A bronze Chinese trigger mechanism with a butt plate (the wooden components have since eroded and disappeared), inlaid with silver, from either the late (403–256 BC) or the early (202 BC – AD 220) has been the source of many, and. This includes the:, the,, and (both and ). The list below contains these and other inventions in China attested by archaeology or history. The historical region now known as China experienced a involving, and applied to,,,,,,, and.
By the (403–221 BC), inhabitants of the Warring States had advanced metallurgic technology, including the and, while the and were known by the (202 BC–AD 220). A sophisticated economic system in imperial China gave birth to inventions such as during the (960–1279). The invention of gunpowder during the mid 9th century led to an array of inventions such as the,,,, exploding cannonballs, multistage and.
With the navigational aid of the 11th century compass and ability to steer at high sea with the 1st century sternpost, premodern Chinese sailors sailed as far as. In water-powered clockworks, the premodern Chinese had used the mechanism since the 8th century and the endless power-transmitting in the 11th century. They also made large mechanical puppet theaters driven by and and wine-serving driven by paddle wheel boats.
• • • By subject • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • By era • • • • • •. • • • The contemporaneous and represent the oldest and were formed around 7000 BC. Some of the first inventions of Neolithic China include semilunar and rectangular stone knives, stone and spades, the cultivation of, rice, and the, the refinement of, the building of structures with -plastered house floors, the with cord-mat-basket designs, the creation of pottery tripods and pottery steamers and the development of ceremonial vessels and for purposes of.
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The British sinologist Francesca Bray argues that the domestication of the and during the (c. 2000 BC) period, the absence of Longshan-era or high-yield crops, full evidence of Longshan cultivation of dry-land cereal crops which gave high yields 'only when the soil was carefully cultivated,' suggest that the was known at least by the Longshan culture period and explains the high agricultural production yields which allowed the rise of Chinese civilization during the (c. With later inventions such as the and, China's agricultural output could sustain a much larger population.
For the purposes of this list, are regarded as technological firsts developed in China, and as such does not include foreign technologies which the Chinese acquired through contact, such as the from the or the from. It also does not include technologies developed elsewhere and later invented separately by the Chinese, such as the and. Scientific, mathematical or, changes in minor concepts of design or style and artistic innovations do not appear on the list. The, the oldest printed book, published in AD 868 during the Tang Dynasty (618–907) Paper [ ] This sub-section is about paper making; for the writing material first used in, see.
Although it is recorded that the Han Dynasty (202 BC – AD 220) court eunuch (50 AD – AD 121) invented the pulp process and established the use of new materials used in making, ancient padding and wrapping paper artifacts dating to the 2nd century BC have been found in China, the oldest example of pulp papermaking from,; by the 3rd century, paper as a writing medium, replacing traditional but more expensive writing mediums such as strips of rolled into threaded scrolls, strips of, wet hardened later in a furnace, and wooden tablets. The earliest known piece of paper with writing on it was discovered in the ruins of a Chinese watchtower at Tsakhortei,, where Han Dynasty troops had deserted their position in AD 110 following a attack. In the paper making process established by Cai in 105, a boiled mixture of bark, hemp, old linens and fish nets created a pulp that was pounded into paste and stirred with water; a wooden frame sieve with a mat of sewn reeds was then dunked into the mixture, which was then shaken and then dried into sheets of paper that were bleached under the exposure of sunlight; K.S. Tom says this process was gradually improved through leaching, polishing and glazing to produce a smooth, strong paper. Paper is used a lot. Printing [ ] For the separate invention of movable type printing in medieval Europe, see and.: The earliest specimen of woodblock printing is a single-sheet sutra in that was printed on hemp paper between 650 and 670 AD; it was unearthed in 1974 from a Tang tomb near.
