The discovery of Yiyuan Man in Shandong, who walked the earth at the same time as Peking Man, traces local civilization back 500,000 years. Archaeological artifacts unearthed throughout the region suggest a truly advanced pre-historic culture. As a matter of fact, the earliest dated pottery was discovered in Longshan, Shandong.
Shandong enjoys the honor of being the birthplace of Confucius, Mencius, and the “Yellow Emperor” Xuanyuan, the founder of the Chinese nation.
Shandong History would not be integrated without Confucius. Confucius, who was born in Qufu, the capital of Lu State, in ancient times, was one of the world’s greatest thinkers. He created the Confucian doctrines, which have become the pillar of traditional Chinese culture, and have influenced sophisticated thinking throughout the world. Sun Wu, a strategist who grew up by the Yellow River, is famous for his book Sun Zi’s Art of War, which is still regarded as a classic and is used as a military text throughout the world. Various schools of thought and their exponents, such as Mencius, Mo Zi, Xun Zi, Zhuang Zi, Guan Zhong, and Yan Ying take root in the province and continue to influence China’s pre-Qin ideological and academic history.
Shandong boasts a large number of cultural relics and historical sites, which are spread throughout the province. It has 51 key historical monuments under state protection, and 397 under province protection, in addition to six famous historical and cultural cities – Jinan, Qingdao, Qufu, Liaocheng, Zibo and Zoucheng. The mansion, temple and cemetery of Confucius in Qufu have been designated as World Cultural Heritage sites.
Shandong Province spreads throughout a vast area of the Yellow River valley east of the Taihang Mountains. In the Jin Dynasty (1115-1234), Shandong Eastern and Western regions were established, and Shandong was first used as the name for the administrative area. In 1368 (the first year of the Hongwu reign period of the Ming Dynasty), Shandong Branch Secretariat was set up as the predecessor of Shandong Province. In 1377, the capital of Shandong Province was moved to Jinan and the Shandong Provincial Administration Commission was created. In the pre-Qin period, Shandong belonged to Qi and Lu states. Shandong was often referred to as Qi or Qilu for short.
Shandong is comprised of 17 cities with a total of 139 counties.