Xia Dynasty (2070-1600 BC)


The Xia Dynasty (about 2070~1600 BC) was the first hereditary dynasty recorded in Chinese history books. It is generally believed that the Xia dynasty lasted for 14 generations and 17 years (the ruler of Xia was called “Hou” after his reign and “Di” after his death), and lasted for about 471 years before being destroyed by the Shang dynasty. Later generations often called themselves “Huaxia”, making it a synonym for China.

According to historical records, Yu passed on the throne to his son Kai, changing the primitive tribal system of meditation and creating a hereditary precedent in China for nearly 4,000 years. Thus, the “family world” in Chinese history began with the establishment of the Xia Dynasty. The eleven Si tribes of the Xia tribe and the central royal family of the Queen of Xia had patriarchal relations in blood, political feudal relations, and economic tribute relations, which roughly constituted the core territorial scope of the Xia dynasty. Xia started from the west of Henan Province and the south of Shanxi Province, east to the junction of Henan Province, Shandong Province and Hebei Province, south to the north of Hubei Province, and north to the south of Hebei Province. The geographical center of this region was the area of present-day Yanshui, Dengfeng, Xinmi, and Yuzhou in Henan Province.

Archaeological research

Distribution of Erlitou Culture Sites Concentrated in the Yilu Songdi in western Henan and the lower reaches of the Fen River in southern Jin, the distribution of the capital of the Luoyang region over the ages is shown in the restoration of the foundations of the first palace at the Erlitou site in Yanshui.

Although the archaeological literature is rich in records of the Xia Dynasty, there have been few archaeological breakthroughs due to its longevity, and it has been questioned by the academic community because contemporaneous written records have never been found.

Since the summer of 1959, archaeologist Xu Xusheng led a team to start the investigation of “Xia Market” in the central and western part of Henan Province and the southern part of Shanxi Province. 1953, a site was discovered in Hua Yu Village, Tang Zhuang Township, Dengfeng City, Henan Province, and this was the first site named as Erlitou Culture in 1960. Subsequently, and in the central and western regions of Henan and Jinan found Yanshui Erlitou village, Gongyi slightly Chai village, Dengfeng Gongcheng town, Ruzhou Linru town coal mountain street, Shanxi Yuncheng Xia County East Xia Feng village and many other similar types of Erlitou culture sites. Among them, because the site of Erlitou village in Henan Yanshui is the most abundant and typical, so it got its name.

Erlitou culture has the Erlitou type represented by the Erlitou site in west Henan, and the East Xiafeng type represented by the East Xiafeng site in south Jin (East Xiafeng village in Xia County, Yuncheng, Shanxi). In addition, there are views that the coal mountain site in the street of coal mountain in Linru town of Ruzhou belongs to the coal mountain type, a special type of the late Longshan culture in Henan. The distribution of the locations of these sites are in line with the literature recorded in the area of the activities of the Xia people, the stratigraphic age between the Longshan culture in Henan Province and the early Shang Dynasty Erligang culture between the missing ring more than five hundred years. The four cultures of Yangshao, Longshan, Erlitou, and Erligang present a cultural overlay in the middle reaches of the Yellow River. The Erlitou culture is superimposed below the Shang culture and above the Longshan and Yangshao cultures. The concept of dating the Xia Dynasty in the literature is that it was in the transition period from the late Neolithic to the Bronze Age. According to the carbon-14 radiometric dating method, the Erlitou culture was dated between about 2395 and 1625 BCE.

The Erlitou culture can be divided into four phases, the third of which is particularly rich in connotations.

The absolute date of the first phase was determined to be 1620±95 years ago (tree wheel correction for 2080-1690 years ago), with flat-bottomed sandwiched black pottery and clay black pottery as typical pottery, and a small amount of gray pottery, decorated mainly with blue patterns. The shape of the basin and jar items of the first phase is similar to the items excavated from the late Longshan site in Henan.

The second period of pottery to gray pottery mainly black pottery for the second, fine rope pattern mostly, blue pattern reduced. In the third and fourth periods, sandwiched gray pottery and clay gray pottery are mostly used, black pottery is rare, coarse rope pattern appears for the first time, and rope pattern almost completely replaces blue pattern. Its absolute age was determined as 1245±90 years ago (tree wheel correction: 1590 years ago-1300 years ago), which is comparable to that of early Shang. The difference between Phase I and II and Phase III and IV is significant.

Bronze appeared for the first time in the third phase, indicating that the three and four phases of Erlitou culture has entered the Bronze Age. Yanshis Erlitou site three or four layers have unearthed more than a hundred pieces of bronze, one or two phases are not a piece, and even red copper slag have not seen. If it is determined that the second phase of the Erlitou Xia culture, “Mozi”, “Zuo Zhuan” wrote that the Xia people “cast tripods in Kunwu”, “cast tripods like things” and other records may not be credible. From the characteristics of the excavated artifacts, the first and second phase is similar to the late Longshan culture of Henan Coal Mountain site type, three or four phase is closer to the early Shang Erligang culture Loda Temple phase.

Scholars still disagree on whether this four-phase culture and the late Longshan culture in Henan belong to the Xia culture. The main views are the following fourteen.

The Yangshao culture is the Xia culture.

(Typical) Longshan culture is a Xia culture.

The gray pottery culture is a Xia culture.

The Qi culture is a summer culture.

The Longshan culture in Henan is a Xia culture.

The Late Longshan Culture of Henan and the First Phase of the Erlitou Culture are Xia cultures.

The Late Longshan Culture and the Erlitou Culture I and II of Henan are Xia cultures, while III and IV belong to the Early Shang culture.

The Late Longshan culture of Henan and the full four phases of the Erlitou culture belong to the Xia culture.

The Erlitou I-III period belongs to the Xia culture, while the IV period belongs to the Early Shang culture.

The Late Longshan culture and the Erlitou I-III period in Henan belong to the Xia culture, while the IV period belongs to the Early Shang culture.

The Dongxiafeng type and Taosi type cultures are Xia cultures.

Liangzhu culture is a Xia culture.

All four phases of Erlitou belong to the Xia culture, while the Longshan culture in Henan Province does not belong to the Xia culture.

No summer market has been found yet, and the Erlitou culture is actually the early Shang and pre-Shang culture of the Xia period.

The arguments of both Yangshao and Longshan were not raised after new archaeological discoveries were made in the 1950s and 1960s, and in the 1960s, with the discovery of several sites of the Erlitou culture, the question of the attribution of each stratum began to emerge, either as an Early Shang culture or a Pre-Shang culture, or as a Xia culture or a Xia period culture. Among them, the Loda Temple type of the Late Erlitou culture, represented by the Loda Temple site in Zhengzhou, was once classified as Early Shang culture, followed by the sites of Donggangou, Qilipu, and Ashizou, which were also classified as Early Shang culture.

The mainstream view at the time was that the Erlitou culture was an early Shang culture, while the Erlitou site in Yanshui was the Western Bo of the Tang capital. Scholars summarized the attribution of the Erlitou culture at the 1977 Dengfeng Symposium on the three sites of Wangchenggang, Erlitou, and Dongxiafeng. The “Xia culture” was defined as the archaeological cultural remains of the Xia people who were active in the middle and lower reaches of the Yellow River during the Xia dynasty, and four views were put forward accordingly: the entire fourth phase of Erlitou is the Xia culture; the first and second phases of Erlitou are the Xia culture and the third and fourth phases are the Early Shang culture; the late Longshan culture of Henan and the first and second phases of Erlitou are the Xia culture and the third and fourth phases are the Early Shang culture; and the late Longshan culture of Henan and the second phase of Erlitou are the Xia culture and the third and fourth phases are the Early Shang culture. The late Longshan culture and the whole fourth phase of Erlitou are Xia culture.

The first two views are the mainstream, while a variety of views agree that the Erlitou Culture I and II belong to the Xia culture.

Scholars such as Wang Yuzhe and Chao Fulin consider viewpoint (7) to be the most convincing, arguing that phases I and II and III and IV belong to two different national cultures, respectively, while other views cannot explain the obvious differences between the characteristics of artifacts from phases II and III that emerge. Considering the absolute age of the excavated artifacts, it can be seen that Phase I and Phase II are basically in the documented middle and late Xia Dynasty, while Phase III and Phase IV have crossed into the early Shang Dynasty. Analysis of the characteristics of cultural relics, the third phase of cultural relics appear two cultural factors coexist phenomenon, this period of the supine area of politics, culture, a view to historical records of the destruction of Xia Cheng Tang as an explanation. Scholars who believe that the entire fourth phase of the Erlitou culture belongs to the Xia culture regard the Erlitou culture as a unique culture distinct from the Longshan culture in Henan Province and the early Shang culture in Erligang. The cultural landscape of the whole four phases is one and the same. The change during the second and third periods was a gradual change, not a sudden change influenced by foreign factors, and the Erlitou site in Yanshui was probably promoted to a capital only in the third period, so the city was built. The fourth phase, which is definitely dated to the early Shang period, is interpreted as a remnant of the Xia culture in the early Shang period. Erlitou culture one and two is the summer culture in Chinese academia has reached a consensus, and the first phase of Erlitou is not the earliest summer culture, and generally agreed that the site of Yanshui Erlitou is the summer capital Pei Xin.

The Late Longshan culture in Henan is divided into four types according to the region: Jinan Sanliqiao, Henan West Wangwan, Henan East Wang Yaofang, and Henan North Dachan, among which the Henan West Wangwan type is directly overlaid under the Erlitou I and II culture sites, and the cultural connotation of the two is very close, and Erlitou I and II should be directly developed from the Longshan culture Wangwan type. Du Jinpeng believes that in the late Erlitou II culture, there was a sudden outbreak of large-scale long-distance migration, and the subsequent III and IV phases were more widely distributed than the previous two phases, and the late Erlitou culture spread to locations that coincided with the records of Jie running south of the nest and Jiezi moving north, which was not accidental and should be related to the migration of the Xia tribe at the time of Xia and Shang. The cultural landscape of the first phase of Erlitou is different from the second three phases, the first phase itself does not last long, the Xia culture should also include similar to the late Longshan culture in Henan or Central Plains, where the late Longshan culture sites in western Henan are mainly distributed in the Luoyang plain, and the distribution of the cultural sites of the first phase of Erlitou, the total archaeological age of the two spans about four hundred and eighty years, and the Bamboo Book Chronicle records the Xia cumulative years of four hundred and seventy-one years similar. In the early 1980s, Sun Hua et al. argued that there was still a hundred-year gap between the Longshan and Erlitou cultures in Henan, and that the cultural characteristics of the late Longshan culture in Henan were still at the stage of primitive clans and tribes, and there was no sign of state formation, and probably only one of the Yuxi types belonged to the Xia tribal pre-Hia culture.

The lower layer of the Erligang culture is a derivative culture of the fourth phase of the Erlitou culture, which belongs to the early Shang culture that emerged after the Xia, and only the former phases I-III of the Erlitou culture belong to the Xia culture. In the mid to late 1980s, the Xinzhai site was discovered in Xinmi City, Henan Province, and then similar types of sites were found nearby, thus bridging the cultural gap between the late Longshan culture and the first phase of the Erlitou culture in Henan Province, which is called the Xinzhai phase of the Erlitou culture. The Xinzhuide Phase of the Erlitou Culture, which was divided into early and late phases, increased the number of phases of the Erlitou Culture to six. The cultural remains of the Xinzhai period are characterized between the late Longshan culture of Henan and the Erlitou culture, and the relationship between the two is very obvious, which is the cultural transition period of the two. 1983 discovered Yanshui Mall was built in the fourth phase of the Erlitou culture, only 6 kilometers away from the Erlitou site, which can be regarded as a manifestation of the decline of Xia and the rise of Shang, so the dividing line between Xia and Shang should be between the third and fourth phases, and the first three phases and the Xinzhai period belong to the Xia culture. And the Wangchenggang site in the late Longshan culture in Henan Province may be the earliest remains of the Xia culture.

The Xiajiadian Lower Culture, which is distributed in the north and south of Yanshan Mountain, has many similarities with the Erlitou Culture in terms of pottery production and is suspected to be a Fangguo civilization of the Xia Dynasty. The Yue Shi culture in Shandong is very different from the Erlitou and Erligang cultures, and is generally considered to belong to the Dongyi culture. It is generally believed that the Lower Seven Wonders culture, which is distributed in the Pushui and Zhangshui basins, is the remnant of the first Shang, and the Erligang culture is the remnant of the early Shang.

