Prehistoric Hong Kong
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Prehistoric Hong Kong is the period between the arrival of the first humans in the modern Hong Kong region of the current China and the start of recorded Chinese history first appeared during the period of the Han empire. The history of the southern region (which may possibly include Hong Kong) is reckoned to have first recorded in 214 BC with Qin Shi Huang conquering the Yueh (Hundred Yueh/PRC pinyin: Baiyue) civilization and creating the Jiaozhou province.
According to recent archaeological findings, there were possibly many significant differences between the Yueh civilization and the Qin-Han civilization. According to the historical records written during the Han empire (which originated in the Northwestern region of the current China along the Yellow River), the Yueh people (who originated in the Southern region of the current China along the Pearl River) were mainly barbarians with little or no civilization. However, there is archaeological evidence found in Hong Kong, suggesting that the Yueh civilization may have existed longer and was more advanced in some aspects than the original Qin-Han civilization (also known as the Longshan culture).
Evidence of an Upper Paleolithic settlement in Hong Kong was found at Wong Tei Tung in Sham Chung beside the Three Fathoms Cove in Sai Kung Peninsula. There were 6000 artifacts found in a slope in the area and jointly confirmed by the Hong Kong Archaeological Society and Centre for Lingnan Archaeology of Zhongshan University. It is believed that the Three Fathom Cove was a river valley during that period and ancient people collected stone tools from the lithic manufacturing site in Wong Tei Tung to the settlement in near Tolo Harbour and Mirs Bay.
Hong Kong is located on the coast of South China. Unlike northern China, the settlers in this area were the Che people (輋族). Excavated Neolithic artifacts suggest a difference from northern Chinese Stone-Age cultures, including the Longshan. Excavated sites in Hong Kong were largely located on the western shores of Hong Kong. This location was most likely chosen to avoid strong winds from the southeast and to collect food from the nearby shores. Settlement can be found in Cheung Chau, Lantau Island and Lamma Island.
The coming of the Warring States period brought an influx of Yuet people from north into the area. They probably avoided the instabilities at the north and went south. Bronze fishing, combat and ritual tools were excavated on Lantau Island and Lamma Island. Ma Wan was the earliest settlement with direct evidents in Hong Kong. Another one is Lung Kwu Tan. Bronze tools were found on Lantau Island, Cheung Chau, Chek Lap Kok as well. Regular holes on ground were found in Ha Pak Nai. It is believed they are the foundation of grand houses of that period.
Yuet people were competing and assimilating with indigenous Che people. It is believed that there were wars between them. Qin Shi Huang of the Qin Dynasty sent large numbers of soldiers and Qin subjects to Guangdong and made the competition harder.
There are still no written documents or artefacts related to Qin rules and early Han Dynasty rules. The excavation of Lei Cheng Uk Han Tomb of later Han dynasty effectively brings Hong Kong out of prehistory.
- Po Toi Island
- Tung Lung Island
- Kau Sai Chau
- Cheung Chau
- Shek Pik on Lantau Island
- Wong Chuk Hang
- Big Wave Bay on Hong Kong Island
- Lung Ha Wan (龍蝦灣) in Sai Kung
- Meacham, W. (2008). The Archaeology of Hong Kong. The University of Hong Kong. ISBN 978-9622099258.
- Finn, D.J. (1958). Archaeological finds on Lamma Island near Hong Kong. Ricci Hall, University of Hong Kong. ASIN B0006CLFNI.
- "The Trial Excavation at the Archaeological Site of Wong Tei Tung, Sham Chung, Hong Kong SAR". Hong Kong Archaeological Society. January 2006. Retrieved 21 August 2010.
- 2005 Field Archaeology on Sham Chung Site
- Antiquities and Monuments Office: Rock Carvings on Po Toi
- S.G. Davis, Shirlee Edelstein, Madeleine H. Tang, "Rock Carvings in Hong Kong and the New Territories", 26 September 1973
- Antiquities and Monuments Office: Rock Carving on Tung Lung Chau
- Antiquities and Monuments Office: Rock Carving on Kau Sai Chau
- Antiquities and Monuments Office: Rock Carving on Cheung Chau
- Antiquities and Monuments Office: Rock Carvings at Shek Pik
- Antiquities and Monuments Office: Rock Carvings at Wong Chuk Hang
- Antiquities and Monuments Office: Rock Carvings at Big Wave Bay
- Antiquities and Monuments Office: Rock Carvings at Lung Ha Wan
- Meacham, William (2008). The Archaeology of Hong Kong. Hong Kong University Press. pp. 123–129. ISBN 978-962-209-925-8.
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