The Search for the Shang Dynasty

Emilee Lancaster, Meena Kaundinya, Toonie Goyal, Alex Guo

Emilee Lancaster, Archeologist

Paper and printing were important to the Ancient Chinese and paper was made of bamboo, hemp, and bark. Cai Lu made it all possible for people to be able to have paper and printing. They created a 12 month and 360 day calendar. The Chinese made tools, plates and utensils made of bronze, and pottery. Their legacies were creating a calendar, and they carved symbols into bones or turtles shells, and also developed writing in the Shang period.The items from the Shang that impact us today are… calendars, writing, tools, utensils, pottery, and weapons. We eat with utensils and we fight in wars with weapons. The Oracle Bones were the beginning of writing. It is similar to the way we started writing, but we wrote on clay walls to show our stories. The Shang used red or black ink and carved with a sharp tool on to bone or turtle shell.

Meena Kaundinya, Anthropologist

All the classes has one thing in common, religion. The Shang were polytheistic which meant they worshipped many gods but also to them worshipping their dead ancestors were important too because it was thought that if their ancestors were happy then their crops and the health and well being of the people would be good too. The king was at the top of the social hierarchy. He was the one to chose the governors. There were also other classes such as the nobles then the masses which are the normal then the masses which are the normal people, who's main work was agriculture.They have a lot of different behavioral patterns for example: lot's of their bowls were richly decorated and also their houses were made out of timber. They built their houses on earth-rammed floors. The Shang were advanced in many ways. They had a fully developed calendar system consisting of 360-day of 12 months of 30 days each. They also had a completely developed system of writing. Bronze was very advanced in the Shang Dynasty. It was used a lot in art weapons. Jade also became very advanced. They used it in ceremonial weapons and in human and animal figurines. The Shang had an interesting way of communicating with each other. They used tortoise shells and bones to carve their symbols into.

Shang Dynasty Bronze Vessel

Alex Guo, Geographer

The Geography of the Shang Dynasty

. The Shang Dynasty began in the mid 1600-1800 BCE. They were an advanced civilization, with things like a language, bronze, chariots and much more. They were located in China, near the Yellow Sea. They had two rivers running through the area, the Yellow and Yangtze Rivers. Due to being next to rivers, they had fertile soil good for planting. This made it easier for them to do agriculture, but it was still primitive. Later on, they had bronze. This was a huge advantage. It allowed them to make things like tools. They also had a variety of animals, as well as the silkworm. they domesticated these animals, and learned how to take the silk from a silkworm. The landscape was diverse as well, with valleys and mountains and rivers. They had a lot of natural resources too; bronze, clay, animals, silk, water, stuff like that. They could make stuff like pots and tools from bronze, kill animals/use their resources, make silk into clothing and drink water. I think they were geographically lucky. They were an advanced civilization for the time and area, having writing and bronze. However, they fell to rebels and the rebels made a new empire. Now, the Henan province and Shandong province are located here.

Below is a map of the general area it is located at. It also displays where other civilizations are at.

Tarun Goyal, Historian

The Shang Dynasty was started by a man named Tang. Tang got a lot of support. He said that King Jie, of the Xia Dynasty, was mistreating his people and that they should over through him.

Something that made this civilization successful was the fact that they had a big army. This let them keep city states in line. They were also good at converting small villages into thriving city-states all loyal to the Shang Dynasty.

After Tang over through King Jie, King Tang was an important person and founder for the Shang.

An important time was the Shang’s Bronze Age. They were skilled bronze miners and crafters, this gave them a leg up on the competing tribes and dynasties around them