William Bramwell Powell
William Bramwell Powell was an American educator and superintendent of schools. He was born in New York, on December 22, 1836 to Mary Dean and Joseph Powell, he spent most of his childhood in Illinois. He received degrees from Wheaton College and Lombard College, stayed in Illinois as a school principal, he moved to Illinois for eight years. There he married Wilhelmina Bengelstraeter Paul on May 28, 1865, he spent sixteen years in Aurora, where he was the superintendent of schools. In 1885 he was appointed superintendent of schools in Washington DC, in 1888 he co-founded the National Geographic Society, of which he was vice-president in 1894, he wrote several textbooks on writing and reading and retired in June 1900. He died in Mt. Vernon, New York on February 6, 1904. Powell Elementary School in Washington, DC is named in his honor
Brazil the Federative Republic of Brazil, is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At 8.5 million square kilometers and with over 208 million people, Brazil is the world's fifth-largest country by area and the fifth most populous. Its capital is Brasília, its most populated city is São Paulo; the federation is composed of the union of the 26 states, the Federal District, the 5,570 municipalities. It is the largest country to have Portuguese as an official language and the only one in the Americas. Bounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the east, Brazil has a coastline of 7,491 kilometers, it borders all other South American countries except Ecuador and Chile and covers 47.3% of the continent's land area. Its Amazon River basin includes a vast tropical forest, home to diverse wildlife, a variety of ecological systems, extensive natural resources spanning numerous protected habitats; this unique environmental heritage makes Brazil one of 17 megadiverse countries, is the subject of significant global interest and debate regarding deforestation and environmental protection.
Brazil was inhabited by numerous tribal nations prior to the landing in 1500 of explorer Pedro Álvares Cabral, who claimed the area for the Portuguese Empire. Brazil remained a Portuguese colony until 1808, when the capital of the empire was transferred from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro. In 1815, the colony was elevated to the rank of kingdom upon the formation of the United Kingdom of Portugal and the Algarves. Independence was achieved in 1822 with the creation of the Empire of Brazil, a unitary state governed under a constitutional monarchy and a parliamentary system; the ratification of the first constitution in 1824 led to the formation of a bicameral legislature, now called the National Congress. The country became a presidential republic in 1889 following a military coup d'état. An authoritarian military junta came to power in 1964 and ruled until 1985, after which civilian governance resumed. Brazil's current constitution, formulated in 1988, defines it as a democratic federal republic. Due to its rich culture and history, the country ranks thirteenth in the world by number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Brazil is considered an advanced emerging economy. It has the ninth largest GDP in the world by nominal, eight and PPP measures, it is one of the world's major breadbaskets, being the largest producer of coffee for the last 150 years. It is classified as an upper-middle income economy by the World Bank and a newly industrialized country, with the largest share of global wealth in Latin America. Brazil is a regional power and sometimes considered a great or a middle power in international affairs. On account of its international recognition and influence, the country is subsequently classified as an emerging power and a potential superpower by several analysts. Brazil is a founding member of the United Nations, the G20, BRICS, Union of South American Nations, Organization of American States, Organization of Ibero-American States and the Community of Portuguese Language Countries, it is that the word "Brazil" comes from the Portuguese word for brazilwood, a tree that once grew plentifully along the Brazilian coast.
In Portuguese, brazilwood is called pau-brasil, with the word brasil given the etymology "red like an ember", formed from brasa and the suffix -il. As brazilwood produces a deep red dye, it was valued by the European textile industry and was the earliest commercially exploited product from Brazil. Throughout the 16th century, massive amounts of brazilwood were harvested by indigenous peoples along the Brazilian coast, who sold the timber to European traders in return for assorted European consumer goods; the official Portuguese name of the land, in original Portuguese records, was the "Land of the Holy Cross", but European sailors and merchants called it the "Land of Brazil" because of the brazilwood trade. The popular appellation eclipsed and supplanted the official Portuguese name; some early sailors called it the "Land of Parrots". In the Guarani language, an official language of Paraguay, Brazil is called "Pindorama"; this was the name the indigenous population gave to the region, meaning "land of the palm trees".
