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The shang created chinas first historic dynasty later

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The Shang created China’s first historic dynasty. Later Chinese writers wrote anaccount in which Tang, a Shang leader, asks the Xia people to reject their king and tofollow him.I would have you stand by my side . . . to bring upon him[the Xia ruler] Heaven’s punishment. I will greatly reward you.Do not ye disbelieve me. I do not eat my words. If you do notfollow the words of this vow, I will slay you and all your offspring and nonewill be forgiven.Tang, fromAn Anthology of Chinese LiteratureREADING CHECK:Drawing InferencesWhy would people use legends to explaintheir past?Government and CultureAt its height, the Shang kingdom stretched across 40,000 square miles. Apparently theShang moved their capital several times, probably for defensive reasons or to avoidfloods. During the last centuries of Shang rule, the capital was near what is today thecity of Anyang.Shang rulers created a complexbureaucracy—a government organized intodifferent levels and tasks. A hereditary king ruled over all land in the kingdom. TheShang army used war chariots and bronze weapons to defend against the peoples onthe kingdom’s borders. Their military might and well-organized government allowedthe Shang to gain territory and to spread their culture.Economy and handicrafts.The Shang economy was based mainly on agriculture.Crops included millet and rice. Domestic animals included pigs and chickens for meatand horses for labor. During the Shang dynasty, the Chineseknew how to raise silkworms. They spun thread from thesilkworms’ cocoons and wove silk cloth from the thread.Not all Chinese of the Shang period were farmers. Manymerchants and artisans lived in the capital and in the towns ofthe Shang realm.Artisans worked in bone,ivory,and jade.Shangartisans also established the foundation for later Chinese ceramic art.They developed the forms and shapes used in Chinese ceremonialvases. Shang potters usedkaolin,a fine white clay, and could glazepottery to give it a shiny finish. This made the pottery more durable.a20EvaluatingHow did Tang appealto the people’s spiritual and moralsense in his effort to overthrowthe Xia ruler?81ANCIENT CHINESE CIVILIZATIONMetalworking:Ancient Bronze VesselThis small vessel–—just over afoot long–—shows animaldesigns that were commonin Shang dynasty bronzes.The tiger at the left becomesan owl in the middle and yetanother bird on the right. Thevessel was probably used formixing and pouring wine.The head of the tiger servesas a lid. The neck of the birdat the right provides a handlefor pouring.How was thisbronze castingmulti-functional?Understandingthe Arts
82CHAPTER 4Astronomy and the calendar.The Chinese primarily used two calendars, onebased on the sun and one based on the movements of the moon. The lunar, ormoon-based, calendar was probably used to record private and public events, suchas the birth of a child or the death of a ruler. Each lunar month began with a newmoon and was about 29 days long. Twelve lunar months made one year. To includeenough days for a full 365-day year, skilled priest-astronomers employed by thegovernment were responsible for adding days as needed. The king’s popularitydepended upon the success of the harvest, which in turn depended in part on thetime of planting as determined by the calendar. Therefore the priest-astronomersplayed a very important role.

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