Shang Dynasty (1600 BC － 1046 BC)
As the second hereditary dynasty in China, the Shang Dynasty was founded in 1600 BC. Tang, the founder of Shang, having drawn lessons from the ruin of the Xia dynasty, treated his people benevolently and employed many able and virtuous ministers. Like the Xia, the Shang was originally considered to be a myth. They were discovered because Chinese phamacists sold oracle bones, created by the Shang, as dragon bones which were first noticed in 1899. According to inscribed oracle bones, this Dynasty consisted of 30 kings and seven different, successive, capitals. The Shang made great progresses in its knowledge and economy during the reign of Tang.
Despite being agriculturalists, the Shang had rather primitive implements. The productivity of the Shang Dynasty reached a relatively high level. As far as agriculture was concerned, farm implements had been improved. Stone ploughs, spades and sickles were widely used. The primary crops included millet and wheat. More important, the Shang Dynasty thrived in the manufacture of bronze vessels.
The Shang people had bronze weapons, bronze fittings for chariots and harnesses, and bronze vessels connected with worship. Everyday vessels were of earthenware, rather than bronze, because metals were scarce in China. The earthenware of this time was almost porcelain, only missing the glaze that would have made it porcelain.
Another notable characteristic is that highly ritualized, ancestor worship became a part of the Shang religion. Sacrifice to the gods and the ancestors were also a major part of the Shang religion. Being slavery system still prevailing in this Dynasty. The aristocrats enjoyed all the luxuries while the slaves lived a dog' life. They belonged to their lord. After the slave owner died, the slaves were often buried alive as human sacrifice together with animal offerings.
After the death of King Wuding, the prime day of the Shang Dynasty did not go on a long time. Toward the end, internal conflicts intensified and ducal states rebelled. The last Shang ruler was a despot. A rebellious army of slaves dethroned him in the 11th century BC.