When the Yellow river overflows its banks it deposits huge amount of yellowish silt. This silt is actually very fertile. The ancient China people thought that they could start a new civilization on that fertile land. So they settled there. But they had to face many difficulties because the Huang He’s floods could be disastrous. Sometimes floods devoured whole villages, earning the river the nick name “China’s Sorrow”.
According to the legend, the first Chinese dynasty was the Xia Dynasty. Its leader was a engineer and a mathematician named Yu. He invented a flood control systems and irrigation systems to tame the Huang He and its tributaries so that settlements could grow. Meanwhile, a people called Shang rose to power in northern China. In few years they took the power of whole China. The Shang dynasty lasted from around 1700 B.C. to 1027 BC.
The capital of the Shang dynasty was Anyang. Not like other civilizations Chinese people used wood to build their cities and fortresses. Anyang also build mainly of wood. The city stood in a forest clearing. The higher classes lived inside ta fortress and workers and normal people lived outside the city in small houses. Those cities had massive earthen walls about 118 feet wide at its base that encircled an area of 1.2 square miles. Shang people built walls because they were constantly waging for war. Also they had a large chariot army.
In china family was closely linked to the family. The Chinese people believed that the spirits of family ancestors had the power to bring good fortune or disaster to the living members of the family. So they worshiped the spirits of their family ancestors. But Shang rulers worshiped a god called Shang Di. Shang king consulted the gods through the use of oracle bones, animal bones and tortoise shells on which priests had scratched questions for the gods.
In Chinese language each character generally stands for one syllable of unite of language. There were no links between China’s spoken language and its written language. One could read Chinese Without knowing even a letter of its writing language. This was a very good advantage because people in all parts of china could learn the same system of writing, even if their spoken languages were very difficult. This was a very good advantage in rulings.
Chinese were good traders. They built roads and canals to stimulate trade and agriculture. Chinese people used coined money in trading which further improved trade. They invented the blast furnaces and developed cast iron. They used iron to make weapons like swords and dagger-axes. They also used iron for agricultural tools such as knives and spades.