The Zhou dynasty (1046 BC to 256 BC) is the Chinese dynasty that ruled for the longest. It followed the Shang Dynasty (c. 1600-1046 BCE) and it finished when the army of the state of Qin captured the city of Chengzhou in 256 BCE.
By the end of the 2nd millennium BC, the Zhou dynasty began to emerge in the Yellow River valley, overrunning the territory of the Shang. It was started by the Ji family .
According to Chinaeducenter.com, “The Zhou Dynasty was the longest ruling Chinese dynasty. It lasted from 1122BCE-255 BCE”. It was started by the Ji family and had its capital at Hao (near the present-day city of Xian).
However, while the actual date for the start of the Zhou Dynasty has traditionally been thought to be 1122BCE, it has been revised as more archaeological evidence has been uncovered. Scholars now believe the start of the dynasty was 1046 BCE. “The Zhou is considered to be a time of artistic and intellectual advancement and awakening. Many of the Chinese culture's greatest thinkers in history existed during the Zhou Dynasty, including Confucius, Mozi, Mencius, and Laozi.”