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Jiankang's textile industry burgeoned and thrived during the Song dynasty despite the constant threat of foreign invasions from the north by the Jurchen-led Jin dynasty.

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

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.

As the center of the empire, early-Ming Nanjing had worldwide connections.

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 (Boni 渤泥), who died during his visit to China in 1408.

It has also been awarded the title of 2008 Habitat Scroll of Honor of China, Special UN Habitat Scroll of Honor Award and National Civilized City.

The city is also one of the fifteen sub-provincial cities in the People's Republic of China's administrative structure, Nanjing has been ranked seventh in the evaluation of "Cities with Strongest Comprehensive Strength" issued by the National Statistics Bureau, and second in the evaluation of cities with most sustainable development potential in the Yangtze River Delta.

Hence, Nanjing still had itself imperial government with extremely limit power before 1644.

Besides the city wall, other famous Ming-era structures in the city included the famous Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum and Porcelain Tower, although the latter was destroyed by the Taipings in the 19th century either in order to prevent a hostile faction from using it to observe and shell the city A monument to the huge human cost of some of the gigantic construction projects of the early Ming dynasty is the Yangshan Quarry (located some 15–20 km (9–12 mi) east of the walled city and Ming Xiaoling mausoleum), where a gigantic stele, cut on the orders of the Yongle Emperor, lies abandoned, just as it was left 600 years ago when it was understood it was impossible to move or complete it.

In 317, remnants of the Jin court, as well as nobles and wealthy families, fled from the north to the south and reestablished the Jin court in Nanjing, which was then called Jiankang (建康), replacing Luoyang.

It's the first time that the capital of the nation moved to southern part.

The ratio of college students to total population ranks No.1 among large cities nationwide.

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