Home Region:  North China (East Asia)

Late Shang

D G SC WF HS CC EQ 2020  cn_late_shang_dyn / CnShang

Preceding:
[continuity; Erligang period] [continuity]   Update here
Add one more here.

Succeeding:
1122 BCE 771 BCE Western Zhou (cn_western_zhou_dyn)    [elite migration]
Add one more here.

The Late Shang Dynasty (1250-1045 BCE) was an extension of the Erligang culture based in Yinxu, near modern Anyang. The Late Shang were the last 12 kings of the dynasty, beginning with Pan Geng. Unlike in Erligang settlements, pottery, oracle bones and other artefacts showing a fully formed writing system have been found at Late Shang sites. This system included ’pictograms, ideograms, and phonograms’. [1] The oldest written records uncovered from Shang contexts date back to 1200 BCE. [1]
The civilization at Yinxu is considered to represent the golden age of the Shang Dynasty [2] and 11 major royal tombs have been uncovered there by archaeologists. [2] Pottery and bronze and jade work flourished in the Late Shang period. [3] The Late Shang also had a developed calendar system with 30 days in a month and 12 months (360 days) in a year. [4]
Population and political organization
The Late Shang were based on the North China Plain. The dynasty’s territory stretched north to modern Shandong, south to Hebei, and west to Henan. [5] The Shang government was a feudal system in which the king and a class of military nobility ruled over the masses, who were mainly farmers. [6] Shang kings also served as high priests. [7] The Late Shang were in constant conflict with surrounding settlements and with civilizations from the steppe. [8]
The population of the Late Shang Dynasty was around 5 million in 1045 BCE. [9] The population of the Yinxu settlement in Anyang is unknown.

[1]: (San 2014, 19) San, Tan Koon. 2014. Dynastic China: An Elementary History. Malaysia: The Other Press. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/TB95WB7F.

[2]: (San 2014, 17) San, Tan Koon. 2014. Dynastic China: An Elementary History. Malaysia: The Other Press. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/TB95WB7F.

[3]: (San 2014, 20) San, Tan Koon. 2014. Dynastic China: An Elementary History. Malaysia: The Other Press. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/TB95WB7F.

[4]: (Encyclopedia Britannica 2017) “Shang Dynasty.” Encyclopedia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/topic/Shang-dynasty Accessed May 29, 2017. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/8GNFD4WH.

[5]: (San 2014, 16) San, Tan Koon. 2014. Dynastic China: An Elementary History. Malaysia: The Other Press. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/TB95WB7F.

[6]: (San 2014, 16, 21) San, Tan Koon. 2014. Dynastic China: An Elementary History. Malaysia: The Other Press. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/TB95WB7F.

[7]: (San 2014, 16) San, Tan Koon. 2014. Dynastic China: An Elementary History. Malaysia: The Other Press. https://www.zotero.org/groups/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/TB95WB7F)

[8]: (San 2014, 21) San, Tan Koon. 2014. Dynastic China: An Elementary History. Malaysia: The Other Press. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/TB95WB7F.

[9]: (McEvedy and Jones 1978, 170-72) McEvedy, Colin, and Richard Jones. 1978. Atlas of World Population History. Penguin. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/6U4QZXCG/q/atlas%20of%20world%20population.

