The origin of Chinese civilization is not only a major topic for Chinese scholars to study with great concentration, but also a research topic that the international academic community continues to pay attention to.

General Secretary Xi Jinping emphasized when presiding over the 39th collective study of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee: "The project of exploring the origin of Chinese civilization has achieved remarkable results, but there is still a long way to go, and it must be continued and deepened." How to promote the project of exploring the origin of Chinese civilization Achieve more results, and further answer major questions such as the origin, formation, and development of Chinese civilization, the basic picture, internal mechanism, and the evolution path of civilization in various regions?

How to understand the great contribution Chinese civilization has made to the progress of human civilization?

The three articles published in this academic edition focus on these issues.

--editor

Chinese Civilization Origin Project——

Reveal the historical context of the origin, formation and development of Chinese civilization (constructing philosophy and social sciences with Chinese characteristics)

  Wang Wei

core reading

  The Chinese Civilization Origin Project allows more people to have a clearer understanding of the historical context of the origin, formation and development of Chinese civilization, the formation and development process of the diverse and integrated pattern of Chinese civilization, the characteristics of Chinese civilization and the reasons for its formation, etc. .

A deep understanding of the origin, implementation process and significance of the Chinese Civilization Origin Project will help the project continue to advance and deepen, and promote the publicity, promotion and transformation of research results.

  The "Chinese Civilization Origin Project", the full name of which is "Comprehensive Research on the Origin and Early Development of Chinese Civilization", is another state-supported project after the "Ninth Five-Year Plan" key scientific and technological research project - "Xia, Shang and Zhou Dynasties Project". A major scientific research project that combines multi-disciplinary research on ancient Chinese history and culture.

Through the joint efforts of more than 400 scholars from more than 20 disciplines participating in the project, the Chinese Civilization Origin Project has achieved remarkable results: the historical context of the origin, formation and development of the Chinese civilization, and the formation and development process of the Chinese civilization's pluralistic unity pattern. I have a clearer understanding of the characteristics of Chinese civilization and the reasons for its formation.

When presiding over the 39th collective study of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, General Secretary Xi Jinping emphasized: "The Chinese civilization exploration project has achieved remarkable results, but there is still a long way to go, and we must continue to advance and deepen it." Facing the future, continue to advance and continuously Deepening the project of exploring the source of Chinese civilization, gradually restoring the development process of civilization from trickling streams to confluence of rivers, and promoting the publicity, promotion, and transformation of research results require the continuous efforts of archaeologists and historical researchers.

The Origin of Chinese Civilization Origin Project

  Ancient Chinese historical records regard the era of Emperor Huangdi and Emperor Yan as the beginning of Chinese civilization, but many accounts of the era of Yan and Huang in ancient documents are mythological, belonging to ancient historical legends, and cannot be regarded as faithful history.

Until the end of the last century, some people in the domestic and international academic circles were skeptical or even negative about the Chinese nation's 5,000-year history of civilization.

Many people in Chinese historians believe that Chinese civilization began with the first dynasty in Chinese history, the Xia Dynasty. However, some foreign scholars and some domestic scholars doubt or even deny that the Xia Dynasty was a dynasty that really existed. They believe that ancient China entered a civilized society. The era can only be counted from the late Shang Dynasty, which conforms to the "three elements of civilization" (metallurgy, writing, and cities) and is proved by oracle bone inscriptions.

  In order to eliminate the doubts existing in society and academia, to understand the origin and formation of Chinese civilization, and to demonstrate the history of Chinese civilization for more than 5,000 years, it is very important to rely on new materials obtained from archaeological excavations to study and confirm the origin and development of Chinese civilization. The process of formation and early development.

Therefore, the "Xia, Shang and Zhou Dynasties Project" has come to an end. Scholars who participated in the project suggested that the "Xia, Shang and Zhou Dynasties Project" should continue the mechanism of multi-disciplinary research on major issues in the humanities, and develop the origin, formation and development of Chinese civilization. Context research.

At the end of 2001, the "Comprehensive Research on the Origin and Early Development of Chinese Civilization" was established.

The implementation process of the Chinese civilization exploration project

  The purpose of the Chinese Civilization Origin Project is to study the origin, formation and early development of Chinese civilization in a multi-disciplinary, multi-angle, multi-level and all-round way, and to explore the background, reasons, development path and characteristics of this process. .

