Bronze Age
Ancient Chinese of the Erlitou culture, an early Bronze Age urban society and archaeological culture that existed in the Yellow River valley from approximately 1900 to 1500 BC. ©Howard Ternping
3100 BCE Jan 1 - 2700 BCE

Bronze Age

Sanxingdui, Guanghan, Deyang,

Bronze artifacts have been found at the Majiayao culture site (between 3100 and 2700 BC). The Bronze Age is also represented at the Lower Xiajiadian culture (2200–1600 BC) site in northeast China. Sanxingdui located in what is now Sichuan province is believed to be the site of a major ancient city, of a previously unknown Bronze Age culture (between 2000 and 1200 BC). The site was first discovered in 1929 and then re-discovered in 1986. Chinese archaeologists have identified the Sanxingdui culture to be part of the ancient kingdom of Shu, linking the artifacts found at the site to its early legendary kings.

Ferrous metallurgy begins to appear in the late 6th century in the Yangzi Valley. A bronze tomahawk with a blade of meteoric iron excavated near the city of Gaocheng in Shijiazhuang (now Hebei province) has been dated to the 14th century BC. An Iron Age culture of the Tibetan Plateau has tentatively been associated with the Zhang Zhung culture described in early Tibetan writings.