Shang Dynasty (1766 – 1122 B.C.) 1/3

It is commonly believed that ancient Chinese civilization started with the Hsia Dynasty 5,000 years ago.

However, in archeological terms. Hsia is a myth because no evidence has been found that this dynasty existed.

The Shang Dynasty was also a myth until about a hundred years ago with the discovery of the dynasty’s last capital, Xin Xu.

Xin Xu was the capital for about three hundred years.

Tomb robbers discovered the Shang tombs first.  Although most of the tombs excavated by archeologists had already been looted, the site still provided evidence of Shang culture and rituals.

The narrator of the video takes you on a tour of a Shang tomb. She says it is like a pyramid upside down.

Sacrifice to the gods and ancestors were a major part of Shang social and domestic life.

Bronze artifacts have been unearthed that represent the highest level of technology for the dynasty.

The Shang people used elaborate and dramatic rituals and music was one of the most important elements of ceremony.

Three thousand years ago, the Shang people cooked food in ceramic steamers.

Archeologists have also discovered that the Shang capital had a complex walled city structure.  It even had an underground, piped water supply in some areas.

See Measuring Earthquakes During the Han Dynasty


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

His latest novel is the multiple-award winning Running with the Enemy.

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2 Responses to Shang Dynasty (1766 – 1122 B.C.) 1/3

  1. […] Shang Dynasty (BC 1766  – 1122) followed the Xia. The Shang Dynasty was also a myth until about a hundred […]

  2. NN says:

    At 8:27 I can see they used similar techniques as on the vessels in the Comb Ceramic Culture in Fenno-Scandia. They used a comb to get stripes and dots.

    There where two different techniques used in Finland. The other one was called Corded Ware Culture and most common in west. They used rope to get linear structures.

    Also the three legged vessels van be seen seconds before. Interesting.

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