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Print english.sanya.gov.cn Updated: 2020-03-27

Sanya, formerly known as Yazhou, bears a long history. The site of the primitive Sanya dwellers of 10,000 years ago was discovered in Luobi Cave between October 1992 and November 1993, which was determined to be the earliest known human settlement site on Hainan Island and marked the southernmost Paleolithic cultural site in China, which advanced Hainan's human history by two to three thousand years. 

As early as 110 BC, Sanya was included in Chinese territory. Although Sanya is an island far away from the capital of the country, thus resulting in the name of Tianya Haijiao, which means the end of the earth, it has maintained contacts with the Central Plains in terms of politics, economy, and culture for the past 1,400 years. 

Sanya used to be the fiefdom of the Queen of Qiao in the Sui Dynasty (581-618), the place where Jianzhen, a monk in the Tang Dynasty (618-907) landed and preached, as well as the residence of seven prime ministers and officials in the Tang and Song dynasties (960-1279) after they were demoted. These people promoted the development of local education and left many long-standing humanistic relics, forming the basis of the splendid history and culture of Sanya. 

According to historical studies, during the Song, Yuan (1271-1368), and Ming (1368-1911) dynasties, Sanya's economy was initially developed, and its cotton spinning industry led the country, as confirmed by the story of Huang Daopo, a legendary Shanghai woman who made a remarkable contribution to innovate weaving and spinning techniques in the 13th century, who once learned textile technology from local Li women in Sanya. 

During the Ming Dynasty , the city also saw the rise of one of the three most famous scholars in Hainan, Zhong Fang. Sanya has rich and widely distributed intangible cultural heritages, including the Firewood Collecting Dance of the Li ethnic group and the Yacheng Folk Song, which were selected as national intangible cultural heritages in 2006. The original ceramics making techniques of the Li ethnic group and six other items were selected as provincial intangible cultural heritages in 2007 and 2009, while 11 items like Drill Wood to Make Fire were named as municipal intangible cultural heritages.

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