In the 21st century B.C., China entered into a civilized historical era. Xia, the first dynasty that carried out the hereditary political system, was established. The south of Shanxi, known as the ruins of Xia Dynasty, abounds with cultural relics. The discovery of Dongxiafeng site makes clear that the south of Shanxi used to be one of the Xia culture centers.
Following Xia Dynasty was Shang Dynasty, from which onward China began to have a recorded history in writing. At that time, the state system became more sophisticated and the material cultures are more diversified. The bronzes as well as ruins of Shang cities unearthed in the south of Shanxi, show that this area used to be of great importance, both politically and militarily of that period.
During the period of Xia and Shang Dynasty, the mid-western areas of Shanxi along the Lvliang Mountain developed a number of tribal allies who had interacted with the Central Plains. Their cultures were unique with regional features. But a complete historical picture of these cultural manifestations is still awaited. However, the traces they left on the Loess Plateau, even though not consecutive chronologically, are still clearly discernible.