The Shang Dynasty

by Carolina Amanda, Emilia and Gabo

Article by Carolina Coch-Historian Smith Middle School

This ancient civilization got its start near the Yellow River due to the resources for food and water. They also had the clay from the bottom of the river. In all , the Shang Dynasty was in time a very advanced civilization because they had so many natural resources. This civilization didn't just become successful overnight it had many events that lead to the success. First instead of wandering around and moving to different locations just because the food source was gone, they settled on farms. They also had a good form of irrigation to prevent flooding. They domesticated animals and grew crops for a food source.
The Shang Dynasty also had important leaders or groups. They had a social pyramid with kings on top then military nobility, priests, merchants,and farmers. Over time the Shang Dynasty people stopped moving from place to place and settled on farms to start a fully developed civilization where they can access food,crops,animals,and a water source.

Article by Amanda Zhu-Archaeologist Smith Middle School

The Shang Dynasty achieved many objects and inventions such as the writing system, instruments(ocarina, drums, copper cymbals), and they exceeded most in jade and bronze carving. They actually used their bronze and jade carving skills to their advantage. They used bronze carving to make the instruments and used jade carving to make ceremonial weapons and real weapons too. The Shang Dynasty left behind a lot of great things for us. They created oracle bones, improved the writing system and most importantly, they created the twelve month calender with thirty days in each month. Even better, their musical instruments they invented are still used today!
The Shang Dynasty had a huge impact on our life today. Of course the writing system(which is still used today) affected a lot of people around the world. The twelve month calender with thirty days in each month was one of their biggest accomplishments that helped us today! There is a story that tells us about the Shang Dynasty's lifestyle. It's about an important person named Fuhao who passed away and was buried in 418 pieces of bronze and 775 pieces of jade. This tells me that when a person with high honor were buried, they were buried in valuable things like bronze and jade.

Gabo Tobin-Xet-Geographer-Smith Middle School

The Shang dynasty was the first recorded chinese dynasty. It had a lot of different capitals through the time periods but the capital they settled on was modern day Anyang. There was a lot more to the Shang empire than Anyang though, the entire empire was located on the northern China plain and their heartland was the yellow river. The yellow river was mostly what gave them geographic luck with a good resource for water, rich soil, and soil that also contained clay for pottery. Pottery was a big job and hobby in northern china with all the clay that runs throughout the yellow river. The yellow river ran through the whole empire of which they settled in so that was their main source of geographic luck.

Gabo Tobin-Xet -Geographer- Smith Middle School

The Shang dynasty was thriving around 1600 bc to 1050 bc. The outskirts and near borders were near modern day Shandong and Hebei. As well as being geographically lucky there were many great finds of treasure near modern day Zhengzou which was a big bonus when trading with other city-states or empires. This is one of the best places to start a civilization with the domesticated animals located in the area of the world that is now Asia or the Middle East and great resources from the yellow river and the soil.

Emilia Toloza-Anthropologist-Smith Middle School

The people of the Shang Dynasty have had advancements that exceed expectations of ancient civilizations. They were able to form advanced weaponry with bronze. They also found ways to make silk by unraveling thread from a silkworm's cacoon. Eventually they made ceremonial objects as well as dishes, utensils and ornaments. Not only out of bronze but also animal figurines and weapons out of jade. They also learned how to write on ceramics, stone, wood, shells and bone. The people learned to make a calender with 360 days and 12 months with 30 days each which is very similar to the one we use to day around the world.

Emilia Toloza-Anthropologist-Smith Middle School

The social pyramid had the Emperor at the top followed by military, nobility, priests, merchants and then farmers. Everyone had one thing in common though- they were all polytheistic. Religion was very important to them. The people believed that it was important to worship their ancestors so that they will be blessed. They also believed that their ancestors visited Shang Ti, an important god, and had to pray and do rituals for him. The people of the Shang Dynasty thought that the gods were responsible for everything even harvests so they started harvesting wild fishes from bodies of water such as the near by Yellow River and Yangtze River and also started domesticating animals on land as early as the 5th century BC. The Shang Dynasty is easily a very advanced society, more than what we could expect from an ancient civilization.