Some of the earliest human remains found in the Americas, Luzia Woman, were found in the area of Pedro Leopoldo, Minas Gerais and provide evidence of human habitation going back at least 11,000 years. The earliest pottery found in the Western Hemisphere was excavated in the Amazon basin of Brazil and radiocarbon dated to 8,000 years ago; the pottery was found near Santarém and provides evidence that the tropical forest region supported a complex prehistoric culture. The Marajoara culture flourished on Marajó in the Amazon delta from 800 CE to 1400 CE, developing sophisticated pottery, social stratification, large populations, mound building, complex social formations such as chiefdoms. Around the time of the Portuguese arrival, the territory of current day Brazil had an estimated indigenous population of 7 million people semi-nomadic who subsisted on hunting, fishing and migrant agriculture; the indigenous population of Brazil comprised several large indigenous ethnic groups. The Tupí people were subdivided into the Tupiniquins and Tupinambás, there were many subdivisions of the other gro
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression that took place during the 1930s, beginning in the United States. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, it was the longest and most widespread depression of the 20th century. In the 21st century, the Great Depression is used as an example of how intensely the world's economy can decline; the Great Depression started in the United States after a major fall in stock prices that began around September 4, 1929, became worldwide news with the stock market crash of October 29, 1929. Between 1929 and 1932, worldwide gross domestic product fell by an estimated 15%. By comparison, worldwide GDP fell by less than 1% from 2008 to 2009 during the Great Recession; some economies started to recover by the mid-1930s. However, in many countries the negative effects of the Great Depression lasted until the beginning of World War II; the Great Depression had devastating effects in countries both poor. Personal income, tax revenue and prices dropped, while international trade plunged by more than 50%.
Unemployment in the U. S. rose to 25% and in some countries rose as high as 33%. Cities around the world were hit hard those dependent on heavy industry. Construction was halted in many countries. Farming communities and rural areas suffered as crop prices fell by about 60%. Facing plummeting demand with few alternative sources of jobs, areas dependent on primary sector industries such as mining and logging suffered the most. Economic historians attribute the start of the Great Depression to the sudden devastating collapse of U. S. stock market prices on October 29, 1929, known as Black Tuesday. However, some dispute this conclusion and see the stock crash as a symptom, rather than a cause, of the Great Depression. After the Wall Street Crash of 1929 optimism persisted for some time. John D. Rockefeller said "These are days. In the 93 years of my life, depressions have gone. Prosperity has always returned and will again." The stock market turned upward in early 1930. This was still 30% below the peak of September 1929.
Together and business spent more in the first half of 1930 than in the corresponding period of the previous year. On the other hand, many of whom had suffered severe losses in the stock market the previous year, cut back their expenditures by 10%. In addition, beginning in the mid-1930s, a severe drought ravaged the agricultural heartland of the U. S. By mid-1930, interest rates had dropped to low levels, but expected deflation and the continuing reluctance of people to borrow meant that consumer spending and investment were depressed. By May 1930, automobile sales had declined to below the levels of 1928. Prices in general began to decline, although wages held steady in 1930. A deflationary spiral started in 1931. Farmers faced a worse outlook. At its peak, the Great Depression saw nearly 10% of all Great Plains farms change hands despite federal assistance; the decline in the U. S. economy was the factor. Frantic attempts to shore up the economies of individual nations through protectionist policies, such as the 1930 U.
S. Smoot–Hawley Tariff Act and retaliatory tariffs in other countries, exacerbated the collapse in global trade. By 1933, the economic decline had pushed world trade to one-third of its level just four years earlier. Change in economic indicators 1929–32 The two classical competing theories of the Great Depression are the Keynesian and the monetarist explanation. There are various heterodox theories that downplay or reject the explanations of the Keynesians and monetarists; the consensus among demand-driven theories is that a large-scale loss of confidence led to a sudden reduction in consumption and investment spending. Once panic and deflation set in, many people believed they could avoid further losses by keeping clear of the markets. Holding money became profitable as prices dropped lower and a given amount of money bought more goods, exacerbating the drop in demand. Monetarists believe that the Great Depression started as an ordinary recession, but the shrinking of the money supply exacerbated the economic situation, causing a recession to descend into the Great Depression.
Economists and economic historians are evenly split as to whether the traditional monetary explanation that monetary forces were the primary cause of the Great Depression is right, or the traditional Keynesian explanation that a fall in autonomous spending investment, is the primary explanation for the onset of the Great Depression. Today the controversy is of lesser importance since there is mainstream support for the debt deflation theory and the expectations hypothesis that building on the monetary explanation of Milton Friedman and Anna Schwartz add non-monetary explanations. There is consensus that the Federal Reserve System should have cut short the process of monetary deflation and banking collapse. If they had done this, the economic downturn would have been much shorter. British economist John Maynard Keynes argued in The General Theory of Employment and Money that lower aggregate expenditures in the economy contributed to a massive decline in income and to employment, well below the average.
