Are you worried if it will rain tomorrow? Do your crops need watering? Are you concerned about your cows and goats? Would you like to know if you will win the next battle?
These are all valid Shang Dynasty worries and someone needs to answer the questions quickly. Enter Year 5 and their Oracle Bones!
An Oracle Bone is a piece of bone or turtle shell which priests use to carve pictogram messages to the gods onto. Once the message or question is complete, the priest then holds a hot poker against the bone until it cracks in many places. As the Priests are able to interpret the word of the Gods, they can read the cracks created to answer the Shang people’s questions!
Oracle Bones were first discovered at Yinxu, an archeological dig in China which has now been identified as the capital of the Shang Dynasty. They are the first examples of writing in ancient China ever found, showing the Shang Dynasty to be the first people to record written communication in China! They show us how everyday people in ancient China lived their lives and shows us what they saw as important and valuable in their lives – an absolutely vital piece of historical evidence.
Have a look at our Oracle bones! We worked hard to create messages made of genuine ancient Chinese pictograms and then ‘cracked’ our bones to see the answer from the Gods!