This article describes the History of Yunnan
, a province in the People's Republic of China.
Notable prehistoric finds include the Yuanmou Man
, a Homo erectus
fossil unearthed by railway engineers in the 1960s and determined to be the oldest known hominid fossil in China.
By the Neolithic period. human settlements existed in the area of Lake Dian
, close to modern day Kunming
, Yunnan's capital. The inhabitants used stone tools and constructed simple wooden structures.
The Kingdom of Dian
The Dian Culture was distributed around the Lake Dian
area and dated, though controversial, between the 6th century BC and the 1st century AD. The culture is divided in to an early and a late phase. The late phase begins in 109 BC, the year when the kingdom officially became a vassal state of the Han empire
In 109 BC, Emperor Wu
sent General Guo Chang (郭昌) south to Yunnan, establishing Yizhou
commandery and 24 subordinate counties. The commandery seat was at Dianchi county (present day Jinning 晋宁). To expand the burgeoning trade with Burma
, Emperor Wu also sent Tang Meng (唐蒙) to maintain and expand the Five Foot Way, renaming it "Southwest Barbarian Way" (西南夷道). By this time, agricultural technology in Yunnan had markedly improved. The local people used bronze tools, plows and kept a variety of livestock, including cattle, horses, sheep, goats, pigs and dogs. Anthropologists have determined that these people... Read More