Shang Dynasty Facts

Shang Dynasty Facts
The Shang Dynasty is believed to be the first Chinese Dynasty in history, as evidenced by archaeological finds. The Shang Dynasty is believed to have ruled from approximately 1558 B.C. to 1046 B.C. It was once thought to be the second Chinese Dynasty after Xia Dynasty but many now believe that the Xia Dynasty was not a true dynasty. The Shang Dynasty built its civilization along the Yellow River, which was prone to flooding but was a fertile region. The Shang Dynasty lasted more than 500 years, and was ruled by a succession of 30 emperors. The Shang Dynasty provided the foundation for much of the Chinese culture still central to their lives today.
Interesting Shang Dynasty Facts:
The Shang Dynasty is also referred to as the Yin Dynasty by some historians. Yin was the last capital city of the Shang Dynasty. There were several capital cities during the Shang Dynasty, not just one.
The Shang Dynasty's first ruler was a military leader named Tang Shang. From this first Shang emperor began a series of 30 Shang emperors.
The Shang Dynasty ruled during the Bronze Age of history.
Prior to the 1900s the earliest known Chinese Dynasty was the Zhou Dynasty, which ruled from 1046 B.C. to 256 B.C. but newly discovered evidence proved that the Shang Dynasty existed before this time.
Most of what is known about the Shang Dynasty is from the more than one hundred and fifty thousand oracle bones that archaeologists have discovered. Oracle bones were bones used by the Shang to predict the future. Questions were written on one side of the bone, and then the bone was burned until it cracked. The cracks were interpreted to find the answer to the question. The answer was then written on the reverse side of the bone.
The Shang Dynasty was the first Chinese Dynasty to have written down their history. They were the first to have invented writing. The ancient writing they invented is very similar to modern Chinese writing today.
The Shang Dynasty ruled with many levels of government, beginning with the emperor.
Although the Shang Dynasty invented bronze technology they only used it for weapons and religious items, not for everyday tools.
Shang Dynasty skilled workers created items of bronze, shells, wood, stone, ceramic, jade, and bone.
As the Shang Dynasty progressed the people settled and became farmers living off the land instead of wandering as the nomads did.
The Shang Dynasty's farmers learned about flood control and how to irrigate their crops. They grew everything from rice and wheat to barley and millet, and they took part in hunting when needed for food.
The people living during the Shang Dynasty believed that their health and crop successes were based upon their dead ancestors' happiness.
The last Shang Dynasty emperor was Di Xin. He had become known as a torturous and cruel emperor and the people did not like him or his practices.
A rebel leader Wu of Zhou defeated Di Xin and the Shang Dynasty fell under the control of Wu Gen, and later Zhou, marking the beginning of the Zhou Dynasty.

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