General Variables
Identity and Location
Utm Zone:
50 S  
Original Name:
Late Shang  
Capital:
Shang  
Yin  
Alternative Name:
Anyang Period  
Temporal Bounds
Peak Years:
1,200 BCE  
Duration:
[1,250 BCE ➜ 1,045 BCE]  
Political and Cultural Relations
Suprapolity Relations:
vassalage to [---]  
Supracultural Entity:
China  
Succeeding Entity:
Western Zhou  
Scale of Supracultural Interaction:
1,000,000 km2  
Relationship to Preceding Entity:
continuity  
Preceding Entity:
UNCLEAR:    [continuity]  
Succeeding: Western Zhou (cn_western_zhou_dyn)    [elite migration]  
Degree of Centralization:
unitary state  
Language
Linguistic Family:
Sino-Tibetan  
Language:
Chinese  
Religion
Religion Genus:
Chinese State Religion  
Religion Family:
Shang Religion  
Alternate Religion:
NO_VALUE_ON_WIKI  
Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
4,000 people  
Polity Territory:
1,000,000 km2  
Polity Population:
5,000,000 people  
Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
3  
Religious Level:
3  
Military Level:
[4 to 5]  
Administrative Level:
[4 to 5]  
Professions
Professional Soldier:
inferred present  
Professional Priesthood:
present  
Professional Military Officer:
inferred present  
Bureaucracy Characteristics
Specialized Government Building:
inferred present  
Merit Promotion:
inferred absent  
Full Time Bureaucrat:
inferred present  
Examination System:
inferred absent  
Law
Judge:
inferred absent  
Formal Legal Code:
absent  
Specialized Buildings: polity owned
Market:
unknown  
Irrigation System:
present  
Food Storage Site:
inferred present  
Drinking Water Supply System:
unknown  
Transport Infrastructure
Road:
present  
Bridge:
inferred present  
Special-purpose Sites
Mines or Quarry:
present  
Information / Writing System
Written Record:
present  
Script:
present  
Phonetic Alphabetic Writing:
absent  
Nonwritten Record:
inferred present  
Non Phonetic Writing:
present  
Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Scientific Literature:
unknown  
Sacred Text:
unknown  
Religious Literature:
unknown  
Practical Literature:
unknown  
Philosophy:
unknown  
Lists Tables and Classification:
inferred present  
History:
unknown  
Fiction:
unknown  
Calendar:
inferred present  
Information / Money
Token:
present  
Precious Metal:
inferred present  
Paper Currency:
absent  
Indigenous Coin:
absent  
Foreign Coin:
absent  
Article:
inferred present  
Information / Postal System
General Postal Service:
inferred absent  
Courier:
inferred present  
Information / Measurement System
Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications
  Wooden Palisade:
inferred present  
  Stone Walls Non Mortared:
absent  
  Stone Walls Mortared:
absent  
  Settlements in a Defensive Position:
present  
  Modern Fortification:
absent  
  Moat:
present  
  Fortified Camp:
unknown  
  Earth Rampart:
present  
  Ditch:
present  
  Complex Fortification:
inferred present  
  Long Wall:
absent  
Military use of Metals
  Steel:
absent  
  Iron:
absent  
  Copper:
present  
  Bronze:
present  
Projectiles
  Tension Siege Engine:
absent  
  Sling Siege Engine:
absent  
  Sling:
inferred present  
  Self Bow:
inferred present  
  Javelin:
inferred present  
  Handheld Firearm:
absent  
  Gunpowder Siege Artillery:
absent  
  Crossbow:
inferred absent  
  Composite Bow:
present  
  Atlatl:
absent  
Handheld weapons
  War Club:
inferred present  
  Sword:
present  
  Spear:
present  
  Polearm:
present  
  Dagger:
present  
  Battle Axe:
present  
Animals used in warfare
  Horse:
present  
  Elephant:
inferred present  
  Donkey:
present  
  Dog:
unknown  
Armor
  Wood Bark Etc:
inferred present  
  Shield:
present  
  Scaled Armor:
inferred absent  
  Plate Armor:
inferred absent  
  Limb Protection:
inferred absent  
  Leather Cloth:
inferred present  
  Laminar Armor:
inferred absent  
  Helmet:
present  
  Chainmail:
inferred absent  
  Breastplate:
inferred absent  
Naval technology
  Specialized Military Vessel:
inferred absent  
  Small Vessels Canoes Etc:
present  
  Merchant Ships Pressed Into Service:
inferred absent  
Religion Tolerance Nothing coded yet.
Human Sacrifice Nothing coded yet.
Crisis Consequences Nothing coded yet.
Power Transitions Nothing coded yet.

NGA Settlements:

Year Range Late Shang (cn_late_shang_dyn) was in:
 (1250 BCE 1046 BCE)   Middle Yellow River Valley
Home NGA: Middle Yellow River Valley

General Variables
Identity and Location


Note: Yin = Anyang. "While the king lived in and ruled from a capital city, it wasn’t always the same city. Although historical records mention many different Shang capitals, only a few have actually been confirmed with archaeological evidence. No one knows exactly why a king would move the capital but some scholar think it had to do with internal power struggles within the royal family." [1] The first, Cheng Tang’s capital, was at Shang (today near Zhengzhou). [1] The last was at Yin (today near Anyang). [1] Yin, also known as enclave at Xiaotun. This was a ceremonial and administrative centre [2] and was occupied by last 11 Kings [3] - or could be 12 kings; last king did not have burial pit. [4] - from about c1400 BCE. [5] The ancestral capital, as compared to the political capital above, never moved. [1]

[1]: (The Shang Dynasty, 1600 to 1050 BCE. Spice Digest, Fall 2007. http://iis-db.stanford.edu/docs/117/ShangDynasty.pdf)

[2]: (Roberts 2003)

[3]: (Gernet 1996)

[4]: (Cotterell 1995, 24)

[5]: (Cotterell 1995, 15)

Note: Yin = Anyang. "While the king lived in and ruled from a capital city, it wasn’t always the same city. Although historical records mention many different Shang capitals, only a few have actually been confirmed with archaeological evidence. No one knows exactly why a king would move the capital but some scholar think it had to do with internal power struggles within the royal family." [1] The first, Cheng Tang’s capital, was at Shang (today near Zhengzhou). [1] The last was at Yin (today near Anyang). [1] Yin, also known as enclave at Xiaotun. This was a ceremonial and administrative centre [2] and was occupied by last 11 Kings [3] - or could be 12 kings; last king did not have burial pit. [4] - from about c1400 BCE. [5] The ancestral capital, as compared to the political capital above, never moved. [1]

[1]: (The Shang Dynasty, 1600 to 1050 BCE. Spice Digest, Fall 2007. http://iis-db.stanford.edu/docs/117/ShangDynasty.pdf)

[2]: (Roberts 2003)

[3]: (Gernet 1996)

[4]: (Cotterell 1995, 24)

[5]: (Cotterell 1995, 15)


Alternative Name:
Anyang Period

[1]

[1]: (Roberts 2003)


Temporal Bounds
Peak Years:
1,200 BCE

According to Chinese historians, last King very corrupt, decadent. Empire extent had by this time reduced from its maximum 1200 BCE. It is unclear, though, if the polity extent actually shrank between Wu Ding and the last Kings, Di Yi and Di Xin, or if the reports of later historians are exaggerated for political effect.


