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The Shang Dynasty
Erin Bruce
Samantha Petree
Shang-Yin Dynasty
1600-1046 BC
Founded by Da Yi (Tang the Great)
Final ruler was Di Xin (King Zhou)
31 rulers in between
Estimated population 13.5 million
Shang China centered in the North China
Major Accomplishments!
 Realized that the
length of a year is
365 ¼ days
 The Yin-Yang concept
is introduced
Accomplishments (continued)
Advanced jade carving
Had the earliest glazed pottery
Propelled the Bronze Age
First presence of Chinese script (writing)
 Especially found on “oracle bones”
More on Oracle Bones!
 Video: Decoding Ancient Scripts
Accomplishments (continued)
 Complex forms of irrigation and flood
control were developed
 Advancements in music:
Clay ocarinas
Copper cymbals
Tuned stone chimes
Social Pyramid
Military nobility
Other Societal Aspects
 Religion
 Folk religion was polytheistic; Buddhism, Taoism and
Confucianism did not yet exist
 Ancestor worship was extremely important
 Shang Ti=“Lord on High”
 Economy
 Society based on agriculture, hunting, and breeding
livestock: sheep, pigs, dogs, oxen, silkworms
 Fishing was also a major proponent
Cross-Cultural Contacts
 Evidence of possible Indo-European contact
with China has been found in the light
chariot of the Shang dynasty.
 18-26 spokes per wheel
 Infused with bronze
 16 chariot burials found at Xiaotun
 Animal-headed knives found at the burial
sites also suggest European contact.
Important Events 
 Founded by a rebel leader after the overthrow
of the final Xia ruler.
 Terrible Emperor Zhou overthrown by
another rebel leader (Wu-Wang) in 1111