Multi-disciplinary is the organic combination of various disciplines; multi-angle is to study the origin of civilization from multiple perspectives such as the environment, the development of productive forces (including agriculture and handicrafts), spiritual life, and social structure; multi-level is not only to study cities The status of the ruins and the nobles, but also the life of the small and medium-sized settlements near the capital and the life of the middle and lower classes of the society; in an all-round way, it is to study the development and changes of politics, economy, culture, society, etc. at that time and their relationship with each other. .

So far, the Chinese civilization exploration project has been divided into preparatory research and the first, second, third, fourth and fifth stages.

  Preliminary study of the Chinese Civilization Origin Project (2001-2003).

Due to the wide range of time and space involved in this project, the participation of many units and disciplines, the complexity of the research content, and the difficulty in the organization and implementation of the project, the "Chinese Civilization Origin Exploration Project Preparatory Project" was first carried out from 2001 to 2003. Research".

The preparatory research includes “Research on Historical Documents and Legends of Ancient History”, “Research on Astronomy and Archaeology”, “Research on Collection of Prehistoric Symbols and Their Relationship with Characters”, “Research on Dating Technology of Key Sites”, “Research on Metallurgy”, “Research on Civilization Formation Period”. There are 9 topics including "Resources and Trade Research", "Research on Economic Conditions in the Formation of Civilization", "Research on Settlement and Society in the Formation of Civilization", and "Research on the Relationship between Environmental Change and Civilization Evolution".

After research, each subject has achieved different degrees of progress.

The biggest achievement of the preparatory research is that a set of technical routes and implementation plans for the multidisciplinary research on the origin and early development of Chinese civilization have been initially explored, which has laid a solid foundation for the official launch of the Chinese civilization exploration project.

  The first stage of the Chinese civilization exploration project (2004-2005).

At this stage, the "Study on the Civilization Form of the Central Plains from 2500 BC to 1500 BC" was carried out.

This period is from the late Longshan period to the early years of the Shang Dynasty.

It mainly discusses the environmental background and economic and technological development of the Central Plains during this period and its role in the formation of civilization, the age of various urban sites, the social structure reflected by the settlement patterns in the Central Plains during the formation of civilization, and the early civilizations in the Central Plains. shape, etc.

The reason for starting from the Central Plains is that the archaeological and cultural genealogy in this region has been established, and there are many historical documents and ancient historical legends as references, which makes it easier to promote related research.

  The second stage of the Chinese Civilization Origin Project (2006-2008).

On the basis of the first stage, the time scope of the study was extended to 3500 BC-1500 BC, and the spatial scope was extended from the middle reaches of the Yellow River to the upper, middle and lower reaches of the Yellow River, the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River and the Liaohe River Basin. To study the age, environmental changes, economic and technological development status and social structure changes of urban and regional central sites and their archaeological cultures in this time period.

  The third stage of the Chinese civilization exploration project (2009-2012).

Continue to deepen the research on the basis of the previous stage. The time range of the research is still from 3500 BC to 1500 BC. The key research topics include the improvement of the archaeological and cultural chronology of the Yellow River, the Yangtze River and the Western Liaohe River Basin and the progress of civilization in various places. Chronological research on major events, research on the relationship between environmental changes and civilization evolution in various regions, research on the development of technology and industry in various regions, and the relationship between important resources such as copper, jade, and salt and the formation of civilization, urban settlements and regional centers Research on the social structure reflected by sexual settlements, research on the development of spiritual culture in the process of civilization formation, and overall research on the formation and early development of Chinese civilization.

  The fourth stage of the Chinese civilization exploration project (2013-2018).

The work of this stage is mainly to continue to carry out research on several major topics set in the third stage, such as the age, environment, production, social structure reflected by the city and settlement, and integration research, and on this basis, the fourth stage final report is formed.

  The fifth stage of the Chinese civilization exploration project (2020-2024).

This stage still continues the policy and technical route of the first four stages of the source exploration project. Important sites newly discovered in recent years from 5,500 to 3,500 years ago were included in the project, and the theoretical interpretation was strengthened.

Significance of Chinese Civilization Origin Project

  Guided by dialectical materialism and historical materialism, the project of exploring the origin of Chinese civilization, through archaeological excavation and multidisciplinary research, has proven with solid archaeological materials and comprehensive research results that the 5,000-year-old civilization of the Chinese nation is a true and credible history.

This conclusive understanding has far-reaching significance for us to understand the long history of Chinese civilization, enhance historical and cultural self-confidence, and promote the realization of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.