Duration:
[1,250 BCE ➜ 1,045 BCE]

Central plain "Longshan" culture c2000 BCE. Defeated Xia Kingdom c1766 BCE. [1]
31 Shang Emperors c1554-1045 BCE. [2]
1200-1040 BCE period best covered. [1]
Shang periodization [3]
Zhengzhou phase 1600-1400 BCE
Erligang culture 1500-1300 BCE
Anyang phase 1300-1100 BCE
Yinxu culture 1200-1050 BCE

[1]: (Roberts 2003)

[2]: (Hook 1991, 142)

[3]: (Bavarian 2005) Bavarian, Behzad. July 2005. Unearthing Technology’s Influence on the Ancient Chinese Dynasties through Metallurgical Investigations, California State University. Northridge. http://library.csun.edu/docs/bavarian.pdf


Political and Cultural Relations
Suprapolity Relations:
vassalage to [---]

[1]

[1]: (Chang 1980)



Succeeding Entity:
Western Zhou

"The Shang was eventually conquered by one of these tribal members of its state, the Zhou tribe from Western China." [1]

[1]: (Eno 2008) Eno, Robert. Spring 2008. EALC E232. Indiana University"


Scale of Supracultural Interaction:
1,000,000 km2

km squared.
rough area of quasi-polity territory


Relationship to Preceding Entity:
continuity

"Historical tradition tells us that about 1500, a group from the Eastern region of the Yellow River Valley conquered the Xia and established China’s second dynasty, the Shang". [1]

[1]: (Eno 2008) Eno, Robert. Spring 2008. EALC E232. Indiana University


Preceding Entity:
Erligang period

"Historical tradition tells us that about 1500, a group from the Eastern region of the Yellow River Valley conquered the Xia and established China’s second dynasty, the Shang". [1]

[1]: (Eno 2008) Eno, Robert. Spring 2008. EALC E232. Indiana University

Preceding Entity:
Late Shang [cn_late_shang_dyn] ---> Western Zhou [cn_western_zhou_dyn]

Degree of Centralization:
unitary state

"The Shang Dynasty was a monarchy governed by a series of kings, 29 or 30 in total, over the course of almost 600 years. The king was served by officials who held specialized positions of authority and function; and the officials belonged to a hereditary class of aristocrats, usually related to the king himself." [1]

[1]: (The Shang Dynasty, 1600 to 1050 BCE. Spice Digest, Fall 2007. http://iis-db.stanford.edu/docs/117/ShangDynasty.pdf)


Religion
Religion Genus:
Chinese State Religion

Religion Family:
Shang Religion

Alternate Religion:
NO_VALUE_ON_WIKI


Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
4,000 people

people.
Old capital at Zhengzhou, Ao. Aristocratic stronghold. Extended 7000 meters, enclosed 3.2 km. [1]
If population density 350 per urban hectare [2] and there’s 11.2 hectares, about 4000.
Perimeter walls of the capital Anyang just 800 yards. [3]

[1]: (Cotterell 1995, 15)

[2]: (Modelski 1997 [1])

[3]: (Armstrong 2006, 27)


Polity Territory:
1,000,000 km2

KM.
850,000: 1250 BCE; 1,000,600: 1200 BCE; 1,160,000: 1150 BCE; 1,050,000: 1100 BCE; 55,000: 1050 BCE [1]
Maximum extent reached no further than northern Henan, south-eastern Shanxi provinces of modern China. [2]
Core in Henan province "in a triangular area between the cities of Anyang, Luoyang, and Zhengzhou, the latter two which are on the Yellow River." [3]

[1]: (Chase-Dunn Spreadsheet)

[2]: (Keay 2009, 48)

[3]: (The Shang Dynasty, 1600 to 1050 BCE. Spice Digest, Fall 2007. http://iis-db.stanford.edu/docs/117/ShangDynasty.pdf)


Polity Population:
5,000,000 people

People. 5,000,000: 1045 BCE. [1]
3000 BCE about a million either side of lower Huang Ho (Longshan culture), plus 1 million food-gatherers elsewhere. In Shang period agricultural area extended 1 million KM, population had become 5 million people (6m total in China). [2]

[1]: (Liu 2005: 240) Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/Q77FKW2H?.

[2]: (McEvedy and Jones 1978, 170-172)


Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
3

1. Royal capital.2. Aristocratic strongholds.3. Village


Religious Level:
3

"The Shang worshipped the "Shang Di," who was the supreme god that ruled over the lesser gods of the sun, the moon, the wind, the rain, and other natural forces and places. They also worshipped their ancestors because they believed that although their ancestors lived in heaven after their death, they were still actively involved in the affairs of family and descendants." [1]
1.King.2. Chief diviners.3. Lesser diviners (e.g. scribes).
Theocracy. King considered god called Di’s representative on earth. His responsibility was to ensure harmony between the "cosmic cycle of the seasons and the agricultural cycle of humanity."
Ritual functions included fixing the timetable for farming activities through divination. To help him he had colleges of soothsayers and scribes who carried out royal divination activities. Scapulimancy and plastromancy were practised.
Sacrifices were made to dead kings (ancestral worship cult) who were thought to be able to communicate with Di. [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [3]

[1]: (The Shang Dynasty, 1600 to 1050 BCE. Spice Digest, Fall 2007. http://iis-db.stanford.edu/docs/117/ShangDynasty.pdf)

[2]: (Gernet 1996,47)

[3]: (Kerr 2013, 21)

[4]: (Gernet 1996, 47)

[5]: (Hook 1991, 143)

[6]: (Roberts 2003)

[7]: (Fussati 1982, 19)


Military Level:
[4 to 5]

"Chariots allowed commanders to supervise their troops efficiently and across great distances." [1]
1. King2. General inferred level3. Commander inferred level4. Officer inferred level5. Individual soldier
Chariot and infantry corps. [2]

[1]: (The Shang Dynasty, 1600 to 1050 BCE. Spice Digest, Fall 2007. http://iis-db.stanford.edu/docs/117/ShangDynasty.pdf)

