To navigate the timeline, click and drag it with your mouse, or click on the timeline overview on the bottom.
6500 BCE: Rice cultivation begins in the Yangtze River valley in China.
5200 BCE: Domestication of chickens 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.
5000 BCE - 3000 BCE: Yangshao Culture thrives in Yellow River Valley, China.
4800 BCE: Neolithic village of Banpo in China built.
4500 BCE - 3750 BCE: The Neolithic village of Banpo is inhabited.
4500 BCE - 3000 BCE: The Hongshan culture in China produces a jade figurine which is the oldest known depiction of a dragon.
4500 BCE - 3750 BCE: Neolithic village Banpo in China inhabited.
3750 BCE: Banpo Village in China abandoned.
3600 BCE: First appearance of silk in China.
3000 BCE - 1700 BCE: The Longshan culture flourishes in north-east China.
2700 BCE: The earliest known examples of woven silk from Qianshanyang, China.
2070 BCE - 1600 BCE: The Xia Dynasty rules in China.
1789 BCE - 1758 BCE: Kong Jia of the Xia Dynasty rules in China.
1728 BCE - 1675 BCE: Jie is the last ruler of the Xia Dynasty in China.
1600 BCE - 1000 BCE: Early Chinese ghost stories written in China.
1600 BCE - 1000 BCE: Jiaguwen Script develops in China.
1600 BCE - 1046 BCE: Writing develops in China during the Shang Dynasty.
1600 BCE - 1046 BCE: Shang Dynasty in China.
1300 BCE: The chariot is introduced to China from the northwest.
1300 BCE: The Chinese Shang dynasty moves its capital to Yin (modern Anyang).
1250 BCE - 1192 BCE: Reign of the great Emperor Wu Ding of the Shang Dynasty in China.
1250 BCE - 1046 BCE: Oracle Bones in use in China during the Shang Dynasty.
1250 BCE - 1150 BCE: The I-Ching, the Book of Changes, is written.
1050 BCE: King Wen of Zhou is the first Chinese ruler to claim a Mandate of Heaven.
1046 BCE - 771 BCE: Western Zhou dynasty replaces the Shang Dynasty in China.
1000 BCE - 700 BCE: Dazhuan Script develops in China.
772 BCE - 476 BCE: The Spring and Autumn Period in China.
771 BCE: Following nomadic attacks in the west, the Chinese Zhou dynasty moves its capital east to Luoyang. Beginning of Eastern Zhou Period.
771 BCE - 256 BCE: Eastern Zhou Dynasty in China.
700 BCE: Xiaozhuan Script develops in China.
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: Lishu "Clerky Script" develops in China.
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.
481 BCE - 221 BCE: Warring States Period in China.
478 BCE: Temple of Confucius built at Qufu, China.
476 BCE - 221 BCE: The Warring States Period in China.
476 BCE - 221 BCE: Warring States Period in China, Legalism develops in response to the horrors of war.
476 BCE - 221 BCE: Warring States Period in China.
476 BCE - 221 BCE: The Warring States Period in China, suggested time-period for composition of The Art of War.
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).
364 BCE: Duke Xin, ruler of Qin, is awarded the title of Hegemon by the Zhou state.
343 BCE: Xiao, ruler of Qin, is awarded the title of Hegemon by the Zhou state.
338 BCE: Death of Shang Yang, early proponent of Legalist philosophy in China.
328 BCE - 308 BCE: Rise of the Chinese state of Qin.
326 BCE: Huiwen, ruler of Qin, is awarded royal status by the Zhou state.
280 BCE - 233 BCE: Life of Han Feizi who developed Legalism in China.
278 BCE: The Qin state captures Ying, the capital of the Chu state.
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 Huangdi, First Emperor of China.
256 BCE: The Qin absorbs the remains of the Zhou state.
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.
230 BCE - 221 BCE: King Ying Zheng of Qin defeats the other warring states, claims Mandate of Heaven to rule China.
230 BCE: The Qin state defeats the Han state during the Warring States Period.
225 BCE: The Qin state defeats the Wei state during the Warring States Period.
223 BCE: The Qin state absorbs the Chu state during the Warring States Period.
221 BCE - 206 BCE: Qin Dynasty, Emperor Shi Huangdi adopts Legalism as state philosophy and bans all others.
221 BCE - 206 BCE: The Qin Dynasty in China.
221 BCE - 206 BCE: The Qin Dynasty under Shi Huangti, First Emperor, rules in China.
221 BCE - 206 BCE: Qin Dynasty in China.
221 BCE: King Ying Zheng assumes the title Shi Huangdi, First Emperor of China. Founds Qin Dynasty.
221 BCE - 210 BCE: First emperor of a united China, Shi Huangti, rules.
221 BCE: Construction of Northern Frontier wall by Shi Huangdi, First Emperor of China, precursor to Great Wall.
221 BCE: The Qin state defeats the Yan and Qi states during the Warring States Period.
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.
