Shang Dynasty


In this newsletter we will be talking about the creation of the Shang Dynasty, the geography, the structure and creations the Shang people had, and also the culture, language, and community style. This will have the uprising and the downfall of the Shang. It will have how they grew crops, plants and other natural resources.

Katlin Alston-Historian, Smith Middle School

The Hsia Dynasty the first imperial dynasty in China, is believed to come before the Shang. According to legend the founder of the Hsia was Yu, who became the Lord of the Harvest. The legend gives names of successful rulers ending with Chieh. The legend says Chieh fell in love with an evil woman. The story says that the people were furious, and were lead by T'ang who legend says founded the Shang Dynasty.

During the period of the Shang the king assigned local governors. They worked chiefly in agriculture. The king made anouncements for when to plant crops. The society had developed a calendar with a 360 day year with 12 months 30 days each. The calendar took into account the moon and the sun

The Shang empire met there downfall in the 1000s AD from the Zhou nearby. The Zhou where neighbors with the Shang for many years. They lived just west of the Shang in what is know Saanxi province. The Zhou were friendly with the Shang although they fought many times. The ruler of the Zhou came up with a plan to conquer the Shang and defeated them around the mid 1000s. The Shang rebeled but finally lost in about 1122 BC.

There weren't many leaders or groups but the Zhou people influenced the Shang when they took over. Another person to influence the Sang was T'ang.

Article by Caitlin Johnson- Anthropologist

The Shang used different pottery to do rituals. They also had different color pots, there was a white glaze used for ritual purposes and there was a rich brown glaze used for more everyday purposes. Bronze work was used for making cooking utencils, serving dishes, and various uteni (utensil(s) purposes. They excelled in bronze work more than any other. Most of the things they made were made out of bronze because they really did not have any other thing to use. Sence they did not really have a way to write they carve different shapes and animals to communicate.

Because they lived close by water they were able to have some of the tools they need to survive. They had the right sources just because of it they could drink water or feed the animals they had and help there families or their community.

Maggie springer--Archaeologist Smith Middle School

Maggie Springer---Archaeologist, Smith Middle School

The Shang had a very interesting, unique lifestyle. They also invented many things that have a very large importance today, such as writing. In 1400 BC, writing was born in China. To help the Shang have knowledge about the future, religious conductors inscribed thoughts and questions that they wished to be answered on bones known as Oracle bones. By heating the oracle bones until they cracked, the religious conductors “read” the patterns by the cracks to get an idea of what the future will be similar to.

Writing in the Chinese culture began during the existence of the Shang dynasty. Records and ceremonial carvings were brushed onto or inscribed into bone or tortoise shells. Many of those were located and defined by archaeologists. Those discoveries are known to be the first and earliest writing in China.

To go along with all the unique traits of the Shang, they also excelled in bronze work. Craftspeople who worked for the Shang had knowledge of how to create weapons, pot and containers from bronze. Bronze cauldrons had uses of making wine and food, which the Shang presented to their dead ancestors who the Shang fully believed were powerful gods.

The Shang Dynasty is thought to have originated from Hsia, the first dynasty in China. Even though, the Hsia which has been known to rule from around 2205 to 1766 BC, are only told in myths and might of not actually existed.

The Last Shang leader was well known for his evil. He was knocked off the throne by the growing power of his people, the Shang, who were later on comforted by the kindly Zhou people. Wuwang, The leader of the Zhou challenged the Shang to war, who were later on defeated and started to thin out in population.

Not only did the Shang excel in bronze work, but they also excelled in archiecture. They have made a huge impact on our lives by creating the first advanced houses in their time period. Today, we continue what the Shang had satrted, and without their bright ideas then our world and homes would probably not be as good as they are now.

Kenneth Smith Geographer

The Shang Dynasty civilization was located were China now is. Geography lead to their success of the Shang since the Shang had two rivers their soil is good all year around, and the Shang also had a ocean. The Shang had many natural resources like millet and wheat for cereals fish hooks for when they went fishing, Pottery for art, And tools to fix anything when it broke. The Shang where very lucky geography wise because the Shang learned to make water wells, and had two rivers, and a ocean. But if you went their today you'll see nothing but China.