Summer Text

  A collection of ceramic patterns from the third phase of the Erlitou site in Yanshui

According to the literature, the earliest writing in China began with the creation of characters by Cang Jie during the time of the Yellow Emperor, but according to archaeology the earliest writing in China discovered so far is the Shang script after Pan Geng moved to Yin, namely the oracle bone script unearthed at Yinxu. The oracle bone characters from the Yin ruins are a well-developed system of written expression, with more than 5,000 characters found to date, of which about one-third are deciphered. As a pictograph, Chinese characters are supposed to have been written earlier, and there must have been a more primitive system of writing before the oracle bone characters, which has not yet been discovered. In China, pottery motifs were carved on pottery during the Neolithic period. The shape of this decoration has many similarities to later writing, and is suspected to be a primitive prototype of pictographs. Some of the pottery vessels are inscribed with “一”, “二”, “三”, “Ⅿ “, ” × “, ” individual “, ” ten “, ” ∧ ” and other simple numerical symbols that may be used to mark jar capacity. Twenty-four types of pottery symbols were found at the Erlitou site, perhaps as a primitive script. Since most of these pottery patterns appear as single characters and do not constitute statements, it is not certain that it is a proper script used to indicate morphemes.

Zuo Zhuan – the eighteenth year of the Duke of Sorrows” quoted from the “Shang Shu – Xia Shu” records “official divination, only can cover the will, kun orders in the first turtle”, about the post Xia there are officials specializing in divination divination – official divination. When divination, the official first issued the words of the tortoise to express the will to pray to the gods, and then use the tortoise nail divination, the practice described is similar to the late Shang Yin custom, if this record is true, then the Xia people may have similar to the Yin “divination” oracle bone inscriptions. However, the divination bones unearthed at the Erlitou culture site are only burned but not carved, and no signs of writing similar to the divination rhetoric of the Yin market have been found. Xu Zhongshu believes that the Han script originated in the Dawenkou culture of the lower Yellow River and was subsequently inherited by the Yin and Shang, while the Xia culture in the middle reaches of the Yellow River did not have a script for the same period, as evidenced by the fact that no script was found on the divination bones excavated at the Erlitou culture site.

The earliest two dynasties, Xia and Yin, were written more than a millennium ago. However, in the oracle bones unearthed at the ruins of Yin, the word “Yin” does not appear very often, while the Yin people called themselves “Da Yi Shang” quite frequently. It is possible that “Yin” was an alternative name attached to the Shang vassal state and the Fang state, based on the location of the last Shang capital, while “Xia” was a name attached to the Zhou people. The documents cited by the Taishi Gong should also have been made by the Zhou. It is not clear whether the Yin people attached other names to the Xia people, and the divination records may have used an alternative name for the Xia people.

Flood Legend

From Gilgamesh to Noah’s Ark, the Great Flood is a common component of ancient legends of many peoples around the world. Father Jiu Yu’s healing of the waters is the Chinese version of the flood legend. The entire process of healing the waters changed the pattern of civilization in the middle and lower reaches of the Yellow River and provided the opportunity and conditions for China to enter national civilization. Around the 24th to 22nd centuries B.C., the climate in the northern hemisphere cooled considerably. Documents record that when Shun sent Yu to invade the three Miao, “there were ice …… changes in the grains in summer” and the climate was abnormal. At the turn of the 22nd and 21st centuries before, the climate changed abruptly and generally turned warmer, and nomadic civilization gradually shifted to settled agricultural production. Rising temperatures accelerated the melting of glaciers, and floods occurred in the middle and lower reaches of many rivers in the Northern Hemisphere in areas of settlement.

According to geological studies, the Yellow River had a major change of course in 2050 ± 150 BC, shifting from an eastern flow (Shandong into the sea) to a northern flow (Hebei and Tianjin into the sea). This flooding affected many disparate clans in the middle and lower reaches of the river, and water control required a central authority that all clans listened to for guidance, so Father Jiu and Yu were nominated. They came from the midstream region where the flood was relatively less affected. After the success of the water treatment, the Xia Hou clan not only did not give up the power granted during the extraordinary period, but also concentrated their power to establish a dynasty. This flood may have continued for one or two hundred years, and the Shang tribal leader Med, who lived in the lower reaches, would also die during the water control process in the middle of the Xia Dynasty. The Longshan culture of Henan in the west of Henan and south of Jin was continued in the Erlitou culture, while the Longshan culture of Shandong, which flourished before the flood, declined at this time and even experienced a cultural regression.

The authenticity of the prehistoric floods confirms the history of the eve of the Xia dynasty, but also reveals some suspicious aspects of the accounts of the Jiu-Yu flood control. The literature concludes that the failure of Father Jiu’s flood control was to block the flood and the success of Yu’s was to divert it, but blocking the flood was a consistent flood control measure, not so much that Father Jiu was put to death. Qu Yuan questioned, “How can we fill in the flood water when it is extremely deep? The place nine then, what to grave of? The river and the sea should be dragon? What is the end of the calendar? What is the history of Father Jiu’s camp? What did Yu do?” The story is that the great father, Father Jiu, did not understand how Yu subdued the flood. It is hard to believe that Yu subdued the floods by merely diverting the rivers. It is hard to believe that Yu subdued the floods only by diverting the rivers. During his reign, the climate improved, the monsoon rainfall normalized, the vegetation recovered, and the major rivers completed their diversions.

In a paper published in the journal Science in July 2016, Wu Qinglong, a professor in the Department of Geography at Nanjing Normal University, and Granger, a professor at Purdue University, jointly showed that a landslide caused by a major earthquake in the Qinghai Province area around 1920 B.C. was followed by a weir that blocked the Yellow River and then collapsed when the water overflowed a few months later. This led to a great flood that plagued the lower 2,000 kilometers of the river and was 38 meters above the modern river level. Therefore, it is possible that the Great Flood existed in Dayu’s time, but not in the 5,000 to 6,000 years of general awareness, but in the 4,000 years of Dayu’s time, when it was possible for one person to lead the people to divert the river to seek a way out and finally gain political leadership. The so-called diversion may not be a mythical exaggeration of the diversion of the Yellow River or large tributaries, but a network of ditches to channel water around the limited population of the time.



According to ancient Chinese literature, before the establishment of the Xia Hou clan, there were frequent wars between the Xia tribe and other surrounding tribes for the leadership of the alliance. The Xia tribe gradually emerged after Zhuan Xu in ancient Chinese history. A number of ancient texts trace the Xia tribe to Zhuan Xu. Among them, “Shi Ji – Xia Ben Ji” and “Da Dai Li Ji – Di Lineage” claim that Father Father is the son of Zhuan Xu, but there are also certain documents that say Father is the fifth generation grandson of Zhuan Xu. These documents show that the Xia are most likely a descendant of the Zhuan Xu tribe. It is said that the Xia originated in the Minshan Mountains in the upper reaches of the Minjiang River at the junction of the three provinces of Sichuan, Gansu and Qinghai, and then gradually moved along the upper reaches of the ancient Han River, through the middle and lower reaches of the Weishui River, eastward to the Yiluo Valley in southern Jin and western Henan.

It is recorded in the Historical Records that Yu came out of Xiqiang, so the Xia Dynasty probably originated from the Qiang tribe.

Father Yu heals water

One of the earliest documented members of the Xia clan was Father Jiu. In the State Language – Zhou Language, it is said that Father Jiu, as the head of the Xia clan, was enthroned in Chong, and was therefore called “Chong Bo Jiu”. Later, Yu succeeded Jiu as “Chong Bo Yu”. This indicates that the early Xia tribe was active near Chong Mountain. At that time, the river was flooded and many tribes formed a tribal alliance to fight the flood. The reason for the failure was probably because he was not good at uniting his people and other tribes. According to “Shang Shu – Yao Dian”, Yao initially thought that Father Jiu had destroyed his tribe and destroyed good people, so he opposed Father Jiu’s leadership of the water control, indicating that many tribes were dissatisfied with Father Jiu when he was leading the water control. In the “Shang Shu – Hong Fan” and “Guo Yu – Lu Yu”, it is also mentioned that “Father Jiu blocked the flood waters”, which means that Father Jiu mainly used earth and wood to block the flood waters, perhaps this is also one of the reasons why Father Jiu failed to control the water for nine years. After Father Jiu failed to heal the flood, he was put to death at Mount Yu on the coast of the Yellow Sea in the east.

 The picture of Dayu ruling the water with Lei Lei in his hand (Topography of Wuliang Ancestral Hall, Jiaxiang, Shandong Province, engraved in Han Dynasty)

After the death of Father Jiu, Yu was appointed by Shun to take over the job of water control. He improved his father’s method of water management, channeled the rivers, and united the tribesmen and finally cured the floods. In the Records of the Xia Dynasty, it is written that Yu “labored for thirteen years outside his home, and did not enter the house for three times” during the water control process. The Mengzi-Teng Wen Gong mentions Yu’s water management methods: “He dredged the nine rivers, boiled the Ji and Luo and injected them into the sea; he drained the Ru and Han, and drained the Huai and Si and injected them into the river.” Yu also advocated agriculture, emphasizing that “the world can be cultivated by farming. “Han Fei Zi – five moths” praised Yu “body to carry Lei separate the grain for the people first, the stock is not bruised, the shin is not hairy, although the labor of the subject is not suffering from this carry on.”

Due to Yu’s success in healing water and promoting agricultural production, the Xia tribe grew in power. Shun then sent Yu to crush the Sanmiao. Yu repeatedly defeated the three Miao and drove them to the Dan River and Han River basin, consolidating his power. In the Mozi – Non Attack, it is said that after Yu defeated the Sanmiao, “the world was quiet when the gods and people did not disobey the great pole of the Qing system.” It can be explained that after Yu’s victory in water control and crushing the three Miao, the Xia tribe had become the head of the tribal alliance. After Shun gave the throne to Yu, Yu called an alliance of tribes at Mount Tushan and conquered the Three Miao again. According to Zuo Zhuan, “all the nations who held jade and silk” participated in the alliance at Mount Tushan, which shows the appeal of the Xia tribe. In one case, the leader of the Fangfeng clan was executed by Yu for being late for the alliance at the Huiji tribe. It is also recorded in ancient documents that Yu paid tribute to the tribes according to their distance, which shows the economic control of the Xia tribe over its neighboring tribes. Yu had nominated Gaotao, a popular leader in the East, as his successor to show his respect for the traditional system of meditation. However, Gaotao did not wait for the meditation and died before Yu. However, many tribes did not support him, and instead they supported Yu’s son, Qi.

Home World

 Xia Wangqi

After Yu’s death, Yi did not receive a position of power, but instead, with the support of the people, Qi received a position of power. Accounts of this period of history vary. The Ancient Book of the Bamboo Chronicle states that after Yi’s accession, Qi killed him and took the throne. Another says that after Yi succeeded to the throne, some tribes did not submit to Yi, but supported him and waged a war against his tribe, and finally Qi won and took the throne. Afterwards, Yi led an alliance with the Eastern barbarians to crush Qi. After several years of struggle, Qi established his position as the head of the tribal alliance. The common denominator in the pre-Qin texts is that the “public world” became the “family world” and the concept of “state” emerged in the Central Plains of China. This was the beginning of what many historians consider to be China’s first hereditary dynasty, the Xia Dynasty. Subsequently, many tribes, who were inclined to the Zen tradition, questioned the power of Qi. The Youhu clan on the outskirts of Qi’s capital rose up in righteousness and led a coalition of tribes to invade Qi’s capital and fought against his army at Gan. Before the battle, Qi claimed that his position of power was “Kung Xing Tian”, which was the prototype of the theory of the Son of Heaven of the Zhou Dynasty. With the approval of the people of the Central Plains, Qi had an overwhelming numerical advantage and eventually defeated the Youhu clan and was punished by being relegated to the status of a herding slave. These two victories represented a shift in the dominant social perception of the Central Plains from the primitive Zen system to a hereditary system.

The original surname of the Xia clan was Si, but from the beginning of Kai, the surname was changed to the name of the country “Xia”. At the same time, Qi no longer used the title Bo, but the name Hou, which is “Xia Hou Qi”. Qi could sing and dance well, and often held feasts. One of the biggest feasts was held at Juntai, which is the “Juntai Festival”, where he also performed songs and dances at the “Tianmu Wilderness”. In the Shanhaijing – Overseas Western Classic, it is recorded that when Qi danced, “he used the cataract in his left hand and the ring in his right hand, and he wore a jade jade jade.” There are even some documents which say that Qi once went to heaven to get music and dance. The ancient Chinese texts of music and dance, “Nine Arguments”, “Nine Songs” and “Nine Strokes”, all claim that Qi was the original author. During the reign of Qi, his son Wu Guan was often in turmoil. The Han Fei Zi (Han Fei Zi) says that he “harmed the state, hurt the people, and corrupted the law” and was eventually executed. In addition to internal disputes among the Xia clan, he also often fought with the Eastern barbarians in order to fight for the authority of the tribal alliance.

Taikang loses its country

Statue of Dayu (painted by Song-Ma Lin) The loom inherits the career of Dayu in a comprehensive manner

After the death of Xia Qi, his son Taikang succeeded to the throne. During his reign, the authority of the Xia tribe was weakened, and the Eastern Yi tribe, Taihao and Shaohao, took the opportunity to advance westward. There was a leader of the Eastern Yi tribe who was good at shooting. Yi led his army to move from Mao, a territory of the Eastern Yi tribe, to Poverty Rock, a territory of the Xia Hou clan, and intermarried with the local Xia people, forming the You Poor Clan. Yi took over the Xia government with the support of the Xia people. After that, Taikang went to the Pixin clan in Pixin.

