The Shang Dynasty, Shang Dynasty Facts and History (2023)

A Dinastia Shang (1600-1046 aC)It was the second of the three ancient Chinese dynasties. It was preceded by the Xia Dynasty and succeeded by the Zhou Dynasty.

The Shang Dynasty, Shang Dynasty Facts and History (1)Oracle Bone Writings no Yinxu Museum em Anyang.

The Shang Empire spread mainly along the Yellow River basin. The capital of the Shang was Anyang.

It was the first dynasty with written records: inscriptions on bones and bronze objects. The Shang founded theculture tomto later eras with dynastic succession, Mandate of Heaven political philosophy, elaborate craftsmanship as seen in its bronze work and silk industry, its writing system, and other forms.

The History of the Shang Dynasty (1600 to 1046 BC)

Modern historians generally date the start of the Shang Dynasty to 1600 BC. They think that the year 2500 described by Sima Qian is too soon. When the chief of the Shang conquered theXia Dynasty(2070-1600 BC), founded a new dynasty calledDinastia Shang.The Shang Empire spread across northern and central China for the next 1,500 years.

The Shang Dynasty, Shang Dynasty Facts and History (2)Map da Dynasty Shang

The history of the Shang described through ancient texts

Mainly based onAccount of Sima Qian,We have a picture of the Shang story, but no one can be sure the story is true without providing evidence. According to ancient texts, when the Shang Dynasty was in decline and they became corrupt and decadent, mistreating and enslaving its people, Shangdi, their supreme god, overthrew the empire to replace the dynasty.

so it is writtenRey Tang de la tribu Shang(1675-1646) saw the last Xia ruler falter. His name was Jie. He lived in luxury and decadence while ruling oppressively. Then King Tang began to attack the Xia Empire and hired wise men to help him.

(Video) The Shang Dynasty - Chinese History

In the conflict, many of the Shang also rebelled to side with the Tang,and conquered 1600 BC. the Shang. It is said that the Tang king ruled well because he reduced taxes and made vassals from the outlying tribes. His territory expanded to include areas far to the south and the sea to the east.

The last Shang king was called Shang Zhou. His fall reflects the fall of the last Xia Emperor. It was thoughtlost the Mandate of Heaven.The rulers of a neighboring tribe were called Zhou. Like King Jie and the Xia Dynasty, he was defeated by the Zhou rulers because his own people rebelled. His own troops and slaves joined the Zhou in the final battle.

The New Zhou Ruler of the UprisingZhou Dynasty(1045–221 BC) was called Zhou Wu. He allowed Shang's son Zhou to rule over the Shang people as a vassal. Zhou rulers tooscattered prominent Shang peopleto other places.

Han is from the Shang Dynasty

The Shang Dynasty, Shang Dynasty Facts and History (3)ANDNotes of the Great Historianby Sima Qian are accepted as an accurate story by many Chinese people.

The main source of information we have about the origins of the Han are the ancient Han tales, which Chinese historians and archaeologists tend to refer to.They rely heavily on ancient written historical texts.They point out that many written historical details are corroborated by modern archaeological discoveries.

Archaeologists and historians often try to combine information gathered through archaeological discoveries with them.those first written storiesthe Han to get a better idea of ​​the origins of the Han people.

The most important historical texts about Shang

the Han people, the dominant ethnic group in Chinawritten storieswritten over a millennium between 0 a. C. and around 1000 AD.

(Video) Shang Dynasty Facts for Kids: KS2 History

Among the most important ancient accounts of the Shang are theNotes of the Great Historianbetween 109 and 91 BC. by Sima Qian and theBamboo Annals. ANDBamboo AnnalsThey were written by official historians of the Jin and Wei states during the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC).

Screenplay written by Shang

The other source of historical information areorabone blowsThousands of bones with written characters and intelligible phrases have been found, but of the thousands of characters Shang used, most have yet to be deciphered. Archaeologists and linguists use computers to decipher the meaning of the writings.

Scholars have been amazed at how some of the Shang scriptures confirm certain things described by Sima Qian, such as specific names and places. In general, scholars said that the discovery and decipherment of the oracle bone writings only tended to prove the veracity of Sima Qian's writings. Nothing was found contradicting what Sima Qian wrote.

The cultural heritage of the Shang

The Shang civilization developed important features of Han Chinese culture. One, perhaps the most important, feature of Han culture is its distinctiveness and complexity.pictorial writing system.

They used writing to record historical events, write official signs, and guess and make predictions. They wrote on so-called oracle bones to make predictions. It was a way to obtain information in a supernatural way. Some characters they used are similar tochinese charactersHan uses today.

The Shang also developed metallurgy greatly during the Bronze Age. They havethe Han art style and technical skill.Han culture has always been known for its excellence in metallurgy, handicrafts and artistic refinement.

