The Rise and Fall of the Shang Dynasty

1627 Words Jul 20th, 2008 7 Pages
The Cities of ancient times are a wonder to us. How did they flourish? What did they do to survive? What technology did they learn and use? It is all these things that we search for when we try to uncover how the past led to the people of the present. Here we’ll learn what the Shang Dynasty of China was, what they accomplished, what problems occurred, and finally what became of them. The Shang Dynasty, or Yin Dynasty, was the first real historic Chinese Dynasty. It existed from around 1766 BC to 1122 BC. Long thought to be only a “Legendary Dynasty”, it ruled in the northeastern region of area known as “China Proper”, which refers to the lands of China where the Han Chinese were the Majority Ethnic Group. According to the …show more content…
The only things that have survived were some pottery, jade objects, and ritual bronze vessels. We have also found that the Kings whole entourage was sacrificed and buried along side him. These people would have been his Ministers, servants, slaves and concubines. The Shang people had a complicated belief system. They used a technique called pyromancy which required the use of a turtle shell or a bone. After drilling a hole into the bone or shell they would write there questions on it along with the name of an ancestor, usually former kings. They would then expose the shell/bone to fire, from which it would obtain cracks. They had professional diviners, or sometimes the King himself, Interpret those cracks to get answers to those questions. Only the king was allowed to write the questions on the bones/shells because he was believed to be the only one noble and holy enough to be heard by the gods when he asked a question. The most important part of Shang religion was there ancestral Worship that later became known as Confucianism and “Chinese Thinking”. This concept of the Shangs’ lived on even after the Dynasty was attacked and conquered. The Shang Dynasty ended with an attack from the neighboring Zhou Kingdom, in 1122 BC. After his Army was defeated by the Zhou, Shang Zhou, the last king, committed suicide. The legends say that his army betrayed him by joining with