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The Shang Dynasty

The Shang Dynasty

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The Shang Dynasty

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  1. The Shang Dynasty China’s First Historical Dynasty

  2. Questions • How do we know about the Shang today? • Where was the Shang’s capital? Where is it located on the map of China? • What do the tombs tell us about the Shang?

  3. Questions • How do we know about the Shang today? • Where was the Shang’s capital? Where is it located on the map of China? • What do the tombs tell us about the Shang?

  4. The Origin of the Shang • China was controlled by the Xia dynasty, whose king was a tyrant. • Tang the Victorious defeated the Xia and became the first Shang King

  5. The Shang in Control • Over their 600 years of rule, the Shang expanded their territory • They also had many capitals, including the city of Anyang • Many of the Shang artifacts found in modern times are from this city

  6. The Mandate of Heaven • Mandate of Heaven – Said that the king was chosen by heaven, and would rule with goodness and wisdom. When he failed, the people had the right to overthrow the king.

  7. Innovations of the Shang • Bronze Working • Shang used bronze for war, farming, and religious ceremonies • Bronze vessels could be as heavy as 1,900 pounds

  8. Examples of Bronze

  9. Innovations of the Shang • The Shang invented Writing in China • They often wrote on bamboo, bones, and perhaps silk

  10. Chinese Writing • Early Chinese writing was done in pictographs, where each symbol looked like the word it meant • As time went on, the symbols became more elaborate and more like modern Chinese writing

  11. Modern Chinese Writing

  12. Shang Culture: Oracle Bones • Kings used oracle bones to guide their decisions • They used both animal bones and shells of turtles

  13. Oracle Bones: How they worked • Kings would write a question on the bone, then give it to a fortune teller • The fortune teller would then hold it over a fire, which would crack the bone • The fortune teller would then interpret the cracks to give an answer

  14. Famous Shang People • Fu Hao • Queen to King Wu Ding in the late 13th century B.C.E. • Also a great general, she once led an army of 13,000 soldiers

  15. Fu Hao • Wu Ding cared a lot about Fu Hao. He often consulted the oracles to ensure her safety • When Fu Hao died, Wu Ding had her buried in an elaborate tomb with jade art and bronze axes.

  16. The End of the Shang • The Zhou conquered the Shang around 1027 B.C.E. • The Zhou claimed that the Shang lost the Mandate of Heaven