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China 2000 BC - Unearthing the Truth Behind a Myth: The Xia Dynasty

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The nation of China is more than 4000 years old, and recent discoveries are shedding new light on its origins. In our common knowledge China’s earliest dynasty that was proven to exist was the Shang that was founded in about 1600 B.C. However, joint research by Chinese and Japanese archeologists is uncovering evidence of an even earlier dynasty, existence of which has long been considered just a myth as if Troy in China. It was the Xia, the first dynasty established by Yu the Great, who is said to have saved many people's life from violent floods through his diligent flood prevention works.

In the past decades there have been archaeological digs across the country, yielding many astounding findings. They indicate that in this ancient period, many nations were springing up throughout China, each with its own languages and customs.  Archaeological facts also show that many of colonies that thrived along the Yellow River declined through repeated flooding events. Among them one who survived disasters with their unique wisdom would rise to become China’s earliest dynasty. They introduced palace rituals to bind many tribes, and the tradition gave the prototype of all Chinese dynasties through the ages, further having a vast cultural influence on Asian nations.

The episode explores how the first chaos was followed by a dramatic development of the first dynasty and what would create the base of a great civilization.



2013, 46 min 40 s