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Both Yan and Ji were situated along an important north-south trade route along the eastern flank of the Taihang Mountains from the Central Plain to the northern steppes.Ji, located just north of the Yongding River, was a convenient rest stop for trade caravans.Ji Shi was preoccupied with other matters and dispatched his eldest son, Ji Ke, to take the position. Bronzeware inscriptions have confirmed these events described in Sima Qian's history.
The first event in Beijing's history with archaeological support dates to the 11th century BC when the Zhou dynasty absorbed the Shang dynasty.
For changes to the English spelling of the city's name, see Names of Beijing.
For other administrative divisions called Beijing in Chinese history, see Beijing (disambiguation) and the History of the administrative divisions of China Prior to the unification of China by the First Emperor in 221 BC, Beijing had been for centuries the capital of the ancient states of Ji and Yan.
The earliest events of Beijing's history are shrouded in legend and myth.
The epic Battle of Banquan, which according to Sima Qian's Records of the Grand Historian, occurred in the 26th century BC, may have taken place near the Upper and Lower Banquan Villages of Yanqing County on the northwestern edge of Beijing Municipality.