A Korean miniature dharani Buddhist discovered in 1966, bearing used only during the reign of China's only self-ruling empress, (r.690–705), is dated no earlier than 704 and preserved in a temple built in 751. The first printed periodical, the was made available in AD 713. However, the earliest known book printed at regular size is the made during the (618–907), a 5.18 m (17 ft) long scroll which bears the date 868 AD. Joseph Needham and write that the cutting and printing techniques used for the of the Diamond Sutra book are much more advanced and refined than the miniature dharani sutra printed earlier. An illustration published in ( 1290–1333) book of AD 1313 showing characters arranged by rhyme scheme in round table compartments: The polymath scientist and official (1031–1095) of the Song Dynasty (960–1279) was the first to describe the process of movable type printing in his of 1088.
He attributed the innovation of reusable fired clay characters to a little-known artisan named (990–1051). Bi had experimented with wooden type characters, but their use was not perfected until 1297 to 1298 with the model of the official (fl. 1290–1333) of the (1271–1368), who also arranged written characters by rhyme scheme on the surface of round table compartments. It was not until 1490 with the printed works of (1439–1513) of the (1368–1644) that the Chinese perfected metal movable type characters, namely. The (1644–1912) scholar Xu Zhiding of, developed movable type printing in 1718.
Gunpowder [ ]. Earliest known written formula for gunpowder, from the of 1044 AD.
Evidence of 's first use in China comes from the (618–907). The earliest known recorded by Zeng Gongliang, Ding Du and Yang Weide in the, a military manuscript compiled in 1044 during the Song Dynasty (960–1279). Its gunpowder formulas describe the use of launched from, thrown down from, or lowered down the wall by use of iron chains operated by a swape lever. Bombs launched from catapults mounted on of naval ships ensured the victory of Song over at the in 1161, while the Mongol Yuan Dynasty (1271–1368) during their in 1274 and 1281. During the 13th and 14th centuries, gunpowder formulas became more potent (with levels of up to 91%) and gunpowder weaponry more advanced and deadly, as evidenced in the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644) military manuscript compiled by (fl.
14th to early 15th century) and (1311–1375). It was completed in 1412, a long while after Liu's death, with a preface added by the Jiao in its publication.
A model in of a Chinese ladle-and-bowl type used for in the Han Dynasty (202 BC – 220 AD); the historical authenticity of the model has been questioned by (1954). Although an ancient artifact from the era in dating to roughly 1000 BC indicates the possible use of the long before it was described in China, the Olmecs did not have which the Chinese would discover could be magnetised by contact with lodestone. Descriptions of lodestone attracting iron were made in the Guanzi, and. The Chinese by the Han Dynasty (202 BC – 220 AD) began using north-south oriented lodestone ladle-and-bowl shaped for and and not yet for. The, written by Han dynasty writer, scientist, and philosopher (27 – c.
100 AD) stated in chapter 52: 'This instrument resembles a spoon and when it is placed on a plate on the ground, the handle points to the south'. There are, however, another two references under chapter 47 of the same text to the attractive power of a magnet according to Needham (1986), but Li Shu-hua (1954) considers it to be lodestone, and states that there is no explicit mention of a magnet in Lunheng. The Chinese polymath (1031–1095) of the Song Dynasty (960–1279) was the first to accurately describe both (in discerning ) and the in his of 1088, while the Song dynasty writer (fl.
12th century) was the first to mention use of the compass specifically for navigation at sea in his book published in 1119. Even before this, however, the military manuscript compiled by 1044 described a compass of heated iron or shaped as a fish and placed in a bowl of water which produced a weak magnetic force via and induction; the Wujing Zongyao recorded that it was used as a pathfinder along with the mechanical. Pre-Shang [ ] Inventions which originated in and prehistoric are listed in alphabetical order below. Chinese alcoholic containers. • and the process of: The earliest archaeological evidence of and the consumption of alcoholic beverages was discovered in China dating from 7000–6600 BC. Examination and analysis of ancient pottery jars from the neolithic village of in province in northern China revealed fermented residue left behind by the alcoholic beverages they once contained. According to a study published in the, chemical analysis of the residue revealed that the fermented drink was made from fruit, rice and.
