Museum of Chinese History

With a floor space of 8,000 square metres, Museum of Chinese History puts on display nearly 10,000 exhibits, covering a period from 1.7 million years ago down to 1919. The building was constructed in 1958 and completed in 1959, with a total floor space of 65,000square metres.
It falls into four parts, and we are going to show you the major exhibits.
I. The Primitive Society (2. 5 million to 4,000 years ago)
1. These two tooth fossils of Yuanmou Man date back to 2.5 million years ago. Yuanmou Man is a representative of the earliest stage of human beings ever discovered in China.
2. This is a skull fossil of the famous Peking Man discovered at Zhoukoudian 48 kilometres southwest of Beijing. About 40 body fossils were exhumed there. The Peking Man lived 690,000 years ago.
3. These are the implements made and used by Peking Man. The ashes and charred bones are evidence of use of fire by Peking Man.
4. These are animals living in the same period of time as Peking Man who lived on hunting and collecting wild plants. This showcase describes how Peking Man lived at the time.
5. This is the horn fossil of a wild ox with a history of 100,000years. During the period from 400,000 to 10,000 years ago, the primitive men continued to live on hunting and collecting wild plants. Some of them were discovered at Zhoukoudian. Their physical features are basically similar to those of modern men.
6. These are bone needles made by Upper Cave Man who lived 10,000 years ago. They invented the technique of perforating and polishing the animals’ teeth, which they wore around the necks. This is what we call necklace now. The primitive women had already developed a sense of beauty.
7. This showcase describes the primitive men who lived during the period of matriarchal clan commune about 10,000 years ago.
8. Here on show is millet dating back to over 6,000 years ago. It was discovered in Banpo Village, Xi’an. Primitive farm production appeared at that time.
9. These pottery pieces were made in Shaanxi area 6,000 to 7,000years ago. Besides making pottery pieces, the primitive men also learned weaving and spinning. .
10. This is the tomb of a 17-year-old girl, unearthed in Shaanxi. These are the funerary objects, which show that women were held in respect during the period of matriarchal clan commune.
11. These symbols on the pots are supposed to be the earliest forms of Chinese characters. .
12. A village of the primitive society, dating back to 6,000 to 7,000 years ago, was discovered in Yuyao, Zhejiang Province. These are farm tools, paddy rice and a mat.
13. You see here the remains of a house found in Baoji, Shaanxi Province, which were moved here later from the site. It is half-hidden under the ground with entrance in the middle. The pottery jar was used for keeping tinder. A primitive village with over 20 houses was discovered in the same place.
14. Men played a major role during the period of patriarchal clan commune, about 4,000 to 5,000 years ago. Sickles and ploughs were used for farming. This led to the development of agriculture.
15. The use of wheel in pottery making was introduced. Special handicrafts production was developed.
16. These are jade pieces found in Shandong, Jiangsu and Henan provinces. Barter took place with the development of farm production.
17. Funerary objects in a tomb where a man, a woman and a child were buried together show the emergence of private property, patriarchy and polarization between the rich and the poor. In some of the tombs found in Shandong Province, funerary objects were rich and plenty, while in others simple and few.
18. These are primitive Chinese ideographs on pottery. The lower part represents a ridged mountain, while the upper part stands for the rising sun. This character shows the dawn of a day.

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