[2]: (Roberts 2003, 10)


Administrative Level:
[4 to 5]

"The Shang political system was organized into a hierarchy, meaning that it had many levels of rank and many specialized functions and jobs, all passed down within a noble family." [1]
The state had to "organize the mining of large quantities of ore for bronzework; wage military campaigns; construct city walls and palaces; or build elaborate tombs for themselves." [1]
1. King
_Central government_
2. Highest official in the administration3. Official who over-saw mining activities and possibly also bronze workshops
3. Official for transport"As early as the Shang period, roads were controlled by a special official" [2]
4. Bronze workshop manager inferred level"Casting large objects was not easy; it required large crucibles and efficient furnaces. Casting some of the largest objects required coordinated melting in many crucibles similar to a modern factory." [3]
4. Mine manager inferred level5. Bronze worker inferred level


_Provincial government_
2. Aristocratic leaders (local elite families).

Feudal state. Familial kingship: Elder brother - Younger brother, Father - Son. King ruled core lands.
King appointed officials. Government secretariate: Great Minister and Councillors. High officials to run palace affairs and feasts (included religious chroniclers and ceremonial specialists). Military officials.
Shang territory was not contiguous. Authority over outer regions closest to Anyang was delegated to aristocratic leaders who usually were linked to royal family through kinship ties. They supplied king manpower for military, tribute, workers for construction projects. Beyond aristocratic rulers were friendly tribal chieftains. [4] [5]
Administration is used in a very loose sense, recognizing that officials, including local elite families (’local elite’ probably more accurate than ’aristocratic’) as well as members of the King’s retinue in Anyang seem to have acted largely independently, contributing to the King’s projects (including military campaigns, building, and religious activities) in order to participate in and to benefit from association with Anyang, rather than as dependents or non-elite officials directly controlled by the Kings.

[1]: (The Shang Dynasty, 1600 to 1050 BCE. Spice Digest, Fall 2007. http://iis-db.stanford.edu/docs/117/ShangDynasty.pdf)

[2]: (Lindqvist 2009) Lindqvist, Cecilia. 2009. China: Empire of Living Symbols. Da Capo Press.

[3]: (Bavarian 2005) Bavarian, Behzad. July 2005. Unearthing Technology’s Influence on the Ancient Chinese Dynasties through Metallurgical Investigations, California State University. Northridge. http://library.csun.edu/docs/bavarian.pdf

[4]: (Roberts 2003)

[5]: (Keay 2009)


Professions
Professional Soldier:
present

Garrisons in earlier period, and under the subsequent Zhou.


Professional Priesthood:
present

"The king or professional diviners hired by the king used oracle bones to make predictions about the future or to answer questions..." [1]

[1]: (The Shang Dynasty, 1600 to 1050 BCE. Spice Digest, Fall 2007. http://iis-db.stanford.edu/docs/117/ShangDynasty.pdf)


Professional Military Officer:
present

"Chariots allowed commanders to supervise their troops efficiently and across great distances." [1]

[1]: (The Shang Dynasty, 1600 to 1050 BCE. Spice Digest, Fall 2007. http://iis-db.stanford.edu/docs/117/ShangDynasty.pdf)


Bureaucracy Characteristics
Specialized Government Building:
present

Government archive building for records. [1] "The king was served by officials who held specialized positions of authority and function" [2]

[1]: (Keay 2009: 49) Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/Z4ACHZRD?.

[2]: (The Shang Dynasty, 1600 to 1050 BCE. Spice Digest, Fall 2007. http://iis-db.stanford.edu/docs/117/ShangDynasty.pdf)


Merit Promotion:
absent

"The officials belonged to a hereditary class of aristocrats, usually related to the king himself." [1]

[1]: (The Shang Dynasty, 1600 to 1050 BCE. Spice Digest, Fall 2007. http://iis-db.stanford.edu/docs/117/ShangDynasty.pdf)


Full Time Bureaucrat:
present

King appointed a government [1] and recorded official transactions. [2]
"The king was served by officials who held specialized positions of authority and function; and the officials belonged to a hereditary class of aristocrats, usually related to the king himself." [3]

[1]: (Roberts 2003)

[2]: (Keay 2009, 49)

[3]: (The Shang Dynasty, 1600 to 1050 BCE. Spice Digest, Fall 2007. http://iis-db.stanford.edu/docs/117/ShangDynasty.pdf)


Examination System:
absent

"Before the Northern Sung, the principal means of entry into the social and political elite was by official recommendation or kinship relations." [1]

[1]: (Elmam 2000, 5) Elman, B. 2000. A cultural history of civil examinations in late imperial China. Berkeley: University of California Press.


Law

The fact that there were no full-time, professional judges is suggested by the following: "In addition to the legislative power, the monarchs in ancient times were also endowed with the supreme judicial power." This is shown by readings of oracle bone text. [1]
inferred present: precursor to Zhou development?
"With the development of the state machine of the Zhou dynasty, under the leadership of the monarch, the central judicial organizations headed by "Si Kou" (the minister of justice) and "Shi Shi" (the official in charge of criminal affairs) were established, and the local judicial organizations, named "Xiang Shi", "Sui Shi", "Xian Shi", "Fang Shi", and "Ya Shi", had also been set up to deal with the judicial affairs." [1]

[1]: (Zhang 2014, 155) Zhang, Jinfan. 2014. The Tradition and Modern Transition of Chinese Law. Springer Science & Business Media.


