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|History of Hong Kong|
Prehistoric Hong Kong is the period between the arrival of the first humans in Hong Kong and the start of recorded Chinese history first appeared during the Han dynasty. The history of the southern region (which may possibly include Hong Kong) is reckoned to have been first recorded in 214 BC with Qin Shi Huang conquering the Baiyue and creating the Jiaozhou province.[ citation needed ]
The prehistorical period can be divided into Stone Age and Bronze Age. Archaeology evidence suggests the earliest human settlement was in the Wong Tei Tung area dating back to 38,000 BC.
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 artefacts 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.
The Neolithic Era began approximately 7,000 years ago in Hong Kong. Excavations of Tung Wan Tsai North (Ma Wan) and Sha Tau Kok reveal evidence of pottery during this time, but it does not reveal if there was pottery before this time due to the lack of absolute dates. The Neolithic period in this area was divided into four different phases. Phase one was when the Neolithic era began around 7000 years ago. The second phase was around 6500-6000 BP when white and painted chalkware were present along with ground adzes and axes along with flaked points. The third phase began around 6000-5000 BP, identified by white chalkware with incisions and shouldered stone implements. The final phase was around 5000-3500 BP with the presence of pottery with geometric patterns, stepped adze, shouldered adze and more ground stone implements.
Hong Kong is located on the coast of South China. Unlike northern China, the settlers in this area were the Che people (Chinese :輋族). Excavated Neolithic artefacts 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.
Evidences of using fire were found from Chung Hom Kok on the Hong Kong Island. In late Neolithic, their settlement extends from shores to the hills nearby.
Stone circles were found in Fan Lau and other areas in Hong Kong. Its purpose is still unidentified but some suggests it is related to worship.
The coming of the Warring States period brought an influx of Yuet people from the 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 the ground were found in Ha Pak Nai. It is believed they were the foundations of grand houses of that period.
The 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. According to recent archaeological findings, there were possibly many significant differences between the Yue civilisation and the Qin-Han dynasties.According to the historical records written during the Han dynasty, the Yue people (who originated in the Southern region of the current China along the Pearl River) were mainly barbarians with little or no civilisation. However, there is archaeological evidence suggesting that the Yue civilisation was sophisticated and advanced.
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.
Nine rock carvings have been discovered and are listed as declared monuments:
All are believed to date back to what was the Bronze Agein northern China, approximately Shang Dynasty in China. The carvings are also believed to have been intended to pacify the bad weather.
Besides the stones circles and the rock carvings, several prehistoric sites have been studied in Hong Kong. They include:
Hong Kong Island is an island in the southern part of Hong Kong. It has a population of 1,289,500 and its population density is 16,390/km2, as of 2008. The island had a population of about 3,000 inhabitants scattered in a dozen fishing villages when it was occupied by the United Kingdom in the First Opium War (1839–1842). In 1842, the island was formally ceded in perpetuity to the UK under the Treaty of Nanking and the City of Victoria was then established on the island by the British Force in honour of Queen Victoria. The island was given as a gesture of goodwill back to China at the end of the New Territories lease, to ensure continued peace and fair trading in the area.
Lantau Island is the largest island in Hong Kong, located West of Hong Kong Island and South West of the Kowloon Peninsula, and is part of the New Territories. Administratively, most of Lantau Island is part of the Islands District of Hong Kong. A small northeastern portion of the island is located in the Tsuen Wan District.
The Islands District is one of the 18 districts of Hong Kong. It is part of the New Territories. It had a population of 170,900 in 2018.
Hong Kong has a long coastline that is full of twists and turns with many bays and beaches. Many of them are well sheltered by mountains nearby, as Hong Kong is a mountainous place. As a result, large waves seldom appear at the bays, making them suitable for human swimming.
Hong Kong counts approximately 600 temples, shrines and monasteries. While Buddhism and Christianity are the most widely practiced religions, most religions are represented in the Special Administrative Region.
Tung Lung Chau, previously known as Nam Tong Island or Nam Fat Tong is an island located off the tip of the Clear Water Bay Peninsula in the New Territories of Hong Kong. It is also referred by Hong Kong people as Tung Lung To or Tung Lung Island (東龍島). The island is largely uninhabited. Administratively, it belongs to Sai Kung District.
Tung Chung, meaning "eastern stream", is an area on the northwestern coast of Lantau Island, Hong Kong. One of the most recent new towns, it was formerly a rural fishing village beside Tung Chung Bay, and along the delta and lower courses of Tung Chung River and Ma Wan Chung in the north-western coast of Lantau Island. The area was once an important defence stronghold against pirates and foreign military during the Ming and the Qing dynasties.
Ma Wan is an island of Hong Kong, located between Lantau Island and Tsing Yi Island, with an area of 0.97 square kilometres. Administratively, it is part of Tsuen Wan District.
Declared monuments of Hong Kong are places, structures or buildings legally declared to receive the highest level of protection. In Hong Kong, declaring a monument requires consulting the Antiquities Advisory Board, the approval of the chief executive as well as the publication of the notice in government gazette.
Hung Shing Temples or Tai Wong Temples are temples dedicated to Hung Shing Tai Wong (洪聖大王). Hung Shing temples have been widely built in southern China, especially Guangdong province and in Hong Kong.
Shek Pik is an area located along the southwestern coast of Lantau Island, Hong Kong. When the Shek Pik Reservoir was built, villages at Shek Pik were demolished and the villagers were relocated to other parts of Lantau Island and to Tsuen Wan. Below the dam of the reservoir is Shek Pik Prison.
The Outlying Islands refers to all the islands that make up the territory of Hong Kong, with the exception of Hong Kong Island. There are 263 islands over 500 m2 in Hong Kong, the vast majority of which are located within the New Territories and significant numbers of them are located in Islands District in the south and southwest, Sai Kung District in the southeast, and Tai Po District and North District in the northeast. The term outlying is not strictly defined and in some cases islands very close to Hong Kong Island and mainland China are not included.
The History of Hong Kong under Imperial China began in 214 BC during the Qin dynasty. The territory remained largely unoccupied until the later years of the Qing dynasty when Imperial China ceded the region to Great Britain under the 1842 Treaty of Nanking, whereupon Hong Kong became a British Colony.
Articles related to Hong Kong include:
Tin Hau temples in Hong Kong are dedicated to Tin Hau (Mazu). Over 100 temples are dedicated to Tin Hau in Hong Kong. A list of these temples can be found below.
Hong Kong Archaeological Society is a government-funded organization dedicated to carry out excavations and preserve archaeological heritage in Hong Kong. The society affiliates with the Hong Kong Museum of History to establish artifact collections and journal publications.
Sham Chung is a village and an area of Neolithic settlement in Hong Kong. It is located near Wong Tei Tung beside Three Fathoms Cove on the Sai Kung Peninsula.
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|The Wikibook History of Hong Kong has a page on the topic of: Prehistoric times|