China 1000 BCE

The Zhou dynasty, the longest-enduring dynasty in Chinese history, has replaced the Shang rulers of Ancient China.

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What is happening in China in 1000BCE

The Shang dynasty has been replaced by the Zhou dynasty as rulers of ancient China (1122 BCE). The Zhou will be the longest-enduring dynasty in China’s history. Their ancestors had previously ruled a border territory regarded as semi-barbarian by the Shang court. The change of dynasty, however, has seen no sharp decline in the material level of Chinese culture.

The Zhou dynasty kings have distributed territory to a large number of princes of the Zhou clan and other loyal followers, and royal power has thus become divided amongst more than a hundred subordinate fiefs. Some modern scholars describe this state of affairs as “feudal”.

Chinese expansion under the Zhou

At the same time, the Zhou state has expanded, both outwards into surrounding lands and also internally as Zhou lords annex “barbarian” territory still remaining within the borders. As a result, this is a crucial period for the expansion of ancient Chinese civilization.

In the Yangtze Valley, a mixed culture is growing up, in which Zhou and native features mingle. Further south, tribal peoples are coming under increasing pressure from the more settled peoples of the north, and some tribes begin migrating south and west, into South East Asia; there they will become the ancestors of the Mon and Khmer peoples. The history of South East Asia will be repeatedly affected by developments in southern China.

Next map, China in 500 BCE


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Zhou Dynasty China

Ancient East Asia

Ancient Chinese Civilization

Early Civilizations (Premium resource)

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