The Shang Dynasty 1650-1027 B.C.E. Textbook pages 77-80
Chinese Civilization Begins• People had been living on the North China Plain for hundreds of years• 1650 B.C.E.- communities merged into a small kingdom ruled by Shang leaders*Here in northern China, with the Shang kingdom,Chinese civilization begins to take shape
Shang Rule• Controlled from walled city at Anyang• Territory was divided into regions • Nobles were appointed to rule each region • Nobles were friends of the king, heads of clans, or previous rulers • Positions became hereditary
Upper Class• Shang Kings and Nobles • Lived in large timber or stone houses • Could afford to buy art, so artisans gathered around the capital at Anyang
Common Population• Most people were farmers • Grew millet and other crops in the Huang He valley • Huang He valley loess was very fertile surplus in food growth in population• These peasants lived in small farming communities • Homes=pits dug into the ground with thatched roofs • Worked very hard on farm & in public projects like building dikes and as soldiers during war
Art and Culture• Developed an early form of writing• Fine pottery• Skilled metal workers particularly using valuable bronze (religious ceremonies and weapons)• Silk making advanced technology
Burial Practices• Believed in an afterlife• Rulers were buried in deep pits, with bronze, stone, jade, potty, and bone• Sometimes tombs were 10 metres deep • Servants were sacrificed and buried with kings
Shang Beliefs• Believed in many gods • Di, Lord on High good harvests, successful battles, weather• Believed in a connection between live and dead family members • Gave offerings to dead family members for protection
Shang Beliefs• King acted as priest • Thought to be able to better communicate with important ancestors and gods • Consulted ancestors before making important decisions
Duality• Dual: having two parts• Duality: yin & yang= opposites• Yin earth, darkness, cold, femininity• Yang heaven, light, heat, masculinity• Yin & Yang= harmonious whole• Yin yang symbol everything contains the opposite of itself within, making them interedependent
Five Elements• Shang believed the earth was made-up of five elements: • Wood • Metal • Fire • Water • Earth• Everything on earth was a combination of these forces
Qi• Qi: an essential life force governing the universe • Travelling beneath earth’s surface in currents • Did not want to disturb this life force • Fengshui- before building anything, a fengshui expert would need to be consulted so that there would be no negative influences
End of the Shang Dynasty• Shang kings constantly at war with surrounding kingdoms• Zhou kingdom defeated Shang
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