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Huang He River Valley - Shang Dynasty
Transcript of Huang He River Valley - Shang Dynasty
The king had supreme power over everything that happened in the town. He promoted the importance of trading with other villages and towns.
The Shell was used as their currency. Economic A polytheistic religion was generally accepted in Shang Dynasty times, where multiple nature gods and spirits were worshiped. Animal and human sacrifices were made to the gods who influenced harvest in order to ensure a plentiful crop.
Religion and state government in the Shang Dynasty were often associated. The king would regularly make sacrifices to superior beings to ensure health among his subjects. He would also communicate with royal ancestors, who were believed to be the connection between the people and Shang Di, the supreme god. When a king died, numerous slaves and prisoners were buried alive and offered as sacrifices. Religion The Shang Dynasty is a theocratic hereditary monarchy. The King is known as Wang and the kingship is passed through the male line, from father to son and from elder brother to younger brother. The king's primary role was as a mediator between the physical world and the divine. Interpretation of divine omen was a large part of royal decision making. The king was highly respected among the Shang dynasty even in the outer lying regions where local aristocrats or tribe chiefs were in control after being appointed by The Wang. The king was supported by officials each with special roles and they all lived in the capitol with the King. The Huang He people were divided into different classes. The highest ranked was the King, then the military nobility, then the priests, the merchants, and the lowest class was the farmers, or peasants. Merchants and craftsmen were treated as peasants as well. Burials showed how the classes were distinguished. The higher ranking people were buried with elaborate pit tombs. Things of high value or wealth were often buried with them. Some were even buried with live servants or guards. The lower classes would be buried in pits of various sizes based on their social status. The people of the Shang Dynasty were also broken up by gender roles. In that time, all the authority belonged to the father of the house. He solely got to arrange the marriages for his daughters, decided what kind of education his children would recieve, and he would pick the career for his sons. The mother of the house would have a much more inferiorer role, and was unable to own her own land. The Shang Kings were constantly at war with outsiders. He sent 13,000 men to fight at a time. Winning armies brought back thousands of prisoners of war to become laborers and religious sacrifices. Wang Tang Social Some royal or high class people had chariots buried with them - including the live horses! Many Jade statues and ink/ paper drawings survive today.