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Ancient China

History- Mr. Grant

Micah Norris

on 28 November 2014

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Transcript of Ancient China

Ancient China
The Shang Dynasty
Kingship & Cities
Introducing the Shang Dynasty
Cognitive and Symbolic Aspects
Micah Norris
Connie Tung
Weijiet Goh
Paulu Kuan
ca. 2000 BC - learned from West Asia
make bronze out of copper and tin
people began to make jars and plaques to give to their gods
some plain with simple lines, other had fancy decorations, abstract, nature, and mythical monsters
largely inspired by shamanistic themes
Artisans produced a majority of the art that is found in museums today. They were considered non essential but useful to society.
ca. 1200 BC - began writing messages on bronze jars and cups
showed earliest forms of Chinese pictograms
Military Organization
The Shang Dynasty had an advanced writing system. This included the first forms of calligraphy
The ability to read and write is looked upon highly as those who were educated were highly respected.
Shang Chinese viewed individuals as having multiple souls or life forces
The Shang had human sacrifices to the gods
Numbers rode as high as several hundred in royal burials and included many young women
Sacrifices were a symbol of power for rulers
Food Production
-Most of the Shang's food supply was either grown or hunted.
-The rest of the food supply was used mostly for spiritual use and/or rituals.
-With the scarcity of wood and coal the wok was invented and was adopted by western cultures.
As the Shang practiced human sacrifice it can be implied that they believed in the afterlife
the practice of attempting to foretell future events (supernatural)
Religion rather than philosophy was the controlling force of peoples minds
Types of food
- The many types of food that they produced were mostly hunted meat.
-Other sources would he grains, and fruits.
Ritual Use
-The Shang would sometimes use the hunted animals as a sacrifice for spiritual use.
- Children took surnames from their mothers
- Young man often lived with their bride’s family after marriage
- Son were important because the family needed them for agriculture
- Sons were also important because sons are needed for ancestor veneration
- Young people must respect and obey there all these older than themselves, especially in their own family
- Young people also respected their family’s value and rules
Gender Roles
- Woman occupied a relative high position in Shang society.
- During the early periods of the Shang Dynasty, children took the last name of their mothers
- Daughters were valued as much as sons
- Over time, however, a distinct preference for male childrens develop because of males’ greater economic value in agriculture, and because only males could perform ancestor veneration
- Without a son, parents were doomed to a gloomy existence in the afterlife, and this gender preference is still strong in China today
Family Organization
Social Structure in the Dynasty
-Shang kings claimed to be the descendants or earthly embodiment of Shang-ti, the supreme deity who founded the Shang Dynasty.

-The king and nobles lived in a series of walled
capitals, separated from the rest of their people

- The king was the head of the state and also
leader of the military
- highest in command
- the supreme ruler
- considered god-like
- educated men who assisted the king
- religious and worked in temples
- food supplies remain stable
- most commonly males
Records of priestly divination has survived in the form of oracle bones
tortoise shells, or the scapular bones of cattle or sheep
- craftsman who created the majority of the art
- important archaeological discoveries
- the buyers and traders
- were seen as greedy and non- welcoming
- did not associate with higher-class
- the lowest rank in society
- bought and sold by the wealthy
- treated poorly and had a low standard of living
- warlike people who expanded territory through conquest

- peasants made the majority of army and as a result, died the most

- military guarded capital city from

- conquered by the Zhou people
"Shang Dynasty Foods." Shang Dynasty Foods. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Dec. 2012.

"Shang Dynasty (1556-1046 BC)." Totally History Shang Dynasty 15561046 BC Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Dec. 2012.

"Bronze and the Shang Dynasty :: Chinese China History." Bronze and the Shang Dynasty :: Chinese China History. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Dec. 2012.
Anthropomorphic emphasis was absent
anthropomorphic: resembles human form or attributes
- China's first civilization, non-prehistoric
- 1600 B.C- 1046 B.C
- occupied Northeast China, Yellow River Plain
- important aspects of civilization
- creation of writing, most important
- art & architecture
- social structure
- military organization
- economic values
Craft Specialization
-The land was plentiful of bronze, bamboo and silkworms.
-Most citizens would participate in mining.
-Using the utilities and supplies they had, the made many things such as cooking ware, weapons, and ritual equipment.
Beetz, Kirk H. Military in Ancient Asia and the Pacific. Encyclopedia of Society and Culture in the Ancient World. New York: Facts On File, Inc., 2008.

Newman, Garfield. Echoes from the Past: World History to the 16th Century. Toronto: McGraw- Hill Ryerson Limited, 2001. Print.

Trigger, Bruce G. Early Civilizations. Cairo, Egypt: The American University in Cairo Press, 1995. Print.
Social & Political Organization
Shang Chinese had some of the least impressive monumental architecture buildings out of early civilizations
The process includes holes being drilled into the bones, held over fire , then they would crack in various spots, then the priests interpreted the cracks and would record the answer
weak integration
Art and Architecture
Wechsler, Howard J. "China, History of." Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia. Grolier Online, 2012. Web. 11 Dec. 2012.

All information from Early Civilizations, Bruce G. Trigger. The American University in Cairo Press. 1995. Cairo, Egypt

All information from Early Civilizations, Bruce G. Trigger. The American University in Cairo Press. 1995. Cairo, Egypt

Carr, Karen (PhD). Shang Dynasty Chinese Art - Ancient China for Kids. Kidipede - History for Kids. 2012. <http://www.historyforkids.org/learn/china/art/shang.htm>
Kings were aided by a priestly class when they prayed to their ancestral spirits to intercede on their behalf with the most powerful of the Shang gods
Kings and nobles worshiped these celestial spirits in special ancestral temples
King - priestly functions - worshiped Shangdi
Shangdi was the supreme sky deity of china’s traditional religion
Economy in the Shang Dynasty
End of Presentation

Thank you ;)
Some questions that were asked were: outcome of military campaign? the next days weather? Gender of the child of a pregnant queen?
Full transcript