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It was home of the admiral Zheng He, who went to sail the Pacific and Indian Oceans, and it was visited by foreign dignitaries, such as a king from Borneo (), who died during his visit to China in 1408.The Tomb of the King of Boni, with a spirit way and a tortoise stele, was discovered in Yuhuatai District (south of the walled city) in 1958, and has been restored.In the late period of Shang dynasty, Taibo of Zhou came to Jiangnan and established Wu state, and the first stop is in Nanjing area according to some historians based on discoveries in Taowu and Hushu culture.The area was successively part of Kuaiji, Zhang and Danyang prefectures in Qin and Han dynasty, and part of Yangzhou region which was established as the nation's 13 supervisory and administrative regions in the 5th year of Yuanfeng in Han dynasty (106 Although conquered by the Western Jin dynasty in 280, Nanjing and its neighboring areas had been well cultivated and developed into one of the commercial, cultural and political centers of China during the rule of East Wu.

It first became a Chinese national capital as early as the Jin dynasty.

Nanjing served as the capital of Eastern Wu(229–280), one of the three major states in the Three Kingdoms period ; the Eastern Jin and each of the Southern Dynasties (Liu Song, Southern Qi, Liang and Chen), which successively ruled southern China from 317–589; the Southern Tang(937–75), one of the Ten Kingdoms ; the Ming dynasty when, for the first time, all of China was ruled from the city (1368–1421); The city also served as the seat of the rebel Taiping Heavenly Kingdom (1853–64) and the Japanese puppet regime of Wang Jingwei (1940–45) during the Second Sino-Japanese War.

It suffered appalling atrocities in both conflicts, including the Nanjing Massacre.

The name Nanjing, which means "Southern Capital" (from the Chinese characters Archaeological discovery shows that "Nanjing Man" lived in more than 500 thousand years ago.

Zun, a kind of wine vessel, was found to exist in Beiyinyangying culture of Nanjing in about 5000 years ago.

Nanjing is famous for human historical landscapes, mountains and waters such as Fuzimiao, Ming Palace, Chaotian Palace, Porcelain Tower, Drum Tower, Stone City, City Wall, Qinhuai River, Xuanwu Lake and Purple Mountain.

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