Whether the main of the Xia Dynasty existed_ History of Xia, Shang and Zhou Dynasties

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The Xia Dynasty was the first dynasty in China with a national form. The history of the Xia Dynasty was clearly recorded in books of history, Bamboo Annals and historical records. The existence of the Xia Dynasty in the hearts of the Chinese people is an indisputable fact.

Most countries in the world recognize that China has a 5000 year history of civilization. It can be seen from the comments of foreign social media that foreign netizens generally agree with the Chinese 5000 year theory. On the contrary, there are many academic debates about the existence of the Xia Dynasty, mainly focusing on some developed countries in Europe and the United States (scholars in other countries do not have so much energy to study the history of other countries).



The reason is that the physical archaeological data about the Xia Dynasty is insufficient and lacks the support of decisive archaeological achievements. Therefore, some foreign scholars have reservations about the existence of the Xia Dynasty in China.


1. Differences between Chinese and Western Historical Ideas

China and the West have their own systems for historical research and textual research, which are very different.

In the study of early history in the west, due to the lack of the support of the historical system, the archaeological method was mainly used. Western scholars, adhering to the historical view of “preferring to believe nothing”, did not easily draw archaeological conclusions before they were supported by sufficient archaeological data.

On the contrary, the concept of Chinese historiography is just the opposite. Because there is a strong system of believing in history, we “prefer to believe it”, and generally lack the motivation to textual research the history recorded by our ancestors. Chinese children learned from the enlightenment that “Xia, Shang and Western Zhou, Eastern Zhou are divided into two stages…” and the existence of the Xia Dynasty has been preset. Therefore, Chinese people never doubted the existence of the Xia Dynasty before the 20th century.

However, the modern West has great advantages in economy, military, science and technology and culture. Modern Chinese historians Gujiegang, Guo Moruo and others, who were deeply influenced by the study of national studies abroad, led the famous trend of skepticism about ancient times and used the Western archaeological system to study early Chinese history. Therefore, there was a dispute over the authenticity of the Xia Dynasty.

In fact, the Western historians are not as narrow as some people think &\8211; Afraid that the origin of Chinese civilization is older than that of the West. We should know that the western historiography circle has long recognized the civilization of the two river basins and the Nile Egyptian civilization. These two civilizations appeared earlier than the Chinese civilization and the Greek civilization, and have little to do with Europe. The European academic circle cannot use these two civilizations to whitewash its own history.

Therefore, we should not have the delusion of victimization and elevate the academic disputes to the national complex.

2. Domestic civil science and fake news are sensationalizing and confusing

It is estimated that many readers have read the news that “the Xia Dynasty was the arrival of ancient Egyptians from the East”. Professor sunweidong of China University of science and technology said that the Xia Dynasty did exist in China, but it was not in China, but in ancient Egypt.

He cited several proofs: in historical records, there was a north-south river in the Xia Dynasty, which should be the Nile in Egypt; The radioactivity of bronze in Yin and Shang Dynasties is very similar to that in ancient Egypt; The technology that Egypt mastered at that time was very similar to that of China in the Shang Dynasty.

Professor Sun’s true intention of putting forward this hypothesis cannot be speculated, but his view has indeed played a certain role of sensationalism and confusion. The core of this hypothesis is actually “Chinese civilization in the west”.

Professor Sun is the director, researcher and doctoral supervisor of the Key Laboratory of Mineralogy and metallogeny, Chinese Academy of Sciences. He is not a historian or anthropologist. He used his knowledge of Geology and mineralogy to question major issues related to the ethnic origin of Humanities and genetic genetics. No wonder netizens call it a civil science.

Most of their main views have been falsified. The Nile is not the only river in the world that flows north-south. The Mackenzie River in Canada is also a river that flows north-south. In fact, the rivers flowing from north to south in the Xia Dynasty are likely to be the Yellow River or its tributaries. The zigzag sections and some tributaries of the Yellow River also flow from north to south. The Xia people do not have a complete map of the Yellow River Basin, so it is normal to think that some sections of the Yellow River flow from north to south.

From the gene map, the genes of Chinese and ancient Egyptians are also very different. The gene of ancient Egyptian pharaoh is r1b, and the gene of Chinese is O3. Not to mention that the Shang Dynasty after the Xia Dynasty had no similarities with the ancient Egyptians in terms of Humanities (myths and legends), customs, characters (Oracle Bone Inscriptions and ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs).