Formal Legal Code:
absent

Judging from the following quotes, it would seem that, prior to the Zhou, there was no difference between the law and the king’s will.
"In terms of legal systems, its implement and practical application in the dynasties of Xia, Shang and Zhou had all centered on the will of the monarchs. As a result, the law was overtopped by the imperial power, and both law and punishment were made by the rulers. For example, the law of the Xia Dynasty was generously referred to as Yu Xing (The Penal Code of Yu), which was named after the emperor.""The law of Shang Dynasty was generously named "Tang Xing" (The Penal Code of Tang)." [1]
"The law of Shang Dynasty was generously named "Tang Xing" (The Penal Code of Tang)." [1]
"All the national activities, such as punitive expeditions, sacrifices, etc., were named "Wang Shi" (the king’s affairs) to suggest that the king was the state, and that the king and the state were an organic whole. In the oracle inscriptions of the Shang Dynasty on tortoise shells or animal bones, the words like "Wang Ming" (the king’s commands), "Wang Ling" (the king’s orders), and "Wang Hu" (the king’s words) can be found repeatedly, which had indicated that the national affairs were conducted according to the orders of king who not only had the supreme administrative and military power, but the supreme legislative and judicial power." [2]
"The evolution of China’s customary law into codified law occurred during the Warring States Period (770 BCE to 256 BCE). During that period successive warlords would each codify and publish their own sets of laws according to the needs of society." [3] -- this variable requires that the law be written down. Customary law can be written down.

[1]: (Zhang 2014, 154) Zhang, Jinfan. 2014. The Tradition and Modern Transition of Chinese Law. Springer Science & Business Media.

[2]: (Zhang 2014, 153) Zhang, Jinfan. 2014. The Tradition and Modern Transition of Chinese Law. Springer Science & Business Media.

[3]: (Liang 2010, XI) Liang, Huixing. 2010. The Draft Civil Code of the People’s Republic of China: English Translation (Prepared by the Legislative Research Group of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences). Martinus Nijhoff Publishers.


Specialized Buildings: polity owned
Market:
unknown

Unknown. Evidence for markets first found in the Western Zhou [1]

[1]: (Feinman, Gary. North China Workshop 2016)


Irrigation System:
present

During the Shang: "Progress in hydraulic technology allowed the creation of great systems of irrigation, increasing the productivity of cultures along the Yellow river." [1]

[1]: (Lemoy 2011, 72) Lemoy, Christian. 2011. Across the Pacific: From Ancient Asia to Precolombian America. Universal Publishers. Florida.


Food Storage Site:
present

Storage pits, Palace at Erlitou. [1] Inferred present for a city or local community.

[1]: (Cotterell 1995, 15)


Drinking Water Supply System:
unknown

Pottery water pipes, Palace at Erlitou. [1]

[1]: (Cotterell 1995, 15)


Transport Infrastructure

"As early as the Shang period, roads were controlled by a special official" [1]

[1]: (Lindqvist 2009) Lindqvist, Cecilia. 2009. China: Empire of Living Symbols. Da Capo Press.


Bridge:
present

"As early as the Shang period, roads were controlled by a special official" [1] Must have been at least some small wooden or stone bridges over rivers and streams.

[1]: (Lindqvist 2009) Lindqvist, Cecilia. 2009. China: Empire of Living Symbols. Da Capo Press.


Special-purpose Sites
Mines or Quarry:
present

"An enormous mine (2 square kilometers) with smelting facilities roughly 3,000 years old was discovered on Mt. Verdigris [42]." [1]

[1]: (Bavarian 2005) Bavarian, Behzad. July 2005. Unearthing Technology’s Influence on the Ancient Chinese Dynasties through Metallurgical Investigations, California State University. Northridge. http://library.csun.edu/docs/bavarian.pdf


Information / Writing System
Written Record:
present

"Shang documents were originally recorded on strips of bamboo and silk that have long since decomposed". [1] Written records are preserved instead on non-perishable mediums. Most of what is known of Shang written on 107,000 "oracle" bones. [2] [3]

[1]: (The Shang Dynasty, 1600 to 1050 BCE. Spice Digest, Fall 2007. http://iis-db.stanford.edu/docs/117/ShangDynasty.pdf)

[2]: (Roberts 2003, 7)

[3]: (Kerr 2013, 20)


Script:
present

Inscriptions on oracle bones [1] .

[1]: (Flad 2008)


Phonetic Alphabetic Writing:
absent

Chinese writing system originates from Shang period [1] and is non-phonetic.

[1]: (Roberts 2003, 7)


Nonwritten Record:
present

Oral histories, pictures, symbolic sculptures and monuments etc.


Non Phonetic Writing:
present

Chinese writing system originates from Shang period [1] and is non-phonetic.

[1]: (Roberts 2003, 7)


Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Scientific Literature:
unknown

Unknown. The Shang wrote on perishable materials, such as bamboo and silk. [1] Astronomers identified Mars and some comets. [2] If these facts were written down with information on how other people could identify these astronomical bodies, this would constitute scientific literature.

[1]: (The Shang Dynasty, 1600 to 1050 BCE. Spice Digest, Fall 2007. http://iis-db.stanford.edu/docs/117/ShangDynasty.pdf)

[2]: (Kerr 2013, 20)


Sacred Text:
unknown

Unknown. The Shang had tablets [1] so it is not impossible a sacred text was written on a tablet. They also wrote on perishable materials, such as bamboo and silk. [1] We could infer the basic tenets of their religious beliefs concerning the Shang Di were written down.

