Visual Timeline: China

To navigate the timeline, click and drag it with your mouse, or click on the timeline overview on the bottom.


6500 BCE 6000 BCE 5500 BCE 5000 BCE 4500 BCE 4000 BCE 3500 BCE 3000 BCE 2500 BCE 2000 BCE 1500 BCE 1000 BCE 500 BCE 0 CE 500 CE 1000 CE  
6500 BCE: Rice cultivation begins in the Yangtze River valley in China.
5000 BCE: Villages arise in China around the Yellow river. Terraced farming begins and rice is cultivated.
5000 BCE: Evidence of the surgical procedure of trephination found in China.
5000 BCE: Dead buried with grave goods at Banpo Village, China.
4800 BCE: Neolithic village of Banpo in China built.
4500 BCE - 3750 BCE: The Neolithic village of Banpo is inhabited.
2070 BCE - 1600 BCE: Xia Dynasty is the first dynasty recorded in ancient Chinese historical chronicles.
1600 BCE - 1046 BCE: Shang dynasty rules much of northern China.
1300 BCE: The chariot is introduced to China from the northwest.
1300 BCE: The Chinese Shang dynasty moves its capital to Anyang.
1046 BCE - 771 BCE: Western Zhou dynasty replaces the Shang Dynasty in China.
772 BCE - 476 BCE: The Spring and Autumn Period.
771 BCE: Following nomadic attacks in the west, the Chinese Zhou dynasty moves its capital east to Luoyang. Beginning of Eastern Zhou Period.
551 BCE - 479 BCE: Life of Confucius.
512 BCE - 506 BCE: The Wu Chu wars in China between the States of Wu and Chu.
506 BCE: The Battle of Boju at which the Wu forces under Sun-Tzu defeated the Chu.
500 BCE: Life of the Chinese Sophist/Philosopher Teng Shih (probable date of death 522 or 502 BCE).
500 BCE: Probable life of the Chinese philosopher Lao-Tzu, founder of Taoism and author of the Tao-Te-Ching.
500 BCE: Probable life of Sun-Tzu, Military Strategist, author of The Art of War.
476 BCE - 221 BCE: Period of the Warring States in China.
470 BCE - 391 BCE: Life of the Chinese pacifist philosopher Mo Ti, founder of Mohism.
440 BCE - 360 BCE: Life of Chinese Hedonist Philosopher Yang Zhu.
372 BCE - 289 BCE: Life of the Confucian philosopher Mencius (Mang-Tze).
328 BCE - 308 BCE: Rise of the Chinese state of Qin.
262 BCE - 260 BCE: The Battle of Changping, one of the most important battles in the Warring States Period in China between Zhao and Qin.
259 BCE - 210 BCE: Life of Ying Zheng of Qin, Shi Huangti, First Emperor of China.
256 BCE: The army of the state of Qin captures the city of Chengzhou and the last Zhou ruler, King Nan, is killed. End of the Zhou dynasty.
221 BCE - 210 BCE: First emperor of a united China, Shi Huangti, rules.
220 BCE - 210 BCE: Emperor Shi Huangti initiates building the Great Wall of China and the Grand Canal.
218 BCE: Construction of the Great Wall of China is initiated.
213 BCE: The Burning of the Books and the Burying of Philosophers Period in China.
210 BCE - 206 BCE: China rises in rebellion against crumbling Qin Dynasty.
206 BCE: Chinese Qin empire collapses following the death of emperor Shi Huangti. Civil War begins.
206 BCE - 9 CE: The Han dynasty rules China from their capital in Chang'an.
206 BCE: The Emperor Shi Huangti is buried with a terracotta army of more than 8,000 soldiers in a palace tomb.
206 BCE: Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang) becomes the first Han ruler.
202 BCE: Liu-Bang of Han establishes the Han Dynasty in China.
202 BCE: The Battle of Gaixia in which the Han forces defeat the Chu.
202 BCE: Liu Bang is proclaimed emperor of China after defeating the rebel Xiang Yu.
195 BCE: Liu Bang’s died. His empress Lü Zhi (also known as Lü Hou) tried to confiscate the empire for her own family. The conflict lasted for 15 years.
141 BCE - 87 BCE: Reign of Emperor Emperor Wu (also known as Wu Di).
140 BCE - 87 BCE: Han emperor Wu rules and expands Han territory in China.
138 BCE - 126 BCE: Zhang Qian, as envoy of the Han emperor, opens up the 'Silk Road' trading route between China and central Asia.
117 BCE - 100 BCE: Han emperors extend the western part of the Great Wall of China.
111 BCE: Kingdom of Nan-Yueh (northern Vietnam) comes under Chinese administration.
109 BCE: Chinese Han Empire conquers the kingdom of Tien.
104 BCE - 101 BCE: The War of the Heavenly Horses, general Li Guangli forces the city of Da Yuan (Alexandria Eschate) into tributary status.
2 CE: The population of Chang’an, the imperial capital of China, had a population of nearly 250 thousand people.
9 CE - 23 CE: Emperor Wang Mang, known as a reformist, reigns in China, founds Xin Dynasty.
9 CE: Wang Man takes control of the empire by usurping the throne and proclaiming the the beginning of a new dynasty called Xin “new”.
23 CE: The sack of Chang'an, imperial capital of China.
23 CE: After the sack of Chang'an, Liu Xiu led his loyal officials to the city of Luoyang, where the Chinese imperial capital was relocated.
25 CE - 220 CE: The Eastern Han dynasty rules China.
91 CE: The Han dynasty of China invades Mongolia.
160 CE: Chinese Han empire in decline.
168 CE - 189 CE: Ling is emperor in China.
184 CE - 192 CE: The 'Yellow Turban' rebellion is quashed by the Han in China.
184 CE: A large peasant uprising known as the Yellow Turban Rebellion (sometimes referred to as the Yellow Scarves Rebellion) threatened the city of Luoyang.
190 CE: Luoyang, the Han capital in China, is burned.
190 CE: Dong Zhou seized control of the Chinese imperial capital and placed a child, Liu Xie, as the new ruler.
208 CE: China is divided into three regional kingdoms.
220 CE: Liu Xie abdicated the throne. Wars between warlords and states continued and China would have to wait about 350 years to be unified again.
304 CE: The nomadic Xiongu break through the Great Wall of China.
589 CE - 618 CE: Sui Dynasty in China.
618 CE - 907 CE: T'ang Dynasty in China.
907 CE - 960 CE: The Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period in China.
907 CE: Zhu Wen establish Later Liang Dynasty in China. The start of the Five Dynasties.
960 CE - 1234 CE: Sung Dynasty in China.
6500 BCE 5500 BCE 4500 BCE 3500 BCE 2500 BCE 1500 BCE 500 BCE 500 CE