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History of Xian
Historically, Xi'an was famous for being called "a gold city stretching a thousand li (547,000 yards)" with its fertile soil, mild climate, adequate rainfall and rich products. Six to seven thousand years ago, a stable village was built by a late Neolithic people, the Banpo. It had about sixty buildings and housed over 200 people from two clans. It was a matriarchal society based on farming.
Over the next 3,000 years the descendants of these people would found new villages, begin to build cities, use jade, bronze, and copper, and increase their skills in agriculture. The first dynasty/government was called the Xia and lasted from 2200 to 1700 B.C.. After that, change became more rapid.
Over the centuries successive capitals have changed their names and locations, as well as their characters. The remains of Gaojing, the capital during the Western Zhou dynasty (1027-771 BC), consisted of crude bronze artifacts for cooking, burial and farming. They reflect an early agricultural society.
In 221 B.C. Ying Zheng (Qin Shihuangdi), became the First Emperor of Qin. He began work on his tomb shortly after becoming king of Qin at the age of 13; he was 52 by the time it was completed. It covers 56.25 square kilometers and it took 700,000 workers to build the 8,000 terra-cotta warriors; thousands of them were buried within the tomb. The tradition of "xun" may help to explain the great care taken to make each model unique --each of the 8,000 soldiers has their own facial features and hair-style, and although they are dressed in the same uniform, the folds and fit are unique. In 222 and 223 B.C.,the First Emperor ordered the burning of books on history and philosophy and the burying alive of 460 Confucian scholars who had the temerity to continue teaching principles drawn from the past. He also managed to build over 6,000 miles of road, enough to rival those of the Roman Empire; over a thousand miles of canals for flood control, transportation and irrigation;, and consolidated three sections of what would be the Great Wall into a wall of 5,000 li (2,735,000 yards). The work on the wall alone took 10 years and 300,000 soldiers and countless numbers of civilians. Qin Shihuangdi centralized the bureaucracy and government to control rival states within the empire. The Qin dynasty was quickly overthrown following the death of the First Emperor.
10 days Shanghai-Xian-Pingyao-Beijing Train Tour
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