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Ancient China Bronze Age Bronze


Overview of the Dynasty’s

The Shang Dynasty (1600 to 1046 BCE) a dynasty that took over from the Xia Dynasty after it lost power the Shang dynasty ruled most of northern china and was a territorial state that moved it capital one of the main evidence of the Shang Dynasty that we have is royal tombs that were found in 1976 one of them being Fu Hao a consort and military general of the king the great amount of things attested to the power and wealth of the Shang dynasty. That was until the Zhou over threw the Shang dynasty in 1050 BCE. The Zhou Dynasty (1050 to 711 BCE) The Dynasty is divided into the western Zhou and the Eastern Zhou this is marked by the capital moving from Xain to Luoyang. The Zhou dynasty was the longest lasting dynasty until It broke up into the warring states period Iron was introduced through this period even though it was not commonly used until later

Bronze Work

Bronze is an alloy mostly consisting of copper and usually tin (sometimes other metals) it is the fact that it is mixed with other metals that bronze is much harder than regular copper. Because of the huge amount of bronze that was used to make things this time in china is called a bronze age.Featured image

The Shang dynasty bronze was found in quantity in the tomb of Fu Hao that I talked about earlier it contained more than 440 bronze vessels. By the late Shang period these vessels came with small inscriptions what they are, clan names or names of the ancestor they were dedicated to. The right to own these vessels was most likely confined to the royal family Featured imageat first but later was bestowed on local governors that got their power from the ruler. These vessels were used in sacrificial offerings of food and wine given to the ancestors. These bronze vessels were given different shapes depending on their use in sacrificial rites. Some of them are the li a round body with a base that extends into three hollow legs. The Ding a hemispheric body on three solid legs. The Fang ding which is a square vessel on four legs. The gui which is a bowl placed on a ring shaped foot. These ones were for food for wine you have the You a covered bucket with a handle jue a small beaker on three legs and many others used for both wine and food. The bronze vessels were not cast by the lost wax Featured imagemethod as was used in much of the world in the Shang dynasty but instead in something called sectional molds they would form clay around a core and sliced into sections then removed then fired and reconstructed around a smaller core that will make the hollow center of the vessel using metal spacers to separate them and the bronze is poured into the gap. Appendages such as leg and handles etcetera were usually cast separately. Designs could be added by adding designs to the clay mold. The ritual vessels ranged in height from 15 cm to 130 cm with the intricacy and sharpness of the designs Chinese level of bronze casting was extremely advanced. Many animals show up on Shang dynasty bronzes such as a tiger, cicada, snake, or owl it is not known if the animals have any particular meaning or if they are just on there for decoration

The Zhou dynasty took over from the Shang and took a lot of their bronze techniques too. They really added their Featured imageown flare and experimented with the techniques with a not as impressive result in my opinion. First of all the vessels for the ancestors began to become vehicles for accomplishments by the late Zhou vessels could have well over 400 characters on it. Featured imageThe vessel designs themselves became heavy and sagging and the quality of the casting was significantly lower than the late Shang  bronze. After 771 they show signs of a renaissance per say. The bronze vessels were often adorned with bold handles in the form of animal heads a little later it changes to a more elegant form with more elaborate patterns such as interlaced serpents.

Then came the lost wax method which was introduced by the late 7th century BC lead to experiments in design that are impressive but gaudy and overdone. Though they continued to refine and the design became simpler for example a comma like pattern that was influenced by textile patterns and embroidery.

Vessels were not the only thing that were made out of bronze there are many more things such as a Featured imageorchestral set of 64  bells Featured imagefound in a royal tomb of the Zeng state . These orchestral bells are on wooden rack supported by bronze human figures. It is kind of like the huge xylophone of the ancient world the bells go from about 20cm small to 150cm height. With their shape and how you strike them each of these bells can produce two completely different tones gold inscriptions on the bell even tell some of the musical terms. Bronze mirrors were also used not just as a thing to look at yourself in but as a funerary object the mirrors were often polished on the face and elaborately decorated on the back  in a refined and elegant way.

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Department of Asian Art. “Shang and Zhou Dynasties: The Bronze Age of China”. In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–. (October 2004)

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“The Zhou Dynasty (1046-256 Bce).” Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. 27 Apr. 2015. <;


“Ancient China: The Bronze Age.” Ancient China: The Bronze Age. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Apr. 2015. <;.

