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Important Facts, Evidence, and Explanations


The Shang government was led by powerful kings like the one in this picture. To expand their power, a king set up smaller kingdoms under his younger brothers and nephews. Power sometimes passed to a younger or son when the king died. The Shang kings depended on strong armies to maintain their rule. The kings engaged in almost constant war with their enemies.

This image depicts how worshiped their ancestors. It was believed that the spirits of their ancestors still roamed the Earth. The goal of ancestor worship was to ensure the ancestors well-being or ask for special favors or assistance.

Stable Food Supply

This is a mortar and it is used for taking the outer skin of the millet. Millets are a group of highly variable small-seeded grass. A mortar is a sturdy vessel in which material is pounded into a paste or rubbed with a pestle uary_challenge_mortar_pestle/

Social Structure
This picture shows the jade disks that the kings gave to the nobles to symbolize power. The Shang society was divided into six social classes: kings, nobles, craftspeople, traders, farmer, and slaves. The Shang government was led by a king who controlled the land. Nobles fought in the kings army and provided weapons, foot soldiers, and chariots. Craftspeople included bronze and jade workers, potters, and stonemasons. Traders traded goods and used cowrie shells as a form of money. Farmers worked on small plots of land, growing millet, wheat, barley, fruit, vegetables, and nuts. Slaves that were captured in wars built tombs and palaces. /Olie-s-Auction-Gallery-llC-TNGl-5861/Ancient-ChineseJade-Jadeite-Nephrite-Pottery/38866/411


Craftspeople used bronze to make many tools for warlike the ones in this picture. They made arrowheads, spearheads, ax heads, and helmets. The bronze- making skill of the Shang is one of the reasons they were able to remain in power for more than 500 years.

Shang craftspeople made fine jewelry out of jade like the ones in this picture. They produced many outstanding jade pieces. Jade is a hard stone. Jade workers made objects by sawing, filing, and sanding the stone. The Chinese believed that the qualities of jade represented that of a superior person. The hardness of the jade stood for wisdom. The smoothness and shininess of the jade stood for kindness.


These are logographs. They are a written character that represents a word. Having a written language helped unify the Chinese people. Although spoken language varied from place to place, people of the upper classes used the same written language. -script-and-languages/

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