As for the radioactive similarities and differences of bronze ware, there is no refutation. But imagine that a declining Dynasty in Egypt carried a large number of bronzes. Without maps and navigation, it climbed over the mountains and snow plains, crossed the desert Gobi, migrated tens of thousands of kilometers to the hinterland of the Central Plains, and settled down without leaving any traces along the way. It also changed its skin color. This probability is zero.

For this absurd hypothesis, a scholar named luolingjie also jumped out and accused sunweidong of plagiarizing his views (you can pay attention if you are interested), and had to admire the magic of the word “fame and wealth”.

According to the Internet, a professor in Guizhou said that the Xia Dynasty was in Harappa, Pakistan. After checking the information, the author did not find out which Professor in Guizhou said. The news was first spread from the post bar, and the credibility is very low. I don’t know the purpose of fabricating this kind of fake news. I quote the classic Reply of netizens &\8211; “It’s hard for a businessman. He went all the way to Pakistan to destroy the Xia Dynasty and then came back to establish the Shang Dynasty.”.



3. The absence of Xia Dynasty characters

Characters are an important symbol of the existence of a civilization (Dynasty). The early western academic circles did not recognize the existence of the Shang Dynasty. Only after domestic scholars collected and deciphered oracle bone inscriptions did the western academic circles recognize the existence of the Shang Dynasty.

In China, there was a legend about Cangjie’s creation of characters in the Yellow Emperor’s time, which shows that characters may have appeared in ancient China. In recent years, Xia Dynasty characters have not been found in Chinese archaeology. Many glyphs have been found in Erlitou site in Yanshi, Henan Province. Although these glyphs are independent chronicle symbols, they can be regarded as the embryonic form of early characters.

During the Xia Dynasty, the productivity level was low, no systematic literature records and literary creation were formed, and most of the characters existed in the form of numbers and units of measurement, which was convenient for statistics and management, so the number of characters was small.

This phenomenon is well understood. Before liberation, illiterate people in the remote mountains in China only needed to master the pronunciation of 3500 Chinese characters to communicate with people normally. Before the first World War, farmers in the western United States used no more than 700 words in their lifetime. The richness of vocabulary increased with the economic growth, so there would not be too many words in the Xia Dynasty.

It is a difficult process from language to writing. Many nations in the world have languages but no words. Many European countries combine the dialects of the region on the basis of Latin to form the languages of various countries. For example, the languages of France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Romania and other countries belong to the Latin language family.

The Shang Dynasty oracle bone inscriptions after the Xia Dynasty were already a fairly mature writing system at that time. Without the Xia Dynasty as the basis, the Shang Dynasty could not form a complete writing system in a short time. (at present, about 130000 pieces of oracle bones have been found in China, with a total of more than 4000 words, and about 2000 words have been recognized.)

4. The Xia Dynasty is not mentioned in the oracle bone inscriptions

Scholars and onlookers who hold this argument estimate that there are great misunderstandings about the oracle bone inscriptions themselves. Most of the contents of the oracle bone inscriptions are records of the divination of the Yin and Shang Dynasties, not specifically used to record historical events.

The Shang Dynasty was the most superstitious Dynasty in ancient China. Everything had to be divined. Divination was mainly about major events such as fishing, expedition and agriculture, as well as trivial matters such as weather, illness and childbirth. Through the oracle bone inscriptions, we can know the living conditions of people in the Shang Dynasty and the historical development of the Shang Dynasty.

However, the content of oracle bone inscriptions mostly records the oracle inscriptions between the 273 years when pan Geng moved to Yin and King Zhou. It has been nearly 300 years since Pan Geng moved to Yin. It is normal that there are no relevant records of the Xia Dynasty in the oracle inscriptions.



5. Some people believe that the history of the Xia Dynasty was fabricated by the Zhou Dynasty

Although the records of the Xia Dynasty in the pre-Qin historical materials are not detailed enough, there are records of the initial history of the Xia Dynasty, the list of imperial lineages, the political system, decrees and criminal laws. Some people insist that this is the content fabricated by the scholars of the Zhou Dynasty to replace the legal principle of the Zhou Dynasty, but most of the works of the pre Qin Dynasty appeared in the Eastern Zhou Dynasty. According to the fact that the Western Zhou Dynasty has passed for hundreds of years, it is not necessary to make such a fiction.

