The southern part of Shaanxi Province, where the Yellow River flows through the fertile Loess Plateau is considered to be one of the
world's most important cradles of humankind.
The province is know for its fossil fuels and hightech sectors. Its capital
is the sprawling metropole of Xian.
A local version of Homo Erectus, called Lantian Man, lived here 1.5 million
years ago. There are indications this robust predator had already control of fire.
Much later the region became a center
for the Zhou dynasty, known for its bronze vessels and modern script of Chinese characters.
The Huaqing hotsprings were already
well know to the Zhou and many subsequent emperors and dignitaries used, enlarged and pimped up the place.
Shi Huang, the first emperor to unify China in 221 BC made Xian his capital and left the world his Terracotta Army, now on display
at the Qin Mausoleum.
Tang Emperor Gaozong and his ambitious and ruthless wife Wu Zetian left an enduring mark
with the Qiangling Tang Mausoleum at Liangshan Hill.
Buddhism thrived in the early Tang period and Famen became a religious center
thanks to the recently recovered original fingerbone of Sakyamuni Buddha.