By Wang Fangzi and Nebojsa Tomasevic

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Similarly, small bronze objects such as swords, bells, arrow heads and hooks have been excavated. Extremely primitive, they display also and variety and lack both decoration made of Small inscriptions. modelled on artefacts of the same thin, they are usually type and little pottery, stone, bone, shells, etc. This period therefore marks the beginning of the Bronze Age. In the of Wangchenggang, in the station Dengfeng, Henan province, at the southern end of the mountains of Shongshan, the existence of discovered which some experts believe of a Xia building.

The Zhou tribe, originally from the loess plateaux between the Jingshui and Weishui rivers, was forced to move into Sha'anxi under the pressure of northern tribes of the Rong and fertile Once Zhouyuan, a highly area well suited to agriculture between the modern districts the Di. established in of Qishan and Fufeng, they began to expand Feng and then at Hao on the river Fengshui. In about 1027 bc King Wu led a punitive expedition against the -Shang kingdom to the east and, after the decisive battle of Muye, which marked the subsequently establishing their capital The archaeological discoveries of recent years have shown the historical east, at reality of the Shang dynasty, who were regard- ed as legendary only a few decades ago.

Like their victory, their supremacy over the Central Plain for five centuries brought better social organization and a consolidation of political insitutions. Writing developed at fication of the rites, the and same time this was as the need for the codi- reflected in longer, more on bronzes or in the later (its final version only dates from about the fourth century bc) Zhouli detailed inscriptions or Ritual of the Zhou, a compilation of the administrative tra- ditions of this period. Several passages give an idea of the variety and precision of this code.

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