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Lecture 1

CLASS110 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Wu Ding, Fu Hao, Oracle Bone

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Jeremy Rossiter

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Ancient China
Shang Culture [Bronze Age]
Anyang: Tomb of Fu Hao
Wife of a Shang ruler Wu Ding, she is a military general
Anticipated in several military campaigns. She also presided over important sacrificial ceremonies and
controlled her own estate
Excavated 1975
Tomb dated ca 1250
16 humans, 6 dogs
468 bronze objects
755 jade objects
564 bone objects
Zhou China [Iron Age]
Western Zhou capital at Xian on Wei River
Eastern Zhou capital at Luoyang (after Western Zhou)
King is ‘Tien-tzu’ (‘Son of Heaven’)
Feudal rule of king and ‘barons’ (‘kung’)
Zhou Culture
Palace bureaucracy
Increased urbanization (community become more settle, begin to see cities, towns..)
Increase trades within China and outside the border leads to increase prosperity (different classes in
society begins to form)
Growth of merchant class
Taxation and coinage from ca 400 BCE
First Chinese literature
Age of sages (profoundly wise people
Writings preserved in bamboo script
Chinese Sages
Confucius (Kung Fu-zi) 551-479 Author of ‘Analects’
Saw political world as a mirror of the family world
Lao Dai 570-490
Author of ‘Daodejing’
More concerned about individualism
Warring States
Fragmentation of centralized power
Independent, wealthy barons
Tomb of Marquis Yi of Zeng (433 BCE)
Legalist doctrine of Han Fei Tzu
Law is unchallengeable, ruler should rule following the law
Capital at Luoyang (洛阳) on Yellow River (largest river in China)
Palace excavations (Anyang - most important location in Shang period)
Oracle bones archive - animal bones, most contain script on them (earliest evident
of pictograph in China)
First written scripts (Jia Gu Wen)
Chariot Burials - tombs in which the deceased was buried together with his chariot,
usually including his (more rarely, her) horses and other possessions.
Caste bronze object - had better knowledge and technology dealing with bronze
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