AGE: – Shang Dynasty 1600 BC – 1046 BC
CONSTRUCTION: – Terracotta
DESCRIPTION: – Chinese Shang Dynasty Terracotta Stem Cup
HEIGHT: – 18cm
TOP DIAMETER:– 11.5cm
BASE DIAMETER: – 9cm
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A Chinese Shang Dynasty Terracotta Stem Cup with bird motif on the lid made for burial purposes between 1600 BC and 1046 BC – The Shang people during this time were highly skilled in crafting jade sculptures, decorative bronze vessels, bronze weapons, ceremonial cups and terracotta objects. The Shang culture marked the middle of China’s Bronze.
The Shang were believers in more than one god referred to as Shang Di, he was the supreme god, the god of the universe and the heavens, he ruled over the sun, the moon, the wind and the rain. They believed in life after death and ancestor worship, believing that their ancestors although living in heaven were still involved in the affairs of those living on earth. Human sacrifice was also popular during this period both the poor and the noble were offered as sacrifice.
The Shang Dynasty was also the first Chinese Dynasty to keep written records leaving behind evidence of their existence. They used pictures and symbols to represent different things. It was during the Shang dynasty that the famous oracle bones made from tortoise shells or ox bones were used to foretell the future mainly related to weather conditions and when to plant or when to harvest, if there was going to be a son or daughter or battle predictions. It is these oracle bones that give light to the rich culture and traditions of the Shang culture.