In ancient times, the territory of China was little like the modern one. It was covered with virgin forests and swamps fed by rivers that overflowed in high water, vast lakes, impenetrable salt lakes, and only on the plateaus stretched meadows and steppes.
To the East, between the lower reaches of the yellow river and the Yangtze, there was a chain of quicksand. The modern province of Hebei was a huge Delta called the "nine rivers". Beyond the seashore were wide lakes and swamps, and the Yi and Huai rivers disappeared into the swampy valley of the lower Yangtze river. "Lush vegetation clothed the entire basin of the Weihe river; majestic oaks grew there, and groups of cypresses and pines were everywhere visible. In the forests lived tigers, snow leopards, yellow leopards, bears, buffaloes, wild boars; jackals and wolves were always howling."
The fight against rivers has always occupied a large place in the life of the Chinese people. In the dry season, they were very shallow, but as soon as the rains passed in the mountains, they swelled and overflowed their banks. Overflowing, rivers lost their speed and deposited sediment. One part of the ancient inhabitants of Northern China left the raging waters in the mountains, where they supported their lives by hunting, while the other part entered into a decisive struggle with the elements of rivers - these were the ancestors of the Chinese. Industrious Chinese farmers from ancient times began to build dams to save their lives and their fields from flooding. "The territory of China has long been inhabited by tribes with different cultures, who had different ancestors. On the lands where they lived, each tribe developed its own culture in the struggle with the forces of nature." These tribes often fought each other. According to Chinese historical tradition, the first of the Chinese dynasties, the semi-legendary Xia, entered into a struggle with other tribes that inhabited the territory of China in the third Millennium BC. These tribes were called the Zhun and di. They inhabited the wooded mountains, while the ancestors of the Chinese got the lowlands. To the North, in the dry steppes, lived the Hun-Yu tribes. From the legends it is known that in 2600 BC the "Yellow Emperor" took a campaign against them. But the main opponents of Xia were not they, but the Rong and Di. In Chinese folklore, there are echoes of the struggle of the" black-headed "ancestors of the Chinese with" red-haired devils ". The Chinese won the thousand-year war. They drove the "barbarians" into the mountains, steppes, and even the southern jungles, but as we will see later, this victory was not final. Despite its success, the Xia Kingdom held only the Henan region and the southwestern part of Shanxi; it was here that the core of the future Chinese people was concentrated.
In 1764 BC in China, as a result of the revolution, instead of the Xia dynasty, the Shang dynasty was established, under which the foundations of ancient Chinese civilization were formed and the ancient Chinese people were formed.
The Shang-Yin is the first completely historical dynasty of China. It is associated with the emergence of the first Chinese state. Numerous excavations restore the picture of its culture, but the political history is still dark. It is clear that the Shan was already a real slave state with hereditary power and aristocracy. The most important cultural achievement of this era was the invention of hieroglyphic writing, which played an extremely important role in the subsequent history of China. Trade developed not only with Hebei, which lay to the North of the yellow river, but also through the North-East of China to lake Baikal and the Angara coast. Of course, only goods got there, and not the Chinese themselves, who usually made the exchange with the help of intermediary tribes. Metal was sent to Siberia: tin, bronze, and from Siberia - green and white jade, precious furs, and possibly slaves. This is how the far Eastern center of culture was formed.