In such a situation, the economy reached equilibrium at low levels of economic activity and high unemployment. Keynes' basic idea was simple
National Geographic Society
The National Geographic Society, headquartered in Washington, D. C. United States, is one of the largest non-profit scientific and educational organizations in the world. Founded in 1888, its interests include geography and natural science, the promotion of environmental and historical conservation, the study of world culture and history; the National Geographic Society's logo is a yellow portrait frame—rectangular in shape—which appears on the margins surrounding the front covers of its magazines and as its television channel logo. In partnership with The Walt Disney Company, the Society operates the magazine, TV channels, a website, worldwide events, other media operations; the National Geographic Society was founded in 1888 "to increase and diffuse geographic knowledge". It is governed by a board of trustees, whose 21 members include distinguished educators, business executives, former government officials and conservationists; the organization funds scientific research and exploration. National Geographic maintains a museum for the public in its Washington, D.
C. headquarters. It has helped to sponsor popular traveling exhibits, such as the early 2010s King Tut exhibit featuring artifacts from the tomb of the young Egyptian Pharaoh, its Education Foundation gives grants to education organizations and individuals to improve geography education. Its Committee for Research and Exploration has awarded more than 11,000 grants for scientific research and exploration. National Geographic has retail stores in Washington, D. C. London and Panama; the locations outside of the United States are operated by Worldwide Retail Store S. L. A Spanish holding company; the Society's media arm is National Geographic Partners, a joint venture between Walt Disney Television and the Society, which publishes a journal, National Geographic in English, nearly 40 local-language editions. It publishes other magazines, school products and Web and film products in numerous languages and countries. National Geographic's various media properties reach more than 280 million people monthly.
The National Geographic Society began as a club for an elite group of academics and wealthy patrons interested in travel and exploration. On January 13, 1888, 33 explorers and scientists gathered at the Cosmos Club, a private club located on Lafayette Square in Washington, D. C. to organize "a society for the increase and diffusion of geographical knowledge." After preparing a constitution and a plan of organization, the National Geographic Society was incorporated two weeks on January 27. Gardiner Greene Hubbard became its first president and his son-in-law, Alexander Graham Bell, succeeded him in 1897. In 1899, Bell's son-in-law Gilbert Hovey Grosvenor was named the first full-time editor of National Geographic magazine and served the organization for fifty-five years, members of the Grosvenor family have played important roles in the organization since. Bell and Gilbert Hovey Grosvenor devised the successful marketing notion of Society membership and the first major use of photographs to tell stories in magazines.
The chairman of the National Geographic Society is Jean Case. Michael Ulica is interim chief executive; the editor-in-chief of National Geographic magazine is Susan Goldberg. Gilbert Melville Grosvenor, a former chairman, received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005 for his leadership in geography education. In 2004, the National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D. C. was one of the first buildings to receive a "Green" certification from Global Green USA. The National Geographic received the prestigious Prince of Asturias Award for Communication and Humanities in October 2006 in Oviedo, Spain. In 2013 the society was investigated for possible violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act relating to their close association with an Egyptian government official responsible for antiquities. On September 9, 2015, the Society announced that it would re-organize its media properties and publications into a new company known as National Geographic Partners, which would be majority-owned by 21st Century Fox with a 73% stake.