[1]: (The Shang Dynasty, 1600 to 1050 BCE. Spice Digest, Fall 2007. http://iis-db.stanford.edu/docs/117/ShangDynasty.pdf)


Religious Literature:
unknown

Unknown. The Shang wrote on perishable materials, such as bamboo and silk. [1] We know "The kings communicated with their ancestors using oracle bones and made frequent sacrifices to them." [1] We could infer the method of interpreting the cracks in oracle bones would have been written down and even discussed.

[1]: (The Shang Dynasty, 1600 to 1050 BCE. Spice Digest, Fall 2007. http://iis-db.stanford.edu/docs/117/ShangDynasty.pdf)


Practical Literature:
unknown

Unknown. The Shang wrote on perishable materials, such as bamboo and silk. [1]

[1]: (The Shang Dynasty, 1600 to 1050 BCE. Spice Digest, Fall 2007. http://iis-db.stanford.edu/docs/117/ShangDynasty.pdf)


Philosophy:
unknown

Unknown. The Shang wrote on perishable materials, such as bamboo and silk. [1]

[1]: (The Shang Dynasty, 1600 to 1050 BCE. Spice Digest, Fall 2007. http://iis-db.stanford.edu/docs/117/ShangDynasty.pdf)


Lists Tables and Classification:
present

The Shang had tablets [1] to write on so their bureaucracy would very likely compiled lists, such as for resources to acquire. They also wrote on perishable materials, such as bamboo and silk. [1]

[1]: (The Shang Dynasty, 1600 to 1050 BCE. Spice Digest, Fall 2007. http://iis-db.stanford.edu/docs/117/ShangDynasty.pdf)


History:
unknown

Unknown. The Shang wrote on perishable materials, such as bamboo and silk. [1]

[1]: (The Shang Dynasty, 1600 to 1050 BCE. Spice Digest, Fall 2007. http://iis-db.stanford.edu/docs/117/ShangDynasty.pdf)


Fiction:
unknown

Unknown. The Shang wrote on perishable materials, such as bamboo and silk. [1]

[1]: (The Shang Dynasty, 1600 to 1050 BCE. Spice Digest, Fall 2007. http://iis-db.stanford.edu/docs/117/ShangDynasty.pdf)


Calendar:
present

Accurate calendar. [1] 10-day week. [2] "“The day xin-hai” refers to the sixty day calendar cycle of the Shang (the same system which today gives us the Year of the Dragon, Horse..." [3] This would likely have existed in some form of document.

[1]: (Cotterell 1995, 15)

[2]: (Hook 1991, 143)

[3]: (Eno 2008) Eno, Robert. Spring 2008. EALC E232. Indiana University"


Information / Money

Cowrie shells. [1] Jade [2]

[1]: (Kerr 2013, 20)

[2]: (Peers 2011, 278)


Precious Metal:
present

Wealth measured in livestock, metal, crops and game. [1]

[1]: (Armstrong 2006, 32)


Paper Currency:
absent

Paper did not exist at this time. Cowrie shells used at the time [1] Jade [2] .

[1]: (Kerr 2013, 20)

[2]: (Peers 2011, 278)


Indigenous Coin:
absent

Coins evolved at a later time. Cowrie shells used at the time [1] Jade [2] .

[1]: (Kerr 2013, 20)

[2]: (Peers 2011, 278)


Foreign Coin:
absent

Coins evolved at a later time. Cowrie shells used at the time [1] Jade [2] .

[1]: (Kerr 2013, 20)

[2]: (Peers 2011, 278)


Article:
present

Wealth measured in livestock, metal, crops and game. [1]

[1]: (Armstrong 2006, 32)


Information / Postal System
General Postal Service:
absent

Little literacy so there would have been nobody to use a general postal service, if such had existed.


Courier:
present

It is likely that the political core communicated to the elites in the regions using messengers.


Information / Measurement System

Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications
Wooden Palisade:
present

"Late Paleolithic Chinese roamed the grasslands of the great Northern Plain, gathering wild varieties of millet. Around 7000-6000 B.C.E. they began creating a village culture along the Yellow River, elevating their villages above the floodplain, often enclosing them with ditches or wooden palisades." [1] Archaeological evidence is not mentioned and may not exist. This may be reasonable speculation. By the time of the Shang period lesser settlements may have been palisaded.

[1]: (Adler and Pouwels 2018, 54-55) Philip J Adler. Randall L Pouwels. 2018. World Civilizations. Eighth Edition. Cengage Learning. Boston.


Stone Walls Non Mortared:
absent

Walls were constructed using earth. Stone walls present in the Neolithic period [1]

[1]: (Feinman, Gary and Liye, Xie. North China Workshop 2016)


Stone Walls Mortared:
absent

Walls were constructed using earth.


Settlements in a Defensive Position:
present

Modern Fortification:
absent

Gunpowder not present so walls at this time were not designed to defend against gunpowder siege artillery.


" no defensive fortifications apart from a single moat have yet been discovered amid the opulent remains at Anyang". [1]

[1]: Sawyer, R. 2011. Ancient Chinese Warfare. Basic Books.


Fortified Camp:
unknown

No data.


Earth Rampart:
present

Walled settlements, stamped earth foundations. [1]

[1]: (Hook 1991, 142)


"Some towns in the late Shang and early Chou continued to employ nothing more than ditches long after massive fortifications had become commonplace". [1]

[1]: (Sawyer 2011, 41) Sawyer, R. 2011. Ancient Chinese Warfare. Basic Books.


Complex Fortification:
present

Zhengzhou had an inner and outer wall, still present in Late Shang. [1]

[1]: (Liu and Chen 2012: 359: 384) Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/DE5TU7HY?.