After Yi seized power, he did not claim the throne, but made Zhongkang, the brother of Taikang, the king. But in fact the state affairs were all governed by Yi. This move aroused the discontent of many tribes. Among them, the He and Xi, who presided over the celestial activities, were openly opposed. Yi said they abolished the time and chaos, and sent Yin to lead the army to invade the Xi and the two clans, before the war made a pledge “Yin Zheng”, in the battle won.

After the death of Zhongkang, his sons succeeded him. After that, he defected to the two clans with the same surname as Xia, namely, the Pulgin and the Pugun. From then on, Yi inherited the throne alone. Yi was good at shooting and hunting, but not good at governing. After he got the power, he was like Taikang, who was good at hunting and neglected the affairs of the state. He discarded loyal officials such as Wu Luo, Bo Su, and Long Gao, and reused his unfilial son Han Milestone, who was expelled by the Bo Ming clan. When he was young, he was expelled by the ruler of the Bo Ming Clan for causing disinformation and confusion, but was later adopted by Yi, the leader of the You Poor Clan, and became a member of the You Poor Clan. He was adopted by Yi, the head of the You poor clan, and became a member of the You poor clan. He became more and more powerful and later killed Yi and his family while Yi was out shooting. He gave birth to two sons, Zi and Zeng. Han Milestone gave his son, Zi, and his other son, Zeng, the title of his son. He was ordered by his father to lead an army to destroy the pro-Xia clan of Pulchon and Puxin, and killed Xiang, who was hiding in Puxin. The wife of Xiang, Lin, who was pregnant with Xiang’s son, escaped through a hole in the wall and took refuge in the house of her mother, Auyu, and soon gave birth to her son Shaokang.

Shaokang Zhongxing

When Shaokang grew up, he became a herbalist for the Youyi clan. When Shaokang heard about this, he sent people to hunt down and kill the Youyi clan, so he had no choice but to join the Youyu clan (descendants of Shun) and became a herbalist. Yu Si, the leader of the You Yu clan, had no children and only two daughters. He promised his daughters to Shaokang, gave him a field and a brigade, and gave Shaokang the management of Lunyi. Shaokang used Lunyi as a base to organize the remaining Xia people, and set up officials and divisions. He sent female Ai to spy on the court and prepared to restore the Xia family. At this time, the remnants of the Xia family, who were hiding in the Yuri clan, learned that Shaokang was preparing to take back the power and personally led the remnants of the Pulcu and Pixin clans to meet with Shaokang and defeated Han Milestone. Shaokang was reinstated as the queen of Xia. Shaokang then exterminated Pigs in the past and sent his son, Loom, to exterminate Pigs in Go. At this point, the Eastern barbarians, who had controlled the Central Plains for three generations and four centuries, were destroyed, ending a 40-year period of “no king”. Xia was thus restored to the country, which was later called “Shaokang Zhongxing”. Through this narrative history of the loss of the state of Taikang and the rise of Shaokang, we can see the history of the Chinese Xia tribe to pacify the tribes of the Central Plains (especially the Eastern barbarians).

Shaokang’s son, Loom, succeeded to the throne. He understood the discontent of the eastern barbarians with the Xia family and moved the capital from Huan Dong to Laoqiu in order to consolidate his power in the east. He emphasized the development of weapons and the manufacture of armor. There are often references to “loom making armor” and “loom making spear” in the literature. He also sent his men to invade the Dongyi in the southeastern coastal region (present-day southeastern Shandong, eastern Anhui, and Jiangsu). Legend has it that he acquired the auspicious object, the nine-tailed fox. Under the reign of the loom, the Xia Dynasty expanded to the shores of the East China Sea (modern Yellow Sea). The reign of the loom was the most prosperous period of the Xia Dynasty. The Xia people paid extra respect to the loom and held a “reward festival” for the loom. In the Guoyu-Lu Yuyu, it is said that “the loom was able to command Yu, and the Xia Hou’s repaid him”, believing that the loom succeeded Yu’s work in a comprehensive manner.

During the reign of Samuel, son of Loom, the Eastern Yi and the Chinese Xia began to coexist peacefully. Among them, the Drains, Yu Yi, Fang Yi, Huang Yi, Bai Yi, Chi Yi, Xuan Yi, Feng Yi and Yang Yi, the nine tribes living in the Huai River and Si River basin (i.e. the nine yi) usually paid tribute to the Queen of Xia to congratulate them. After the death of Samuel, his son Mang succeeded him. After the death of Mang, his son Le succeeded to the throne. During this period, the eastern barbarians gradually assimilated with the Chinese. During his reign, the eastern barbarians had basically assimilated, so he began to develop to the west. At the same time, he began to give land titles to the tribes of the Fang states that obeyed the Xia family. This was the beginning of the vassal system several centuries later. After the death of Le, his son, Bu Bu descended to succeed him. He led several conquests against the nine courts in the west.

Shang Tang Destroys the Jie

Jie holding a halberd and using a maid as a chair and stool (a topograph of the Wuliang Ancestral Hall in Jiaxiang, Shandong Province, engraved in Han Dynasty)

When Bibi was old, he gave his brother Bibi the throne. Bibi died, and his son Qin succeeded him. Soon after the death of Bibi, his cousin, Kongjia, succeeded him. He changed the tradition of sacrificing to the ancestors in the Xia ritual and began to sacrifice to the Heavenly Emperor. According to the Records of the Grand Historian, Kongjia was “good at worshipping ghosts and gods, and he was a lascivious man”. Many of the Fang tribes became discontented with the Xia family, but the relationship between the Chinese and the Dongyi tribes remained friendly. It is possible that this is due to the high degree of assimilation between the Dongyi and Huaxia tribes. The Xia Hou clan began to decline since Kongjia. When Kongjia died, his son Gao succeeded him. When Gao died, his son Fa succeeded to the throne. During this period, the relationship between the Fang tribes and the Xia family deteriorated, and disputes within the clans intensified. From Kongjia, through Gao and Fa, to Cuijue (alias Xia Jie), there was more internal strife.

After the death of Fa, his son Cui Jie succeeded to the throne. Jie was good at martial arts, and it was recorded in “The Book of History – Book of Laws” that Jie “fought jackals with his hands and chased four horses with his feet”. During Jie’s reign, the relationship between the Xia family and the Fang tribes had broken down. The number of tribes that paid tribute to Xia kept decreasing. Jie therefore often crushed the disobedient tribes. Ancient texts say that Jie was greedy for sex, and he would select a beloved woman from a tribe as his concubine after defeating it. This was the case with the You Shi clan mentioned in Guo Yu – Jin Yu and the Min Shan and Mao Xi clans mentioned in Zhu Shu Ji Nian. Among them, the consort of the Mao Xi clan, Yi Yin, had long been befriended by Yi Yin, but Jie took her away in Luo, and Yi Yin in anger defected to Shang Tang. Jie’s repeated conquests also angered many of the more authoritative clans. The Youlin clan was destroyed for disobeying Jie. The Shang tribe with the surname of Zi, which was active in the southwestern part of present-day Shandong Province, flourished during this period of summer turmoil. The Jie, on the pretext of the Shang disobedience, crushed the Shang leader Tang and defeated him. Tang was imprisoned in Xia Tai and was later released. In addition to the deterioration of the Xia family’s external relations, the literature also mentions Jie’s misuse of people in the court.

Jie only cared about pleasure and did not care about the hardships of the people. Legend has it that the Xia people cursed Jie to return to heaven as soon as possible, and Jie laughed when he heard that he was the sun in the sky and he could not die if the sun did not die, so the Xia people pointed at the sun and asked when the sun would break and they would rather die with it. Around the end of the 17th century before the beginning of the 16th century, Tang, the leader of the Shang tribe, took advantage of the Xia people’s hatred of Jie and allied with the Fang tribes to crush Jie. After destroying the pro-Xia tribes Wei, Gu and Kunwu, he went to war with Jie. Tang’s power was so great that Jie could not resist and fled, and was finally defeated at the old site of the ancient state. Jie fled to Mingjiao, and Tang pursued him and started a great battle. Jie was again defeated and banished by Tang to live with the Mao Xi clan in Alexandria, and finally ran to the mountain of Nan Chao, where he died. The Huainanzi Xiuwu Xun (Huainanzi Xiuwu Xun) contains a slightly different version of the story, saying that Tang “put his troops together and trapped Xia Nanchao, and then bawled at him and released him to Alexandria”. In later legends, Jie of Xia was depicted as a tyrant, and later people often referred to him together with King Zhou of Shang, King Li of Zhou and King You of Zhou as four tyrants who wreaked havoc on the country and the people. In the “Oath of Tang”, it is recorded that when the Shang Dynasty invaded Jie, Jie’s crime was only “the rate of suppressing the strength of the people and the rate of cutting the Xia cottage”. At the Battle of Mingjiao, the Xia family was overthrown, and with the support of the Fang tribes, Tang became “king” in Bo and established the Shang Dynasty, which became the first dynastic change in Chinese history. The first hereditary regime in China, the Xia Dynasty, lasted for fourteen generations and seventeen kings, and lasted for four hundred and seventy-one years before it died at the end of the 17th century and the beginning of the 16th century.


After the fall of Xia, the remaining forces in addition to the main stay in the Central Plains, there are two branches were migrated to the south and north. Jie brought many Xia people with him from Lishan to Nanchao, which is the southern branch. The northern branch entered the Mongolian plateau and merged with the local tribes, which some believe is what later people called the Xiongnu. The Historical Records of the Xiongnu (匈奴列傳) states that “the Xiongnu, the descendants of their ancestor, the Xia Hou Clan, were also called Chunwei”. The “Bracket Genealogy” explains in more detail “its (refers to the Jie) son of an ethnic porridge wife Jie’s concubines, take refuge in the northern wilderness, with the animals moved to the (that is, the northern plains nomads), China is called Xiongnu.” The king of Shang Tang, because of the former capital of the emperor Ning, sealed the summer room of a noble family of the surname Si in the state of Qi, to worship the ancestors of the temple. The historical record – Chen Qi family” in “Yin time or seal or extinct”. After King Wu of Zhou destroyed Shang as king, sealed the descendants of the great Yu Donglou Gong in the Qiyi land, the continuation of the state of Qiyi, in charge of the rituals of Yu. At the end of the Spring and Autumn period, Confucius, because of his admiration for the summer rites, also made a special visit to the state of Qǐ. In Shaoxing, Zhejiang Province, Huijishan Yuling village, Xia Yu Si surname descendants of generations for Yu to guard the tomb to this day. Guo Moruo, Hu Houxuan, Cheng Gong and others believe that the Tufang in the oracle bones is the defeated Xia. According to the oracle bones, Tufang was a powerful state located to the northwest of Yin, and was the subject of a long campaign by Wu Ding and previous Shang kings. After Wu Ding conquered Tufang, he built a large city called Tang in its hinterland to suppress and control the people of Tufang, and there is no record of Tufang’s rebellion afterwards. At the beginning of the Zhou Dynasty, King Cheng made Tang Shuyu, the first king of Jin, the founder of the state, to live here.

Country Name

The Xia dynasty is historically known as “Xia”. There are ten main theories about the nominal origin of the word “Xia”, among which the more credible view is that “Xia” is a pictograph of the Xia totem.

According to Sima Qian, “Xia” was the name of a tribe consisting of twelve clans: Xia Hou, You Hu, You Nang, Pei Xin, Tong Cheng, Bao, Fei, Qi, Zeng, Xin, Hei, and Pei Gou, with “Xia Hou” as the head. After the establishment of the Xia dynasty, the name of the country was the name of the tribe. Zhang Shoujie of the Tang Dynasty believes that “Xia” was named after Da Yu, who was enthroned in Yangzhai as “Xia Bo”. It is also said that the name “Xia” evolved from the name of the place where “there was the residence of Xia” and “Daxia” to the name of the tribe, and then became the name of the state.

The Xia tribe is active in the south-central Henan and southern Jinan River Ilo Valley

The Xia Dynasty was the transition period from tribal city-state alliance to feudal state, so there were no clear boundaries, and the Xia clan had many relationships with other tribal city-states like suzerain states and tributary states, but some of the square states were subordinated to the Xia chamber, just like vassal states, so their influence could only be expressed by their sphere of influence.

The eleven Si tribes of the Xia tribe and the central royal family of the Queen of Xia had patriarchal relations in blood, political feudal relations, and economic tribute relations, which roughly constituted the core territorial scope of the Xia dynasty . Xia started from the west of Henan Province and the south of Shanxi Province, east to the border of Henan Province, Shandong Province and Hebei Province, south to the north of Hubei Province, and north to the south of Hebei Province. The geographical center of this region was the area around present-day Yanshui, Dengfeng, Xinmi, and Yuzhou . At that time, Xia’s power extended to the north and south of the Yellow River, and even the Yangtze River basin. In the early Xia Dynasty, the Xia mainly operated in the Hainai region in the south-central part of Shanxi, and moved southeastward along Fenshui and Heshui, and later to the Yi and Luo River valleys in central Henan. The State Language – Zhou Yu Shang says, “In the past, the Yi and Luo rivers were exhausted and Xia died”, which shows the importance of the Yi and Luo river water to the late Xia capital.