Elsewhere in the world, fermented beverages have been found dating from 6000 BC in Georgia, 3150 BC in, 3000 BC in, 2000 BC in pre-Hispanic Mexico, and 1500 BC in. •: Alligator drums were type of once used in, made from clay and alligator hides.
They have been found over a broad area at the Neolithic sites from modern in the east to in the west, dating to a period of 5500–2350 BC. In literary records, drums manifested shamanistic characteristics and were often used in ritual ceremonies. Drums covered with alligator skin for ceremonial use are mentioned in the, a collection of Chinese poems dating from the 11th Century to 7th Century BC. The earliest alligator drums, comprising a wooden frame covered with alligator skin are found in the archaeological sites at (4100 BC–2600 BC), as well as several sites of (3000 BC–2000 BC) in Shandong and (2300 BC–1900 BC) in southern. Bamboo slips of the (25–220 AD). •: The use of bamboo in Neolithic China is well established as the Chinese were among the first civilizations to employ the use of bamboo. The cultivation and application of bamboo has played an important in the development of Chinese civilization from prehistoric times to the present.
From prehistoric times to the present, bamboo has been used extensively in one form or another as the use of bamboo affected the everyday life of Chinese civilization. Chinese poets extolled this plant and Chinese painters cherished the plant's beauty and grace through paintings across various Chinese dynasties. Archaeological ruins signifying the Chinese use of bamboo for vessels and containers, woven baskets to mats dating back to the Neolithic era were unearthed from Qianshanyang, Zhejiang. Around 6000 BC, bamboo motifs were used to decorate the neolithic pottery of the Yangshao culture and bamboo baskets dating back to 2000 BC have been discovered in addition to bamboo slips that were used as a writing surface dating from the Warring States period (475 - 221 BC). Bamboo during prehistoric China was used for a variety of purposes such as rafts, fans, cutting knives, arrowheads, chisels, needles, saw blades, cooking utensils, loomweights and writing tools. •: Clapper-bells made of pottery have been found in several archaeological sites. The earliest metal bells, with one found in the site, and four in the site, dated to about 2000 BC, may have been derived from the earlier pottery prototype.
Early bells not only have an important role in generating metal sound, but arguably played a prominent cultural role. With the emergence of other kinds of bells during the Shang Dynasty (c. 1050 BC), they were relegated to subservient functions; at Shang and sites, they are also found as part of the horse-and-chariot gear and as collar-bells of dogs. •: The earliest evidence of wooden coffin remains, dated at 5000 BC, was found in the Tomb 4 at Beishouling,.
Clear evidence of a wooden coffin in the form of a rectangular shape was found in Tomb 152 in an early site. The Banpo coffin belongs to a four-year-old girl, measuring 1.4 m (4.5 ft) by 0.55 m (1.8 ft) and 3–9 cm thick. As many as 10 wooden coffins have been found from the (4100–2600 BC) site at Chengzi,. The thickness of the coffin, as determined by the number of timber frames in its composition, also emphasized the level of, as mentioned in the, and. Examples of this have been found in several Neolithic sites; the double coffin, the earliest of which was found in the (3400–2250 BC) site at Puanqiao, Zhejiang, consists of an outer and an inner coffin, while the triple coffin, with its earliest finds from the (3000–2000 BC) sites at Xizhufeng and Yinjiacheng in Shandong, consists of two outer and one inner coffins.
A bronze from the, (403–221 BC); this type of weapon has existed in China since the Neolithic period •: The dagger-axe or ge was developed from agricultural stone implement during the Neolithic, dagger-axe made of stone are found in the (3000–2000 BC) site at Miaodian,. It also appeared as ceremonial and symbolic jade weapon at around the same time, two being dated from about 2500 BC, are found at the Lingjiatan site in. The first bronze ge appeared at the early Bronze Age site, where two were being found among the over 200 bronze artifacts (as of 2002) at the site, three jade ge were also discovered from the same site. Total of 72 bronze ge in Tomb 1004 at Houjiazhuang,, 39 jade ge in and over 50 jade ge at site were found alone.
