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China's Dynasties

c. 2100 BCE - 1911 CE

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The history of China stretches back into the mists of time. For centuries, scholars from China and abroad believed that the ancient dynasties - those prior to the Qin - were simply mythical.

However, the discovery in 1899 of oracle bones from the Shang Dynasty dating back to c. 1500 BCE proved that this dynasty actually existed. The bones provided impressive amounts of information about the Shang royal family, religious beliefs and other aspects of life more than 3,500 years ago.

Firm evidence for the Xia Dynasty has yet to be found... but do not bet against it!


3 Sovereigns and 5 Emperors Period (c. 2850 - c. 2200 BCE)

Xia Dynasty (c. 2100 - c. 1600 BCE)

Shang Dynasty (c. 1700 - 1046 BCE)

Zhou Dynasty (c. 1066 - 256 BCE)

Qin Dynasty (221 - 206 BCE)

Han Dynasty (202 BCE - 220 CE)

Three Kingdoms Period (220 - 280 CE)

Jin Dynasty (265 - 420)

16 Kingdoms Period (304 - 439)

Southern and Northern Dynasties (420 - 589)

Sui Dynasty (581 - 618)

Tang Dynasty (618 - 907)

Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period (907 - 960)

Song Dynasty (906 - 1279)

Liao Dynasty (907 - 1125)

Western Xia Dynasty (1038 - 1227)

Jin Dynasty (1115 - 1234)

Yuan Dynasty (1271 - 1368)

Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644)

Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1911)

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