  First, through large-scale archaeological surveys and excavations of urban sites such as Liangzhu in Zhejiang, Shijiahe in Hubei, Taosi in Shanxi, Shimao in Shaanxi, Erlitou in Henan, etc., the central sites in various regions (such as Shuanghuai in Henan) have been investigated. The archaeological work of Shuhe Xipo, Jiaojia of Shandong, Niuheliang of Liaoning, Lingjiatan of Anhui, Shijiahe of Hubei, Baodun of Sichuan, etc.) has obtained a series of important archaeological discoveries, which prove that the period from 5300 to 4000 years ago , the civilization process of each region has made great progress.

On the basis of the development of agriculture and handicraft production, the social division of labor and the differentiation of the rich and the poor have intensified, and there have been rulers who hold military command and worship power and are above the society—the king and the bureaucratic stratum who serve his rule. A relatively stable and centripetal regional polity-state was formed, and successively entered the early civilized society.

  Second, through multidisciplinary research, the age of the capitals and central sites in the Yellow River, Yangtze River, and Liaohe River basins, the relationship between changes in the natural environment and the rise and fall of civilizations in various regions, the development of agriculture and handicrafts during the formation of civilizations in various regions, and important resources A more comprehensive understanding of its acquisition and its relationship with the evolution of civilizations in various regions.

The research results show that the origin, formation and development of civilization is a process, which is a combination of various factors such as a suitable natural environment, the development of agriculture and handicrafts, the progress of the spiritual field, the change of social organization structure, and the interaction between different cultures. result of action.

  Third, through multidisciplinary research, I have a clearer understanding of the process of exchanges, interactions, convergence and integration between civilizations in various regions, and finally formed a historical pattern centered on the Central Plains region, and have a clear understanding of the role of civilizations in various regions in the formation of Chinese civilization. has a clearer understanding of its role.

As early as seven or eight thousand years ago, exchanges between various regions of China took place, and the agricultural technology of rice and millet farming was spread everywhere, laying an economic foundation for the development of civilizations in various places.

People from all over the world gradually formed a common belief in mutual exchanges.

In the process, the Central Plains brought together advanced cultural factors from all over the country, formed a profound ideological foundation for the diverse and integrated pattern of Chinese civilization, and laid a solid ideological foundation for the formation and development of a unified multi-ethnic country.

  Fourth, a large number of archaeological discoveries show that the Chinese civilization is indigenous, originated and formed on its own basis, but is not closed.

In the long process of formation and development, there have been various exchanges between Chinese civilization and other civilizations.

About 5,000 years ago, the upper reaches of the Yellow River received new technologies such as making copper utensils, cultivating wheat, and raising cattle and sheep that originated from ancient civilizations in West Asia.

At the same time, the cultivation of rice, millet, and millet that originated in China in prehistoric times also spread to West Asia and other regions.

In particular, it should be pointed out that the Chinese civilization digested and absorbed the metallurgy from the West Asia region, and invented the technology of casting copper bells and even bronze vessels in the middle reaches of the Yellow River about 4,300 years ago.

In the Xia and Shang dynasties, the craftsmanship of bronze vessels developed by leaps and bounds, forming the world's leading bronze civilization.

  Fifth, and most importantly, in the process of implementing the project to explore the origin of Chinese civilization, we adhere to the guidance of dialectical materialism and historical materialism, adhere to the Marxist concept of the state that "the state is the generalization of civilized society", and take the state's Appearance is the fundamental symbol for judging that a society has entered a civilized society, breaking through the shackles of the "three elements" of judging entering a civilized society.

The signs we put forward for entering a civilized society include: the development of production, the increase of population, and the emergence of cities; the division of labor and social differentiation, the emergence of classes; the continuous strengthening of power, the emergence of kingship and the state.

From a series of archaeological discoveries about the origin of civilization in various parts of China, we also summed up how to judge the key characteristics of a society entering the civilization stage from archaeological discoveries when no written materials were found at that time, that is, the emergence of a political, economic and cultural center Capitals, large and well-crafted palaces or temples, large-scale tombs with rich funerary objects, ritual vessels and rituals that formed a sign of honor, large trenches or tall walls, and a large number of weapons buried in the war reflected the frequent occurrence of wars.

The above-mentioned Chinese plan for entering a civilized society has made a Chinese contribution to enriching the research theories on the origin of world civilization.