They also developed itsilk makingIndustries that the Han empires greatly promoted and benefited from, as well as other features of Han culture such asTeekulturand affection for jade. For more information on the development of Han culture in ancient times, seeAncient Chinese Culture (1600–221 BC): Development and Characteristics

(Video) The History of the Shang Dynasty

Die Shang-Governance-Structure

The Shang Dynasty wasthe height of the slave tradebetween the three ancient Chinese dynasties. The ruling class consisted of slave owners.

The government also had a narrow hierarchical structure withmany levels of leadership.The closer they were to the king, the greater their status, power and wealth. Vassals could rule over areas of land, but they had to pay tribute to their king and provide troops in times of war.

The Shang people believed thathuman sacrifice, and many slaves were sacrificed.

Technology and culture development

The Shang Dynasty, Shang Dynasty Facts and History (4)The last Shang capital was located at Anyang.

The Yin Ruins in Anyang are aUNESCO World HeritageAttraction and a museum area. Displays of Shang hieroglyphs trace the development ofchinese characters.

bronze craft

Archeologists opened in 1976an intact tombcalled Tomb 5. It was Lady Fu Hao's tomb. He had a military career, and a historian named Robert Thorp said that the variety of weapons in his tomb correlated with oracular inscriptions on bones.

The bronze vessels and tools showed that the Shang people had it.a high level of bronze metallurgy. They were able to start large cauldrons called things.

(Video) How did Chinese Civilization begin? (Shang and Zhou dynasties) Bronze Age China history explained

Other Contemporary Civilizations

The Shang Dynasty, Shang Dynasty Facts and History (5)Museu Sanxingdui.

According to historical accounts of the Handeveloped civilizationaround the Yellow River under the Xia, Shang and Zhou dynasties. No other advanced civilizations are mentioned in the region.

However, archaeologists havediscovered other Bronze Age civilizationsacross the region of China as theSanxingdui-Zivilisation(2000-1250 BC). They refute the traditional Han narrative that civilization in the region only developed along the Yellow River.

The Shang invented writing for much of East Asia.

The character system in East Asia can begoes back to the hieroglyphsused in the Shang Dynasty. You can see examples of these writings and bone and bronze artifacts atwriting museumde Anyang.

The hieroglyphic writing system later became theIdeographic and partially phonetic Chinese characterswhich are mostly used in China and Japan today. The characters are also sometimes used in other countries such as Korea and Vietnam. Read more aboutwrite chinese.

Shang Dynasty sites and tours

The Shang Dynasty, Shang Dynasty Facts and History (6)

To see the sites of the Shang Dynasty in Anyang, we recommend the following tour.

(Video) Ancient China - The Shang Dynasty Part 1: The Story of Shang

Brilliant Chinese art and culture tour:16 Tage lang von Peking, Jinan, Tai'an, Qufu, Zhengzhou, Anyang, Dengfeng, Luoyang, Xi'an und Shanghái.

Alternatively, let us know what you would like us to do and we willTake a personalized tourand offer it to you.

  • She Shang invented pictograph writing and left many written records.
  • They removed the capital five times. The last location was Yin (present-day Anyang).
  • Most of the information we know about the Shang Dynasty comes from the oracle bones found at Yin.
  • The Shang Dynasty produced beautiful bronze pieces.
  • Women played an important role in their society.


What is the history of the Shang Dynasty? ›

The Shang Dynasty is the earliest ruling dynasty of China to be established in recorded history, though other dynasties predated it. The Shang ruled from 1600 to 1046 B.C. and heralded the Bronze Age in China. They were known for their advances in math, astronomy, artwork and military technology.

What are 3 things the Shang Dynasty is known for? ›

The Shang made many contributions to Chinese civilization, but four in particular define the dynasty: the invention of writing; the development of a stratified government; the advancement of bronze technology; and the use of the chariot and bronze weapons in warfare.

What are some facts about the Shang gods? ›

The people of the Shang Dynasty were polytheistic, meaning that they worshipped many gods. The main god was Shangdi. They also believed in an afterlife, and so they were buried with the goods, animals, and slaves that they would need.

What are some facts about the Shang Dynasty religion? ›

Folk religion during the Shang dynasty was polytheistic, meaning the people worshipped many gods. This bronze sculpture of a human head with gold leaf is typical of the bronze artwork created during the Shang dynasty. Ancestor worship was also very important to the Shang.

What did the Shang Dynasty eat? ›

The Shang people ate lots of bread, then, not rice and tea as you might imagine. Only people in the south of China ate rice, because that's where all of the rice plants grow. So, a normal meal for people in the Shang Dynasty would include bread and beer, and maybe some cheese.

