Friday, 6 December 2013

Shang (BC 1600-1100)

Compiled from Collecting Chinese Antiquities in Hong Kong

        From 2000 BC-500 BC, Chinese civilization blossomed with the development of a writing system,  the discovery of advanced bronze metallurgy, and the beginning of urban centres, with palaces, temples and the workshops of specialized industries. In this highly stratified society, hundreds of politics emerged, including three powerful dynastic states - Xia, Shang and Zhou. The Xia Culture was discovered through the archaeological finds in 1959 at Erlitou in Henan (South of the Yellow River). The unearthed bronze artifacts marked the beginning of the Bronze Age in Ancient China.

        The most important ritual symbols of this age were bronze vessels. The manufacture of bronze vessels required abundant resources and intensive labour. While the finest flowering of Shang art is seen in its bronzes, primitive greenware pottery appeared in the late Shang period. There has been considerable speculation as to how it originated. Archaeological sites from the middle of the Shang period have been discovered in modern Honan, Hoph, snf Shansi that show numerous examples of a hard pottery with impressed decorations, with a purplish-brown body. The high temperature porcelleanous glaze used at this time and during the late Shang period reveals the development of primitive porcelain. Still, much remained unknown about the Shang culture. 

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