  The Chinese Civilization Origin Project enables the Chinese people and the descendants of the Yellow Emperor and the Yellow Emperor around the world to understand the historical context of the origin, formation and development of Chinese civilization, and to understand that the 5,000-year-old civilization of the Chinese nation is a real history.

The Chinese civilization's rich connotation, splendid achievements and major contributions to human civilization revealed by the Chinese Civilization Origin Project have greatly enhanced the historical and cultural confidence of the Chinese nation, and provided a steady stream of spiritual power for the realization of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.

  (The author is the director of the History Department of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and the chief expert of the first to fourth stages of the Chinese Civilization Origin Project)

Exploring the origin of civilization requires multiple efforts (academic essay)

  Yang Weijun

  Archaeological relics and historical relics are witnesses to history. Historical and cultural heritage carries the genes and blood of the Chinese nation, not only for our generation, but also for future generations.

Understanding history is inseparable from archaeology, and archaeological work is an important work in constructing the history of the Chinese nation and displaying the treasures of Chinese civilization.

When presiding over the 39th collective study of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, General Secretary Xi Jinping emphasized: "We must have an in-depth understanding of the development history of Chinese civilization for more than 5,000 years, and lead the research on the history of Chinese civilization in depth" and "adhere to multi-disciplinary, multi-angle, multi-level , All-round, close the joint research of archaeology and history, humanities and natural sciences, expand the scope and coverage of research time and space, and further answer the basic picture, internal mechanism of the origin, formation and development of Chinese civilization, and the evolution path of each regional civilization. and other major issues.”

There are still many unknown areas in the ancient history of our country that need to be explored and discovered. In the process of revealing the origin, it is necessary to cooperate with archaeological work and historical research to form an academic synergy and promote the Chinese civilization exploration project to achieve more results.

  General Secretary Xi Jinping pointed out that in order to better summarize historical experience, reveal historical laws, and grasp historical trends, it is necessary to "integrate historical research resources and forces, and improve research levels and innovation capabilities."

An important aspect of integrating historical research resources and strength is to strengthen the integration of archaeology and history, and to strengthen comprehensive research.

Archaeology takes the relics and relics of human activities as its research objects, while history takes handed down and unearthed documents as its research objects. The purpose of both studies is to understand the material life, organizational form, spiritual culture, etc. , explaining the reasons for its evolution.

The two disciplines are independent but closely related to each other and complement each other. They each complete the exploration and interpretation of human history and culture with their own research objects, content, methods and narrative methods, or division of labor or collaboration.

The combination of archaeological work and historical research can go beyond the one-sidedness and prejudice of traditional text writing, and more completely reveal and restore the development process and picture of human beings.

For example, Jixia Academy is an important representative of the academic and cultural achievements of the pre-Qin period, but there are always doubts about when it was built and where it was built.

In recent years, with the archaeological excavation of the building bases outside the west gate of the ancient city of Qi in Zibo City, Shandong Province, the location of Jixia Academy has been determined from the literature, orientation, archaeological findings and other aspects.

It can be seen that the exploration of the historical context of the origin, formation, and development of civilization is a complex and long-term systematic project. In the absence of sufficient written records, strengthening the integration and development of archaeology and history can bring us closer to the truth of history.

  The cultural relics discovered by archaeology are the products of the historical activities of the ancients, showing the appearance of ancient material culture in different periods, the daily production and living conditions of the ancients, and the development process of civilization in various places.

Using the latest technologies in biology, molecular biology, chemistry, geology, physics and other disciplines to scientifically analyze the age of cultural sites, natural environment, human physical characteristics and health status, agriculture, handicrafts, production relations, etc., you can obtain more abundant information. , more comprehensive information on ancient human activities, and explore many details in the development of ancient history.

For cross-regional historical research and archaeological work, we can learn from and promote the existing mature experience, build a work platform and research team that can coordinate resources from all aspects, and integrate various forces to carry out research.

For newly discovered archaeological materials, excavation units and collection units can share resources with relevant research units and conduct research collaboratively.

For example, since 2004, a number of units have cooperated in the archaeological investigation and excavation of the Majiayuan Warring States Cemetery in Zhangjiachuan County, Gansu Province, and unearthed rare gold, silver, copper, iron, glass, luxury two-wheeled carriages and other funeral artifacts. The joint research has revealed a wealth of historical and cultural information, and provided new physical evidence for the study of Xirong culture, the relationship between Qin and Rong, the history of ancient northern peoples, the history of Chinese science and technology, and the evolution of the multi-integration pattern of Chinese civilization.