Military use of Metals

Steel not discovered at this time.


Iron not discovered at this time.



"bronze was first exploited for making weapons. Bronze spears, swords, daggers and halberds". [1]

[1]: (Bavarian 2005) Bavarian, Behzad. July 2005. Unearthing Technology’s Influence on the Ancient Chinese Dynasties through Metallurgical Investigations, California State University. Northridge. http://library.csun.edu/docs/bavarian.pdf


Projectiles
Tension Siege Engine:
absent

Siege weaponry not present until Warring States period [1]

[1]: (Liang 2005)


Sling Siege Engine:
absent

Siege weaponry not present until Warring States period [1]

[1]: (Liang 2005)


Certainly known from the following Zhou period, when: "The conscripted foot soldiers wore sheepskin jackets and used slings and bows with bronze-tipped arrows." [1]

[1]: (Meyer 1994, 132) Milton Walter Meyer. 1994. China: A Concise History. Second Edition, Revised. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. Lanham.


Inferred from presence of self bows from previous and subsequent polities in Middle Yellow River Valley.


The "spear appears to have remained relatively uncommon prior to the late Shang." [1] Spears, according to account of battle with Zhou. [2] Bronze spears. [3] Were these thrown or hand-held spears? Or both?

[1]: Sawyer, R. 2011. Ancient Chinese Warfare. Basic Books.

[2]: (Cotterell 1995, 28)

[3]: (Bavarian 2005) Bavarian, Behzad. July 2005. Unearthing Technology’s Influence on the Ancient Chinese Dynasties through Metallurgical Investigations, California State University. Northridge. http://library.csun.edu/docs/bavarian.pdf


Handheld Firearm:
absent

Gunpowder not invented for another couple of thousand years.


Gunpowder Siege Artillery:
absent

Cannons and firearms not present until the Song [1]

[1]: (Liang 2005)


Considered warring States period technology. [1]

[1]: (Liang 2005)


Composite Bow:
present

Composite retroflex bow. [1] "the typical Chinese composite bow... was already in use under the Shang". [2] Used the compound bow. [3]

[1]: (Gernet 1996, 44)

[2]: Sawyer, R. 2011. Ancient Chinese Warfare. Basic Books.

[3]: (The Shang Dynasty, 1600 to 1050 BCE. Spice Digest, Fall 2007. http://iis-db.stanford.edu/docs/117/ShangDynasty.pdf)


Technology used in the new world. Unlikely.


Handheld weapons

Present for Erlitou, unknown for Erligang (the period that precedes the Shang).


present: jade ware found at Sanxingdui includes swords. [1] Bronze swords. [1] present: Sword found at Dayangzhou, Xin’gan, Erligang Culture, possibly Huan-bei period. [2] Coding present on basis the "present" reference is more recent and that the technology would not have been lost between the Erligang and the later Shang.

[1]: (Bavarian 2005) Bavarian, Behzad. July 2005. Unearthing Technology’s Influence on the Ancient Chinese Dynasties through Metallurgical Investigations, California State University. Northridge. http://library.csun.edu/docs/bavarian.pdf

[2]: (Thorp 2013, 110) Thorp, Robert L. 2013. China in the Early Bronze Age: Shang Civilization. University of Pennsylvania Press.


Spears. [1] Used the spear. [2] "The advancement of bronze technology and the use of bronze weapons gave the Shang military great advantage over their enemies and completely changed the way they fought wars. They used newly-developed weapons like the bronze-tipped halberd and spear, the compound bow; and most importantly, they used horse-drawn chariots." [3]

[1]: (Dreyer, 2012, 20)

[2]: (The Shang Dynasty, 1600 to 1050 BCE. Spice Digest, Fall 2007. http://iis-db.stanford.edu/docs/117/ShangDynasty.pdf)

[3]: http://spice.fsi.stanford.edu/docs/the_shang_dynasty_1600_to_1050_bce/


The Shang dagger-axe had a one meter long shaft, could also be classified as a polearm. [1] Dagger-axe. [2] Used a "bronze tipped halberd". [3] Bronze halberds. [4]

[1]: (Gauckroger and Scott 2009, 11)

[2]: (Peers 2013, 10)

[3]: (The Shang Dynasty, 1600 to 1050 BCE. Spice Digest, Fall 2007. http://iis-db.stanford.edu/docs/117/ShangDynasty.pdf)

[4]: (Bavarian 2005) Bavarian, Behzad. July 2005. Unearthing Technology’s Influence on the Ancient Chinese Dynasties through Metallurgical Investigations, California State University. Northridge. http://library.csun.edu/docs/bavarian.pdf


[1] Bronze daggers. [2]

[1]: (Peers 2013, 10)

[2]: (Bavarian 2005) Bavarian, Behzad. July 2005. Unearthing Technology’s Influence on the Ancient Chinese Dynasties through Metallurgical Investigations, California State University. Northridge. http://library.csun.edu/docs/bavarian.pdf


Battle Axe:
present

Conventional axes used as "symbols of authority, for executing prisoners, or both" [1]

[1]: (Peers 2013, 7)


Animals used in warfare

Horse domesticated c1250 BCE. Use of horse chariot recorded on oracle bones. Chariot had "western" design. [1] Used horse-drawn chariots, most likely "introduced from western Asia". [2]

[1]: (Roberts 2003, 10)

[2]: (The Shang Dynasty, 1600 to 1050 BCE. Spice Digest, Fall 2007. http://iis-db.stanford.edu/docs/117/ShangDynasty.pdf)


Two elephants found buried at Xibeigang. [1] 60 ivory elephant tusks found at Sanxingdui. [2] . Used in warfare, as pack animals. [3]

[1]: (Bagley 1999, 193) Bagley, Robert. 1999. "Shang Archaeology." eds. Loewe, Michael and Edward Shaughnessy. The Cambridge History of China. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 124-136.

