先秦，指中国历史上秦始皇统一中国以前的漫长历史时期。 大约在170万年以前，中国人的祖先就生活在云南的元谋县境内，我们把这作为原始社会的开端。在陕西的蓝田、北京的周口店等地，都有原始人类的遗址。古书中记载了不少关于中国人祖先的传说，其中最有名的是炎帝、黄帝和尧、舜、禹的传说。 约公元前2070年，中国第一个王朝夏朝建立，其统治时间长达400多年。第二个王朝是商朝，也叫殷朝(因为商朝初年，多次迁都，最后迁到殷——今河南安阳，并在那里统治了300多年)。商朝是当时世界上的一个大国，统治时间长达500多年，留下了甲骨文、青铜器等许多极其珍贵的史料、文物。第三个统一的王朝是西周，都城在今天的西安。后来西周的都城被少数民族攻占，周王室被迫迁都到今天的洛阳，历史上叫做东周，西周与东周的时间共约800年。东周分为春秋和战国两个时期，春秋时期，国家分裂成许多小国；到了战国时期，形成了七个力量强大的国家，这些国家通过改革进入了封建社会，并为后来秦的统一奠定了基础。 与世界历史对照，当古埃及、古巴比伦、古印度文明发展进步之时，中国正经历文明勃兴的夏、商、西周王朝。当欧洲希腊、罗马城邦国家繁荣之时，正是中国春秋战国思想文化昌盛的时代。东西方文明交相辉映，地中海地区和中国，逐渐形成世界两大文明的中心。
The Dawn of Chinese History - the Pre-Qin Period
The pre-Qin period refers to remote antiquity, before Emperor Qinshihuang united China for the first time. Ancestors of the Chinese people lived in present-day Yuanmou County, Yunnan Province, about 1,700,000 years ago. We regard this time as the beginning of primitive society. There are sites of primitive people in Lantian, Shaanxi Province, and Zhoukoudian, near Beijing, and other places. There are many legends about the ancestors of the Chinese people recorded in ancient books, the most famous of which are the legends concerning Yandi, Huangdi, Yao, Shun and Yu. About 2070 BC, the Xia Dynasty, the first dynasty to emerge in China, was founded. It lasted for over 400 years. The second dynasty was the Shang Dynasty (also called the Yin Dynasty, as it changed its capital several times, and finally settled in Yin, today's Anyang in Henan Province). The Shang Dynasty was a great power in the world at that time. It existed for over 500 years, and left a lot of extremely precious historical materials and artifacts such as inscriptions on bones and tortoise shells and bronze wares. The third dynasty was the Western Zhou Dynasty, the capital of which was Hao, today's Xi'an in Shaanxi Province. Driven from Hao by invading tribes, the Zhou ruling house moved its capital to today's Luoyang, in Henan Province, from which time it was known to history as the Eastern Zhou Dynasty. Western and Eastern Zhou lasted about 800 years altogether. Eastern Zhou is divided by historians into the Spring and Autumn Period (770 - 476 BC) and the Warring States Period (475 - 221 BC). During the Spring and Autumn Period, the country split into many small rival vassal states; by the time of the Warring States Period, they had coalesced into seven powerful states. It was in the Warring States Period that the foundations were laid for feudalism and the forthcoming unification of China under the Qin Dynasty. When the ancient Egyptian, ancient Babylonian and ancient Indian civilizations were developing, the Xia, Shang and Western Zhou dynasties were flourishing in China. When the Greek and Roman city states were in their heyday in Europe, the thought and culture of the Spring and Autumn and Warring States periods prospered. The Mediterranean area and China gradually came to be the centers of the world's two main civilizations.