Legendary Kyushu

 Map of Yugong Kyushu (the top of the map points west) (Song-“Yugong Mountain and River Geography Map”)

According to “Shang Shu – Yu Gong”, the administrative division of the Xia dynasty was based on the Kyushu system. After the success of the Great Yu’s water control, he divided the Middle Kingdom into Ji, Yan, Qing, Xu, Yu, Yang, Jing, Liang, and Yong, and took the metal quarries from the Kyushu and cast nine tripods as a symbol of state power. The term “Ding” means the establishment of power. The division of Kyushu in the Yugong is as follows.

Jizhou, clip right Jieshi into the river, three sides from the river, is the state tribute road must pass through the place. (Today Shanxi, Hebei Province, western Liaoning.)

Yanzhou, floating in Ji and Luo, reached the river. (Today’s western Shandong and the southeast corner of the river.)

Qingzhou, floating in Wen, reached in Ji. (The peninsula of Shandong to the east of present-day Mount Tai.)

Xuzhou, floating in Huai, Si, up to the river. (Today the Huai River north of Jiangsu, Anhui and southeastern Shandong.)

Yangzhou, along in the river, the sea, up to Huai, Si. (Today the Huai River south of Jiangsu, Anhui and northern Zhejiang, Jiangxi.)

Jingzhou, floating in the river, Tuo, submerged, Han, over the Luo, to the South River. (Present-day Hubei, north of Hengshan in Hunan and the northwest end of Jiangxi.)

Yuzhou, floating in Luo, reached the river. (The territory of present-day Henan Province, northern Hubei, southeastern Shaanxi, and southwestern Shandong.)

Liangzhou, floating in the submerged, over the Shin, into the Wei, chaos in the river. (Today Sichuan and the southern end of Shaanxi and Gansu.)

Yongzhou, floating in the cumulus, to the Longmen West River, will be in Wei, the river-bend. (Today Shaanxi, Gansu, Ningxia, Qinghai.)

The nine states were named after Dayu, but they were in fact a conjecture of the Warring States period about the division of the world. During the Xia Dynasty, when the state was in its infancy, the political radiation was generally not in the hinterland of the capital city, but outside the capital city through the clan system of feudal states and intermarriage and alliance. Because of the small size of the domain, there was no need or ability to divide the political area by a single central authority.


In ancient times, there was no clear concept of a capital city. The society was in the stage of semi-pastoral hunting and semi-farming settlement, and the Xia tribesmen migrated with their chiefs and the strongest members of the tribe. When the local resources were exhausted, they moved to other places and did not live in one place. The post-Hsia residence was called “Daeup” or “Xiaup”, which was the original concept of the national capital. It is written that the leaders of the Xia clan settled in 17 places, including Daxia, Xiaxu, Gaomi, Yangcheng, Yangzhai, Jingyang, Pingyang, Ji, Anyi, Xiayi, Pixin, Diqiu, Lun, Yuan, Laoqiu, Xihe, and Henan. It is impossible to verify the exact topography of these cities, but some of them may be aliases of the same city.

Fangguo Tribe

Fang states were small states formed by the transformation of primitive clan tribes. These states were located outside the king’s territory and were not under the direct jurisdiction of the Xia Hou. Some Fang states were only large tribes, while others, larger ones, had established state organizations, even larger than the Xia Hou clan. During the reign of the Aristocrats, Shaokang had defected to the You still and You Yu clans, where he undertook to be the pastoral leader and the kitchen leader.

You still clan, also known as You Ren clan, wind surname, living in Shandong Jining Weishan Lake , is the descendants of Tai Hao, Shao Hao. You still and Xia later close relations, there are intermarriage phenomenon between. The wife of the king, Lin Lin, came from You still. She took refuge in her hometown and gave birth to Shaokang. After the revival of Shaokang, she was given the title of the Ari still clan in the state of Ren.

The You Yu clan is the descendants of Yu Maku and Di Shun, who were active in the ancient Fen River Valley in the northwest of Yu and south of Jin. When Shun was old, he thought that his son Shang Jun was not virtuous and unworthy, so he gave up his position to Yu. However, the people supported Yu and ignored Shangjun, so Yu succeeded to the throne, and Shangjun was assigned to the area around Yucheng in Henan Province. After the fourth generation, when the Xia family was in decline, the young Shaokang fled to Youyu for refuge and received great assistance from the chief Yu Si, which finally turned the Xia family around, and the Youyu clan was directly related to the survival of the Hou Xia clan.

One says the surname Yan is Gaotao descendants. When Yu was old, he recommended Gaotao as his successor, but Gaotao died before Yu, and Yu recommended Bo Yi. After the death of Yu, Bo Yi followed the routine and gave up the throne to Yu’s son, Qi, who unexpectedly won the hearts of the people and was supported by the people and lost his power. He was defeated and killed. After that, Gaotao was enfeoffed in the southeast of Liu, Ying and Xu.

The Youhu clan was a tribe with the same surname as Xia. When Qi took over the position of Yi, the Youhu were not convinced and opposed Qi’s rule under the pretext of “Yao and Shun had chosen the wise, but Yu was alone with them”.

Yinzi Bo Wu was originally the leader of the tribe that submitted to Xia, and when Taikang lost his kingdom, he joined Hou Yi, who fled to the Li clan after killing Yi. When he heard that Shaokang was preparing to revive the Xia family, he organized the soldiers and people of Li and Erpu to meet with Shaokang.

The two clans were known as the “two pu” (斟灌, 斟鑫氏) and the “two pu” (二斟, 蕭), which were important pro-Xia clans in the early Xia Dynasty. During the southeastern migration of the Empress Xia, the two clans merged with the Empress Xia, and in the late Xia dynasty, the place of the Empress Xia became the capital of the Empress Xia, and the site of Erlitou in Yanshui may be the Empress Xia. During the Kingless period, Han Milestone ordered Zizhu to lead the army to destroy the two pueblos, and at the same time, killed the Queen Xia’s phase who had taken refuge in the pueblo. The remaining forces joined Shao Kang and Bo Wu’s allied forces a few years later to revive the Xia family.

The Youlin clan, descended from the other branch of Shaohao, was a powerful party state in the east in the late Xia period. The Xia Jie held an alliance in You still, and the chiefs of Youlin returned to the country in anger because they were dissatisfied with Jie’s rule, so Jie destroyed it.

Auxin, a descendant of Emperor Gao Xin, was a branch of the feudal state of Qi. During the Xia and Shang dynasties, with the help of Yi Yin, the You Xin clan made an alliance with Shang Tang in northern Bo, and Tang took a concubine from You Xin.

The “Shanhaijing” of the four overseas scriptures recorded many square countries around the Xia Hou’s “country” name, may be purely mythical or may be the ancient tribal name of the blackened.

Surrounding Tribes

Three Miao

“Miao” and “barbarian” are homophones in the ancient Chinese language, so Sanmiao and the later Nanban should be of the same origin. The Warring States Strategy – Wei Strategy records the geographical location of the San Miao, which is east of Dongting, west of Pengli, north of Wenshan, and south of Hengshan. During the Yao-Shun period, the flooding, San Miao took advantage of the opportunity to rebel in the southeast, and had been called the “four sins” of the world, together with Jiu Jiu, who failed to control the water, and had to be punished in order to subdue the people. Shun sent Yu to subdue the Miao people, but to no avail. In Shun’s later years, he went on a southern expedition and died in the wilderness of Cangwu on the way. Yu continued the conquest of the Miao and made the oath of office, “The Oath of Yu”, and fought a 70-day battle with the Miao army to overcome the Miao division and pacify the three Miao. From then on, the three Miao were in decline and retired from the stage of history.

Eastern Barbarians

 Hou Yi who is good at shooting (engraved in Han)

 Shang Tang Statue (Song-Ma Lin painting)

The barbarians live in the east of the Central Plains, so they are called the Eastern barbarians, famous for their expertise in bow and arrow. The East Yis were initially distributed in Hebei Baoding Yi County to the southern foothills of Yanshan area, in the summer and Shang dynasties, divided into four parts, a stay in Jizhong, the northern branch around Bohai Bay moved to Liaodong, Korean Peninsula, the southern branch of Shandong south to the Jianghuai region, there are western branches throughout the western North China Plain Shanxi, Henan Province, as far as Shaanxi, this one in the early Xia dynasty and after the Xia contradictions, had in the period of Taikang to the loom on the Queen Xia’s regime posed Not a small threat. The You Poor Clan, descendants of Shaohao of the Eastern Yi Dynasty, emerged from the poor sang and later moved north to Li, the shore of the Bohai Sea, where they gradually grew in strength. At the beginning of the Xia Dynasty, the You Yu Clan moved westward to Mao, which was close to the heart of the Hou Xia Clan. At the time of Taikang, when the Xia family was in decline, Yi, the leader of the Poor Clan, took the opportunity to move westward. He crossed the Yellow River to the south, destroyed the four Xia Hou states of Fengda, Kui, Luobo and Hebo, and occupied the northern foot of Mt. He then seized the summer capital of Pei and released Taikang in the east of Yu, and established his brother Zhongkang.

After the death of Zhong Kang, Zi Xiang was established and Yi took his place, thus seizing power. Eight years later, Yi was killed by his righteous son, Han Milestone. The son was killed by Han Milestone after he refused to eat the flesh of Yi. The son was then killed by Sustainability. Sustainability married Yi’s wife, Junghu, and had two sons. When Han Milestone became a brutal and feckless man, Shaokang, the queen of Xia, joined forces with the Youli clan to destroy the Xia clans, including the Youyu, Youyu, You still, Pulchon, and Puxin, in one fell swoop. Since then, the Aristocrats left the Hailu area and moved southwest. The southeastern branch of the Dongyi clan was divided into nine clans, collectively called the “nine yi”. In the Bamboo Book of Chronicles, it is written that “Yu Yi came to the kingdom of Shao Kang, and only Fang Yi joined the kingdom of Shao Kang, while the remaining eight branches continued to fight against the Xia tribe. During the reign of Shaokang Zihuai, he vigorously improved his military equipment, made armor and spears, repeatedly defeated the yi, and expanded the power of the Xia Hou to the shores of the East China Sea. The nine barbarians joined the Xia Hou in droves by the time of the loom’s son, Huai, and the barbarians and Xia got along well with each other.


The surname of Shang Zi originated from the Eastern barbarians, and the ancestor was born to Jane Di, an ancient name. Che for Yu’s contemporaries, living in the lower reaches of the Yellow River, has assisted the Great Yu to control the water. After the five ancestors of Zhaoming, Xiangtu, Changruo, Cao Nian and Hei, the Shang clan developed from the east of Ji to the north of Yu. Hei served as a water official of Xia Hou and died in the process of water control. During the reign of Wang Hai, the son of Hei, the economy of the Shang reached a new peak, and it was recorded in the Divination that Wang Hai could use as many as fifty cows for one sacrifice. In order to solve the problem of excess livestock, Wang Hai entrusted some of the cattle and sheep to the Hebe and Youyi clans. When Wang Hai refused, Mianchen killed him and took away the cattle and sheep. Later, Wang Hai’s brother Wang Heng took back the cattle and sheep from Mianchen. Wang Heng’s son, Shangjia Wei, joined hands with the Hebe clan to invade the Youyi clan and killed Mianchen. The Shang clan grew strong while the Youyi clan was declining. During the period of Lord Non and Lord Dec, the Shang clan’s power kept rising, they drew in the tribes of the lower Yellow River and approached the area of the Xia Hou clan in the Central Plains step by step. After succeeding to the throne, Tang, the heavenly b, netted talents, in Yi Yin, Zhong venom, female turtledove, female room in collaboration, began to conquer Ge, and has destroyed Wei, Gu, Kun Wu and other pro-Xia clan, weaken the Xia Hou power, “11 conquests and no enemy in the world. “Tang took advantage of the drought in the Xia land to launch an army to the west and fought a fierce battle with Jie, the queen of Xia, at Mingjiao. Tang was crowned king in Xi Bo, the Xia Dynasty was overthrown and the Shang Dynasty was established.

Political System

A number of representative state institutions and systems have emerged in Xia-era society. The state institutions of the Xia Dynasty were directly derived from the institutions of tribal alliances and were characterized by

The direct jurisdiction of the state was limited to the internal area of this clan. Beyond the Xia clan itself, other tribal leaders enjoyed more independent management and ruling rights in their own territories; for the Xia queen, they expressed their mutual relations by submitting and paying tribute.

In terms of the form of power and the system of administration, there is a duality of autocracy and democracy, indicating the beginning of the transition of the state system from a clan democracy to a monarchy.