It can be seen that the organic combination of archaeological exploration and literature research with natural scientific and technological means can provide a scientific and technological analysis basis for the exploration of the origin of civilization, thereby more accurately revealing the historical context of the origin, formation and development of civilization.

  General Secretary Xi Jinping pointed out: "We must simultaneously do a good job in the publicity, promotion and transformation of my country's 'ancient civilization theory' and the research results of the Chinese civilization exploration project, strengthen the research, interpretation, display and dissemination of unearthed cultural relics and sites, and enhance the influence of Chinese civilization. For the early civilization stage without written records, finding more information through archaeological excavations can make the relics speak; for the historical stage with written records, archaeological excavations can make history more vivid and vivid. live.

For more than 100 years, several generations of archaeologists in my country have made unremitting efforts and made a series of major discoveries.

However, these cultural relics do not automatically present the behaviors, concepts and social conditions of the ancients behind them.

Therefore, archaeologists should work with professionals in history, humanities, and natural sciences to strengthen the research, interpretation, publicity and display of archaeological materials, transform them into new historical knowledge, and explain the origin and development of Chinese civilization and the impact of human civilization on human civilization. Significant contributions to progressive causes are more clearly and fully presented.

On the premise of ensuring the quality, it is possible to release phased research results and archaeological reports as soon as possible to tell the story of my country's ancient history and Chinese civilization.

In recent years, with the disclosure of archaeological discoveries such as tombs, sacrificial sacrifices, city sites, pig iron, metallurgy, water conservancy, horse rearing, and shipbuilding in the early Qin period, the colorful life pictures of the ancestors during the Warring States Period were more clearly displayed, and the reasons for the rise of the Qin state were further revealed. , clearing up some of the fog of history.

It can be seen that we should launch more archaeological achievements, do a good job in the interpretation, popularization and publicity of archaeological achievements, excavate the multiple values ​​of cultural relics and cultural heritage, reveal the dusty history, and make the thick history easy to perceive, more interesting, and closer to the public. , can enhance historical credibility, enrich the historical and cultural nourishment of the whole society, and better inherit the fire of civilization.

  (The author is a professor at the Northwest Ethnic Minority Research Center of Lanzhou University)

A long history, broad and profound

Chinese civilization has made significant contributions to the progress of human civilization

  Yuan Guangguang

  The Chinese civilization has a long history and is extensive and profound. It is the unique spiritual identity of the Chinese nation, the foundation of contemporary Chinese culture, the spiritual bond that maintains the Chinese around the world, and the treasure of Chinese cultural innovation.

After more than a hundred years of continuous efforts, archaeologists and other researchers have made remarkable achievements in revealing the historical context of the origin, formation and development of Chinese civilization.

Marx pointed out: "Everything that a nation does as a nation is what they do for human society." General Secretary Xi Jinping pointed out when presiding over the 39th collective study of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee: "In the five thousand years long, In the history of civilization development, the Chinese people have created a dazzling Chinese civilization and made significant contributions to the progress of human civilization." What major contributions has Chinese civilization made to the progress of human civilization?

This can be understood from the following aspects.

  Crop domestication and the emergence of agriculture.

In the process of evolution to civilization, the domestication of crops is of great significance.

Archaeologists have discovered rice remains at the Xianrendong and Diaotonghuan sites in Jiangxi and the Yuchanyan site in Hunan, dating back about 12,000 years; carbonized rice was discovered at the Shangshan site in Zhejiang, about 10,000 years ago.

These evidences show that the domestication of rice and the farming methods of rice farming occurred in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River at least 10,000 years ago.

In addition to the remains of rice crops, evidence of early millet cultivation has been found in the northern region. The earliest cultivated millet discovered by archaeology came from the Donghulin site in Mentougou, Beijing; there are also remains of similar millet crops at the Xinglonggou site in Inner Mongolia, dating back about 8,000 years ago.

At the same time, the domestication and cultivation of soybean is also an important discovery in early agriculture.

China is the first country in the world to plant rice. The spread of rice cultivation has greatly promoted the development of agriculture in different regions, enabling people to obtain a stable source of food, which not only nurtures human beings, but also promotes the progress of human civilization.

  Formation of etiquette and etiquette civilization.

Specific ritual vessels and ritual systems are an important symbol of the development of Chinese civilization.

The Jiahu site in Henan in the early Neolithic period confirms that ritual activities existed in China as early as 9,000 years ago.

During the Yangshao Culture period, ritual vessels began to appear and corresponding ritual systems were formed.

