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25 Cards in this Set

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The Xia Dynasty
2205-1700 B.C.E

developed technology to cast bronze
King Tang
overthrew Xia

established Shang Dynasty
The Shang Dynasty
1700-1045

enter time of recorded history
Ancestor of Chinese scripture used today
Shang Dynasty scripture
Religion of the Shang Dynasty
animistic deities/shamanistic rituals

may have included sacrificial rituals to appease dead spirits
Ancient Shang metropolitan center
14th or 15ty c. B.C.E.

had special artisan districts

little remains

perished due to lack of good building stone but plentiful supply of timber
Lady Fu Hao
died 1250 BCE

consort of King Wu Ding
Chinese idea of afterlife during Shang period
=extension of life

equipped royal tombs to be functioning homes for deceased
Tomb of Lady Fu Hao contents
horses
dogs
440 cast+decorated bronzed (w/name inscribed on)
600 jades
chariots
lacquered items
weapons
gold/silver ornaments
ivory inlaid w/turquoise
700 cowrie shells (Shang coinage)
Remains of 22 men and 24 women
axes used to behead them
Sericulture
technique for rearing silk worms/producing silk

perfected by 4000 BCE
Splendor of Burials during Shang Dynasty represents
wealth/power of leaders

reverence owed to deceased royal ancestors/past
bronze vessels
Shang leaders admired metal art controlled bronze workshops

30 distinctive types

derived from existing ceramic/wooden prototypes
Religious importance of bronze vessels
manufacturing complexity+symbolism= bronzeworking masters had status of shamans or priests
ding
Shang bronze vessel type

3 feet for cooking

derived from Neolothic ceramic
taotie
(ogre of glutton mask)

stylized face found on many Shang bronzes

represent gods/monsters that protect from evil
taotie in other countries
reappearance of face raises questions of human trafficking
patinas
blue, green, reddish discolorations on bronze

result from interaction w/minerals and soils around tomb
yu
Shang bronze vessel type

complicated sculptural form

intricately entwined human+animal figures/scrolls/serpentine forms
Patterns and rhythms of decorations of yu
arranged/integrated to accent+complement shape

enhances appeal
Chinese piece-mold casting
produce fully detailed clay model

create negative mold of shape/decorations

bronze poured into spaced between model and mold
Chinese writing
value of writing magnified because of Unusual style of written Chinese

characters are pictographic, stand for words+ideas not sounds

writing can be understood by all languages
Chinese writing effects
all language speakers can share religious, philosophical, artistic traditions
oracle bones
bones found in Shang tombs

marked w/written messgae

heated until cracked

cracks read by shamans who could see future in them
oracle bones and writing
preserve earliest writing

has continuity for 4000 years
Figure found
first human figure

ritually broken before put in tomb