Shang Dynasty

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The Yamnaya and the Indo-European language family

By |2018-04-21T13:20:00+00:00July 27th, 2017|Central Asia, History|

Yamnaya get around: Map of the spread of Indo-European languages Who were the Yamnaya? People we call the Yamnaya (Ukrainian for "People who lived in pits") seem to have been speaking an early version of the Indo-European language at least as early as 5000 BC in the area between the Black Sea and the Caspian [...]

Where do horses come from?

By |2019-01-29T07:37:43+00:00June 20th, 2017|Central Asia, History|

Where do horses come from? Wild horses and the history of horses Where did horses first evolve? Horses, at first, were all wild animals like zebras are today. Although they first evolved in North America about 3.5 million years ago, horses became extinct there. When did mammals evolve? Why did horses die out [...]

Climate change and the Philistines

By |2017-06-20T01:15:45+00:00June 20th, 2017|Africa, Environment, West Asia|

But even as people created the world's first cities and governments, the world continued to get warmer. This may have been caused partly by farming itself. Maybe the farmers cut down too many trees that had been taking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. By about 2000 BC, it was so warm that even in [...]

Math and Numbers in Ancient China

By |2018-04-25T12:09:29+00:00June 7th, 2017|China, Science|

Chinese numbers: number rods Chinese numbers People in China were using written numbers by about 1500 BC, in the Shang Dynasty. This is about two thousand years later than people began to write numbers in West Asia. It's more than a thousand years later than people began to write numbers in India. Nobody knows whether [...]

Shang Dynasty China – The first dynasty of ancient China

By |2018-12-19T11:12:12+00:00June 6th, 2017|China, History|

Shang Dynasty China: Late Shang bronze pitcher from Henan, about 1100 BC, with inscription (Musee Guimet, Paris) China enters the Bronze Age Around 2000 BC, people in China learned how to make bronze out of tin and copper, so we call this the Bronze Age. About the same time, people in China also [...]

Shang Dynasty Chinese Art – Bronze Age China

By |2019-02-11T08:39:03+00:00June 6th, 2017|Art, China|

Shang bronze pitcher, about 1300 BC(Musee Guimet, Paris) When did the Bronze Age start in China? By about 2000 BC, people in China learned from the people of West Asia how to make bronze out of copper and tin. People started to make many jars and plaques (flat pieces) out of bronze to give to [...]

Drawing a pitcher – Chinese Art project

By |2018-04-18T09:54:17+00:00June 5th, 2017|Art, China|

Late Shang bronze pitcher from Henan, about 1100 BC, with inscription (Musee Guimet, Paris) What if you were a bronze-smith in ancient China? Use colored pencils to draw your own bronze pitcher like these Shang Dynasty ones. How would your pitcher look different from the Shang Dynasty pitchers? Would your pitcher be an [...]

Shang houses and altars – Shang Dynasty China

By |2018-04-18T09:53:25+00:00June 5th, 2017|Architecture, China|

The Shang Dynasty city wall around Zhengzhou (thanks to Gary Todd) There was a city wall of rammed earth around the Shang capital at An-yang, and around other cities like Zhengzhou, a little south of An-yang. These were built by piling up dirt and pounding it (probably with stones or wooden mallets) until [...]

Shang Dynasty Architecture – Early China

By |2018-10-26T07:34:32+00:00June 5th, 2017|Architecture, China|

Remains of the Shang Dynasty palace at Erlitou The beginning of Chinese architecture Even as early as the Shang Dynasty, about 1500 BC, the buildings we know about look like later Chinese buildings - anyone would know they were from China, not from West Asia or Africa. More about the Shang Dynasty All [...]