210 BCE: First Emperor of China Shi Huangdi dies, buried with army of 8,000 terracotta warriors in palace tomb.
210 BCE - 206 BCE: China steadily rises in rebellion against collapsing Qin Dynasty.
206 BCE - 9 CE: The Han dynasty rules China from their capital in Chang'an.
206 BCE: Chinese Qin empire collapses following the death of emperor Shi Huangti. Civil War begins.
206 BCE: The Emperor Shi Huangti is buried with a terracotta army of more than 8,000 soldiers in a palace tomb.
206 BCE - 220 CE: Han dynasty, one of the longest of China's major dynasties.
206 BCE - 202 BCE: The Chu Han Contention divides China. Liu Bang of Han battles Xiang Yu of Chu for supremacy of rule.
206 BCE: Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang) becomes the first Han ruler.
202 BCE: Liu-Bang of Han founds the Han Dynasty in China.
202 BCE: The Battle of Gaixia in which the Han forces defeat the Chu.
202 BCE: Liu-Bang of Han establishes the Han Dynasty in China.
202 BCE: Liu Bang is proclaimed emperor of China after defeating the rebel Xiang Yu.
202 BCE - 220 CE: The Han Dynasty in China.
202 BCE - 220 CE: The Han Dynasty rules in China.
202 BCE - 220 CE: The Han Dynasty rules in China.
200 BCE: First contact between China and the Greco-Bactrian descendents of Alexander the Great's army.
195 BCE: Liu Bang dies. His empress Lü Zhi (also known as Lü Hou) tries to confiscate the empire for her own family. The conflict lasts for 15 years.
145 BCE - 86 CE: Life of Sima Qian, Grand Astrologer at the court of Emperor Wu of Han and author of China's first comprehensive work on historiography.
141 BCE - 87 BCE: Han Emperor Wu abandons Legalism in favor of Confucianism.
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.
129 BCE: Parthians conquer Mesopotamia. The Silk Road to China is now controlled by the Parthians.
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: 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.
82 CE: Contact between Han China and Yayoi Japan.
91 CE: The Han dynasty of China invades Mongolia.
155 CE - 220 CE: Life of Cao Cao, Chinese military dictator and founder of the Wei state.
160 CE: Chinese Han empire in decline.
168 CE - 189 CE: Ling is emperor 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.
184 CE: The Yellow Turban rebellion breaks out when local government offices are attacked across China.
184 CE - 192 CE: The 'Yellow Turban' rebellion is quashed by the Han in China.
184 CE: Yellow Turban Rebellion gives rise to independent warlords in China.
189 CE - 192 CE: Warlord Dong Zhuo claims supreme power in China.
189 CE: Luoyang, the Han capital, is sacked by the Chinese warlord Dong Zhuo.
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.
192 CE - 208 CE: Cao Cao and the other warlords fight for control of China.
205 CE: Cao Cao takes over the former Han government and appoints himself chancellor, in effect, a military dictator.
208 CE: China is divided into three regional kingdoms.
215 CE: Cao Cao represses for good the Yellow Turban rebellion in China.
220 CE - 280 CE: Period of the Three Kingdoms; China is divided between kingdoms of Shu Han, Eastern Wu, and Cao Wei.
220 CE: Death of the North China military dictator Cao Cao.
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.
238 CE: Queen Himiko of Japan sends a tribute delegation to China.
280 CE: China united under the Jin Dynasty.
303 CE - 365 CE: Life of Wang Xizhi, China's most famous calligrapher.
304 CE: The nomadic Xiongu break through the Great Wall of China.
342 CE: Murong Huang invades Korea from China and sacks the Goguryeo capital of Gungnae, taking 50,000 inhabitants prisoner.