The Xia Dynasty lineage recorded in historical records Xia Benji is as clear as the Shang Dynasty lineage recorded in Yin Benji, and the Shang Dynasty lineage has been confirmed and recognized. Therefore, more and more scholars believe that the records in Xia Benji are also credible, but there is a lack of decisive evidence for the time being.


According to the archaeological age, Yangshao, Longshan, Liangzhu, Erlitou and other sites may be related to the Xia civilization. For example, Shimao ancient city site (late Longshan period) about 4000 years ago was found in Shenmu, Shaanxi. Its ancient city has urn city and Mamian structure, which can confirm that there were cities and large-scale wars in Shaanxi 4000 years ago.

Among these archaeological discoveries, the Erlitou site in Yanshi, Henan Province is the most likely to achieve the archaeological breakthrough of the Xia Dynasty. According to many historical records, the location of the Xiadu Chuen was roughly in the Yiluo plain, which was basically confirmed by the archaeological excavation of Erlitou site in Luoyang.

Erlitou site dates from 1750 BC to 1500 BC, covering an area of more than 3 square kilometers. Its architectural style is similar to the symmetrical distribution pattern of the capital. There are palaces, residential areas, pottery making workshops, copper casting workshops, pits, tombs and other relics found in the site. There are more than 20000 unearthed cultural relics, including stone tools, pottery, jade, bronze, bone horn and clam ware. Among them, the bronze Baron is the earliest known bronze container in China.

Erlitou site is undoubtedly the orthodox ancient civilization in the Central Plains, so it is preliminarily recognized as the capital site in the middle and late Xia Dynasty. Erlitou site is of great significance. It proves that there were large-scale cities in the Central Plains before the Shang Dynasty, which pushed forward the civilization of the Chinese dynasty for hundreds of years. I believe that with the passage of time, there will be more and more evidence to prove the existence of the Xia Dynasty.


1. Flood.

The geographical center of the Xia Dynasty was Yanshi, Dengfeng, Xinmi and Yuzhou in Henan Province today. At that time, large towns were built near the water (the Yellow River and its tributaries), which was conducive to urban domestic water use or agricultural irrigation in the suburbs. However, the cities at that time lacked flood control means and facilities. The Yellow River and its tributaries were often diverted and flooded. The frequent relocation of the capital in the Xia and Shang Dynasties was directly related to floods.

At that time, the building level in the Central Plains was relatively low, with “rammed earth as the foundation and mud walls and thatched roofs” as the main building. There were very few buildings built with stones and bricks (the earliest brick and tile in China was about 4000 years ago, only for decorative effect). After the flood, many traces of human survival were erased, and it was very difficult to find relics thousands of years later.

2. The record carrier is backward.

The reason why the oracle bone inscriptions of the Shang Dynasty can be preserved is that the “oracle bone” is hard, and the Shang Dynasty should also have the recording tools of bamboo and wooden land, which may have decayed all over the ages. Therefore, it can not be considered that all records of the Shang Dynasty are recorded with oracle bone, which is neither economic nor reasonable.

However, there were few written records in the Xia Dynasty (for statistical purposes only), and the number was far less than that in the Shang Dynasty. The record carriers were more primitive, such as mud boards, bamboo slips, wooden slips and so on (missing the method of recording oracle bones). These materials were easier to be lost in the flood mud.



3. War.

There were few written records of the Xia Dynasty, and they were mainly concentrated in the palaces of the capital or important cities. In the war era when the Yin and Shang Dynasties destroyed the Xia Dynasty, a small number of written records of the Xia Dynasty were either destroyed by the war or buried under the ruins of the new city of the Shang Dynasty. This is also the biggest reason why it is impossible to confirm the ruins of the Xia Dynasty at present.

Although the existence of the Xia Dynasty can not be fully proved, as the first dynasty in China, its symbolic significance is far greater than its practical significance. Even without the history of the Xia Dynasty, it is still impossible to erase the contribution of the Chinese civilization to the world civilization.

Whether countries and nations in the world are respected or not is determined by their comprehensive national strength and the quality of the people, not by their length of history. It is certainly impossible for Americans to respect the ancestors of Egyptians, Middle Easterners, Greeks and Indians. Therefore, it is far more important to strive for national prosperity and people’s strength than to pursue a period of history.

Of course, as descendants of China, we still hope that in the near future, Chinese archaeologists will make major breakthroughs in the archaeological research of the Xia Dynasty. After all, the 5000 year old civilization can not be regretted.

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