The Shang Dynasty
1766 BCE - 1027 BCE
The Shang dynasty ruled parts of northern and central China. Its capital city was located at Anyang near the border of Henan from about 1384 BCE. This dynasty was based on agriculture; millet, wheat, and barley were the primary crops grown. In addition to the crops, silkworms, pigs, dogs, sheep, and oxen were raised. Aside from their agricultural prowess, the Shang dynasty was also advanced in metallurgy. Bronze ships, weapons, and tools were found from that era.
The Shang dyansty was an aristocrastic society, with a king ruling over the military nobility. Territorial rulers were appointed by him in return for their support in his military campaigns. Underneath the aristocratic class was the priest class. The priests kept the records of the government and were also in charge of religion. The religion in the time of the Shang dynasty was based on ancestor worship and a worship of many gods; the main god was known as Shang Ti, the Lord on High.
The fall of the Shang dynasty was much like that of the Xia dynasty, the last king was a cruel tyrant. Instead of the people overthrowing the king, he was killed by a king from a rival kingdom, the Chou kingdom. The Chou dynasty was part of the Shang kingdom; its civilization was a combination of the Shang culture and that of non-Chinese civilizations.
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