It was the basic weapon of (c. 1600 – 1050 BC) and (c.1050–256 BC), although it was sometimes used by the 'striker' of crews. It consisted of a long wooden shaft with a bronze knife blade attached at a right angle to the end. The weapon could be swung down or inward in order to hook or slash, respectively, at an enemy. By the early Han Dynasty (202 BC – 220 AD), military use of the bronze ge had become limited (mostly ceremonial); they were slowly phased out during the Han Dynasty by iron and iron.
A Chinese ceramic model of a water well with a water system, excavated from a tomb of the (202 BC - 220 AD) period •: Some of the earliest evidence of water wells are located in China. The Chinese discovered and made extensive use of deep drilled groundwater for drinking. The Chinese text, originally a divination text of the Western Zhou dynasty (1046 -771 BC), contains an entry describing how the ancient Chinese maintained their wells and protected their sources of water. Archaeological evidence and old Chinese documents reveal that the prehistoric and ancient Chinese had the aptitude and skills for digging deep water wells for drinking water as early as 6000 to 7000 years ago. A well excavated at the excavation site was believed to have been built during the Neolithic era. The well was cased by four rows of logs with a square frame attached to them at the top of the well.
60 additional tile wells southwest of Beijing are also believed to have been built around 600 BC for drinking and irrigation. •: A painted stick dating from 2300 BCE excavated at the astronomical site of is the oldest gnomon known in China. The gnomon was widely used in ancient China from the second century BC onward in order determine the changes in seasons, orientation, and geographical latitude. The ancient Chinese used shadow measurements for creating calendars that are mentioned in several ancient texts.
According to the collection of Zhou Chinese poetic anthologies, one of the distant ancestors of used to measure gnomon shadow lengths to determine the orientation around the 14th-century BC. A Jade dragon dating back to the (202 BC – 9 AD).
•: Chinese jade has played a role in China's science and technological history. During Neolithic times, the key known sources of nephrite jade in China for utilitarian and jade items were the now depleted deposits in the Ningshao area in the ( 3400–2250 BC) and in an area of the and ( 4700–2200 BC). Dushan Jade was being mined as early as 6000 BC and the jade stone is the primary of.
Jade was prized for its,,, and beauty. In particular, its subtle, translucent colors and protective qualities caused it to become associated with Chinese conceptions of the and. The most prominent early use was the crafting of the Six Ritual Jades found since the 3rd-millennium BC Liangzhu culture. •: Lacquer was used in China since the Neolithic period and came from a substance extracted from the found in China. A red wooden bowl, which is believed to be the earliest known lacquer container, was unearthed at a (c. 4500 BC) site.
The British sinologist and historian says coffins at many early Bronze Age sites seem to have been lacquered, and articles of lacquered wood may also have been common, but the earliest well-preserved examples of lacquer come from (771 – 256 BC) sites. However, disagrees, stating that the oldest well-preserved lacquerware items come from a (c.2000 – c.1600 BC) site in excavated in 1977, the items being red lacquered vessels in the shape of. Wang states that many lacquerware items from the Shang Dynasty (c.1600 – c.1050 BC), such as fragments of boxes and basins, were found, and had black designs such as the and over a red background. Queen (died c. 1200 BC) in a lacquered wooden coffin. There were three imperial workshops during the Han Dynasty (202 BC – 220 AD) established solely for the purpose of crafting; fortunately for the historian, Han lacquerware items were inscribed with the location of the workshop where they were produced and the date they were made, such as a lacquerware beaker found in the in northwestern Korea with the inscription stating it was made in a workshop near, and dated precisely to 55 AD. Many countries have long traditions of lacquer work, going back several thousand years in the cases of East Asian countries such as Japan as well as traditions of lacquer work in Southeast Asia and the Americas are also ancient and originated independently.
