ABSTRACT

This chapter provides the archaeological background of the late Shang at Anyang, and an overview of Shang weapons. Beginning the account from the Erlitou period (c.1800–1600 bce ), the dawn of the Chinese Bronze Age, I introduce the emergence of metallurgy, a key technological development, and the earliest bronze finds in the Central Plains. I then briefly outline a conventional account of the Shang by sub-periods, major archaeological sites, and key features of material culture. I present the excavation history at Anyang and its foundational importance in Chinese archaeology, as well as the diverse types and materials of Shang weapons.