This new, for-profit corporation, would own National Geographic and other magazines, as well as its affiliated television networks—most of which were owned in joint ventures with Fox. As a consequence, the Society and 21st Century Fox announced on November 2, 2015, that 9 percent of National Geographic's 2,000 employees 180 people, would be laid off, constituting the biggest staff reduction in the Society's history; the Society has helped sponsor many expeditions and research projects over the years, including: Codex Tchacos – Conservation and translation of the only known surviving copy of the Gospel of Judas Ian Baker – Discovers hidden waterfall of the Tsangpo Gorge, Tibet Robert Ballard – RMS Titanic and John F. Kennedy's PT-109 discovery Robert Bartlett – Arctic Exploration George Bass – Underwater archaeology – Bronze Age trade Lee Berger – Oldest footprints of modern humans found and Homo naledi Hiram Bingham – Machu Picchu Excavation Richard E. Byrd – First flight over South Pole Jacques-Yves Cousteau – Undersea exploration Mike Fay – MegaTransect and MegaFlyover in Africa Dian Fossey – Mountain gorillas Birute Galdikas – Orangutans Jane Goodall – Chimpanzees Robert F. Griggs – Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes Heather Halstead – World Circumnavigations of Reach the World Louis and Mary Leakey – Discovery of Australopithecus boisei and Homo habilis Gustavus McLeod – First flight to the
Alpha Xi Delta
Alpha Xi Delta is a women's fraternity founded on April 17, 1893 at Lombard College in Galesburg, United States. Alpha Xi Delta is a member of National Panhellenic Conference, the umbrella organization of 26 national sororities. By its constitution, Alpha Xi Delta is one of the few social sororities that will accept graduate students as well as undergraduates; the sorority has over 185,000 initiated members and maintains active chapters at 130 institutions across the United States, its headquarters are located in Indianapolis, Indiana. In 1893, ten women at Lombard College in Galesburg, Illinois founded Alpha Xi Delta, it is referred to as a fraternity due to having been founded. The ten founders of Alpha Xi Delta were: Cora Bollinger Block was the first President of Alpha Xi Delta, she went on to be the first Grand President. Alice Bartlett Bruner taught music at the Lombard Conservatory, she had two daughters who joined the sorority as a legacy. Bertha Cook Evans had three daughters. In her life, she served as a fraternity house director.
Harriett Luella McCollum and Cora, roommates at Lombard, were the first to make the plan for Alpha Xi Delta. Lucy W. Gilmer was the first Vice President of Alpha Xi Delta. After 1893 she transferred schools. Lewie Strong Taylor designed the quill symbol, on display at national headquarters. Almira Lowry Cheney was a teacher who went on to pioneer religious education by becoming a minister of the Universalist Church, she was Chaplain of the 12th, 13th, 14th National Conventions for Alpha Xi Delta. Frances Elizabeth Cheney, in her time as an Alpha Xi, served as chaplain and president, she is given credit for many of the fraternity's early songs. Eliza Drake Curtis Everton was Alpha Xi Delta's second president. Julia Maude Foster was a member of the committee. In 1904, the sorority joined the National Panhellenic Conference. Alpha Xi Delta's first chairman of the NPC wrote the Panhellenic Creed, a statement still used on many college campuses today; the colors of Alpha Xi Delta are light blue, navy blue, gold.
The fraternity flower is the pink Killarney Rose, as chosen by the founders to complement the white rose of Sigma Nu fraternity whose brothers helped to found Alpha Xi Delta at Lombard College. The mascot is a teddy bear, the official mascot is named BetXi Bear; each initiated member wears the golden quill, depicted in the crest and represents the open motto "The Pen is Mightier than the Sword." The pearl and the diamond are the official jewels. The open creed is called "The Symphony of Alpha Xi Delta", it lists the ideals of the sorority's members, it was written in 1924 by Helen Willis Lynn, Alice Matthews, Almira Cheney, one of the original founders. Alpha Xi Delta's national philanthropic partner has been Autism Speaks since April 2, 2009; the sorority has since raised more than $7,000,000 for its philanthropic partner. Chapters and alumnae associations observe World Autism Awareness Day on April 2 and Autism Awareness Month throughout the month of April. Sisters raise awareness in various ways, including passing out blue ribbons, placing advertisements in campus and local newspapers, distributing information in the community and appearing on local television programs to educate people about autism.
The sorority participates in Light It Up Blue, an initiative started by Autism Speaks in 2009 to help "Shine a Light on Autism by Illuminating Prestigious Buildings and Monuments Throughout the World". Members participate by lighting their chapter houses, campus monuments and sports facilities blue during the month of April. Prior to partnering with Autism Speaks, Alpha Xi Delta was the only sorority that did not have an official organization as a philanthropy; the "Choose Children" policy gave each chapter direction to choose which organization they wanted to help. The AmaXIng Challenge is Alpha Xi Delta's signature fundraising event designed to raise critical funds for Autism Speaks; each college chapter hosts at least one of the following events per year: Step It Up Walk/Run Xi Man Competition Xi Marks the Spot Football FrenXI Puzzlepalooza Karaoke for a Cause In 2010, the Miami University chapter of Alpha Xi Delta was suspended until 2014 for alcohol violations stemming from their destructive formal at Cincinnati's National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.
