture of Yangshao, established by Shennong family, fell into decay, and chaos in Central Plains. The Miaadigou culture may have been created by Yandi tribe, and Dawenkou by a branch of Chiyu. In addition, Quyaling culture in south moved north as far as Nanyang Basin, indicating northward advance of Sanmiao tribe. In southeast, Liangzhu culture suddenly arose and large cities were built, which is an important manifestation of beginning of Chinese civilization. In northeast, Hongshan culture declined and was replaced by Xiaoheyang culture and Xueshan culture.
About 4,500 years ago, Longshan culture unified Central Plains. Of course, Longshan cultures in different parts of Central Plains have their own regional characteristics, as cultures constantly merge and cannot be completely replaced. Why did Longshan culture dominate Central Plains? It is likely that Huangdi tribe started a war against Yandi and Chiyu and established Yanhuang-Dongyi tribal alliance, so Central Plains tended to unite. In southwestern region, Baodong culture emerged, which is forerunner of Sanxingdui culture, which shows that ancient Shu civilization is also relatively ancient.
About 4000 years ago, that is, during era of Yao, Shun and Yu. At this time, Majiayao culture in northwest was replaced by Qijia culture. Aberdeen Central Plains, Longshan culture is still strong, and Simao site has emerged. However, in south, many Neolithic cultures disappeared. For example, Liangzhu culture disappeared, which may be due to a great flood 4,000 years ago or a rise in sea levels. The culture in middle reaches of Yangtze also disappeared, which may be due to continuous conquest of Sanmiao group by three generations of Yao, Shun and Yu. In northeast, Xiajiadian culture began to rise, which may have some connection with Doshan culture.
About 1900 BC e. Longshan culture disappeared. The Longshan culture is probably culture created by Yanhuang-Dongyi alliance, and now Dongyi and Yanhuang have parted ways. The Xinzhai culture in picture is early Xia culture, while Yueshi culture is Dongyi culture. Dongyi in early Xia Dynasty were also called Juyi, they had a wide range of activities and were always at war with the Xia Dynasty.
About 1680 B.C. e., end of Xia Dynasty. After Shaokang Zhongxing of Xia Dynasty, Xia Dynasty was able to stabilize, and Erlitou culture appeared after Shaokang Zhongxing of Xia Dynasty. In this picture, early Shang culture, that is, Xiaquan culture, has already appeared in Hebei region. Later, merchants allied with Dongyi tribe to destroy Xia dynasty. In southwestern region, Sanxingdui culture emerged, and ancient Shu entered stage of civilization, it is a special bronze civilization. In addition, Simao site in northern Shaanxi ended during Xia Dynasty. The reason is unknown. It is possible that Yanhuang tribe moved south, which led to devastation of north and fall of citadel.
After Shang Dynasty, land of China as a whole entered Bronze Age, and Neolithic Age in China basically ended. Of course, in south there are still very backward peoples who are still in Stone Age, but this is no longer mainstream. From above content, we can see that source of Chinese civilization is "diversity and unity". Chinese civilization is result of a continuous mixture of cultures from different ethnic groups and regions.