Ancient ChinaChina - China is one of the oldest civilizations on earth. River basins are ideal locations for their development and China has two of the greatest, the Yellow and the Yangtze. However, it's the northern Yellow where Chinese civilization began. Although the first dynasty is said to be the Xia, little evidence for its existence has been found. There are no archaeological or written records that date to that era. However, it is frequently referred to in later dynasties. Sima Qian, the "father" of Chinese history lists the Xia in his Records of the Grand Historian and it is also mentioned in the Bamboo Annals. The first dynasty which can be verified archaeologically and from which written records exist is the Shang.