[2]: (Bavarian 2005) Bavarian, Behzad. July 2005. Unearthing Technology’s Influence on the Ancient Chinese Dynasties through Metallurgical Investigations, California State University. Northridge. http://library.csun.edu/docs/bavarian.pdf

[3]: (North China Conference 2016)


Used as pack animals in warfare. [1]

[1]: (North China Conference 2016)


"The “canine officers” (ch’üan) probably had their origin as kennel masters for the king’s dogs, but their number multiplied and their authority expanded as the role of dogs increased in protection, the hunt, and perhaps the battlefield." [1] Never used in warfare. [2]

[1]: Sawyer, R. 2011. Ancient Chinese Warfare. Basic Books.

[2]: (North China Conference 2016)


Armor
Wood Bark Etc:
present

Given the wide array of offensive weapons it would be surprising if nothing had evolved to counter them. for example, shields and helmets to absorb the blow of crushing weapons like the mace and battle-axe. We would expect the earliest defenses to not have been made of metal and so unlikely to have been preserved.


"troops were only minimally protected by armor and carried comparatively small shields." [1] Helmet found at Dayangzhou, Xin’gan, Erligang Culture, possibly Huan-bei period. [2] so they almost certainly conceived of the shield, however it might not have been made of metal and preserved? Given the wide array of offensive weapons it would be surprising if nothing had evolved to counter them. for example, shields and helmets to absorb the blow of crushing weapons like the mace and battle-axe. we would expect the earliest defenses to not have been made of metal and so unlikely to have been preserved.

[1]: Sawyer, R. 2011. Ancient Chinese Warfare. Basic Books.

[2]: (Thorp 2013, 110) Thorp, Robert L. 2013. China in the Early Bronze Age: Shang Civilization.University of Pennsylvania Press.


Scaled Armor:
absent

widespread use of armor seems to have developed alongside rise of large infantry forces only in Warring States period, 5th c bce [1] [2]

[1]: (Dien 1981)

[2]: (Tin-bor Hui 2005)


Plate Armor:
absent

widespread use of armor seems to have developed alongside rise of large infantry forces only in Warring States period, 5th c bce [1] [2]

[1]: (Dien 1981)

[2]: (Tin-bor Hui 2005)


Limb Protection:
absent

widespread use of armor seems to have developed alongside rise of large infantry forces only in Warring States period, 5th c bce [1] [2]

[1]: (Dien 1981)

[2]: (Tin-bor Hui 2005)


Leather Cloth:
present

Dien [1] notes that the earliest evidence of armor is a leather breastplate from a tomb at Anyang in 1000 BCE. Unclear if it was ornamental or practical, but the next evidence comes from warring states period -- still unclear how widespread armor use was before warring states. However, this reference is from 1981 and a lot of archaeology has been done since then. Given the wide array of offensive weapons it would be surprising if nothing had evolved to counter them. for example, shields and helmets to absorb the blow of crushing weapons like the mace and battle-axe. we would expect the earliest defenses to not have been made of metal and so unlikely to have been preserved. an ornamental breastplate logically would have been based on a practical counterpart.

[1]: (Dien 1981, 6)


Laminar Armor:
absent

widespread use of armor seems to have developed alongside rise of large infantry forces only in Warring States period, 5th c bce [1] [2]

[1]: (Dien 1981)

[2]: (Tin-bor Hui 2005)


[1] Helmet found at Dayangzhou, Xin’gan, Erligang Culture, possibly Huan-bei period. [2]

[1]: (Peers 2013, 10)

[2]: (Thorp 2013, 110) Thorp, Robert L. 2013. China in the Early Bronze Age: Shang Civilization.University of Pennsylvania Press.


widespread use of armor seems to have developed alongside rise of large infantry forces only in Warring States period, 5th c bce [1] [2]

[1]: (Dien 1981)

[2]: (Tin-bor Hui 2005)


Breastplate:
absent

widespread use of armor seems to have developed alongside rise of large infantry forces only in Warring States period, 5th c bce [1] [2]

[1]: (Dien 1981)

[2]: (Tin-bor Hui 2005)


Naval technology
Specialized Military Vessel:
absent

"The first recorded use of ships in a military operation occurred circa 1045 B.C.E." [1] Used against the Shang by the Zhou.

[1]: (Lorge 2012, 82-83)


Small Vessels Canoes Etc:
present

There are written references to boats starting with the oracle bones of the Shang dynasty, which bear graphs interpreted as the original signs for a boat, a boat propelled by an oar, and the way to caulk the seams of a boat. Caulking suggests considerable sophistication in construction at such an early date. [1]

[1]: Kidder Jr., J. Edward, 2007. Himiko and Japan’s Elusive Kingdom of Yamatai (Honolulu: Hawaii University Press). p. 40


Merchant Ships Pressed Into Service:
absent

"The first recorded use of ships in a military operation occurred circa 1045 B.C.E." [1] Used against the Shang by the Zhou.

[1]: (Lorge 2012, 82-83)



Human Sacrifice Data
Human Sacrifice is the deliberate and ritualized killing of a person to please or placate supernatural entities (including gods, spirits, and ancestors) or gain other supernatural benefits.
- Nothing coded yet.
Power Transitions
- Nothing coded yet.