At that time, there existed a confederation of Fangguo tribes with Xia Hou’s clan as the core of the Xia Dynasty. These Fangguo tribes were formed under Xia Hou’s clan feudal system and maintained certain relations with and were protected by Xia Hou. In the Shi Jing, the war between Tang and Jie is described as “Wei and Gu both attacked, Kunwu and Xia Jie”, which means that the feudal states of the Queen of Xia, Bo Wei and Gu, participated in the war with Kunwu and the Queen of Xia. And the Hou Yi of the Dong Yi tribe can “because of the Xia people to replace the Xia government”, can also see the close relationship between the poor clan and the Xia Hou clan. The reason for the loss of Taikang and Shaoji in the early Xia dynasty was that Taikang, Xiang and Han Milestone were always out hunting and did not care about civil affairs. However, in the early Xia dynasty, agriculture was not yet developed and the hunting task in primitive society was undertaken by the strong men within the tribe. At the beginning of the Xia Dynasty, there was a mixed scene of intermingling Xia and foreign tribes, and there was a continuous struggle between the tribes. The greatest threat to the Xia tribe came from the Yi tribe in the east, so the two tribes launched a fierce battle between the Yi and Xia for more than a hundred years, before the curtain came down at the time of the loom and the Samuel. The period of “no king” during which Taikang lost his kingdom or at least recovered from it for a full forty years proves the strength of the Eastern barbarians at this time, and also reflects that the foundation of the post-Hsia regime was not solid. As a foreigner, Yi was able to obtain the consent of the Xia people and seize the power of the Queen of Xia by driving away Taikang, which still had the characteristics of the democratic Zen transfer of the primitive society of “decaying virtue and replacing it”.

After Taikang lost his kingdom, Shaokang once defected to the descendants of Shun, the Youyu clan. Yu Si, the leader of the You Yu clan, took extra care of the young Shaokang by giving him two daughters, one field, one brigade, and transferring the spandex to Shaokang to govern, which made Shaokang gain a foothold in a difficult time. However, the Youyu clan was not directly related to the Xia Hou clan, except that Yu, the fifth ancestor of Shaokang, was recommended by Yu Shun to be the common head of the tribal alliance, and then Yu broke the ritual of meditation and passed it to his son. It seems that the chiefs of the Youyu clan after the fifth generation did not take into account the past and strongly supported the son succession system of the Xia Hou clan, which indicates that the subordinate tribes of the Xia Hou clan began to recognize the “family rule” of the Xia clan and considered the rule of the Xia Hou clan as the orthodox one.

The state established by the Queen Xia regime was a primitive embryonic state, and because of its low productivity, imperfect political institutions, and backward transportation system, the Queen Xia’s power was limited to the king’s capital area within 100 miles. The influence of the areas outside of Xiaji could only be maintained through alliances and rapprochement. This situation was a common national characteristic of the Xia, Shang, and Western Zhou Dynasties, the three ancient dynasties.

Official system

The Rites of Rituals and Rites of Sacrifice says, “In the past, the Youyu clan valued virtue and had teeth, while the Xia Hou clan valued titles and had teeth”, reflecting the importance the Xia people attached to official positions, and also illustrating from the side that the Xia dynasty had a clear distinction between high and low ranks of officials. Later documents also provide clues to the establishment of large and small official positions in the Xia Dynasty. The “Shang Shu – Gan Oath” of the “Great War in Gan, was summoned to the six secretaries, the king said: contempt! The six people of the six affairs, the six ministers and the six people referred to in “The Six People of the Left and Right” in “Mozi-Minggui” may be similar to the six ministers of the Zhou Dynasty, the six officials who were in charge of state affairs after the Xia Dynasty. The “official hundred of the Queen Xia’s family” mentioned in the “Ritual Records-Mingtang Bit” is the subordinate officials of the six officials. The number of “hundred” of the official hundred is not a whole number, but there are only a few records about the positions of the hundred officials. In the Xia Dynasty, the official positions were mostly called “Zheng”, and there were pastoral officials in charge of livestock, kitchen officials in charge of cooking, and car officials specializing in the construction of vehicles. There were also minor officials called “workers” under the official “Zheng”. In the Book of Xia, it is written that “the Thulemen showed their favoritism to the road with wooden doxies”, and the officials who went around to collect poems and opinions after Xia were called “Thulemen”. The Book of Xia also contains, “When the eclipse did not gather in the room, the drums were played, and the people went away. “When the eclipse occurred, a “dim” official played a drum to show the public, and the officials and common people ran to tell each other. The “Thuleman”, “dim” and “Scrooge” should all belong to the “worker” class of minor officials. After the Xia Dynasty, there were probably also “official diviners” who specialized in divination. Mozi-Kongzhu” records that when Xia Houqi cast the pottery tripod in Kunwu, he asked the gods of heaven through his divination official, Weng Nanyi. The five services of the nine states were the main economic source of the Xiahou clan, and there were many officials in the “official hundred of the Xiahou clan” who specialized in the collection of taxes and services. There is an overview of the process of official division in the “Shang Shu – Xia Shu”, which states that “the government should be given to the speech, the Ming test to the merit, and the car service to the mediocrity.”

Funa System

 Diagram of the Five Suits (Qing Dynasty – “Qin Ding Shu Jing Tu Shu”)

The clan feudal system of the Xia Dynasty was also reflected in the economic aspect. The “Shang Shu” contains “the four seas will be the same, the six provinces hole repair. The “Shang Shu” says, “After the clans and tribes within the four seas were all attached to Xia, the six kinds of materials, gold, water, wood, fire, earth and grain, were all governed, and the advantages and disadvantages of each field were clarified, and they were divided into three classes to determine the amount of endowment, so that the endowment was correct and not biased. The order of fiefdoms was determined according to the close and distant relationship between the tribes and the Queen of Xia. In the article of “Yugong”, the specific details of the goods assigned to the nine states are listed, and the number of goods is divided into nine categories: upper, middle, upper, lower, middle, middle, lower, upper and lower, lower and upper, middle and lower, lower and lower. According to the geographic distance from the capital of the Xia Hou Clan, they are divided into “five services”: Dian, Hou, Sui, Yao, and Wu.

Dien service: The tribes of the Fang State within 500 miles of the summer capital were the main food supply area for the summer capital. Those within 100 miles were given grain with stalks; those beyond 100 miles were given ears of grain; those beyond 300 miles were given grain with lemma; those beyond 400 miles were given coarse rice; and those beyond 500 miles were given fine rice.

The fiefdoms of the tribes of the clans of the Xia Hou clan were the tribes of the Fang Guo between five hundred and one thousand miles from the Xia capital. Smaller then larger, 500 to 600 miles for the Caidi (i.e., the fief of the Qing dynasty); 600 to 700 miles for the small baronial state; 8 to 1,000 miles for the large state of Marquis.

Sui Sui: 1,000 to 1,500 miles from the summer capital is the edge area of the Xia Hou’s power. Those within 300 miles of it could be implemented to take charge of culture and education, and those 200 miles away were implemented to play the role of Wu Wei garrison.

To serve: 1,500 to 2,000 miles from the capital of Xia is the area where the queen of Xia must exert influence through the method of alliance and negotiation. Three hundred miles from the capital city of Xia is the area where Xia Queen must exert her influence by means of alliance and negotiation. Two hundred miles from the capital city of Xia is the area where Xia Queen must exile her people.

Desolate service: from two thousand to two thousand five hundred miles from the capital city of Xia are the frontiers of the foreigners, with which the Queen of Xia has only indirect communication. Within three hundred miles are the various minority groups, and two hundred miles away are the exile lands.

The descriptions of the nine classes and the five suits are the Zhou’s view of the economy of the Xia dynasty, not necessarily the reality of the Xia dynasty. For example, iron and skeleton are unlikely to be items seen in the Xia Dynasty, and the titles of vassals in the Xia period cannot be verified. However, some of the opinions reflected therein, such as the payment of different products after Xia according to the distance of the road and the production situation of each place, should be the actual situation in Xia Dynasty.

In discussing the system of taxation in the Xia dynasty, Mencius says, “The Xia Hou’s people paid tribute for fifty years, the Yin for seventy years, and the Zhou for a hundred mu, but in fact they were all tithing”. This means that the “tribute” system of the Xia, the “help” system of the Yin, and the “cheer” system of the Zhou were actually all about paying one-tenth of the total annual production of the people’s households. The tithe method of the Zhou dynasty was to average the sum of the harvest of a household over several years and then take out a moderate constant as the amount of payment. The word “tribute” recorded by Mencius implies that there was not much coercion between the people and the nobles, and there was probably a certain degree of voluntariness. This popularly autonomous tribute system was in line with the backward productivity of the Xia period and the incomplete regime of the Xia Hou clan, and was also close to the democratic economic order of the primitive clan tribes. At the end of the Xia dynasty, the relationship between the Xia Hou clan and the Fang tribes deteriorated, and the Xia Hou Jie went on a crusade to raise the amount of field tax to pay for military expenses, thus increasing the burden of the people and intensifying their discontent, so that they finally left Xia and joined Shang Tang. On the occasion of the conquest of Xia, Tang vowed to the people, “‘Xia s sin is like a platform? The king of Xia was the one who curbed the power of the people and cut the Xia cottage, and all the people were negligent and uncoordinated”, referring to the main sin of Jie. The Jie’s “tribute” was in addition to the conscription of the militia, and the people were unhappy and uncooperative. The result was that the mobilizable strength of the Shang was greater than that of the post-Hsia.

Criminal Law System

Ancient documents record that the Xia Dynasty already had a relatively well-developed criminal law system. In “Shang Shu – Lü Punishment”, it is said that “King Mu instructed Xia to make Lü Punishment for the Redemption of Punishment”, which means that King Mu of Zhou took the Redemption of Punishment of Xia Dynasty as an important reference for the formulation of Zhou’s criminal law system – Lü Punishment. It is likely that the “Atonement” mentioned in the text is the same as the “Yu Penalty” in Zuo Zhuan’s “Xia had a chaotic government and made Yu Penalty”. However, there is no way to find out whether the “Atonement” and “Yu’s Punishment” were Xia’s criminal laws and what their specific contents were. In the Zuo Zhuan, the Book of Xia is quoted as saying that the criminal law of Xia was “faint, ink, thief, kill”, which means that people who committed the three sins of faint, ink and thief were sentenced to death. Shu Xiang of Jin called this criminal law “Gaotao’s punishment”. Although the concept of death penalty should have been created in the Neolithic period, Gao Tao, the official of Yu, was probably the first person who legalized death penalty. The “Huantu” of Xia Houhuai and the “Xiatai” where Shang Tang was imprisoned by Xia Jie are the prisons of the Xia period, which are the earliest prisons recorded in Chinese history. Huantu is a primitive prison, digging a round earth prison underground, and building a fence around the earth prison on the ground. The “Dayumu” says that “the precautions were made with rest, and the dong was made with power, and the persuasion was made with the “Nine Songs”, so as not to spoil”, evaluating that the criminal law was a means to govern the people after Xia.


The population of the Xia Dynasty is an open question, due to the age, only through mathematical projection to study. Liu Zhao had for the “Book of the Later Han Dynasty – County and State Zhi a” supplementary note, quoting Huangfu Qui’s “Century of Emperors” said, “and Yu Ping water and soil, but also for the Kyushu, …… people mouth thousand three hundred and fifty-five thousand three hundred and ninety-two thousand three hundred and twenty-three people. “The actual is Huangfu quiet according to the Qin, Han and Western Jin population backward calculation of the number. The modern scholar, Song Zhenhao, based on Shao Kang’s cession of Lunyi when “there is a brigade of people” and Du Pre’s note “five hundred people for the brigade” to make a projection, that five hundred people is only the number of soldiers can be mobilized, adding the old and weak women and children, then Lunyi should have a population of 1500 to 2500 people. This is the population of a small or medium-sized city in the Xia Dynasty. However, the phrase “a brigade of people” may not be a definite unit of quantity, but may mean “a group of people”, which can only mean that the concept of a certain number of people already existed in Shao Kang’s time. However, since there is no documentary evidence that has been handed down to the present day, it is impossible to discuss the existence of a population survey system during the Xia period, if it existed at all. Population statistics are only meaningful within the limits of a specific spatial area, and it is not yet possible to make a precise recovery of the specific sphere of influence of the Xia dynasty, so it is not yet possible to explore the relationship between the number derived from the backward extrapolation and the total number of people. In the Shang Shu Da Zhuan – Yu Zhuan, it is told that in the time of Shun, “the ancient eight families became neighbors, three neighbors became friends, three friends became li, five li became eups, ten eups became capitals, ten capitals became divisions, and ten states had two divisions”, and Zheng Xuan of Han noted, “the states were 432,000 families, and this was the number of Yu Xia. ” According to Wang Yumin, there were 432,000 households and 2.16 million people in the time of Yu and Xia according to the calculation of five people per family. Finally, there is also a projection using the archaeological survey of the Erlitou culture site. Song Zhenhao counted three citadels with more than five thousand inhabitants, one with four to five thousand, four with three thousand, nine with one or two thousand, nine with five hundred to nine hundred, and five with less than three hundred. The average population of the twenty-seven sample cities and cantons ranges from 1,000 to 1,800 inhabitants, so the total population is estimated to be between 2.4 and 2.7 million.


