Shāng 商 Chinese
(2,610 words)

1. Introduction

The jiǎgǔwén 甲骨文 ‘texts on scapulae and plastrons’ are the oldest written documents found in China. They were unearthed at the very end of the 19th century near the city of Ānyáng 安陽 in Hénán province. They date back to the reigns of the last twelve kings of the Shāng dynasty (13th-11th cent. BCE). They mainly consist of short divinatory texts carved on turtle shells and ox s…

Cite this page
Redouane DJAMOURI, “Shāng 商 Chinese”, in: Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics, General Editor Rint Sybesma. Consulted online on 24 April 2017 <>
First published online: 2015

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