Shang Dynasty

Ryan Aman, Jack Spicer

Politics -Ryan Aman


A man named Cheng Teng founded the Cheng Dynasty and he was known as the first ruler. He rose to power by overthrowing the evil king Jie from the Xia dynasty. Over the course of 600 years there were about 30 kings in power. Some other well known rulers during the Cheng Dynasty were Wai Bing, Zhong Ren, Tai Jia, and many more. The Shang Government allowed the clans to keep control of their own people instead of governing everyone by themselves. Local rulers protected their own people and they had to send a payment or tribute to the Shang rulers each year. As the Shang rulers became wealthier the Dynasty became corrupt and unjust. The Dynasty declined around 1150 BCE, when conquers from a nearby land invaded the capital of Shang and over through the rulers. Because the rulers were acting greedy and unfair, the clans rebelled against the Shang and started a new dynasty called the Zhou Dynasty.



Religion, Family life, Art -Ryan Aman


The Shang Dynasty was polytheistic, they worshipped many gods. Their religion believed in spiritual control of the world and worship to their dead ancestors. Each of their gods represented a natural/mythological symbol, like moon, sun and wind. The people were divided into three religions, Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism. In a Shang family, the oldest male was the head of the family. Marriages were always arranged to create union and strength between two families. Children were taught to respect their father. The role of women was to be calm, respectful, gentle and to obey their husbands. The earliest written records from China are oracle bones from Shang, a common used tool for writing. Shang artisans created pottery and jade carvings, they were best known for their bronze metal working. The most commonly used instruments in Shang were cymbals, drums, and bells.



Economics - Jack Spicer


Cowrie shells were used as currency for the Shang Dynasty. They built roads for more trade routes which boosted the goods in the economy. Bronze was the most famous product in the dynasty as it made most products. Other important products in the dynasty were pots, wheat, tools, weapons, rice, and millet. Many people had a job of carving jade and bronze. Potters played a big role in trade and products for the people of the shang. The potters products could be sold to other people of the shang or traded to other regions. The shang traded with no foreigners with an acceptance of foreigners from Fujian, Taiwan, and Korea. They mostly traded with nearby countries that their roads led to.



Inventions, Science, Technology, Architecture -Jack Spicer


Pottery took up the majority of art in the shang dynasty. Pottery was painted on, and had special carvings. Most people did it to make money, but some did it for the beauty of art. Sculpted different vessels out of bronze.The shang dynasty invented a money system that consisted of cowrie shells as currency. The shang dynasty invented a writing system. Invented many types of weapons. The shang dynasty invented the cyclic lunar calendar which was part of science because they had to figure out the beginning of the year when the earth's orbit around the sun.