Oracle bones are a type of artifact found in archaeological sites in several parts of the world, but they are best known as a significant characteristic of the Shang dynasty [1600-1050 BC] in China.
Oracle bones were used to practice a specific form of divination, fortune-telling, known as pyro-osteomancy.
Then the students copied more complex model texts including actual divination records as well as specially composed practice models.
It appears that the Oracle Bone Workshop students worked with the masters, at the place where divination was performed and recorded.
At the same time, oracle bones came to be associated with an expanded number of rituals.
By Period IIb at Anyang, five main annual rituals and many other supplemental rituals were conducted accompanied by oracle bones.
Osteomancy is when shamans (religious specialists) divine the future from the pattern of the natural bumps, cracks, and discolorations in animal bone and turtle shell.