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History

Source:   Time:

  

  Since 1956, fossils of Kaiyuan Dryopithecid (dating backto 15million years ago), Lufeng Ramapithecus (dating back to 8 million years ago), and Yuanmou Man (dating back to 1.7 million years ago) have been unearthed in Yunnan, testifying to its significance as an area where the human race originated and an important pre-historic human habitat.

  

  The Paleolithic and Neolithic cultural relics found in Yuanmou County and the Dianchi and Erhai lakeside areas show that Yunnan is also an important location of early human culture and provide evidence of its role in the long process of human evolution.

  About 286 BC, General Zhuang Qiao of the Chu Kingdom in the midreaches of the Yangtze River, led his army into Yunnan. At that time, Yunnan was inhabited by such ancient tribes as the Dian, the Yelang,the Kunming and the Ailao, all of whom are the ancestors of many ethnic groups found in Yunnan today. Zhuang Qiao subdued these tribes and unified the Dianchi area. The war, however, prevented Zhuang Qiao and his soldiers from returning to their homes. As a result, they settled down in the Dianchi area eventually and gradually became assimilated with the local tribes. They brought to their new home the more-advanced culture of the Yangtze River valley.

  In 221 BC, following the unification of China by the first Emperor of the Qin Dynasty, Li Bin, the governor of Shu (nowadays Sichuan Province), built a "five-chi(one-foot) wide path" that began in Yibin of Sichuan Province and ended in Qujing of Yunnan Province. The Qin court also dispatched officials to Yunnan and other parts of Southwest China to execute direct administration over these regions, thus making Yunnan an integral part of the unified China.

  The policies of the Qin Dynasty to develop the border areas were carried on and further improved in the Han Dynasty.

  In the 7th century, a new era began with the rule of the Tang Dynasty over Yunnan. In 707 AD, the Tang troops defeated an invading Tibetan army in the Erhai area, and helped the Nanzhao princesses to establish unified rule over the area. The Nanzhao Kingdom was established with PiLuoge the Big chieftain being designated as the King of Yunnan.

  During the 247 years in which it ruled, the Nanzhao Kingdom remained a subordinate to the Tang Court and functioned as a southwestern outpost of the Tang Empire against Tibet.

  In 937 AD, the Nanzhao Kingdom was replaced by the Dali Kingdom. The rule of this new kingdom lasted 300 years, during which it remained loyal to the central government and maintained the boundary lines defined since the Nanzhao period.

  

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