China Dynasties Guide

A brief history of the Dynasties of China
All lands under the watch of Heaven

2070 - 1600 BC: Xia Dynasty

Image above - The Pure August Jade Emperor Yu Huang Dadi
Highest ruler of Heaven, Taoist mythology
Ming Dynasty Bronze (1368-1644)


The Xia Dynasty is the first dynasty in Chinese history, established by Yu the Great, the last of the Five Emperors.

china xia
Xia Dynasty 2070-1600 BC

Although still largely based on many legends, the Xia dynasty (and subsequent Shang and Zhou) developed an early form of organization of the state, and according to modern historians reigned in the period 2070-1600 BC.

Although still debated by many experts, the confirmation of its existence are the recent excavations on the sites of Early Bronze Age at Erlitou in Henan Province, which uncovered urban sites, bronze sculptures, tombs, and buildings.

Its existence was revealed only several centuries later during the Han Dynasty by the court historian Sima Qian, who spoke of an ancient dynasty, full of mythological tales handed down by past ancestors.

It's not a perfect story that of the Xia dynasty, but equally it can not be thought as only a mythological story.