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Archaeology of the Shang Dynasty. The Three Dynasties of the Chinese Empire. Xia c. 2100-1600 BCE Shang c. 1600-1050 BCE Zhou c. 1000-256 BCE. History of The Shang Dynasty. The Shang was the second hereditary dynasty in China.

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the three dynasties of the chinese empire
The Three Dynasties of the Chinese Empire
  • Xia c. 2100-1600 BCE
  • Shang c. 1600-1050 BCE
  • Zhou c. 1000-256 BCE
history of the shang dynasty
History of The Shang Dynasty
  • The Shang was the second hereditary dynasty in China.
  • It lasted almost six hundred years with thirty-one kings over seventeen generations.
  • Shang used to be an old tribe who lived in the lower reach of the Yellow River. It was a tributary of the Xia Kingdom
geography territory of the shang
Geography & Territory of the Shang
  • According to Zhou-era traditional texts, the city of Anyang in northern Henan province was the preeminent Shang capital, center of a territory ruled by one dominant royal house.
  • The city served as the ritual capital of the last nine Shang kings, from Wu Ding (21st king, c1200-1181 BCE) to Di Xin (29th king, c. 1085-1045 BCE).
fu hao s tomb
Fu Hao’s Tomb
  • Anyang is also an important site because of the tomb of Fu Hao, royal consort of Wu Ding.
  • Fu Hao's is the only unlooted royal tomb and the only one conclusively identified with a person named in ancient texts.
findings from fu hao s tomb
Findings from Fu Hao’s Tomb
  • 468 bronze objects including 130 weapons, 23 bells, 27 knives, 4 mirrors, and 4 tigers or tiger heads
  • 755 jade objects
  • 63 stone objects
  • 5 ivory objects
  • 564 bone objects including nearly 500 bone hairpins and over 20 bone arrowheads
  • 11 pottery objects
  • 6,900 pieces of cowry shell

Ivory beaker with turquoise

From the tomb of the Shang dynasty queen Fu Hao, c, 1200 BCE.

findings from fu hao s tomb cont d bronze pieces from fu hao
Findings from Fu Hao’s Tomb Cont’dBronze Pieces from Fu Hao

Bronze Ding vessel      

Height: 80.1cm, Weight: 128kg

Bronze Ax  

bronze pieces from fu hao

Bronze Pieces from Fu Hao

Covered container    

Height: 60cm, Length: 88cm,                         

Wine vessel     Height: 46.3cm, Weight: 16kg     

Drinking vessel                          

ancient sichuan treasures from a lost civilization
Ancient Sichuan - Treasures From a Lost Civilization
  • In 1928, discoveries of ancient bronzes were made at Anyang. These finds supported the account of early Chinese histories as recorded in early texts. These writings portrayed the early Chinese civilization as culturally homogeneous -- strong and prosperous and extending its sphere of influence outward to encompass an ever-larger area of 'the world.'

oracle bones
Oracle Bones
  • bones used for divination by the Chinese during the Shang dynasty (traditionally c.1766 B.C.–c.1122 B.C.)
  • Along with contemporary inscriptions on bronze vessels, these records of divination, which were incised on the shoulder blades of animals (mainly oxen) and on turtle shells, contain the earliest form of Chinese writing.
  • In addition to being an important source for understanding the development of written Chinese, they tell a great deal about Shang society.

neat sites of current research findings
Neat Sites of Current Research &Findings


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General Image Links  HAO'S TOMB SITE FactsMirrors appeared in Shang China and in Mycenaean Greece, about thesame time periodMAPS/GEOGRAPHY Ruins Images Chariot Recreation