413 CE - 478 CE: Japanese kings send ambassadors and tribute to China.
494 CE: The Northern Wei select Luoyang as their capital in China.
494 CE: The first Buddhist caves are carved at Longmen Grottoes, China.
528 CE: Steppe hordes attack the Chinese capital Luoyang.
581 CE - 618 CE: Sui Dynasty in China.
581 CE - 601 CE: Reign of Wen (aka Wendi), first Sui emperor in China.
598 CE - 649 CE: Life of Li-Shimin, Emperor Taizong of China.
604 CE - 618 CE: Reign of Yang (aka Yangdi), second and last Sui emperor in China.
607 CE: Prince Shotoku of Japan sends the first of many official embassies to Sui China.
618 CE - 907 CE: The Tang Dynasty in China.
618 CE - 626 CE: Reign of Gaozu, 1st Emperor of Tang Dynasty in China.
626 CE - 649 CE: Reign of Emperor Taizong in China.
634 CE: Taizong signs peace treaty between Tibet and China.
649 CE - 683 CE: Reign of Emperor Gaozong in China.
668 CE: The Goguryeo kingdom of northern Korea collapses following an attack by the Tang Dynasty of China.
683 CE - 704 CE: Reign of Empress Wu Zetian, only female monarch of China.
690 CE - 704 CE: Reign of Empress Wu Zetian in China.
712 CE - 756 CE: Taoism becomes official religion of China under the Emperor Xuanzong.
768 CE - 824 CE: Life of Han Yu, "the Shakespeare of China".
842 CE - 845 CE: The Chinese state persecutes Buddhist monks and their monasteries.
843 CE: The Tang empire attacks and kills 10,000 Uyghur tribespeople in Inner Mongolia.
907 CE - 1125 CE: The Khitan tribes form the Liao dynasty and rule parts of Mongolia, Manchuria and northern 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.
937 CE - 975 CE: First mention of foot-binding in Chinese texts.
938 CE: The Khitan Liao dynasty invades northern China.
960 CE - 1279 CE: Song Dynasty in China.
960 CE - 1125 CE: The Northern Song Dynasty in China.
960 CE - 976 CE: Reign of Emperor Taizu, founder of the Song dynasty in China.
976 CE - 997 CE: Reign of Emperor Taizong of the Song dynasty in China.
990 CE - 1030 CE: Life of Chinese painter Fan Kuan.
997 CE - 1022 CE: Reign of Emperor Zhenzong of the Song dynasty in China.
1004 CE: Treaty of Shanyuan which brings peace between the Liao dynasty and Song dynasty of China with the latter compelled to pay annual tribute.
1022 CE - 1063 CE: Reign of Emperor Renzong of the Song dynasty in China.
1044 CE: Defeat to the Xia state results in China's Song dynasty paying tribute.
1063 CE - 1067 CE: Reign of Emperor Yingzong of the Song dynasty in China.
1067 CE - 1085 CE: Reign of Emperor Shenzong of the Song dynasty in China.
1085 CE - 1100 CE: Reign of Emperor Zhizong of the Song dynasty in China.
1100 CE - 1126 CE: Reign of Emperor Huizong of the Song dynasty in China.
1115 CE - 1123 CE: Reign of Emperor Taizu, founder of the Jurchen Jin state.
1115 CE - 1234 CE: The Jurchen Jin state rules in Mongolia and northern China.
1115 CE: The Jurchen (Jin state) attack the Liao state in northern China.
1125 CE - 1279 CE: The Southern Song Dynasty in China.
1125 CE: The Jin state attacks Song China.
1125 CE: The Jurchen Jin state invades Song China necessitating the latter to move south and form the Southern Song dynasty.
1127 CE - 1162 CE: Reign of Emperor Gaozong of the Song dynasty in China.
1138 CE: Hangzhou (aka Linan) is made the capital of the Song Dynasty, now known as the Southern Song.
1141 CE: A peace treaty is signed betwwen the (southern) Song Dynasty and Jin state.
1142 CE: The Jurchen Jin dynasty and Southern Song dynasty sign a formal peace treaty.
1153 CE: The Jurchen Jin state capital is moved from Shangjing (Harbin) to Yanjing (Beijing).
1162 CE - 1189 CE: Reign of Emperor Xiaozong of the Song dynasty in China.
1189 CE - 1194 CE: Reign of Emperor Guangzong of the Song dynasty in China.
1194 CE - 1224 CE: Reign of Emperor Ningzong of the Song dynasty in China.
1205 CE: The Mongols attack the Jurchen Jin state in northern China.
1209 CE: The Mongols attack the Jurchen Jin state in northern China.
1211 CE: The Mongols attack the Jurchen Jin state in northern China.
1215 CE: The Mongols attack the Jurchen Jin state in northern China.
1224 CE - 1264 CE: Reign of Emperor Lizong of the Song dynasty in China.
1234 CE: The Mongols attack and conquer the Jurchen Jin State in northern China.
1264 CE - 1274 CE: Reign of Emperor Duzong of the Song dynasty in China.
1271 CE - 1368 CE: The Mongol Yuan Dynasty, founded by Kublai Khan, rules China.
1273 CE: Xiangyang falls into Mongol hands.
1274 CE - 1275 CE: Reign of Emperor Gongzong of the Song dynasty in southern China.
1275 CE - 1279 CE: The Mongols led by Kublai Khan attack and conquer the last remnants of Song China.
1275 CE - 1277 CE: Reign of Emperor Duanzong of the Song dynasty in southern China.
1278 CE - 1279 CE: Reign of Emperor Dibing of the Song dynasty in southern China.
1368 CE - 1644 CE: Reign of the Ming Dynasty in China.