During the Longshan period, a more systematic ritual system was formed in the middle and lower reaches of the Yellow River and the Yangtze River, and a complete set of ritual vessels was used.

During the Erlitou Culture period, the development of the ritual system was more complete, and the physical manifestations of "ritual" and "music" appeared. The ritual became a social norm and code of conduct, and since then it has become the main pillar of the early civilized social order in China.

With the development of agriculture, winemaking began to appear.

More than 10 brewing sites dating back about 6,000 years have been discovered in the Yangshao Cultural Site. The raw materials are mainly millet, and also include coix, wheat, rice, Trigonella root and yam.

Remnants of wine have also been unearthed at Longshan cultural sites such as Shimao in Shaanxi and Yaowangcheng in Shandong.

The application of early brewing technology was mostly related to ritual activities, and wine ritual vessels became an important part of ritual.

It can be seen that the emergence of the ritual system in the early stage of Chinese civilization had a profound impact on the Shang and Zhou ideology of the rule of virtue and the later Confucian ideology of respecting heaven and ancestors, emphasizing benevolence and propriety, loyalty, filial piety, and justice.

Ritual civilization continues to develop in a stable ritual system and complete ritual construction, and continues to ignite the light of Chinese rituals around the world.

  Creation of text.

The history of Chinese hieroglyphs can be traced back to 5,000 years ago or even earlier.

The tortoise shell carvings at the Jiahu site in Henan provide clues that early ancestors began to explore writing 8,000 years ago.

A large number of story-like painted pottery patterns have been unearthed from the Hongshan Temple and Yancun ruins in Henan, revealing that there was an era of "character paintings" in the Yangshao Culture period 6,000 years ago.

A small amount of written data from the Longshan period has been found in Taosi in Shanxi, Liangzhu in Zhejiang, Dinggong in Shandong and other sites.

In recent years, many scholars have found that there are obvious differences in the shape of the inscriptions on some artifacts in the late Shang Dynasty and the inscriptions on the bronzes of the same period, but they were taken from the ritual vessels of the Erlitou culture, indicating that they should have been created during the Erlitou period. , which provides important evidence that the Xia Dynasty has entered the era of writing.

From the Longshan era, Erlitou culture to Erligang culture, and then to the Yin Ruins, the coherent and orderly evolution sequence of early Chinese characters is outlined: the characters of the Xia Dynasty continued in the early Shang Dynasty and developed in the late Shang Dynasty, thus forming a Chinese Hieroglyphics Tradition.

The long history of Chinese writing has had a profound impact on the writing, history and culture of Asian countries.

  Invention and spread of silk and millet farming.

China is the first country in the world to raise silkworms and reel silk.

Silk is an important invention of Chinese civilization and a symbol of ancient oriental civilization in the eyes of the people of the world.

In the hinterland of the Central Plains centered on Zhengzhou, silk fabrics from the Yangshao Culture period are constantly found, which shows that Chinese ancestors began to breed silkworms and make silk more than 5,000 years ago.

At the same time, the silk craftsmanship of Yangshao culture also spread to the surrounding areas, and even affected areas such as the lower reaches of the Yangtze River.

This provides important clues for us to re-examine the status and role of the Central Plains in the origin of Chinese civilization.

In addition, after the earliest domestication of millet farming, it quickly spread to the entire Yellow River Basin during the Yangshao Culture period.

Then, around 5000 years ago, millet farming spread westward to Hexi Corridor, Xinjiang and Central Asia.

At the same time, wheat and barley originated in West Asia spread to the Yellow River Basin via the Hexi Corridor.

The millet crops spread to the west and the wheat crops spread to the east have had an important impact on the human livelihood model in the Hexi Corridor and its adjacent areas, and have written a strong stroke for the exchanges between the East and the West in the prehistoric era.

  Whether it is the domestication of crops, the stereotyping of ritual systems, the creation of characters, or the invention and spread of silk and millet farming, they are all key clues and representative evidences of the origin, formation, and development of Chinese civilization, as well as the exchange and communication of prehistoric cultures.

In this process, villages gradually became states, lines eventually became words, sacrifices gave birth to ritual systems, and the characteristics and patterns of Chinese civilization’s diverse, continuous and eclectic characteristics were gradually established, and the cornerstone of making great contributions to the progress of human civilization was built here prison.

  (The author is a professor at the School of History, Capital Normal University)

  "People's Daily" (July 04, 2022, version 09)

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