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The civilization was said to develop around 13,000 - 10,000 BCE with the discovery of farming. The first cities had began to develop around 7000-3000. The first notable city-state was Nanzhuangtou. More states began to develop in 4000 BCE With the appearance of the Cishan and Longshan states. Nanzhuangtou continued to be the trade and culture capital of the area until frequent mongol raids and then sacking by the Cishan and Longshan saw it wiped off of the map.
Culture began to develop with the cities. Shamanism was the main religious practices of the peoples. The shaman was usually high on the social structure, under only the tribal leader and later the king.
Shamanism also had an impact on early music, dance and art.