Contour and flat maps

Map - China

Map - China

Zhou capital at Hao

The Zhou dynasty began around 1045, with the overthrow of the Shang, and continued until 256BC. During this long period the concept of divine rule in the Mandate of Heaven was established, writing and bronze casting matured, and iron was introduced.

The Zhou seem to have come from the west and to have settled along the central stretches of the Yellow River (Wei) where favourable conditions had attracted human life from the Neolithic period and where the Silk Road of later antiquity ends.

In the area around the city of Xian the Shang had built their capital Ao, and the Zhou their most important capital, Hao.

Map showing location of Hau

Western Zhou Dynasty

The Zhou Dynasty has been divided into an earlier Western Zhou, and a later Eastern that begins in 770 when the capital was moved east.

Map showing area of Western Zhou Dynasty

Eastern Zhou Spring and Autumn

This Eastern period has been further subdivided into a Spring and Autumn Period, which ends in 481, and a Warring States Period that ends in 256. Both take their names from historical documents and their traditional divisions have been questioned by recent scholarship.


Western Zhou Count of Yu

Those discovered between 1999 and 2001 at Rujiazhuang near Baoji [Latitude: 34° 20' 20 N, Longitude: 107° 6' 22 E] belong to a noble (Bo) of the vassal state of Yu. An inscription on a bronze vessel in the grave complex gives a date in the second half of the 10th century BC and suggests that the dead was the Bo/Count of Yu.

Map showing the location of Baoji