Nonetheless, China created its own distinctive Chinese form of decorated lacquerware called (: 漆雕) or carved lacquer. Noodles, similar to the 4,000-year-old made from found at •: The discovery in northern China of domesticated varieties of and from 8500 BC, or earlier, suggests that millet cultivation might have predated that of rice in parts of Asia. Clear evidence of millet began to cultivate by 6500 BC at sites of, and. Archaeological remains from Cishan sum up to over 300, 80 with millet remains, with a total millet storage capacity estimated for the site of about 100,000 kg of grain. By 4000 BC, most areas were using an intensive form of foxtail millet cultivation, complete with and finely prepared tools for digging and harvesting the crop. The success of the early Chinese millet farmers is still reflected today in the of many modern populations, such studies have shown that the ancestors of those farmers probably arrived in the area between 30,000 and 20,000, and their bacterial haplotypes are still found in today populations throughout East Asia.
•: In 2002, an archaeological excavation at the site of the (2400–1900 BC) revealed 4,000-year-old noodles made of (instead of traditional wheat flour) preserved by an upturned earthenware bowl that had created an airtight space between it and the sediment it was found on; the noodles resemble the traditional noodle of China, which is made by 'repeatedly pulling and stretching the dough by hand,' according to a report on the find. •: Rowing oars have been used since the; a canoe-shaped pottery and six wooden oars dating from the 6000 BC have been discovered in a site at,. In 1999, an oar measuring 63.4 cm (2 ft) in length, dating from 4000 BC, has also been unearthed at, Japan. •: The earliest use of turtle shells comes from the archaeological site in site. The shells, containing small pebbles of various size, colour and quantity, were drilled with small holes, suggesting that each pair of them was tied together originally.
Similar finds have also been found in the burial sites of about 4000–3000 BC, as well as in Henan,, and. The turtle-shell shakers for the most part are made of the shell of land turtles, identified as. Archaeologists believe that these shells were used either as rattles in ceremonial dances, shamantic healing tools or ritual paraphernalia for divinational purposes. •: Triangular-shaped stone ploughshares are found at the sites of dated to 3500 BC around. Ploughshares have also been discovered at the nearby and Maqiao sites roughly dated to the same period. Harris says this indicates that more intensive cultivation in fixed, probably bunded, fields had developed by this time. According to Mu Yongkang and Song Zhaolin's classification and methods of use, the triangular plough assumed many kinds and were the departure from the Hemudu and Luojiajiao spade, with the Songze small plough in mid-process.
The post-Liangzhu ploughs used draft animals. •: Archaeological excavations show that using steam to cook began with the pottery cooking vessels known as yan steamers; a yan composed of two vessel, a zeng with perforated floor surmounted on a pot or caldron with a tripod base and a top cover. The earliest yan steamer dating from about 5000 BC was unearthed in the site. In the lower, zeng pots first appeared in the (5000–4500 BC) and (3200–2000 BC) and used to steam rice; there are also yan steamers unearthed in several Liangzhu sites, including 3 found at the Chuodun and Luodun sites in southern.
In the (3000–2000 BC) site at Tianwang in western, 3 large yan steamers were discovered. •: The first evidence of pottery urn dating from about 7000 BC comes from the early site, where a total of 32 burial urns are found, another early finds are in Laoguantai,. There are about 700 burial urns unearthed over the (5000–3000 BC) areas and consisting more than 50 varieties of form and shape.
The burial urns were used mainly for children, but also sporadically for adults, as shown in the finds at Yichuan, Lushan and in. A secondary burials containing bones from child or adult are found in the urns in Hongshanmiao, Henan. Small hole was drilled in most of the child and adult burial urns, and is believed to enable the spirit to access. It is recorded in the that the earthenware coffins were used in the time of legendary period, the tradition of burying in pottery urns lasted until the Han Dynasty (202 BC–220 AD) when it gradually disappeared. A basin cover for a 'coffin urn' from the Neolithic (c. 3000 BC), used for the burial of a child, from •: Quern stones were used in China at least 10,000 years ago to grind wheat into flour. The production of flour by rubbing wheat by hand took several hours.
