Shang Article

The myth of the Shang dynasty foretold a mysterious land with scary people and freaky religious ceremonies and traditions. However, this dynasty had many great inventions and findings.  In fact the Shang dynasty was one of the first dynasties to craft things out of bronze.  Archaeologists all around the world have been trying to decode what this dynasty has left behind.   One of the findings included a bronze vessel.  After studying the vessel, if shared information on the Social Structure, Technology, Religion and the Arts of the Shang.  The vessel is used for sacrifices in honor of sacred or important people.  According the the information gleaned from the few found facts of the Shang, when an important  person dies, it is believed that certain things should be sacrificed and buried with the person for use in his/ her “afterlife”.  Normally, in tombs buried with the person are some slaves to serve him/her;  weapons, jewelry and animals for him/ her in their “afterlife”.  The burial ceremony is just one of the ceremonies that the Shang people hold.  The vessel in this case is used for storing liquid.  It shows social structure because probably only the higher class people, it sort of stated this because these vessels had been made by skilled artisans, on these vessels, the artisans had carefully carved geometric designs and pictures of mythical creatures.   The most common thing on vessels were animal masks.  On these vessels, might have been the wings of a bird, the claws of a dragon, the teeth of a tiger, a leg of a man and the ears of a rabbit.

Some scholars say that these masks have a symbol of all the living beings in the world.  This was later called a taotie.  This item also shows how the technology was like back at that time.  As we can see here, their technology hasn’t yet reached the state of I- Phones and TVs, but they have started to form a basic understanding on how to use fire to make the bronze that is used to craft the vessel and how to use sharp objects to carve things.  The Shang Dynasty was a very well developed dynasty and ,as I had said, was one of the first dynasties to craft things out of bronze.  The artisans must have been very skilled, because they not only know how to properly make bronze, but they also know how to skillfully carve detailed shapes into the bronze.  This vessel also allows us take a peek into the Shang’s religious traditions, too.  It gives us a hint that the Shang probably believed in Gods because of those engravings on the vessels, however, the Shang Dynasty is still a myth to be told.

One thought on “Shang Article

  1. Tom B says:

    Ideas = EE
    Sentence Fluency = ME

    Well done, incorporating additional research! Very engaging introduction also.

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