Shang Social Classes

1112 B.C.E

Shang society can be divided into six social classes. The king and his relatives were in the highest class


1112 B.C.E

The Shang government was led by a powerful king. To extend his power, a king established smaller kingdoms led by his younger brothers and nephews.

Shang Writing

1112 B.C.E

The inscriptions on oracle bones are among the earliest known examples of Chinese writing. In Shang writing, as in modern Chinese, characters stand for words rather than sounds.

Shang Religion

1112 B.C.E

Shang religion centered on ancestor worship. The treasures buried in kings' tombs show that the Shang believed in a life after death.

Shang art

1112 B.C.E

Shang artists showed great skill in working with bronze. Shang artisans made beautiful vessels and other objects.

Shang Technology

1112 B.C.E

Working with bronze was an important technology for the Shang. Artisans used bronze to make many tools of war, including arrowheads, spearheads, ax heads, and helmets.

The Zhou Dynasty

1045 B.C.E

Around 1045 B.C.E., the Zhou, a group of people in northwestern China, moved into the central plains. They overthrew the Shang dynasty and established a new dynasty.

The End of the Shang Dynasty

1045 B.C.E.

A frontier state called Zhou (joh) rose up against the dynasty. Zhou armies under King Wu caught the Shang unaware, defeating and overthrowing them.


1045 B.C.E

Confucianism is based on the teachings of Kongfuzi, who is called Confucius (kuhn-FYOO-shuhs) by Western society. This philosophy deeply influenced Chinese government and culture.



They learned a great deal to learn from the shang dynasty.