Civilization of Li River– Guilin's History and Culture
"While the Five Ridges scorch, Guilin pleases you."
As early as 30,000 years ago, Baojiyan Cave Man were found dwelling in the caves of Guilin. Around 10,000 years ago, Zengpiyan Cave Man and Miaoyan Cave Man created splendid prehistorical culture. Around 6,000 years ago, carbonized rice specimen was unearthed in Xiaojin relics, which is believed to be the earliest in Guangdong and Guangxi areas.
With the construction of Lingqu Canal in Qin Dynasty(256~206B.C.) and Lingling Mountain Road in Eastern Han dynasty(A.D.25~220), Guilin became the transit hub that connected the Central Plains in the north and the sea areas in the south. In the 6 th year of Yuanding era of the reign of Emperor Wu of Han(111 B.C.), Emperor Wu conquered Nanyue Kingdom and established Shi An County; in the first year of Ganlu era during Eastern Wu period(A.D.265), Guilin became the administrative seat of the prefecture and maintained the position for 1,600 years; in Liang dynasty (A.D.502~587), Guilin was renamed Guizhou(Gui Prefecture); in Tang dynasty(A.D.618~907), Guilin became the administrative seat of Guizhou General Governing Office and Guizhou Military Commissioner. Since then, Guilin was called Gui. In Song dynasty(A.D.960~1279), Guilin became " the core city of the southwest "; in Ming dynasty(A.D.1368~1644), Jingjiang Prince set up his vassal state in Guilin and the governance was kept till Qing dynasty(A.D.1644~1912). In the long history of feudal society, Guilin had always been the center of politics, military, economy and culture of Guangxi.
During the Xinhai Revolution, Guangxi Provincial Governor declared the independence of Guangxi in Guilin. The new Guangxi Clique united the province, implemented new policy, and helped Guangxi obtain the fame "National Model Province". After the outbreak of the Second Sino-Japanese War (July 7, 1937), the political environment of Guilin was relatively loose, so that thousands of renowned writers, artists, scholars gathered here, rendering Guilin the famous "Cultural City for the Second Sino-Japanese War ". In the later Civil War, Northern Guangxi People's Liberation Troop was set up, heading the Northern Guangxi Guerrilla to fight. After the liberation on November 22, 1949, Guilin, the "unshakable iron city" that stood amid the chaos, turbulence, warfare, opened a new chapter under the banner of new China.
Prehistory of Guilin (about 30,000 ~ 2070 B.C.)
Guilin is a significant birthplace of the early civilization of South China.
Up to 2014, there had been 117 confirmed prehistorical relics in Guilin, including cave relics, rock shelter relics, platform relics, hillside relics, etc. The ages vary from Paleolithic Age to later Neolithic Age. All of these illustrate the historical process of the sparks of early civilization of Guilin spreading from mountain caves to mountain lands and plains.
Labor breeds wisdom. The primitive forefathers made labor tools with stones and animal bones and used fire to keep warm, cook, fire pottery. They also made attempts such as cultivating livestock and planting rice. In the hard time, they overcome the countless obstacles with strong will and created a unique prehistorical culture .
Ancient Guilin (2070 B.C. ~ A.D. 1840)
In the early Qin dynasty, Guilin belonged to the territory of Baiyue ethnic groups. In the 33rd year during the reign of Qin Shi Huang (214 B.C.), government supervising censor Lu was sent to build Lingqu Canal to connect Xiang River and Li River. Meanwhile, Lingnan area was conquered and the three commanderies—Guilin, Nanhai and Xiang Commanderies were set up. Since then, Lingnan area was officially included into the territory of the ruling dynasties in the Central Plains. In the 6th year of Yuanding era of the reign of Emperor Wu of Han (111 B.C.), Nanyue Kingdom was conquered and divided into 9 counties and Shi An county was set in Guilin, subject to Lingling Prefecture. During the period of Three Kingdoms and Western and Eastern Jin dynasties(A.D.220~420), Guilin was the county town of Shi An. In the 4th year of Wude era during Tang dynasty (A.D.621), Guizhou (Gui Prefecture) General Governing Office was set,with the district government set in Guilin. In the 3rd year of Shaoxing era of the reign of Emperor Gaozong of Song (A.D.1133), Guizhou was escalated into Jingjiang Prefecture, with the administrative seat set in Guilin. In the 5th year of Hongwu reign of Ming dynasty(A.D.1372), Guilin Prefecture was set with the administrative seat in Guilin. It was just at that time that Guilin got its name. During the period from Tang dynasty to Ming and Qing dynasties, Guilin had been the center of politics, military, economy and culture of Guangxi.
Modern Guilin (A.D. 1840–1949)
During the period of the Republic of China, Guilin was the seat of Guangxi's highest military command organ. Supreme Commander Sun Yat-sen once stationed here; Lu Rongting and Li Zongren set Guilin as the Capital of Guangxi Province (Chief Military and Politics Office). During the period of The Second Sino-Japanese War, the Communist Party of China set the liaison office of the Eighth Route Army in Guilin, responsible for the significant task of helping the Party Central Committee, the Southern Bureau, and the New Fourth Army connect party organizations in southern provinces and Hong Kong. Since the modern times, Guilin, given its susceptibility to southern and northern ethos, had been the place of various new concepts; it was also an "unshakable iron city" that stood amid the chaos, turbulence and warfare.