China's culture is one of the oldest in the world. Legend has it that three sovereigns and five emperors were the first rulers of China. They're also considered as the ancestors of the Chinese people. Of these legendary figures, some taught the Chinese to build houses, others how to grow grain. All of them were idealized figures during a time when mankind was first learning how to survive in the world. Today the Chinese often refer to themselves as descendants of the Yan and Huang emperors.
Despite a lack of written records in prehistoric China, through rich archaeological finds, it's possible to build a picture of what life was like during this period. Fossils of an ancient humanoid dating back 1.7 million years were found in Yuanmou County in Yunnan Province. The Yuanmou fossils are the earliest trace of homo sapiens in China. Research has shown that during the prehistoric era there were many patches of human inhabitation throughout China. Unearthed jade and pottery show the civilization of that time was technologically advanced.