, pub-5063766797865882, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0

Friday, July 12, 2013

Ancient China: The Xia and Shang Dynasties

The Xia and Shang Dynasties
By about 2000 B.C. there were hundreds of settlements near the Chang Jiang and the Huang He. As in other civilizations, some of these settlements grew into towns. Later these towns developed into powerful kingdoms that competed for resources. This competition often led to fights between kingdoms.

According to early legends, Yu the Great ruled a number of kingdoms after he found a way to control the floods. The stories say that when he died, his son took over as ruler. In this way Yu and his family created the first Chinese dynasty the Xia (SYAH). Because no archaeological evidence from the Xia has been found, we do not know if they really existed.

Experts do know that many different families ruled China through the centuries. Dynasties continued to rule China for almost 4,000 years.

Early legends tell us that the Xia dynasty ruled for many years. However, by about 1600 B.C., another kingdom had gained power. Its king, Tang the Successful, supposedly conquered the Xia and began a new ruling dynasty. This dynasty is remembered as the Shang. The Shang used war chariots and weapons made of bronze a metal made by combining copper, lead, and tin. This technology may have helped them take control of China.

Over the years the Shang added land to their kingdom. As the size of the Shang kingdom grew, its rulers moved the Shang capital farther north. The Shang may have had as many as five different capitals during their rule. At one of the capitals, Zhengzhou, workers built enormous walls around the city They made the walls by pounding thin layers of earth together inside a movable frame. After this was done several times, the frame was removed.

Using this method, the Shang created walls as hard as cement. The walls were 60 feet (18.3 m) wide, 30 feet (9.1 m) tall, and 2,385 feet (727 m) long. The last Shang capital was near the present-day city of Anyang (AHN.YAHNG), not very far from the Huang He.

What was the first Chinese dynasty?


Post a Comment


Follow us