The Xia Dynasty was in the budding period of transition from clan and tribe to monarchy, and ancient ritualists defined the Xia Dynasty as the end of the “Datong” period and the beginning of the “Xiaokang” period. A comprehensive description of the well-to-do society starting from Yu is given in the Rites of Passage, in which “the world was public, and virtuous people were selected and capable”, while the Xia Kang period is described as “now that the Great Way is hidden, the world is home”. The “public world” became the “family world” and was not passed on to the virtuous but to the son. This transmutation in ancient times was a crucial turning point in the socio-political development of China, and its main cause was the rapid development of material production in late Neolithic society. The increase in the production of surplus goods was accompanied by a rise in the power of the clan aristocracy, which was accompanied by the intensification of intra-clan conflicts and the monopoly of material wealth by a few upper-class aristocrats. In this situation, the original democratic system of meditation within the clan tribes could not adapt to the new social situation and was replaced by the hereditary system of monarchy. The hereditary system led to the competition for power within the clans and cell groups, which led to military affairs. This situation should have posed a problem as early as the time of Shun and Yu, which is why Yu made an exception and ceded to his son. It may be said that Yu first gave up to the aged Gaotao, and then to the unpopular Yi, for which it was said during the Warring States period that “Yu’s name was passed on to Yi, but in fact he made Qi take it from himself.”

According to the Book of Rites, “In the past, the Youyu clan valued virtue but not teeth, the Xia Hou clan valued titles but not teeth, and the Yin clan valued wealth but not teeth,” and “The people respected the Xia Hou clan before they paid respect to them. During the Shun period before Xia, the Zen system was implemented, and the monarchs gave up their virtues to each other, thus attaching importance to the virtues of people. After the fall of Xia, the productivity of the Yin Shang period increased greatly, and surplus products became popular among the people, who began to pay attention to the accumulation of wealth. The Xia period was in the transition period between primitive clan society and hereditary feudal society, and the concept of hierarchy was formed up and down the society, and the value of a person was gradually positioned by his rank in the society, and this social rank was passed on hereditarily by the death of the father and the succession of the son and the death of the brother. A person was treated with courtesy in society according to his social rank, not his virtuous sentiments. The Xia Dynasty was in the transitional stage between the late Neolithic and the Bronze Age, and social life changed qualitatively while production technology improved and centralization was implemented.



During the Xia Dynasty, agricultural civilization had a great development. In the Analects of Confucius – Taibo, it is written that Yu “tried his best to make ditches and drains”, changing flooding into water conservation and serving farming. In fact, the application of water conservancy technology was developed by the people of the Yellow River basin during the process of labor practice, not by Yu alone. Legend has it that Yu’s minister Yidi started brewing wine, and Shaokang invented the brewing method of Panicum wine after Xia. In the late Neolithic period, the Longshan culture in the Central Plains had the habit of making wine, and in the more productive Xia Dynasty, making good wine and drinking good wine became a symbol of power and wealth. The ancient literature records that “Du Kang made wine”, “Yi Di made wine”, “Tai Kang made Panicum wine”, “Shao Kang made Panicum wine ” and other legends can support the importance of wine in this period. The wine of the Xia, Shang and Western Zhou periods was not strong, but was a grain wine with a low degree of intensity. In the Rites of Passage – Yu Zao, it is recorded that the ancient people drank wine and still had a quiet brain after drinking three jukes. In order to adapt to the needs of agricultural production and to explore the laws of agricultural seasons, the lunar calendar, sometimes called the summer calendar, which is still popular in modern times, was probably compiled in the Xia Dynasty. There is a certain development of animal husbandry, and some clan tribes specializing in animal husbandry. For example, after the defeat of the Youhu clan in the Gan War, they were relegated to livestock work as herding slaves. The staple food of the common people in the three generations was porridge and rice made from various types of grains. The upper strata of society ate more dry rice and occasional vegetables. Only when large rituals were held were animals slaughtered, and the ritual meat was stored underground in tripods. The remains of millet husks and rice husks have been found at many Erlitou culture sites.


According to the Kao-Gong-Ji, “the Queen of Xia’s family went up to the craftsmen”, indicating that the Queen of Xia attached importance to the manual production industry. The Xia Dynasty generation successfully transitioned the civilization of the Central Plains from the Stone Age to the Bronze Age. Neolithic artifacts such as fine stone tools, bone and horn tools, and mussel tools were gradually replaced by pottery, lacquerware, jade, turquoise, red copper, and bronze.

According to legend, lacquerware was already used in the Yao-Shun period, and was used as a sacrificial vessel in the Xia-Yu period, “with the ink stained on the outside and the vermilion painted on the inside”. In ancient times, wood and lacquer ware were widely used by the people, but wood products are easily decayed and not easily preserved, and fewer devices have been excavated in modern times. Several lacquerware pieces excavated from the Erlitou site had their wooden tires decayed away, but the shape of the pieces can still be identified. From the study of vessel shapes, there are various kinds of lacquer cylinders, lacquer drums, lacquer bowls, lacquer beans, flat-bottomed lacquer boxes, lacquer coffins, etc. In the Xia Dynasty, the manufacture of jade wares was already at a fairly high level, and Zuo Zhuan records that when the Duke of Lu, Bo Ao, was partitioned at the beginning of the Zhou Dynasty, he was given heirloom jade, which was not a practical tool. The unearthed artifacts of the third phase of the Erlitou Culture include the earliest bronze weapons in China, which is consistent with the record of “when Yu cave was made, bronze was used as a weapon”. There is a wide variety of bronze tools and weapons, such as gorgs, knives, adzes, chisels, cones, and fish hooks. In addition, traces of bronze manufacturing such as charcoal, red copper slag, pottery van pieces, crucible pieces, etc. were also found.

Xia Dynasty Neolithic period, there was progress in the textile industry, the emergence of primitive looms, textile raw materials in the lower strata of society, mostly ge, hemp, the upper strata of society more wool, leather, there was already the habit of dyeing clothes. Although no archaeological evidence of the use of silk in the Erlitou culture has been found, but in the earlier Longshan culture, Dawenkou culture, Liangzhu culture and other related archaeological discoveries, combined with the “Xia Xiaozheng” record, “March, …… ing mulberry. Mulberry ingestion and remember, urgent mulberry also. …… concubine, son began to silkworms.” It makes sense that the Xia people have used silk fabrics.

Black pottery wine goblet (unearthed in 1960 at Erlitou, Yanshui, Henan Province)

Bronze Wine Duke (excavated in 1984 at Erlitou, Yanshui, Henan Province)

Bronze Pipe Flowing Duke

Seven-hole jade knife (excavated in 1975 at Erlitou, Yanshui, Henan Province)

Red pottery hollow-footed bailey (excavated from Erlitou, Yanshui, Henan Province)

Black earthenware eggshell cup with high handle (excavated from the site of Chengzi, Zhucheng, Shandong, 1976)

Gray pottery toad sculpture (excavated in Erlitou, Yanshui, Henan Province)

Two turquoise inlaid bronze beast face medallions (1981, 84, Yanshi Erlitou, Henan Province)


The Salt and Iron Theory records that “the Queen of Xia used Xuanbei”, indicating that the Han people believed that the Xia Dynasty used shellfish coins. Many ancient cultures around the world used natural mussels as money, provided they had sufficient quantities and a long-term supply of sea shells, but the Xia Hou was a riverine civilization whose sphere of influence was limited to the middle and lower reaches of the Yellow River, and did not expand to the Yellow Sea until the mid- to late-period. Commercial transactions in the Xia Dynasty were more likely to be accomplished through grain and corn, as well as cattle, sheep, and livestock, which were essential for survival. Natural sea shells and mussels, as well as artificial shells such as bone shells, stone shells, and copper shells, were found at the Erlitou site and may have been used as currency.

Transportation and Construction

In the process of water management, Dayu guided the mountains and dredged the rivers, and played a great role in the development of ancient water and land road transport. The Records of the Grand Historian – The Records of Xia Benji states that when Yu ruled the water, “land travel by car, water travel by boat, mud travel by sled, mountain travel by carriage, …… to open up nine states, pass nine roads, uneven nine zephyrs, degree nine mountains, …… line phase land appropriate all to tribute, and mountains and rivers of Convenience.” When Dayu was ruling the water, the passage was very inconvenient, and Dayu used vehicles such as car, boat, sled and car to cross the mountains and rivers mud and sand. He led the masses to build land routes connecting the nine states, which helped the implementation of the tribute system and facilitated economic exchanges between the regions. The transportation area after Xia was at least five to six hundred miles from east to west and three to four hundred miles from north to south. According to the Guoyu-Zhou Yu, “Summer said, ‘In September, remove the road, in October, make the beam'”, reminding that the roads were renovated after the rainy season in the ninth month of the lunar calendar, and bridges were built in the dry winter of October.

The scale of the Erlitou site in Yanshui is unprecedented in the ancient Yellow River basin and unprecedented in contemporaneous archaeological cultures. It is located in the geographical center of the vast Erlitou culture area, and can be regarded as a capital or large city of the Xia Dynasty. There are two confirmed palaces, No. 1 and No. 2, and there is also a fourth phase addition of the same size in the northern wall of No. 2 palace, No. 6 base site. These two palace complexes reflect the layout of the central axis. Palace No. 1 is slightly square, lacking a corner in the northeast, with a total width of 96.2 meters from east to west and a total length of 107 meters from north to south, covering a total area of 9,585 square meters. The main hall is located in the northern part of the rammed earth platform, facing south, with a width of 8 rooms and a depth of 3 rooms. Surrounded by walls, there is a corridor with hipped walkways and a side room on the east wall. There is an open door directly south of the central axis, which is divided into three doorways, and there is a door on each side of the north and east. The second palace is 58 meters wide from east to west and 72.8 meters long from north to south, with four walls and three corridors on the east, south and west sides. The rammed earth foundation of the main hall has a thickness of 3 meters. Both the first and second palaces possess ceramic drainage pipes, while the facilities of the second are relatively well preserved. The pipes consist of multiple sections of circular ceramic pipes connected. Each section was between 16.5 and 22 centimeters in diameter, 52 to 58 centimeters long, with a wall thickness of about 2 centimeters, and was placed in a pre-excavated subterranean earth trench about one meter deep to prevent water seepage. A 5 to 7 cm thick stone slab was erected over the trench and the ceramic pipe to prevent pedestrians from cracking the pipe. The pipes have a tendency to be high in the west and low in the east, draining rainwater from the palace courtyard to the outside of the courtyard through the drop. Outside the palace area, there are crisscrossing dirt roads, workshops and rammed earth walls.



During the Xia Dynasty, classes began to form up and down the social ladder, and the artwork was divided accordingly. The artifacts used by the lower class people were practical in shape, simple in decoration, and developed in the direction of simple aesthetics. While the upper nobility of the king’s ceremonial wares to the king’s relatives to the direction of complex ornamentation, modeling of the evolution of a variety of changes. The lower layer vessels are mostly decorated with simple geometric patterns, or with livestock patterns, fish patterns, and other subjects related to agricultural production. The upper layer of ceremonial vessels are mostly decorated with complicated cloud and thunder patterns, eye patterns, snake patterns, animal face patterns, etc. The themes are mostly related to ghosts and gods. The late Longshan culture of Henan and the early Erlitou culture have considerable artistic value in the manufacture of pottery. A kind of black pottery cup with thin pieces like eggshells is called “eggshell cup”, and its gray and black luster looks as if it is made of metal from a distance. The surface of the vessel is also engraved with patterned openings. The second and third phase pottery unearthed in Erlitou has a blue pattern, rope pattern or chevron pattern and other decorative patterns on the surface, and occasionally see nail pattern, scratch pattern, feather pattern, circle pattern, openwork and other geometric patterns. Only the decorative art of practical objects was found in the Third Dynasty, and there was a lack of “art for art’s sake” works from pure artistic motives.


