Shang Dynasty (1765 - 1112 BCE)

John Vincent Period 6


During the Shang Dynasty, the Chinese were very successful at expanding. For example, they became very wealthy. Also they built a strong army with fierce warriors. Since they had bronze, they had an advantage over their enemies because they were able to make better swords. The Shang Dynasty had many rulers over the 600 years the dynasty lasted. For example Cheng Tang was the very first ruler of china followed by many others such as Wai Bing, Zhong Ren, and Tai Geng. After a while the Shang Dynasty's ruler began to ignore the needs of the poor and his main priority was to sacrifice to Di. Finally they were overthrown by the Zhou.
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This is a painting of Cheng Tang


The Shang had an economic system as well. They traded cattle, sheep, bronze vessels, jade, cloth, and various foods to people around the Huang He River. There were many important items that helped the Shang survive for over 600 years. Some include Bronze Swords for fighting, Livestock for food, and Silk for clothing. Some of the important jobs were Farmers, Warriors, Engineers, and Builders.
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This is a picture of ancient shell currency used in the Shang Dynasty

Religon / Culture / Social Life

Every great dynasty had a unique religion and culture. The Shang were a polytheistic religion. They believed in an after life. They believed that worshiping to ancestors was very, very important. They made many religious bowls, disks, jewelery, and vases. The Shang wore hats and very elaborate hairstyles. Women sometimes wore jewelery. Their houses were made of twig and mud. Buildings around china were mainly temples and palaces.
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A religious necklace from the Shang Dynasty

Inventions / Technology / Science / Architecture

The Shang made many discoveries and inventions during their time. For example, they invented Chinese writing, Bronze casting, Silk, Jade, Sacrifice, Musical instruments, a calender, and pottery. The Shang built many structures too. They Built the Palace at Erlitou, Temple at Panlongcheng, and a city wall around Zhengzhou. They also built many detailed altars.
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This is a bell made in ancient china. It is made of bronze, one of the many Chinese inventions