The Historical Chinese Dynasties
13 Pages
3193 Words

1. Shang: Also called Yin, dynasty that was China's earliest historically verifiable state 1766 B.C. to 1122 B.C.

A. Reason's for Rise: Unlike the early accounts of history by the Chinese, there is archaeological evidence of the Shang, who built their cities in northern China around the eastern parts of the Yellow River. For this reason they are called the Yellow River civilization. They were a bronze age people; bronze-working seems to have entered China around 2000 BC (about one thousand years after its invention in Mesopotamia).

B. Territorial Location & size at height of power (map): The Shang ruled the area from the North China Plain northward into present-day Shantung Province and westward to the tip of Honan Province.

C. System of government & rule & names of noted rulers and their accomplishments: A city-state confederation with a three-fold structure of king, officials, commoners.

D. Major Religious beliefs & practices: The Shang worshiped the earth and other nature deities to whom they offered human sacrifices. They communicated with the supernatural by writing messages on oracle bones.

E. *Major Accomplishments, Achievements, and contributions: The Shang society was many agricultural. They had a large army. Bronze casting was highly developed and a writing system had evolved. There commerce was highly developed and they used cowrie shells was used as currency. Shang art consisted of Bronze, pottery, and jade ornaments.

The singular aspect of Shang civilization is their invention of writing. Almost all the written records of the Shang have

disappeared, for the court records were kept on strips of bamboo. However, inscriptions on bronze and on the oracle bones still survive so we have specimens of the very first Chinese writings. The writing system was originally

pictographic, that is, words were represented by pictures that fairly closely resembled the meaning of the word. The


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