National Geographic Magazine


China's Shang Culture Map

Cultural Hubs

The cultural font for China's 4,000-year-old civilization was long argued to be the Yellow River. Excavation of magnificent bronzes and other Shang artifacts in the early 20th century supported this tradition. But in 1986, bronzes dating from the Shang era but of a stunningly different style emerged to the southwest in the village of Sanxingdui. These and other Bronze Age finds suggest that ancient China had not one cultural center, but many.

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