  A stone chime with a shape close to a bronze ritual chime of the Shang and Zhou period excavated at the Erlitou culture site in Xia County, Shanxi Province

Musical instruments appeared in China as early as 9,000 years ago, in the early Neolithic period. The literature on the beginnings of music in China varies widely. The Lü’s Spring and Autumn Period – Ancient Music and the Shang Shu – Yi Ji record that there were already many kinds of musical instruments during the time of Emperor Çu and Emperor Shun, but the names of some of them are not known in the ancient books. In the Shanhaijing – The Great Wilderness West Sutra, it is written that “the three concubines of the upper heaven were opened, and the following “Nine Arguments” and “Nine Songs” were obtained. According to the legend, the queen of summer, Qi, who was a guest of the heavenly palace by dragon, stole the Nine Songs, Nine Strokes and Nine Discriminations from the emperor of heaven and enjoyed them for herself, so there were songs and music on earth. According to “Lü’s Spring and Autumn Annals – The Beginning of the Sound”, when Dayu met the daughter of the Tushan clan during his southeastern tour, the Tushan clan composed a song called “Waiting for the Man Ruoxi”, which is the earliest documented love song in China and is said to be the beginning of the Southern Sound in the Han Dynasty. In the Zhou Rituals – Da Si Le, it is recorded that the Xia people performed “Da Xia” in praise of Dayu’s work in healing the water, and it was used as a music and dance to worship the mountains and rivers. According to the Rites of the Zhou Dynasty, only the Emperor of Zhou was allowed to use such a large party, which shows the high level of the Daxia. Musical instruments of the Xia period were made of bone, wood, stone, leather, and pottery, and the types included shakers, rattles, flutes, whistles, drums, chimes, bells, bells, ocarinas, and horns. In 1960, a gray pottery ocarina was excavated from the third phase of the Yanshi Erlitou site, hollow and olive-shaped, with a small mouthpiece at the top and a 0.4 cm diameter sound hole on the middle side of the waist, which was tested to produce a♯ and c diatonic tone of 40 and 47. A 55.5 cm long, 28.5 cm high, and 4.8 cm thick stone chime was also found, and its shape is close to the bronze ritual chime of the Shang and Zhou period.


The people of the Xia Dynasty mainly created literature in the form of oral literature transmitted by word of mouth. The subjects of songs were mostly related to working life, while myths were used to explain some esoteric things in nature. However, these oral literatures were not transmitted to the world, and it is impossible to study the literature of the Xia Dynasty in greater depth until written materials from the same period as the Xia are discovered in the field of archaeology. This can be called the pre-artistic period of Chinese literature and art. The Zhou revered the culture of the Xia Dynasty and followed the example of the Xia in every aspect. In terms of language, the Zhou believed that the common language of the Xia dynasty was “Xia dialect”. In the ancient times, “Xia” and “Ya” were related to each other, and “Xia-yin” was also called “Ya-yin”, which was the language used by the upper class people in the Zhou Dynasty. It was the language used by the upper-class people in the Zhou Dynasty, and the “Shi Jing” of the Zhou Dynasty was written in Ya Yan.


The smelting and casting of copper was an important handicraft industry emerging in the Xia Dynasty. The presence of jade ritual objects in the first and second phases of the Erlitou artifacts indicates that there was already a considerable level of culture. In addition, the pottery industry may have become an independent and extremely important industry in the Xia Dynasty. As for bronzes, bronze swords from the Erlitou culture have been found in China. If the Erlitou culture is considered to be from the Xia Dynasty, then this bronze is from the Xia Dynasty. The tools used by the Xia dynasty people are thought to be mainly stone tools. The Book of Zhou records that the Kunwu clan burned mud bad into tiles during the Xia Jie period, indicating that tiles were already being used in buildings in the late Xia Dynasty.

In the pre-Qin literature, there is a record of Xi Zhong, a Xia official, building a car. Xi Zhong, a distant ancestor of Xue, was appointed by the Queen of Xia as a car, supervising the building of cars. It is also recorded in “The Records of the Xia Dynasty” that when Dayu was ruling the water, “the land traveled by car and the water traveled by boat”, which means that the car appeared as early as the time of Dayu. Zuo Zhuan” records that “Ming test to merit, car clothing to yong”, saying that the queen of Xia issued the car as a reward for merit to subordinate officials. In addition, there is a record in the Shippen that “Hai made a suit of cattle, and Xiangtu made a ride on a horse”, and this is supported by the Yinxu divination, which proves that the Shang tribes also had carriages during the same period.

Rafts and canoes have appeared as early as the middle of the Longshan culture in the Neolithic period, and the Xia people have long relied on the Yellow River, the Ishui and the Luoshui River to live, and rafts should also be a common tool for river crossing. The Xia Dynasty entered into the Bronze Age in the middle and late period, and the emergence of metal tools provided the conditions for building wooden plank boats, and it should be said that wooden plank boats appeared in China at the latest in the Xia Dynasty. The Dongyi tribe lived near the shore of the Yellow Sea and had high navigation technology, which was a field that the Hou Xia clan of river civilization could not climb. The Analects of Confucius – Xianwen” records, “Yi good at shooting, haughty swing boat”, haughty that is the son of Sustainability watering, said he was a good maneuvering boat character, and the word “swing” can explain that this is a purposeful, human-handled navigation, no longer primitive drift. Yu Gong said, “If we meet them at night and at day, then we will go up”, it is recorded that the Xia people knew how to use the tidal law for near-shore navigation.

Astronomical Calendar

The Xia people may have acquired much astronomical and calendrical knowledge. In Zuo Zhuan – Zhao Gong 17 years, quoted from Shang Shu – Xia Shu, “the star did not gather in the room”, meaning that the sun did not appear in full over the house, which is the earliest record of solar eclipse in China. This is the earliest record of a solar eclipse in China. The Bamboo Book of Chronicles states that in the 15th year of Xia Jie, “stars fell like rain in the night”, which is the earliest record of a meteor shower in China. In Taiping Yilan, it is quoted from the “Xiaojing Haozhi Zhanzhi” that “(At the time of Yu, the five) stars were as numerous as the pearl, and as bright as the jade. “This is a record of the rare astronomical phenomenon of “five stars gathering” in gold, wood, water, fire, and earth in the early Xia Dynasty. The three monarchs of the late Xia Dynasty, Yinjia (Qin), Kongjia and Cujie (Jie), were all named after the heavenly stems, a practice similar to the naming of the Shang Dynasty kings. According to the “Bamboo Book of Chronology”, the change of Xia and Shang dynasties was marked by such strange phenomena as “yellow frogs, dim conditioning, three suns, frost in the seventh month, and the withering of grains”, which some scholars believe to be a record of the eruption of the Minoan volcano.

In the Analects of Confucius, Confucius advocated “the practice of summer time”, and the traditional Chinese lunar calendar still has the alias “summer calendar”, which shows that a simple calendar was compiled for the needs of agricultural production in summer time, combined with the accumulated astronomical knowledge. The “summer calendar” was recorded in the “Shi Jing”, “Zuo Zhuan”, “Zhu Shu Ji Nian” and other pre-Qin documents, and was commonly used at least in Tang (i.e. Jin) in the early Zhou Dynasty. The Xia Xiaozheng, a text quoted in the Da Dai Ritual Records, has a simple scripture section, unlike the Eastern Zhou style, and was written in the early Spring and Autumn period at the latest. It is the earliest Chinese calendar book, and provides a simple record of the physical, climatic, and astrological information of each month. The “Xia Xiaozheng” divides the year into twelve months according to the moon’s surplus and deficit, but there is no indication of two leap months in five years, and there is no distinction between the four seasons. In the month of May, it is recorded that “there is a day of nourishment” and in October, “there is a night of nourishment”. However, the winter solstice in the North China plain should be in November instead of October, which means that this calendar is not yet accurate and made in a relatively primitive way.


  Three Xieng Khouang tombs in Phase III of the Erlitou site, with skeletons showing signs of binding and struggling, suggesting possible human sacrifice

In ancient times, productivity was low, and even in good weather seasons, people could not completely avoid the danger of food shortage. Feeling powerless, they sought to achieve their desire to dominate nature by surpassing its power to ensure a good harvest, thus sacrificing animals and humans to please the gods, trying to use rituals to get rid of the pressure exerted by the natural world on human survival. Human sacrifice was first seen in the upper reaches of the Yellow River Basin in China in the Qijia culture, when most husbands died and their wives were martyred, and later developed into slave martyrdom, believing that the souls of concubines and servants could serve their masters in the world after death. The Erlitou culture also shows signs of human sacrifice, but the scale is much smaller than the number of hundreds of sacrifices in the Shang dynasty. The burials at the Erlitou site in Yanshui are divided into two types: tombs with Xiengkhouang and tombs without Xiengkhouang. The majority of the tombs are single person tombs with Xiengkhouang, with the burial person on his back and straight limbs, with fewer burials. In addition, there are a few tombs without Xiengkhouang, without burial goods, mostly found near the ash pit, occasionally with broken pottery, and even some buried with livestock, which shows the low social status of the buried people, who may have been sinners, prisoners of war or slaves. Many burials without Xiengkhouang tombs show signs of unnatural death. The body posture of the buried people is extremely unnatural, with signs of being bound before death, such as hands crossed over the head, placed on the chest or folded behind the back, and even some skull rupture and separation of the body and head. This may be evidence of human sacrifice and human satiation in the Xia period. In addition to human sacrifice and field sacrifice, there were also rituals of house sacrifice in the Xia Dynasty. The Erlitou site has several sacrificial pits around the palace No. 1 of Phase III, and animal bones such as dogs and pigs were found. There are also five burials dotted around the courtyard and corridor area, all of which are unnatural deaths with no burial objects and narrow graves that break the palace foundation, making it impossible to determine whether they were foundation sacrifices or inaugural sacrifices.

In ancient times, people discovered the phenomenon of bones cracking when roasting animal meat, and the cracks were so profound that they attracted the attention of the ancients, and when they subsequently achieved successful results in hunting and warfare, people began to link the two together and regarded it as a foretelling of things by the gods, and accumulated it as knowledge, called divination. Because of its complex steps, knowledge is complicated, the tribe has a shaman specializing in divination, monopolizing the right to interpret divination bones. The Yellow River Basin began to flourish in divination during the Longshan culture. The “Zuo Zhuan” records that the Xia Dynasty had divination officials. All four phases of the Erlitou culture have unearthed cattle, sheep and pig scapula divination bones. These divination bones were only burned on the back, not drilled or chiseled, and not inscribed, which is more primitive than the Yinxu divination bones.

Shang Shu – Gan Oath”: Heaven used to annihilate its fate, now I can only be respectful of the execution of the punishment of heaven. This shows that the Xia Dynasty already had the concept of “heaven’s command”.


There was a calendar official in Xia Dynasty. The Xia Xiaozheng, which was specially compiled by later generations, has been proven by modern astronomers to be an ancient book that synthesizes the knowledge of calendars from the Xia Dynasty to the Spring and Autumn Period. In addition, there are also records of the growth patterns of plants, animal habits, and rituals of the month (also an important text in the science of physical weather).

Since the Xia Xiaozheng deals with the relationship between astrology and the calendar used in agriculture, it is also an important reference for the study of ancient astrology and the pre-Qin calendar.

The Xia Xiaozheng is one of the earliest surviving works in China with a wealth of knowledge about physical and climatic events. Its 463-word scripture records the weather, meteorology, celestial phenomena, and important political events in each of the 12 months of the year, mainly related to production activities such as farming, sericulture, horse breeding, and gathering, fishing and hunting.

The emergence of maps is evident from the legend of Xia Yu’s water treatment, when people already knew many high mountains and large rivers, determined the east, west, north and south of the earth, learned to open ditches, divide floods, and build dikes, and mastered calculations, measurements, and drawing simple maps. Legend has it that through his own practice, Dayu collected copper and other metals from the island of Kyushu and cast nine large tripods with mountains, rivers, grasses, trees, and animals from each state, which some say may be the guide’s “guide map,” or the original map from 4,000 years ago.


The army of the Xia dynasty was an instrument of full-time conquest invented to maintain rule. Before the Xia, conquests between tribes and tribal alliances were carried out by young and strong men from within the tribes. After the establishment of the Xia, a unified tribal community was formed in the Central Plains and state institutions emerged, so the establishment of a dedicated fighting force was essential. When Yu conquered the three Miao, he called the army under his command “Ji Ji Youzhong”; when Qi conquered the Youhu, he sternly admonished his army to strictly obey his command. This shows that there was already a strong army at that time.

The Gan Oath is the earliest military law in ancient China. The rulers of the Xia Dynasty built a slave-owning army to protect the interests of the slave-owning aristocracy, and thus a primitive form of military system was created. The Xia dynasty army was in the hands of the Xia king. In the Battle of Gan, which established the dominance of Qi (Gan is west of present-day Huxian County in Shaanxi Province), Qi required all participants in the battle to strictly carry out orders and rewarded those who fought bravely and carried out orders, and punished those who did not. According to the “Shang Shu – Gan Oath”, “Use the order, reward in the ancestors; not use the order, kill in the community, give then offspring kill you.” It can be seen that the army of Xia Dynasty already had strict discipline. Since the Xia Dynasty was in the early stage of class society, the productivity was not very developed, thus the Xia Dynasty’s army was not very large. For example, when Shaokang, the fifth king of Xia, fled to Youyu, he lived in Lun (southeast of Yucheng, Henan Province) and had only 500 troops. Later, Shaokang united with two tribes, namely the Pei Xuan and Pei Gou, and overthrew the Han Milestone who had stolen the Xia Dynasty and restored the Xia Dynasty to rule.

