Workshop - History and Storytelling


Shang Dynasty

The study of the Shang Dynasty is part of the UK Primary School curriculum.   We offer Shang Dynasty history, Jiaguwen and storytelling workshops in the local mainstream schools.   It is fun for children to learn Chinese ancient language, culture and art.

Storytelling:  The children learn about the story of the first female military general, Fu Hao, who was the mother, queen and High priestess of the Shang Dynasty.  They also learn about the old Chinese military costume

Jiaguwen on the tortoise shells and animal bones
Shang Dynasty workshop

History of the Shang Dynasty

In 1899, Wang Yirong, a scholar of the Qing Dynasty, discovered the Chinese character on tortoise shells and animal bones in Anyang in Henan Province, the capital of the late Shang Dynasty. He named those inscribed tortoise shells and bones items Jiaguwen, and he believed that the inscriptions on tortoise shells and animal bones are more than 3,000 years old.

Pictographs Jiaguwen

In Shang Dynasty (17th-11th century BC), people like to carve the ancient language Chinese characters on tortoise shells and animal bones to use as fortune-telling tools. Most of these texts are the prayers and simple records of the rulers of the Shang Dynasty during divination and sacrifices. Jiaguwen is mainly pictographs, with regular strokes and beautiful forms, showing that it has gone through a long development process. The pictographs provide significant information for the study of the origin of Chinese characters.

In the past, it was generally believed that the oracle bone inscriptions of the Shang Dynasty were the earliest Chinese characters. However, in 1980, Archaeologists discovered some tortoise shells and animal bones with inscriptions unearthed in Xi'an City, China. Archaeologists have confirmed that these writings are about 4,000 years old, even earlier than oracle bone inscriptions.


Manchester Chinese Centre
67 Ardwick Green
M12 6FX

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+44 (0) 161 275 9885

Charity Information

Manchester Chinese Centre is a company limited by guarantee (Reg No. 5641623) and a registered charity (Reg No. 1114121).

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