Soundbonus - Popular Chinese Folk Song 'The Beautiful Nandu River', By Unknown Chinese Artist.
According to historians today, the earliest human habitation on Hainan Island can be traced as far back as 6 to 10.000 years. However, as far as modern civilization and the Chinese State are concerned the history of the Island starts during the Qin Dynasty (221 BC - 206 BC), the era of the first construction a unified Great Wall of China.
In the Chinese Imperial Records, which form much of the basis for the perceived history of the times, the first record involving what today is Hainan Island Province, mentions the Island under its administrative name as Xiang Prefecture. Xiang Prefecture thus was the first known Chinese administrative unit on the Island.
It was however not until the succesful reign of the Han Dynasty (206 BC - 221 AD) that Imperial control was achieved and solidified in the southern regions of what is now Guangdong Province, enough to unlock Hainan Island and enable more outside control of the tropical island. The contact with Hainan was maintained mainly through the pearl River delta, where a new city flourished under the name of Panyu. Panyu, later became the
Schematic depiction of the extend of the first feudal Chinese Empire united under the tyrannical rule of Qin Shi Huangdi as it was at its heighpoint in 210 BC. As shown the Leizhou Peninsula, the pearl river delta and coastal regions of Hainan were under the Qin influence.
city of Canton and is currently known as Guangzhou, the Capital of Guangdong Province. At around the same time a Han Dynasty city emerged on the Leizhou Peninsula, which later became Qiongzhou.
China Report - Map of China in the Age o/t Han Dynasty 2nd Century BC + Trade Routes
A Schematic Map depicting the Full extends of the Han Dynasty Empire and its trade relations with neighboring States and Neighboring Peoples and Tribes.
Marked on the Map are the locations of Main Cities of the Han Empire, Han Military Garrisons and Strongpoints, locations of Tributary States (mainly in the West) and the Pathways of Sections of the Great Wall of China constructed during the Han Dynasty Reign Era.
About a hundred plus years after the fall of the shortlived Qin Dynasty, in the period of the so-called Western Han Dynasty, around the year 100 BC, Xiang Prefecture was divided into two, creating the Zhuya (珠崖); meaning Pearl Cliffs and Dan'er prefectures on the Island. The name Zhuya first fixed the Island in the collective Chinese mind as a tropical Island paradise and source of beautiful pearls, which it would remain until this very day.
Yet another half a century onward, in 46 BC, Emperor Yuan of the Western Han combined the two new prefectures back into one administrative unit, naming it Zhulu County.
In the little mentioned Nanbei Dynasty, Emperor Liangwu established the "zhou" system in Hainan and called the area Ya Zhou.
Many centuries later, during the prosperous era of the Sui Dynasty (581 AD - 618 AD) Two prefectures, Linzhen and Zhuya, Pearl Cliffs (珠崖), were established on Hainan Island marking another small
notch on the ladder of development of this remote island corner of the Empire. The further Chinese civilization advanced and included the tropical island, the more the indigenous people of the Island were marginalized, a process that would continue into the future centuries.