What was the Shang Dynasty known as? ›

The Shang dynasty (Chinese: 商朝; pinyin: Shāng Cháo), also known as the Yin dynasty (Chinese: 殷代; pinyin: Yīn Dài), was a Chinese royal dynasty founded by Tang of Shang (Cheng Tang) that ruled in the Yellow River valley in the second millennium BC, traditionally succeeding the Xia dynasty and followed by the Western ...

When did the Shang Dynasty start and end? ›

The period of the dynasty's rule has traditionally been dated 1766–1122 bce. However, more recent archaeological work has placed the Shang's starting date at about 1600 bce and has identified the dynasty's end as being 1046 bce.

What language did the Shang Dynasty speak? ›

The language of the Shang Dynasty is today known as Old Chinese, a language that is no longer spoken but has evolved into contemporary Chinese dialects over the course of the centuries.

What was life like in Shang Dynasty? ›

In the summer, peasants lived on the land near their fields. Summer homes were made of bamboo branches. In the winter, they moved to their permanent homes in the villages. Winter homes were drafty, one room houses with thatched or tile roofs, dirt floors and no furniture.

Who was the main god of the Shang? ›

Shangdi was considered to be the supreme deity during the Shang dynasty (1600–1046 century bce), but during the Zhou dynasty (1046–256 bce) he was gradually supplanted by heaven (tian).

How did Shang Dynasty end? ›

Ultimately, the Shang dynasty was overthrown in 1046 BCE by the Zhou, a subject people—a people who lived under imperial rule—living in the western part of the kingdom, but their cultural contributions carried on through future dynasties.

What did the Shang gods do? ›

The god controlled victory in battle, the harvest and the floods of the Yellow River. Shangdi ruled other gods and only the emperors could access Shangdi through the souls of their royal ancestors.

Did the Shang Dynasty believe in life after death? ›

In the Shang dynasty (c. 1600–1027 BC) precious bronze ritual vessels, weapons and jades were buried with the deceased. Animals and even human beings were sacrificed in the tombs of deceased great rulers as a provision for the afterlife.

What was the Shang Dynasty money? ›

Shell money. Shell money was the oldest form of currency in ancient China.As the shells were small and hard in texture,they came in handy as money.By the Shang and Zhou dynasties the use of shell money reached its zenith,and shell money became a symbol of wealth.

Did the Shang Dynasty have money? ›

Shell Money

Generally speaking, one peng is made up by two clusters of 10 shells. At the end of the Shang Dynasty (1675 BC–1029 BC), due to the lack of shells in Northeast China, there were other forms of shell money which can be made of pottery, stone, bone, jade, copper and gold.

What did the Shang Dynasty drink? ›

Regardless of who invented the idea, by the second century, rice wine had become a popular drink in China. Excavations of funerary objects from the Shang dynasty (1750 – 1100 B.C.E.) show that wine vessels make up a significant percent of funerary containers, particularly for royalty.

Who ruled during the Shang Dynasty? ›

The two greatest emperors after Tang were Pan Geng, who moved the capital to Yin (so that the dynasty is sometimes referred to as Yin Shang), and Wu Ding. Wu Ding is one of the only Shang emperors whose existence is corroborated by the physical evidence of archaeology.

Why did the Shang dynasty fall? ›

The Shang Dynasty fell around the year 1046 BCE in large part because of a very oppressive government. The final king of the Shang Dynasty, Shang Xin, was known for implementing cruel laws, torturing prisoners, and exploiting commoners. Eventually, the people fought back against the king.

What tools did the Shang use? ›

The Shang made many objects out of bronze, including ceremonial tools, swords, and spearheads for the military. The Shang also domesticated horses and developed the chariot, which gave them a massive military advantage over their opponents.

Who was the last king of Shang dynasty? ›

Zhou, Wade-Giles romanization Chou, also called Zi Zhou, or Dixin, (born early 11th century? bc, China—died 1046 bc, China), last sovereign (c. 1075–46 bc) of the Shang dynasty (c. 1600–1046 bc), who, according to legend, lost his empire because of his extreme debauchery.

Where is the Shang dynasty located? ›

The Shang is the earliest dynasty. in Chinese history that can be verified through written and archaeological evidence. Established around 1600 BCE, it was centered in north China along the Yellow River valley, the so-called cradle of Chinese civilization.

What is the meaning of Shang? ›

ˈshäŋ : a Chinese dynasty traditionally dated 1766–1122 b.c. and known especially for bronze work.

What states did the Shang control? ›

The Shang controlled the North China Plain, an area near the Yellow River roughly corresponding to the modern provinces of Anhui, Hebei, Henan, Shandong, and Shanxi.

What religions did the Shang Dynasty have? ›

Shang religion was characterized by a combination of animism, shamanism, spiritual control of the world, divination, and respect and worship of dead ancestors, including through sacrifice. Different gods represented natural and mythological symbols, such as the moon, sun, wind, rain, dragon, and phoenix.

