Hong Kong is often referred to as a “young” city, but the first human activity dates back to 39,000 years ago, during Paleolithic time. To put that into context, it means that Hong Kong is actually pretty ancient, or at least older than both Taiwan and Brazil.
For a long time, it was believed that Hong Kong found its first settlers 7,000 years ago during the Neolithic Era, but in 2006, two archeologists found evidence of a Paleolithic settlement in Wong Tei Tung while fishing in Sai Kung. Scientists later uncovered more than 3,000 fragments of primitive stone tools — dating Hong Kong’s history to more than 30,000 years earlier than originally thought.
Though Hong Kong territory was technically part of the Qin Dynasty in 214BC, the concept of ‘Hong Kong’ didn’t begin until the Ming Dynasty, roughly 1,500 years ago. It was then that the name Hong Kong started showing up in historical records, along with the names of Stanley, Shao Kei Wan, Tsim Sha Tsui and Tseung Kwan O.
But whether or not it’s in the record books, parts of Hong Kong already existed as far back as the Jurassic Era. A discovery earlier this year found evidence of vertebrates in Lai Chi Chong from that period — which some believe means it was certainly possible that dinosaurs lived and breathed here!
Check out artifacts from the prehistoric period, Han and Ming dynasties at the Hong Kong Heritage Discovery Centre, Kowloon Park, Haiphong Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, 220-4400.