Shang kings, especially, thought in the power of your ancestors. The Shang wanted to ask their ancestors questions. They want answers to your questions. They offered oracle skeleton (sometimes referred to as dragon bones) to accomplish this.

First, the king would ask a question: "Will the weather be clear tomorrow?" The priest sculpted the king's inquiry on one oracle bone, which was just a tortoise or other pet bone. (It was no a human bone.) Then, the monk heated a slim pin make of bronze. Once heated, the pen was held against the bone. The warmth caused a series of little cracks to appear on the surface of the bone. Those cracks developed a sample of sorts. Climate a distinct oracle reader, commonly a woman, would "read" the cracks, and provide the king with solution to his question.

Archaeologists have discovered thousands and also thousands that oracle bones, each v a question carved on them. The inquiries on these oracle bones have actually told excavators a great deal about daily life throughout the Shang Dynasty. The point is, the inquiries did not actually to speak "Will that be clear tomorrow?" What the inquiry actually said was something favor this: "If i sacrifice 8 males or 3 oxen, will it be clear tomorrow?"

A good many people and also animals were sacrificed throughout Shang time so the Shang kings and also queens could ask their ancestors questions. The people they sacrificed could be slaves, or civilization who to be sick or deformed, or people captured in war, or someone that upset a noble, or a noble who upset the king. No one was safe. The only thing that was essential to the Shang kings and also queens to be getting solution to your question.

Oracle Bones

You are watching: On what did shang priests write questions for the gods


Explore ancient

For Kids

Ancient Cheat Sheet

Timeline of ancient Geography

Huang the & Yangtze Rivers

Himalayan Mountains

Gobi & Taklimakan Deserts

The Dynastic Cycle

Ancient Chinese Dynasties

Xia dynasty (Very early

The bronze Age

Shang & Chou Dynasties

Mandate the Heaven

Ancestor Worship

Oracle Bones

Ancient Chinese gods & Goddesses

Qin Dynasty

Great wall surface of

Terra Cotta Army

Han Dynasty

Silk Road

Han Tombs

Age of Division

Tang Dynasty

Song Dynasty

Ming Dynasty

Daily Life in ancient

Homes & Furniture

Women in ancient

Children in old






Foot Binding

Slavery in ancient

See more: How Many Cups Shredded Cabbage In One Head, Cabbage Equivalents, Measures, And Substitutions

Ancient Occupations, Professions

Chinese Food


The invention and importance that tea


Forbidden City

Religion in old

Animals that the Zodiac

Chinese Stories

Chinese Proverbs

Chinese Fables

Superstitions in ancient

Confucius - The great Teacher

Taoism - an old Philosophy


Comparison of ideas - Taoism, Confucianism, Legalism


The 3 Teachings - Confucius, Taoism, Buddhism

Myth: Why Chinese dragons have five toes

Myth: Nian, the horrible Monster

Ancient Story: Wang the Peddler

Story: Loawnu the wise Woman

Ancient Story: The True Story of Mulan

Ancient Story: The Warrior Well

Legend: The Story the Silk

Legend: The Story of shadow Puppets

Chinese brand-new Year

Lantern Festival

Medicine, Acupuncture, Yin Yang


Chinese Art


Chinese Architecture

Ancient creating - Calligraphy

Paper Fans

Chinese Opera

Music & musical Instruments

Stone Age, bronze Age, Iron period (for kids)

Achievements & ancient Inventions

Take the Quiz, interactive through answers

Interactive Games about Ancient because that Kids

For Teachers

ancient great Plans, class Activities, jobs

What is the difference between a proverb and a fable? (1-2 class periods)