How did the Shang make money? ›

In summary, the Shang dynasty created an economy based on agriculture, trade, and the work of its craftspeople. Trade routes were used to connect them with faraway lands. While they traded directly in goods, they also used the cowrie shells as a system of currency.

What did the Shang dynasty teach? ›

The Shang believed in a supreme God, Shang Di, as well as subsidiary powers or spirits. Ancestor worship and the family were central to their religious practice. They also believed in an afterlife and were buried with the goods, slaves and animals they believed would be useful to them.

Who are the 3 Chinese gods? ›

Fulushou, Wade-Giles romanization Fu-Lu-Shou, in Chinese mythology, a collective term for the three so-called stellar gods, taken from their names: Fuxing, Luxing, and Shouxing.

What art did the Shang Dynasty make? ›

In many respects, the Shang dynasty can be regarded as the culmination of 2,000 years of the art of jade carving. Shang craftsmen had full command of the artistic and technical language developed in the diverse late Neolithic cultures that had a jade-working tradition.

What are some fun facts about the Shang Dynasty for kids? ›

Top 10 facts

The first ruler of the Shang was Tang Shang, a military leader. There were thirty Shang Emperors; a dynasty is a succession of rulers from the same family or line. The Shang built their houses and public buildings out of wood and mud. They built mud banks to try and hold back flooding.

What are 3 facts about Zhou Dynasty? ›

The Zhou Dynasty ruled Ancient China from 1045 BC to 256 BC. It was the longest ruling dynasty in the history of China. The land of Zhou was a vassal state of the Shang Dynasty. A powerful leader of the Zhou named Wen Wang began to plan to overthrow the Shang Dynasty.

What are 2 facts about the Zhou Dynasty? ›

The Zhou Dynasty (1045–221 BC) saw China grow, fracture into states, then unite in imperialism. It was technically the longest dynasty, though the Zhouhad effectively lost power by 770 BC. Major philosophies and religions emerged that were the basis of Chinese belief in later eras, such as Confucianism and Daoism.

How big is the Shang Dynasty? ›

1,250,000 km2

What was Shang Dynasty life like? ›

The civilisation was based on agriculture, hunting and animals. Buildings were built from mud. The oldest surviving records from Anyang tell us that under the late Shang dynasty writing was fully developed. We also know there were musical instruments and astronomers observed the planet Mars and comets.

What was the longest dynasty in China? ›

The longest of the ancient China's dynasties was the Zhou dynasty, which ruled from 1046 B.C.E. to 256 B.C.E. The Zhou period is divided into two eras: Western Zhou (1046–771 B.C.E.), with the capital at Haojing, and Eastern Zhou (770–256 B.C.E.), where the capital was moved to Luoyang due to conflict.

Who discovered China? ›

China and the West were in contact more than 1,500 years before European explorer Marco Polo arrived in China, new findings suggest.

Who was the powerful leader who overthrew the Shang Dynasty? ›

The Shang were overthrown by King Wu of Zhou in 1046 BCE who founded the Zhou Dynasty (1046-256 BCE). The Zhou would be the last before the Qin Dynasty (221-210 BCE) which unified China and gave it its name.

What are the 2 major dynasties in Chinese history? ›

The Major Dynasties of China: Part 1
  • Shang Dynasty (c.1600-1050 BC)
  • Zhou Dynasty (1050-256 BC)
  • Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 220)
  • Sui Dynasty (581-617)/Tang Dynasty (618-907)
  • Song Dynasty (960-1276)
  • On the Web:
  • The second of these two articles on Chinese dynasties may be found here.
May 22, 2018

What are 5 achievements of the Zhou Dynasty? ›

During the Zhou dynasty, China underwent quite dramatic changes. Iron, ox-drawn plows, crossbows, and horseback riding were all introduced; large-scale irrigation and water-control projects were also instituted for the first time, greatly increasing the crop yield of the North China Plain.

Why did the Zhou overthrow the Shang? ›

The Zhou claimed that their rule was justified by the Mandate of Heaven. In other words, the Zhou believed that the Shang kings had become immoral with their excessive drinking, luxuriant living, and cruelty, and so had lost their mandate.

How did Shang dynasty end? ›

Ultimately, the Shang dynasty was overthrown in 1046 BCE by the Zhou, a subject people—a people who lived under imperial rule—living in the western part of the kingdom, but their cultural contributions carried on through future dynasties.

How many people lived in Shang Dynasty? ›

Shang Population

The Shang probably had about 13.5 million people, according to Duan Chang-Qun et al. It was centered on the North China Plain northward to modern Shangdong and Hebei provinces and westward through the modern Henan province.


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