Ancient History of Yunnan
the Mesozoic Era, gigantic dinosaurs could be found strolling among
the tropical and sub-tropical plants in marshlands and forests.
One day in the Cretaceous Period, all of these herbivores disappeared
mysteriously. Tens of thousands of years later, people found their
fossils under the stratum of Lufeng County in central Yunnan. In
Jinning, beside Dianchi Lake, there are also 200 dinosaurs footprints
left in the Jurassic Period.
Yunnan is one of the birth places of mankind.
Between 10 and 15 million years ago, a kind of apeman came down
from the trees to the ground, leaving traces from Yuanmou in central
Yunnan to Kaiyuan in southern Yunnan. Between 1956 to 1957, fossils
of "Lama Ape Man" were discovered in the coal layers at
Xiaolongtan, Kaiyuan. They are the earliest example of man in the
Chinese geologic age. Later, scientists found a fossil of "Yuanmou
Xiaohe Ancient Ape", which has more characteristics of modern
man.In May 1965, paleoanthropologists discovered the fossil of "Yuanmou
Ape Man", the ancestor of the Chinese people, who lived more
than 1.7 million years ago. During the long Paleolithic Age, Yunnan
became more prosperous. Early
Homo Sapiens lived in Zhaotong, and in later stages they lived in
Lijiang, Kunming, Xichou, Pupiao and Yaoguan. With the coming of
the Neolithic Age, many nationalities and tribes lived together
on this vast land stretching from northeastern Yunnan to the Lancang
River Valley, from the middle and upper reaches of the Jinsha River
to the Erhai and Dianchi lakes. They created diversified folk traditions
and strong inter-relationships. Yunnan is also an important passage
for migration between different tribes. People could move freely
and seek their ideal place to live. They travelled far greater distances
and shared cultural exchanges far more widely than we can imagine.
In this ancient corridor there lived many different peoples, including
the Baipu, Baiyue, Miao, Yao, Di and Qiang ethnic tribes. They pushed
forward human civilization along the ancient rivers.
Entering Yunnan, you will find the
colorful plateau culture. Entering Yunnan, you will
experience the rich ancient human civilization.