As of 2018, the sorority had yet to recolonize. In 2011, the Alpha Xi Delta national organization revoked the Binghamton University chapter's charter for "continu to violate Alpha Xi Delta’s policies on risk management and observance of Fraternity rituals despite efforts to lead the chapter to a culture consistent with Alpha Xi Delta’s policies and value."In 2017, the Cornell University chapter of Alpha Xi Delta was placed on probationary status for three years, "as a result of incidents determined to include both hazing and alcohol policy violations."In 2017, the University of Central Florida chapter of Alpha Xi Delta was suspended on the grounds of "allegations of alcohol-related misconduct, which includes providing alcohol to someone underage. In 2017, editorials appeared in the Temple University and the College of New Jersey student newspapers criticizing Alpha Xi Delta for its philanthropic connections to Autism Speaks on the grounds that the organization misunderstands and promotes harmful stereotypes of individuals with autism.
Knox College (Illinois)
Knox College is a private liberal arts college in Galesburg, Illinois. It is one of 40 schools featured in Loren Pope's influential book Colleges. Knox College was founded in 1837 by anti-slavery social reformers, led by George Washington Gale. Many of the founders, including the Rev. Samuel Wright supported the Underground Railroad; the original name for the school was Knox Manual Labor College, but it has been known by its present name since 1857. The college's name came about through a compromise among its founders. Though founded by a colony of Presbyterians and Congregationalists, the county in which the college is located was named Knox County, after Henry Knox, the first United States Secretary of War. Arguments have been made that the college was named for Calvinist leader John Knox, but it is not certain for which Knox it was named. George Candee Gale, a great-great-grandson of two of the founders, explains that contrary to general belief, Knox was not named for either General Knox or the Scottish Presbyterian Knox, according to my father...
Some wanted the college named for some for the other. Most of them were pious enough to want the churchman and fighters enough to want the soldier as well." The presidency of Jonathan Blanchard led the school out of debt, but ignited a controversy about whether the school was loyal to the Congregational church or the Presbyterians. Both Gale and Blanchard were forced out of the school as a result. Knox was the site of the fifth debate between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas in 1858; the Old Main building is the only site from the debates. Two years after the debates, during his presidential campaign, Lincoln was awarded the first honorary doctorate conferred by Knox College—a Doctor of Laws degree, announced at the commencement exercises of 5 July 1860. Knox College was ranked 71st among liberal arts colleges by the 2011 edition of America's Best Colleges in U. S. News & World Report. In August 2010, Knox was listed as one of the "Best-Kept Secrets: 10 Colleges You Should Know About" by the Huffington Post, based on a Unigo survey completed by over 30,000 students.
In the August 11, 2010 issue of Forbes magazine, Knox was ranked among the Top 100 liberal arts colleges listed and over 600 evaluated. The Princeton Review cites Knox on its "Best of" lists, most in 2010 as one of the Best 371 Schools, one of the Best Midwestern Colleges; the Kiplinger private colleges rankings for 2010 placed Knox 47th on its list of 50 best values in liberal arts, measuring academic quality and affordability. And in 2010 Washington Monthly named Knox among the Top 50 best liberal arts colleges, calling their list "a guide not just to what colleges can do for you, but what colleges are doing for the country." Knox College is one of 40 schools featured in the book Colleges That Change Lives by former New York Times Education Editor Loren Pope. In the 2009–2010 academic year, The Chronicle of Higher Education noted Knox as one of nine bachelor-level institutions to produce two or more Fulbright Awards for U. S. Scholars. In 2009, a Knox study of itself found that the college ranks in the top 3% of colleges based upon graduates who go on to earn a Ph.
D. Knox employs a 3–3 academic calendar rather than a traditional semester-based approach. In each of the three 10-week terms, students take only three courses. Faculty members teach only two courses each term. No matter what course of study students decide to pursue, education at Knox contains common elements, including an educational plan that students design. Knox College introduced the school's honor code in 1951. All students are held responsible for the integrity of their own work, students are required to abide by the code; because of this policy, tests are not proctored, in many cases students may take their exams in any open, public place within the same building. Any cases of students caught disobeying the system are evaluated by their peers through the Honor Board, a committee consisting of three seniors, three juniors, three sophomores, three faculty members. With the implementation of Renewed Knox, the 2003 curriculum overhaul, the school expanded its academic offerings to meet the needs of a liberal arts education in the 21st century.
