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China's Prehistorical Period

Hominid activity dates back 4 to 5 million years in China, and evidence has been found of early paleolithic hominids living some 1 million years ago. The remains of Homo erectus (Peking Man or Sinanthropus pekinensis), found southwest of Beijing in 1927, date from around 400,000 years ago.

Some 7,000 neolithic sites (some as old as ca. 9000 B.C.) have been found in North China, the Yangzi (Changjiang or Yangtze) River Valley, and southeast coastal areas.

These sites include a neolithic agricultural village in Shaanxi Province dating from around 4500 B.C. to 3750 B.C., which had a moat for security and evidence of wood-framed, mud and straw houses, colored pottery, slash-and burn farming, and burial sites in nearby cemeteries.

The oldest neolithic city found in China was uncovered by archaeologists in Henan Province and dates back to between 4,800 and 5,300 years ago.

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