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The Huang Ho Valley
Last Updated     11/17/2007      10/6/2007

The Shang

2000 BC, civilization developed in the Huang Ho valley of northern China
No records of the beginning,
No remains have been found.
1800 BC, villages and farms all along the river
People farmed and used river for travel and trade.
They made clay ovens, cupboards, benches, and pottery.
Houses were round and small with a thatched roof.

Cities of the Shang
1766 BC, Shang came to power
Built first Chinese cities.
The city was the home of the rich, the learned, and the skilled.
At the center stood a palace and a temple.
Public buildings and homes of high officials were built around the palace.
In the outer district there were workshops, burial grounds, homes of workers.

Poor people lived in the country and farmed..
Grew grains: millet, wheat, rice
Raised cattle, sheep, and chickens.

Produced silk used to make clothes for the very rich.

Spirits, Ancestors, and Kings
Shang worshiped spirits that lived in mountains,rivers, and seas.
People believed they had to please the spirits.
Honored their ancestors.
Family ties were very important.

Wives were trained to obey their husbands.
Oracle bones answered questions for the kings.
Writing is the oldest form of Chinese writing.

Classes of People
Classes of People: King, nobles, poor
Nobles spent much of their time hunting.
Nobles fought with other nobles over land.
Nobles rode into battle in horse-drawn bronze chariots.
Soldiers were poor farmers forced to leave their farms.

Decline of the Shang
There was a gap between the rich and the poor.
Rich Shang lived in wooden houses.

Rich Shang owned bronze weapons and wore linen, wool, fur, and silk.
Poor Shang lived in thatched or mud huts or scooped out caves.
1122 BC, Zhou, led by Wu, invaded the Shang kingdom.
Wu was a former ruler of a Shang territory.