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The Shang Dynasty
Transcript of The Shang Dynasty
Archaeologists excavated an area called Anyang.
They found a palace, temple, houses, workshops for artisans who made objects from metal, pottery, stone, and jade.
Kings were buried with their servants, slaves, and animals.
Led by a powerful king.
Power was passed to next closest male kin.
Kings maintained power by fighting clans.
Prisoners of war were used as laborers and in human sacrifice.
Nobles: Fought in the King's army. Enjoyed life of luxury. Were given jade discs as symbols of power.
Artisans: Consisted of potters, stonemasons, and other skilled workers.
Traders: Shang men traded extensively throughout the region.
Farmers: Were the largest social class.
Slaves: Were mostly prisoners of war.
Made up of large numbers of foot soldiers, archers, mounted on horses and elephants, and fighters in chariots.
Three soldiers rode each chariot, driver in the middle, spear carrier to his left and archer to his right.
China's earliest settlers developed communities around the Huang He (a.k.a. Yellow River).
The earliest dynasty was the Shang dynasty and they ruled from 1700 - 1122 BCE
Much wasn't known about the Shang until oracle bones were found in the 1920's
End of the Shang
It is believed that excess spending by the wealthy noble class weakened the economy.
There are reports that the last Shang king spent more time in recreation than caring for his people.
Around 1045 BCE the Zhou rose up against the Shang overthrowing them.
Last Shang king ran from the battle field, put on all his jewelry and threw himself into a fire.
The Shang Dynasty
China's First Dynasty
Other Cool Shang Things
Religion: Worshiped ancestors. Used oracle bones to seek advice from the King's ancestors.
Writing: Created the earliest form of Chinese writing.
Technology: Worked with bronze.