Iraq Banner Desktop

Store Banner Mobile

Chinese female warriors in the Shang Dynasty. Source: YouTube Screenshot / Smithsonian Channel.

The All-Female Shang-Era Troops Led by Queen Fu Hao (Video)

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

In ancient times, during the Shang Dynasty, there existed an extraordinary force led by the remarkable Queen Fu Hao. This troop, composed primarily of skilled soldiers, occasionally reinforced by conscripts, was a formidable presence in the heart of modern-day Anyang. Their base was in the Royal burial complex at Xiaotun, where chariots and horses, essential to the Shang armies, were gathered. When the need for more soldiers arose, Fu Hao's recruiters ventured into a seemingly deserted village. To her surprise, she encountered fearless women who showed unwavering courage. Fu Hao, recognizing their potential, negotiated with the village leader, Pong, offering incentives for the men to join the Army. She enlisted these village women, acknowledging the vital role that peasant labor played in bolstering the forces.

Fu Hao's determination was unwavering, and she even resorted to stern measures, threatening the Lords with sacrifice if they failed to provide troops. Her resolute stance brought them back in line. Before battle, General Fu Hao inspected her troops, taking pride in the fact that Pong and her women fighters were standing shoulder to shoulder with the men. This historical account sheds light on the prowess of Queen Fu Hao and her unique all-female Shang-era troops, a story of valor and leadership.

Top image: Chinese female warriors in the Shang Dynasty. Source: YouTube Screenshot / Smithsonian Channel.

By Robbie Mitchell

Robbie Mitchell's picture


I’m a graduate of History and Literature from The University of Manchester in England and a total history geek. Since a young age, I’ve been obsessed with history. The weirder the better. I spend my days working as a freelance... Read More

Next article