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The Mother River
2012/7/6 9:48:00

  The Yellow River originates from the Yueguzonglie Basin in the northern side of Bayankala Mountains, traverses the  Loess Plateau and the Great Huang-Huai-Hai Floodplain, and flows into the Bohai Sea . The Yellow River is 5,464 kilometers long, with a total elevation drop of 4480 meters; with a basin area of 795,000 km2 (interior region area is 42,000 km2).

 

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  The Yellow River is the main water source for north China and northwest China; the Yellow River runs through nine provinces acrossing China, the Yellow River is the life river of China.

 

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       The Yellow River is called "the cradle of Chinese civilization", as its basin is the birthplace of the northern Chinese civilizations and was the most prosperous region in the early Chinese history. In the ancient times, the climate in the middle and lower reaches of the Yellow River was much more temperate with abundant precipitation, which was suitable for the primitive human’s live. The Loess Plateau and the Yellow River alluvial plain was highly fertile and easy to farm, which contributed to the development of the early agriculture. The loess’ character has provided shelter from the cold winter and hot summer for the ancient people. Special natural geographic environment fostered the Chinese civilizations. 1.1 million years ago, Lantian man lived in the Yellow River basin.Furthermore, Dali man, Dingchun man and Hetao man also lived and multiplied on this land.Along the Yellow River, the multiplying and growing sites of Chinese ancients can be found, such as the famous Yangshao Culture Site, Majiayao Culture Site, Dawenkou Culture Site, Longshan Culture Site. These abundant and continuous ancient cultural sites systematically display the development process of the ancient Chinese Civilization.

   As early as 6000 years ago, the human beings within the the Yellow River basin began to work on agriculture. About 4000 years ago, some kinship tribes formed, among which, the Yan Emperor and Yellow Emporer are the most powerful tribes. The two tribes united and subdued other tribes to become a one tribe under the leadership of Yellow Emperor, which is called Huaxia Nation”. Therefore, the Yellow Emperor has been regarded as the forefather of the Chinese nation. There are the Yellow Emperor Palace in his birth place which is located in Xinzheng, Henan Province and the tomb of Yellow Emperor in Huangling, Shaanxi Province. The offspring of the Yellow Emperor and Yan Emporer all regarded the Yellow River as "the cradle of Chinese nation" and called the Yellow River as the “Mother River” and “the head of four channels (Yellow River, Yangtze River, Huai River and Ji River)”. The loess is called the root of Chinese nation.

 

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   Since Xia Dynasty (21st century BC), more than 4,000 years of history including over 3,000 years the capitals of the ancient dynasties were built in the Yellow River basin.Among the list of “Seven Ancient Capitals of China” , there are four were built in the Yellow River basin, including Anyang, Xian, Luoyang, Kaifeng. Oracle Bones with ancient Chinese writing founded in Anyang (was called Yin in history) opened the written history of China. Xian (includes Xianyang) is called the famous “emperor capital is flowed round by eight rivers”. From Western Zhou, Qin and Han dynasty to Sui, Tang dynasty, the emperors of 13 dynasties had set up their capitals in Xian successively and lasted more than 1000 years capital history. After Eastern Zhou dynasty moved capital to Luoyang, Luoyang was selected as the capital city by Eastern Han, Wei, Sui, Tang, Later Liang and Later Zhou dynasty successively and had 9000 years capital history. Luoyang is called “the capitals of nine dynasties”.Kaifeng, formerly known as Bianliang, waslocated along the southern bank of the Yellow River. In the Warring States Period, the state of Wei founded a city called Daliang as its capital in this area. Later the Song Dynasty made Kaifeng its capital and lasted almost 200 years. In a long history period, the Yellow River basin was always the center of politics, economy and culture. In addition, in terms of science, technology, literature and fine arts, this area was in the leading position at all times.

   About 2,000 BC ago, the earliest bronze artifacts were found in the Yellow River basin. In Shang Dynasty, the workmanship on the bronzes attests to a high level of civilization. Meanwhile, the use of iron metallurgy was the symbol of productivity to a new stage. Iron adz and axe unearthed in Luoyang displayed that Chinese ironworking was 2000 years ealier than that in the western countries. “The Four Great Inventions of the ancient China”——Papermaking, Printing, Compass and Gunpowder were born in the Yellow River basin. The book of songs, poetry, Song Ci and a lot of literature masterpiece were born in the Yellow River basin as well.Though China’s economy center was moved to the south china gradually after the Song Dynasty, the Yellow River and the area of the lower reaches of the Yellow River still held an important place in China’s politics, economy and culture development process. Due to the long history of the Yellow River, it left us lots of various cultural relics and historic sites,which is the pride of the Chinese Nation.