Due to their form, dimensions, and the nature of the treatment of the surfaces, they reproduce precisely the most ancient implements used for grinding cereal grain into flour. Saddle querns were known in China during the Neolithic Age but rotary stone mills did not appear until the Warring States Period. A prehistoric quern dating back to 23,000 BCE was found at the Longwangchan archaeological site, in Hukou, Shaanxi in 2007.
The site is located in the heartland of the northern Chinese loess plateau near the Yellow River. •: The archaeological evidence of the use of rammed earth has been discovered in archaeological sites of the and cultures along the Chinese, dating back to 5000 BC. By 2000 BC, rammed-earth architectural techniques were commonly used for walls and foundations in China. Terrace farming in Longji,, China •: In 2002, a Chinese and Japanese group reported the discovery in eastern China of fossilised phytoliths of domesticated rice apparently dating back to 11,900 BC or earlier. However, phytolith data are controversial in some quarters due to potential contamination problems. It is likely that demonstrated rice was cultivated in the middle by 7000 BC, as shown in finds from the Pengtoushan culture at Bashidang,,. By 5000 BC, rice had been domesticated at near the and was being cooked in pots.
Although millet remained the main crop in northern China throughout history, several sporadic attempts were made by the state to introduce rice around the as early as the 1st century. •: The Chinese began planting crops in rows in the 6th century BC, a technique that allows crops to grow at a faster rate and with greater strength while allowing for more efficient farming. While in other parts of the world, farmers would scatter seeds onto the fields randomly, the Chinese would plant individual seeds in rows to reduce seed loss. In comparison, it would take another 2200 years for Europe and the Western World to adopt these practices in the 18th century sparking the modern European agricultural revolution in. In the ancient Chinese chronicle compiled in 241 BC, crops were grown in rows so they would mature more rapidly as they would not interfere with each other's growth. •: One of the earliest salterns for the harvesting of salt is argued to have taken place on, by 6000 BC.
Strong archaeological evidence of salt making dating to 2000 BC is found in the ruins of Zhongba. Medieval Chinese women processing new, early 12th century painting in the style of, Song Dynasty •: Sericulture is the production of from.
The oldest silk found in China comes from the and is dated to about 3630 BC, found in province. Silk items excavated from the site at Qianshanyang,, date to roughly 2570 BC, and include silk threads, a braided silk belt and a piece of woven silk. A bronze fragment found at the Shang Dynasty (c. 1050 BC) site at (or ) contains the first known to silk.
•: The cultivation of soybeans began in the eastern half of northern China by 2000 BC, but is almost certainly much older. (1997) stated that soybean originated in China and was domesticated about 3500 BC. By the 5th century, soybeans were being cultivated in much of East Asia, but the crop did not move beyond this region until well into the 20th century. Written records of the cultivation and use of the soybean in China date back at least as far as the.
•: The treetrunk coffin, single trunk coffin or boat coffin was one of the common burials found mainly in the southern China. One of the few earliest boat coffins are found among the 92 burial tombs in the Songze culture (4000–3000 BC) site at,, similar finds can also be found in the middle phase of (4100–2600 BC) sites. • and: Wet field cultivation, or the paddy field, was developed in China.
The earliest paddy field dates to 6280 BP, based on carbon dating of the grains of rice and found at the Chaodun site in Kushan County. Paddy fields have also been excavated by archaeologists at Caoxieshan, a site of the Neolithic. Shang and later [ ] Inventions which made their first appearance in China after the Neolithic age, specifically during and after the Shang Dynasty ( c. 1600–1050 BC), are listed in alphabetical order below. Of the (581–618) showing the twelve divisions of the, the latter of which goes back to the (403–221 BC) in China •: Acupuncture, the practice of inserting needles into specific points of the body for therapeutic purposes and relieving pain, was first mentioned in the compiled from the 3rd to 2nd centuries BC ( to Han Dynasty). The oldest known acupuncture sticks made of, found in the tomb of (d. 113 BC), date to the Western Han (203 BC – 9 AD); the oldest known stone-carved depiction of acupuncture was made during the Eastern Han (25–220 AD); the oldest known bronze statue of an acupuncture dates to 1027 during the Song Dynasty (960–1279).
