Contested eras are in quotation marks; traditional dates are given in these
instances. Click on the audio button to hear the name of the dynasty pronounced in
Mandarin (these audio files require QuickTime player, for which a free download can be found at http://www.apple.com/quicktime/download/).
It is important to note that many dates, particularly for early Chinese history, are still subject to ongoing research and revision, or reflect complex historical situations (such as the coexistence of overlapping states rather than the clear-cut succession of "dynasties.")