Contour and flat maps
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.
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.
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 Both take their names from historical documents and their traditional divisions have been questioned by recent scholarship.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.
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