Chinese consort to Wu Ding, the fourth Shang king to rule from the last capital of the dynasty, at a site near modern Anyang in Henan Province. The oracle bone inscriptions found at Anyang reveal a glimpse of Fu Hao’s life and career, but her tomb, discovered in 1976, reveals much more about the power of the Shang and the skill of its artisans. The tomb of Fu Hao is the only royal Shang tomb found intact and the only Shang tomb which can be ascribed to a specific individual name in the oracle bone records. Her tomb surrendered more than 1600 kg of bronze objects and the largest number of jades ever to come from a single tomb.The small but unplundered tomb of Fu Hao provides a helpful indication of what once lay in the much greater, yet thoroughly looted, ‘royal’ tombs at Anyang.
In life, Fu Hao seems to have played many roles in the Shang royal enterprise. Besides bearing at least three children for the king and leading some state rituals, she was apparently a military leader who marshalled thousands of troops and led them on far-flung expeditions. The oracle bone inscriptions also provide information about Fu Hao’s illnesses, toothaches and even her dreams....