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“4000 BCE-1000 CE: The Zhou Dynasty, Confucius, and China’s Philosophic Traditions | Central Themes and Key Points | Asia for Educators | Columbia University.” 4000 BCE-1000 CE: The Zhou Dynasty, Confucius, and China’s Philosophic Traditions | Central Themes and Key Points | Asia for Educators | Columbia University. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Apr. 2015. <;.

BBC News. BBC, n.d. Web. 27 Apr. 2015. <;

“Mirror with flower design, Warring States period, bronze, Honolulu Museum of Art” by Hiart – Own work. Licensed under CC0 via Wikimedia Commons –,_Warring_States_period,_bronze,_Honolulu_Museum_of_Art.JPG#/media/File:Mirror_with_flower_design,_Warring_States_period,_bronze,_Honolulu_Museum_of_Art.JPG

“河南博物院藏莲鹤方壶” by Greg kf – Own work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons –

“Ritual cooking vessel” by ellenm1 – Flickr: Ritual cooking vessel. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons –

“Wuhanbells” by User:Calton – Originally from zh.wikipedia; description page is/was here. From the Tomb of Marquis Yi of Zeng, dated 433 BC, during the interregnum between the Spring and Autumn Period and Warring States Period of ancient China.. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons –

“Covered Ritual Wine Vessel (Fangyi), 11th to early 10th century BC, Shang dynasty or Western Zhou period, China, cast bronze – Sackler Museum – DSC02619” by Daderot – Daderot. Licensed under CC0 via Wikimedia Commons –,_11th_to_early_10th_century_BC,_Shang_dynasty_or_Western_Zhou_period,_China,_cast_bronze_-_Sackler_Museum_-_DSC02619.JPG#/media/File:Covered_Ritual_Wine_Vessel_(Fangyi),_11th_to_early_10th_century_BC,_Shang_dynasty_or_Western_Zhou_period,_China,_cast_bronze_-_Sackler_Museum_-_DSC02619.JPG

“Vessel (jue), China, Shang dynasty, bronze, Honolulu Academy of Arts” by Hiart – Own work. Licensed under CC0 via Wikimedia Commons –,_China,_Shang_dynasty,_bronze,_Honolulu_Academy_of_Arts.JPG#/media/File:Vessel_(jue),_China,_Shang_dynasty,_bronze,_Honolulu_Academy_of_Arts.JPG

“Dinastia shang (fine)-din. zhou occ.le, versatoio tripode he in bronzo, xi sec. ac.” by I, Sailko. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons –,_versatoio_tripode_he_in_bronzo,_xi_sec._ac..JPG#/media/File:Dinastia_shang_(fine)-din._zhou_occ.le,_versatoio_tripode_he_in_bronzo,_xi_sec._ac..JPG

“Dinastia shang (fine)-inizio zhou, bacinella per acqua pan, xii-xi sec. ac.” by I, Sailko. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons –,_bacinella_per_acqua_pan,_xii-xi_sec._ac..JPG#/media/File:Dinastia_shang_(fine)-inizio_zhou,_bacinella_per_acqua_pan,_xii-xi_sec._ac..JPG

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Romans weapons of war

Romans weapons of war

Rome was an empire and to build an empire requires war and to win a war you need weapons. Weapons come in many different forms. The weapon of words the weapon of fear and just plain old weapons made of metal and wood. The roman army had to find weapons to fit their tactics and fighting style and through time they found what worked best. The Gladius a short sword usually about 18 inches long and 2 inches wide with a double-edged blade used for thrusting at short range used in the parts of close courters combat that sometimes came in battle and made longer weapons useless. For the long range Featured imageweapon they used a javelin with a long thin iron shank with a barbed tip and a heavy shaft these features gave this weapon a armor piercing ability that was devastating when used in the right way they were even hard to throw back because the barbed tip kept it from being pulled out of things and the initial throw would often bend the shank making it impossible to use again. These were also used in formations to create a spikey wall that they could ram up against an enemy with.Featured image Most romans carried two pilum and threw them as they charged enemy soldiers. They wore many other weapons from other forms of spears to daggers that were placed on them in the chance that they get disarmed. It was these weapons that made the romans so fearsome in battle but even more then the weapons was how they used them and how they used them was to completely dominate their enemy to form one of the world’s great empires.


“Mainz Gladius” by Jononmac46 – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons –

“Uncrossed gladius”. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons –

“Legionary Weapons and Equipment.” Legionary Weapons and Equipment. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2015.

“Roman Weapons.” Roman Weapons. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2015. <;.

“Heavy Metal from the Ancient Romans.” Heavy Metal from the Ancient Romans. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2015. <;.

