The Chinese State

The history of dynastic China spans some four millenia, from the time of the first known Chinese State, the Shang, to the fall of Qing Empire in 1912. With its roots ina collection of small city-states on the North China Plain, the Chinese State grew to become one of the most sophisticated empires ever known. - a vast cosmopolitan realm stretching from central Asia to the Pacific and from the vast Mongolian deserts to the Himalayas.

This elaborately decorated ivory beaker with turquoise inlay comes from the tomb of Fu Hao, the wife of the Shang dynasty king Wu Ding (ruled ca. 1215-1190 BCE)

From China: The Land of the Heavenly Dragon edited by Professor Edward L. Shaughnessy