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Shang China Culture

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Overview of Shang Dynasty

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Shang China Culture

  1. 1. Ancient River Civilizations Shang China
  2. 2. Critical Intro What were the geographic similarities of India and China? Which was more connected to the other river valleys? Why?
  3. 3. Shang China notes . The Geography of China A. Geographic Isolation 1. East = Yellow Sea and Pacific Ocean 2. West = Taklimakan Desert 3. Southwest = Himalaya Mts. 4. North = Gobi Desert 5. 2/3 of China’s land = mts. + deserts
  4. 4. B. 2 Main River Systems 1. Huang He (Yellow) R. in North China 2. Yangtze R. in Central China 3. Most of farmland and pop. is in eastern plain between these rivers. *Why is the Huang He called “China’s Sorrow”? Because of the death and destruction caused by flooding
  5. 5. II. The Shang Emerge in China A. The Shang Dynasty = 1st documented Chinese dynasty 1. 1532- 1027 B.C. 2. main capital = Anyang
  6. 6. B. Shang Cities 1. most structures and homes made of wood 2. cities protected by earthen walls
  7. 7. C. Shang Social Classes 1. sharply divided 2. ruled by warrior class headed by a king 3. nobles owned land; sent tribute to Shang ruler 4. peasants worked the land with wood and stone tools
  8. 8. D. Mandate of Heaven 1. king’s authority to rule came from heaven 2. a just and fair ruler was seen as having god’s approval 3. unfair or unsuccessful king = No approval 4. justification for overthrow 5. Dynastic Cycle = Rise, decline, and replacement of dynasties
  9. 9. . Early Chinese Culture A. Family was central to Chinese Society 1. Elder male controlled property + made decisions 2. women expected to obey male family members
  10. 10. B. Religious Beliefs – Polytheistic & animistic 1. Believed in ancestor worship (veneration) a. Spirits could bring good or bad luck b. offering made to keep spirits happy c. Offerings included human sacrifice 2. Supreme God = Shang Di
  11. 11. C. First Chinese Writing! = Oracle Bones 1. Kings consulted gods through Oracle bones. a. Priests scratch question on bone or turtle shell b. Apply heat to cause cracks c. Interpret cracks for answers
  12. 12. 2. Chinese writing – symbols stand for idea not sound a. Advantage = everyone could learn writing; uniting b. Disadvantage = more than 10,000 symbols to learn
  13. 13. D. Excellence in Bronze working 1. Shang artisans perfected bronze casting skills 2. bronze weapons, jewelry, religious items
  14. 14. ** Why did the Ancient Chinese refer to themselves as the Middle Kingdom? They saw their country as the center of the civilized world. Ancient China Middle Kingdom The rest of the world China as the “Middle Kingdom” of the world
  15. 15. Geographic Isolation!
  16. 16. Hueng He or “Yellow River”
  17. 17. Himalaya Mountains
  18. 18. Highly detailed bronze items during Shang Dynasty
  19. 19. Upper Class housing
  20. 20. Mandate of Heaven and the Dynastic Cycle
  21. 21. Ancient China Middle Kingdom The rest of the world China as the “Middle Kingdom” of the world
  22. 22. Shang Oracle Bone Turtle Shell C. First Chinese Writing = Oracle Bones 1. Kings consulted gods through Oracle bones. a. Priests scratch question on bone or turtle shell b. Apply heat to cause cracks c. Interpret cracks for answers
  23. 23. Shang Royal Tomb Fuo Hao, who was the wife of a Shang emperor, was a powerful military and political leader Her coffin was surrounded by thousands of bronze and jade artifacts, as well as human sacrifices.
  24. 24. 1. Geographic features 2. Environmental challenges 5. Role of Family4. Social classes 6. Religious beliefs 3. Settlements 7. Writing system 8. Technological advances 9. Artistry River Dynasties in China Shang Dynasty Culture Huang He and Yangtze river Systems, Plateau of Tibet, Gobi Desert, Mongolian Plateau, Himalaya Mountains Flooding of the Huang He Geographic isolation – mountains and deserts isolate China from outside world. Earthen-walled cities; Elaborate palaces, tombs, timber-framed homes within city Upper class lived in city Lower class lived outside walls Capital = Anyang Warrior-noble class headed by a king Peasant class King seen as connection between Heaven and Earth Kings’ power came from gods= Mandate of Heaven Central authority in Chinese Society Men controlled the family Elderly had special privileges Women treated as inferior Worshipped spirits of family ancestors Supreme god and lesser gods Consulted gods through Oracle bones = Earliest Chinese writing Priests carved questions on bones or shells, heat & read cracks Human sacrifice was common Many written characters, each representing an idea/item Advantage = all in China could learn this writing – unifying Disadvantage = thousands of characters to learn Manufactured weapons, religious items, and jewelry Perfected bronze casting Embroidered silk clothing Ornate bronze items China = “Middle Kingdom” – Ancient Chinese referred to themselves as the Middle Kingdom because they saw themselves as being at the center of the world.
  25. 25. Shang China