October 21, 2013
China's First Dynasties
China is one of first civilizations that came to be. The first two dynasties that were ever recorded was the "The Shang Dynasty" the "The Zhou Dynasty". They both ruled China for decades. The Shang Dynasty was the first to rule China. According to a ancient chinese writings The Shang Dynasty came to be around 1766 BC. Many archaeologist believe this came to be way after 1766 BC. The Shang Dynasty was centered around the Huang He valley. The Zhou Dynasty was a nearby tribe and after they saw the population grow in China and the The Shang Dynasty weakened. Thats when The Zhou Dynasty invaded and started a new ruling dynasty. After taking over the in 1100 BC The Zhou Dynasty ruled China for 700 years. Many historian divide The Zhou Dynasty into two different periods in time. The first period was called the Western Zhou which was ruled by King Xian. It was a very peaceful period in time when Zhou made many cultural achievements. Later on in time conflict arose in China and the Kings moved east to Luoyang, starting the of the Eastern Zhou period.
The Shang dynasty ruled China for over 700 years. During this time, most Shang people lived in farming villages. worked in the fields, and tried to control the flooding rivers. Rulers, priests, and warriors lived in cities surrounded by huge earth walls. Skilled craftsmen lived in neighborhoods outside the walls. in 1600 B.C., Shang craftsmen discovered how to make bronze, a strong metal. Shang believed that the spirits of their ancestors controlled their lives. Shang kings used oracle bones to ask their ancestors questions about the future. The questions carved on these animal bones are the earliest known Chinese writing.
The Zhou were farmers who lived in the Wei valley.In 1100 B.C. The Zhou overthrew the Shang. This began the Zhou dynasty, the longest dynasty in China's history. Zhou kings ruled China under a system called feudalism. Under feudal system, nobles owned the land. A noble's land consisted of a walled town and the farms around it. Peasants paid the nobles so they could farm the land. In return, the nobles paid the king and sent soldiers to help him in times of war. During the Zhou period, teachers taught the people to read and write using pictures, or characters, to stand for words. So even though people across China spoke different dialects, they could communicate with each other through writing.
The Shang Dynasty and The Zhou dynasty have some similarities.