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Chinese History Timeline

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Timeline of Chinese History from the Peking Man through the modern day.

Prehistoric China: 400,000 B.C. to 2,000 B.C.

Nick Hobgood on Flickr.com
Peking Man, Peiligang Culture, China's First Writing System, Yangshao Culture, Silk Cultivation Begins, Three Sovereigns and Five Kingdoms Period, Yellow Emperor, Xia Dynasty, Arrival of the Tocharians

Earliest Dynasties: 2,000 B.C. to 250 B.C.

Public domain due to age, via Wikipedia
First Known Chinese Calendar, Western Zhou Dynasty, Compilation of the Shi Jing, Eastern Zhou Dynasty, Lao-tzu Founds Taoism, Confucius, First Star Catalogue Compiled, Qin Dynasty, Invention of Repeat-Fire Crossbow

Early Unified China: 250 B.C. to 220 A.D.

Kiwi Mikex on Flickr.com
First Emperor Qin Shi Huang Unifies China, Qin Shi Huang Is Buried With the Terracotta Army, Western Han Dynasty, Trade Begins on the Silk Road, Invention of Paper, Xin Dynasty, Eastern Han Dynasty, First Buddhist Temple Established in China, Invention of the Seismometer, Imperial Roman Embassy Arrives in China

Three Kingdoms Period to Early Tang Dynasty: 220 to 650 A.D.

Kiwi Mikex on Flickr.com
Three Kingdoms Period, Western Jin Dynasty, Eastern Jin Dynasty, Taklamakan Desertification, Northern and Southern Dynasties, Sui Dynasty, Invention of toilet paper, Tang Dynasty, Chinese monk travels to India, Nestorian Christianity introduced in China

China's Period of Innovation: 650 to 1115 A.D.

Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Collection
Introduction of Islam, Battle of Talas River, Arab and Persian Pirates Attack, Invention of Woodblock Printing, Invention of Gunpowder, Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period, Liao Dynasty, Northern and Southern Song Dynasties, Western Xia Dynasty, Jin Dynasty

Mongol and Ming Eras: 1115 to 1550 A.D.

Peter Fuchs on Flickr.com
First Known Cannon, Reign of Kublai Khan, Journeys of Marco Polo, Yuan (Mongol) Dynasty, Invention of Movable-Type Printing, Ming Dynasty, Explorations of Admiral Zheng He, Construction of the Forbidden City, Ming Emperors Close the Borders, First Portuguese Contact, Altan Khan Sacks Beijing

Late Imperial Era: 1550 to 1912 A.D.

Library of Congress
First Permanent Portuguese Settlement at Macau, Qing Dynasty, British East India Company Post Established at Guangzhou, White Lotus Rebellion, First Opium War, Second Opium War, First Sino-Japanese War, Boxer Rebellion, Last Qing Emperor Falls

Civil War and the People's Republic: 1912 to 1976 A.D.

Dan.. on Flickr.com
Foundation of the Kuomintang, Foundation of the Chinese Communist Party, Chinese Civil War, Long March, Foundation of the People's Republic of China, Great Leap Forward, Dalai Lama Exiled from Tibet, Cultural Revolution, President Nixon Visit China, Mao Zedong Dies

Post-Mao Modern China: 1976 to 2008 A.D.

andymiah on Flickr.com
Martial Law in Tibet, Tiananmen Square Massacre, Uighur Uprisings, Britain Hands-Over Hong Kong, Portugal Hands-Over Macau, Three Gorges Dam Completed, Tibetan Uprising, Sichuan Earthquake, Beijing Summer Olympics
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