The excavations of several rammed earth palace foundations at Xin Xu revealed the Shang Dynasty was a highly developed slave society.
The most valuable discovery was oracle bones, the evidence of China’s earliest writing system.
Tortoise shells, due to their hardness and longevity, were used for the oracle inscriptions. However, tortoise shells were not the only material. Animal bones were also inscribed.
The inscriptions carved into bones and tortoise shells were questions to the high God Shang Di, lesser gods and ancestors.
These questions were on issues that concerned the dynasty such as harvests, childbirth, and from everyday advice to military campaigns.
Oracle bones, also known as dragon bones, were often ground into powder and used in Chinese medicines, which explains why oracle bones were also a myth at one time.
What makes the oracle bones important today is the script carved into the shells or bones—the roots of the Chinese writing system.
The Chinese writing system is the only language that still uses the same methods used more than three thousand years ago. The narrator of the video explains briefly how Chinese characters evolved.
See The Han Dynasty
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