The army of Xia Dynasty was mainly infantry, but chariot soldiers had already started to appear. The record of “The left is not attacked on the left, you are not respectful; the right is not attacked on the right, you are not respectful; the imperial is not its horse is not correct, you are not respectful” in “Gan Oath” confirms the existence of chariot soldiers. The left is the left side of the chariot, holding a bow and shooting; the right is the right side of the chariot, holding a spear and a spear and stabbing; the imperial guard is in the center. A chariot, three occupants, is the same as the later Shang dynasty chariot soldier establishment. In addition, the “Sima Law” will be Xia Dynasty chariot called hook chariot. Weapons used by the Xia Dynasty army were mainly wood and stone made of gor, spear, axe, shu and bow and arrow, but also a small amount of bronze weapons. There was no standing army in the Xia Dynasty, only the usual guards formed by the nobles as the guards of the Xia King. In case of war, the Xia king temporarily enlisted slave owners to form an army to fight.

Military System

The details of the military system of the Xia Dynasty are difficult to verify due to the lack of historical data, so we have to look at the military system of the Xia Dynasty from the history of warfare. In the account of the war between Qi and the Youhu Clan in the Gan Oath, it is mentioned that the Queen of Xia summoned the Six Secretaries, a collective name for the generals of the six armies, each of whom led an army, and that the Queen of Xia had the highest military power and commanded the Six Secretaries, which shows that there was already a centralized system of military power in Xia. The “Gan Oath” records the mobilization order issued by the Queen of Xia, Qi, in preparation for the invasion of the Youhu Clan, which is the earliest record of military law in Chinese history. This is the earliest record of military law in Chinese history. It says, “If the left does not attack the left, you are not respectful of the order; if the right does not attack the right, you are not respectful of the order; and if the royalty is not the right of the horse, you are not respectful of the order. Use the order, reward in the ancestors; not use the order, kill in the community. I then offspring kill you.” Reflecting the military law at the time of Qi was still quite severe. Sima law – the righteousness of the Son of Heaven” contains, “flag, Xia Hou’s Xuan head, people’s execution also. Chapter, the Queen of Xia’s with the sun and moon, still bright also.” It seems to indicate that the army of the Queen of Xia was commanded by a flag bearer using a black flag on the battlefield, and its soldiers were identified with each other by the sun and the moon.

The combination of documentary records and archaeological findings show that the Xia Dynasty had two types of soldiers, chariots and infantry, there was no cavalry. In the Xia Dynasty, there were already wooden chariots, and the soldiers on the chariot were divided into left, right and imperial, with the imperial driving the chariot and commanding the battle, and the two rows of soldiers on the left and right guarding the imperial. But in terms of ancient productivity, the manufacture of chariots was extremely limited, only for the use of the Xia queen or superior general command, and the chariot soldiers would not be the main force on the battlefield. Infantry was the main component of the Xia army. At that time, soldiers and farmers were united and did not professionalize the army, which was engaged in normal agricultural and animal husbandry activities in peacetime and became a military force in times of war. The ancient weapons came from the tools of production and labor, and most of the devices had the dual purpose of war and labor. According to the archaeological excavations at the Erlitou culture site, the majority of Xia Dynasty weapons were made of wood, stone and bone, and a few bronze weapons were found after the third phase. Wooden weapons are mainly bamboo, rods and bows, and there are few surviving devices because of the perishability of wooden tires. There are many kinds of stone weapons, represented by stone axe, stone battle-axe, stone go, stone ball, stone arrowhead and stone spearhead. Bone mussel was mostly used for arrowhead making, as well as auxiliary objects used to enhance the killing power of wooden saplings and wooden sticks. Bronze weapons appeared after the third period, but they have been in the minority, probably supplying the queen of Xia, generals and the upper social class to wear. There were also ceremonial weapons made of bronze and jade as funerary objects for nobles.

Academic Controversy

The “Xia culture” is the hereditary regime of the Xia Hou clan of the Central Plains in the ancient literature, and is distinguished from other tribal cultures of the Central Plains that existed during the same period or the “Xia period culture”. There is no doubt that “Xia-period culture” existed according to the more accurate carbon-14 dating method, such as the Erlitou culture, which, according to the carbon-14 dating method, corresponds to the Xia-period, so the existence of “Xia-period culture” can be confirmed. However, it is not possible to definitely link it to the Xia Hou Clan in the ancient pre-Qin dynasty literature or to convincingly prove the existence of the Xia Hou Clan and the Xia dynasty until a definite ancient script corresponding to the Xia period has been excavated from the archaeological site.

No records of the Xia people or the Xia Hou clan from the same period of the Xia dynasty or the Shang dynasty have been found, and the oracle bones unearthed so far do not mention the word Xia or the destruction of Xia by the Yin Shang. The earliest documented records appear in the Western Zhou. The book of Yi Zhou – Duyi” says: “Since the dire river-bend extended in the Yi river-bend, living easy without solid, it has the residence of summer.” In the Analects of Confucius, there is also the phrase “Yin was founded on the rites of Xia and Zhou on the rites of Yin”, and the chronology and lineage of the Xia dynasty is also documented in some detail in the Bamboo Book of Chronicles and the Historical Records of Xia. Traditionally, Chinese scholars have been convinced of the existence of the Xia Dynasty.

In the early 20th century, the ancient history discernment movement was launched in the context of the May Fourth New Culture Movement. The ancient skeptics, represented by Gu Jie Gang, reviewed traditional Chinese historiography in the light of the scientific and discursive methods of modern Western historiography. Some wild histories assign divine characteristics to Dayu. The Esthetics records that more than 4,000 years ago in the ancient times there was a god named “Dayu” who was the nineteenth generation grandson of Nuwa and lived to be 360 years old. He was named “Yu” by Yao because he was judged by Yao to be as good as “Dayu” in the ancient times. Some of the ancient figures recorded in the literature were often more than a hundred years old, which could not be the age of a single person, but more likely the age of the ancient states and tribes. According to Gu Jie Gang’s Shuowen Jiezi, “Yu is also a worm. According to the record of Shuowen Jiezi, “Yu is also a worm, from the trample, the elephant shape,” Yu may be a worm-shaped pattern carved on the nine tripods, representing a lizard-like animal that resembles a snake and a dragon, and is regarded by later generations as a magical figure who opened up roads and nine states. Lu Xun also changed the concept of this worm-like animal into a worm in his story “New Tales of Water”, and later the saying “Dayu is a worm” emerged as a result of blackmail. Gu Jie Gang eventually abandoned this hypothesis.

The records of Yi’s existence in the pre-Qin literature are not fixed, ranging from the earliest time of Yao to the latest time of King You of Zhou. It was only in the early Western Han Dynasty that Yi became the king of Xia who “replaced the Xia government with the Xia people”. “Hou Yi” may be the name of the chief of the Eastern Yi tribe, and “ten days together” and “Hou Yi shot the sun” may be myths and legends of the Eastern Yi tribe, while the prototype of the story of Hou Yi replacing Xia may be taken from the Shang dynasty. The history of the war between the Shang and the Eastern barbarians in the middle period. The history of the loss of state or the rise of Taikang was at the beginning of the establishment of the Hou Xia clan, so it is hard to imagine that the loss of state occurred when the second monarch was in power. Cui Shu questioned the authenticity of this history, he believes that the ancient simplicity, after the Xia mostly named with a single word, except for Taikang, Zhongkang, Shaokang three are named “Kang”. Zhongkang for Taikang’s brother, Shaokang for Zhongkang’s grandson, this phenomenon of the same name in other generations is particularly strange, not like the name but more like the number, but the three Xingxian as and very different from each other. This three may be the original name of the sky stem “G”, for avoidance and more as “Kang”, and the late Xia Dynasty “Yinjia”, “Kongjia “G” and “Kui Kui” in the late Xia Dynasty, similar to the practice of the Shang kings to use the heavenly stems as the names of the emperors, which may be fabricated characters in the Shang and Zhou periods. According to Gu Jie Gang, since Mencius praised “Qi as a virtuous man who could respectfully inherit the way of Yu”, Confucian books about Qi turned derogatory to positive, and also made up the story that all the ministers supported Qi instead of attending to Yi to explain the great change of the family world. The nature of Qi was thus divided, with the merits remaining in Qi and the demerits going to Taikang alone. Dai Zhen believes that there was no such person as Taikang, but it may be due to the confusion of later generations with the account in Chu Shu-Li Sao, which reads, “Qi’s “Nine Arguments” and “Nine Songs” and “Xia Kang entertained himself” and mistakenly read “Xia Kang”. Another explanation says that the lineage of the four kings of the Xia dynasty, Taikang, Zhongkang, Xiang and Shaokang, originated from the four predecessors of the Yin Shang dynasty, Zhaoming, Xiangtu, Changruo and Cao Nang, whose history was also taken from the history of the middle of the Shang dynasty, Taiwu, Zhongding, Wairen, He Danjia and Zuibi. In the middle of the Shang dynasty, due to the military threat from the Dongyi tribe, the Shang king Taewu was forced to abandon his capital city Bo, which had been in operation for nearly 200 years, and then the four kings moved their capitals repeatedly before being revived after Zu Yi moved to Xing. The Zhou people considered themselves to be related to the Xia tribe and called themselves “Youxia”, but they also believed that the Shang tribe belonged to the Dongyi tribe, so they wrote the history of the Shang revival in the middle of the Shang dynasty as the history of the Xia revival, deliberately reflecting the long history of the conflict between the Yi and the Xia, and thus justifying the Zhou’s act of exterminating the Shang.

There are even arguments that the history of Xia may have more exaggerated elements, many of which are similar to the history of the Shang dynasty, or completely fabricated by the Zhou. If the Zhou people had made it up without any basis, the Shang people would not have been convinced, and the Zhou rulers would not have used it to enjoin the Shang people. The existence of the Xia and the destruction of the Xia by Yin and Shang are accurate. In the early days of the Western Zhou Dynasty, there are documentary narratives such as “I cannot help but supervise the Xia and the Yin” and “Yin is not far behind the Xia”, which prove that the Western Zhou people believed that there was a Xia before the Zhou and a Yin before the Yin, and that the destruction of the Xia in Yin could be a lesson for the Zhou to destroy the Yin. However, the Xia Benji, which was written in the Western Han Dynasty, and the Bamboo Book of the Warring States period, which was unearthed nearly four hundred years later, are in general agreement, indicating that Sima Qian had some basis for his Xia Benji.

Slave society

According to Marx’s theory of history, the Xia, Shang and Zhou dynasties are characterized as slave societies, a view that is much debated. However, traditional documents and archaeological excavations have not revealed any evidence of widespread slavery in ancient China. Karl Marx summarized the social history of the ancient Greeks, Romans and Germanic peoples by mentioning that the primary form of primitive society evolved into a secondary form as it progressed toward civilization, with slavery or serfdom replacing the primitive clan commune, and he believed that the disappearance of the primitive clan system was inevitable. In ancient China, however, the clan system did not disappear, but it persisted for a long period of time. In the nascent period of the state, the primitive clan commune system was unable to carry the task of effective administration over a large area and thus evolved into a clan feudal hereditary system. In the Western Zhou period, it evolved into a patriarchal feudal system. The effective implementation of slavery required a well-developed centralized system and a strong military power, which was not available during the Xia Dynasty. Slavery was practiced on a small scale in China during the Three Dynasties, but never on the scale of Western civilization. In the city-states of ancient Greece, the slave population generally exceeded the free population, and slaves made up more than 40% of the total population of the Italian peninsula in ancient Rome. The three generations of society were dominated by the “multitude” and the “common people”, who, despite their low social status, were commoners with families and households, and whose crops were produced through “tribute”, “help”, and “help”. “They were not plundered without compensation under slavery. The real slaves were only a minority of sinners and prisoners of war, and they did not replace the main body of commoners as the main labor force in the three generations of society, but were more used for human sacrifice.

Chronology of Monarchs

Huangdi (son of Shaodian) 2495 BC-2395 BC

Chang Yi (the second son of Huang Di) is not reigning

Zhuan Xu (son of Chang Yi) 2322 BC-2245 BC

Emperor Çukuro (eldest son of Jiaoji) 2245 BC – 2176 BC

Yao (the second son of Emperor Çaïu) 2168 BC – 2097 BC

Shun (eldest son of goze) 2097 BC-2037 BC

Father Father (Zhuan Xu Xuan Sun) 2037 BC-2029 BC

Da Yu (son of Father Jiu) 2029 BC – 1978 BC

Qi (son of Yu) 1978 BC-1963 BC

Taikang 1963-1955 B.C.

Zhongkang 1955 BC-1946 BC

Phase 1946 BC – 1916 BC

Houyi and Han Milestone 1916-1871 BC

Shaokang 1871 BC – 1852 BC

I (loom) 1852 BC – 1837 BC

Sophora 1837 – 1795 BC

Mun 1795 – 1779 B.C.

Leakage 1779-1756 B.C.

No decline 1756 BC – 1699 BC

Bibimbap 1699 BC-1682 BC

Qin (Yinjia) 1682 BC-1675 BC

Kongjia 1675-1669 BC

Gao 1667 BC-1657 BC

Hair 1657 BC-1651 BC

Jie (Cudgel) 1651 BC-1600 BC

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