“Pile of Roman Armor, Weapons Discovered in U.K.” National Geographic. National Geographic Society, n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2015. <

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Kyla Johnson

Blog post 2

Etruscan tombs

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I had originally wanted to look at Etruscan architecture to see what kinds of things they built and what kind of houses they lived in but as I was researching it didn’t turn out the way I expected. It turns out that the more I looked into architecture the more I found out about their tombs. Most people would think weird why would the resting places of the dead come up when you’re looking for architecture? Well it isn’t so weird when you find out like I did that the best examples we have of Etruscan architecture is their tombs. The Etruscans didn’t build tombs like we do neatly lining people up in cemetery’s instead they built the tombs like cities with streets small squares neighborhoods. The huts and houses built in this city of the dead provide amazing insights to structural details of Etruscan houses that we would not have had otherwise. A well-known example is known as the “Hut Shaped Tomb” in imitating houses we find out that they had things like gabled roofs and a main cross beam it even has stone couches next to the walls. The tombs like the real city buildings differed depending on social status and wealth.

Featured imageAnother great thing about Etruscan tombs is that they also tell us about daily life and art because a lot of them have a wealth of paintings in side. These paintings show daily life, ordinary tasks, religious ceremonies and animals like birds and dolphins. So in all reality the best clues we have about the lives of the Etruscans is not from looking at how they lived but looking at what they did for their dead.


<a title=”By Franck Schneider (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons” href=””><img width=”512″ alt=”Le tombe etrusche dipinte 07″ src=”//”/></a>

“Norchia Nekropolis” by AlMare – Own work. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons –

“Etruscan Necropolises of Cerveteri and Tarquinia.” – UNESCO World Heritage Centre. UNESCO World Heritage C Entre, n.d. Web. 29 Mar. 2015.

“Classic Court.” Tombs of the Etruscans « The Toledo Museum of Art. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Mar. 2015.

Elena. “Etruscan Architecture.” Art History Summary Periods and Movements through Time. 2015 Raindrops Entries RSS, 16 Nov. 2012. Web. 29 Mar. 2015.

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Ancient history

 Ishtar gate


The beautiful city of Babylon with its hanging gardens with their beautiful colors and the amazing 8th gate of Babylon called the gate of Ishtar named so because it was dedicated to the goddess Ishtar goddess of love, sex, and war. Though there are various other animals on the gate to pay homage to various other Babylonian deities. Lions, Dragons and Bulls are set up in rows all up and down the Ishtar gate the lions are associated with the goddess Ishtar the bulls with the god Adad the weather god and the Dragons with Marduk who was the national god of Babylon. The Ishtar gate is on the most important road through the city called the Processional Way which leads from the inner city though the Ishtar gate to the House of the New Year’s Festival or Bit Akitu. The Processional way was used for the new year celebrations in which statues of deities would parade down the path to the temple of Marduk .The gate is covered with glazed brick which allowed a colorful presentation that is not possible of regular brick. Ny_Carlsberg_Glyptothek_-_Ishtar-Tor

The gate has rows of dragons and bulls in yellow and brown tiles surrounded by beautiful blue tile that is still being debated on what is in it some think it is lapis lazuli. The gate was excavated by Robert Koldewey between 1902 to 1914 CE they found 45 feet of the original foundation and 1930 they reconstructed in the Pergamon museum in Berlin. Due to space though only front smaller half of the gate was reconstructed. The gate was so well known and so amazing that it was considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World until I got replaced later. The gate was an amazing work of art and is a testament to how the people of the ancient world were capable of amazing and inspiring things.


“Berlin-mitte-pergamon-ischtar-tor” by Balou46This file was imported from Wikivoyage Shared. – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons –

Brittany Britanniae. “Ishtar Gate,” Ancient History Encyclopedia. Last modified August 23, 2013. /Ishtar_Gate/.

“Lion Relief from the Processional Way.” Lion Relief from the Processional Way. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Mar. 2015. Associates in Fine Arts, Yale University, “Handbook: A Description of the Gallery of Fine Arts and the Collections,” Bulletin of the Associates in Fine Arts at Yale University 5, nos. 1–3 (1931): 7, ill.

Raymond P. Dougherty, “The Lion of Ishtar,” Bulletin of the Associates in Fine Arts at Yale University 4, no. 3 (1932): 144

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“Ny Carlsberg Glyptothek – Ishtar-Tor” by Wolfgang Sauber – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons –

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