In 2003, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute awarded the school a $1 million grant to create a new major in neuroscience. Knox is known for its Green Oaks term, an interdisciplinary program at the 700-acre Green Oaks Biological Field Station, during which students and faculty spend an entire term conducting research and creative projects and participating in courses in biology, anthropology-sociology, English, as well as workshops in outdoor skills, first aid, photography. Knox promotes top-notch undergraduate research, annually awarding students more than $250,000 in grants to support research and creative projects. Among the programs are the Ford Foundation Research Fellows Program, which funds the scientific and creative projects of 20 s
China the People's Republic of China, is a country in East Asia and the world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.404 billion. Covering 9,600,000 square kilometers, it is the third- or fourth-largest country by total area. Governed by the Communist Party of China, the state exercises jurisdiction over 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four direct-controlled municipalities, the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau. China emerged as one of the world's earliest civilizations, in the fertile basin of the Yellow River in the North China Plain. For millennia, China's political system was based on hereditary monarchies, or dynasties, beginning with the semi-legendary Xia dynasty in 21st century BCE. Since China has expanded, re-unified numerous times. In the 3rd century BCE, the Qin established the first Chinese empire; the succeeding Han dynasty, which ruled from 206 BC until 220 AD, saw some of the most advanced technology at that time, including papermaking and the compass, along with agricultural and medical improvements.
The invention of gunpowder and movable type in the Tang dynasty and Northern Song completed the Four Great Inventions. Tang culture spread in Asia, as the new Silk Route brought traders to as far as Mesopotamia and Horn of Africa. Dynastic rule ended in 1912 with the Xinhai Revolution; the Chinese Civil War resulted in a division of territory in 1949, when the Communist Party of China established the People's Republic of China, a unitary one-party sovereign state on Mainland China, while the Kuomintang-led government retreated to the island of Taiwan. The political status of Taiwan remains disputed. Since the introduction of economic reforms in 1978, China's economy has been one of the world's fastest-growing with annual growth rates above 6 percent. According to the World Bank, China's GDP grew from $150 billion in 1978 to $12.24 trillion by 2017. Since 2010, China has been the world's second-largest economy by nominal GDP and since 2014, the largest economy in the world by purchasing power parity.
China is the world's largest exporter and second-largest importer of goods. China is a recognized nuclear weapons state and has the world's largest standing army and second-largest defense budget; the PRC is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as it replaced the ROC in 1971, as well as an active global partner of ASEAN Plus mechanism. China is a leading member of numerous formal and informal multilateral organizations, including the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, WTO, APEC, BRICS, the BCIM, the G20. In recent times, scholars have argued that it will soon be a world superpower, rivaling the United States; the word "China" has been used in English since the 16th century. It is not a word used by the Chinese themselves, it has been traced through Portuguese and Persian back to the Sanskrit word Cīna, used in ancient India."China" appears in Richard Eden's 1555 translation of the 1516 journal of the Portuguese explorer Duarte Barbosa. Barbosa's usage was derived from Persian Chīn, in turn derived from Sanskrit Cīna.
Cīna was first used including the Mahābhārata and the Laws of Manu. In 1655, Martino Martini suggested that the word China is derived from the name of the Qin dynasty. Although this derivation is still given in various sources, it is complicated by the fact that the Sanskrit word appears in pre-Qin literature; the word may have referred to a state such as Yelang. The meaning transferred to China as a whole; the origin of the Sanskrit word is still a matter of debate, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. The official name of the modern state is the "People's Republic of China"; the shorter form is "China" Zhōngguó, from zhōng and guó, a term which developed under the Western Zhou dynasty in reference to its royal demesne. It was applied to the area around Luoyi during the Eastern Zhou and to China's Central Plain before being used as an occasional synonym for the state under the Qing, it was used as a cultural concept to distinguish the Huaxia people from perceived "barbarians". The name Zhongguo is translated as "Middle Kingdom" in English.
Archaeological evidence suggests that early hominids inhabited China between 2.24 million and 250,000 years ago. The hominid fossils of Peking Man, a Homo erectus who used fire, were discovered in a cave at Zhoukoudian near Beijing; the fossilized teeth of Homo sapiens have been discovered in Fuyan Cave in Hunan. Chinese proto-writing existed in Jiahu around 7000 BCE, Damaidi around 6000 BCE, Dadiwan from 5800–5400 BCE, Banpo dating from the 5th millennium BCE; some scholars have suggested. According to Chinese tradition, the first dynasty was the Xia, which emerged around 2100 BCE; the dynasty was considered mythical by historians until scientific excavations found early Bronze Age sites at Erlitou, Henan in 1959. It remains unclear whether these sites are the remains of the Xia dynasty or of another culture from the same period; the succeeding Shang dynasty is the earliest to be confirmed by contemporary records. The Shang ruled the plain of the Yellow River in eastern China from the 17th to the 11th century BCE.
Their oracle bone script