•: The earliest and most complete version of the animal zodiac mentions twelve animals which differ slightly from the modern version (for instance, the is absent, represented by a worm). Each animal matches the and were written on bamboo slips from, dated to the late 4th century BC, as well as from Fangmatan, dating to the late 3rd century BC. Before these archaeological finds, the written by (27 – c. 100 AD) during the 1st century provided the earliest transmitted example of a complete duodenary animal cycle.
120 BC) credited the Ancient Greek mathematician, geographer, astronomer, and poet (276–194 BC) as the first to invent the armillary sphere representing the. However, the Chinese astronomer Geng Shouchang of the Han Dynasty (202 BC – 220 AD) invented it separately in China in 52 BC, while the Han dynasty polymath (78–139 AD) was the first to apply motive power to the rotating armillary sphere by a set of complex gears rotated by a which in turn was powered by the constant of an inflow, the latter of which he improved with an extra compensating tank between the reservoir and the inflow vessel. •: Early Chinese artillery had vase-like shapes. This includes the 'long range awe inspiring' cannon dated from 1350 and found in the 14th century Ming Dynasty treatise. With the development of better metallurgy techniques, later cannons abandoned the vase shape of early Chinese artillery.
This change can be seen in the bronze 'thousand ball thunder cannon,' an early example of. Chinese river ships from, by (1085–1145), Song Dynasty •: The 5th century book Garden of Strange Things by Liu Jingshu mentioned that a ship could allow water to enter the bottom without sinking, while the Song Dynasty author (fl.
12th century) wrote in his book of 1119 that the of had a bulkhead build; these pieces of literary evidence for bulkhead partitions are confirmed by archaeological evidence of a 24 m (78 ft) long Song Dynasty ship dredged from the waters off the southern coast of China in 1973, the hull of the ship divided into twelve walled compartmental sections built, dated to about 1277. Western writers from (1254–1324), to (1395–1469), to (1706–1790) commented on bulkhead partitions, which they viewed as an original aspect of Chinese shipbuilding, as Western shipbuilding did not incorporate this hull arrangement until the early 19th century. An earthenware model of a stove furnace from the (25–220 AD); the Chinese have been using the since antiquity.
•: Candle clocks have been used in China since at least the 6th century AD. The earliest reference of a candle clock is in a poem by You Jiangu around 520 AD.
•: The earliest known depiction of a cannon is a sculpture from the in dated to 1128, however the earliest archaeological samples and textual accounts do not appear until the 13th century. The primary extant specimens of cannon from the 13th century are the dated to 1227, the dated to 1288, and the dated to 1298. However, only the Xanadu gun contains an inscription bearing a date of production, so it is considered the earliest confirmed extant cannon. The Xanadu Gun is 34.7 cm in length and weighs 6.2 kg. The other cannon are dated using contextual evidence. •: Confirmed by archaeological evidence, cast iron, made from melting, was developed in China by the early 5th century BC during the Zhou Dynasty (1122–256 BC), the oldest specimens found in a tomb of Luhe County in province; despite this, most of the early and discovered in China date after the state iron monopoly under (r. 141–87 BC) was established in 117 BC, during the Han Dynasty (202 BC – 220 AD); Donald Wagner states that a possible reason why no ancient Chinese process has been discovered thus far is because the iron monopoly, which lasted until the 1st century AD when it was abolished for private entrepreneurship and local administrative use, wiped out any need for continuing the less-efficient bloomery process that continued in use in other parts of the world.
Wagner states that most iron tools in ancient China were made of cast iron in consideration of the low economic burden of producing cast iron, whereas most were made of more costly and, signifying that 'high performance was essential' and preferred for the latter. As cast iron is comparatively brittle, it is not suitable for purposes where a sharp edge or flexibility is required. It is strong under compression, but not under tension. Cast iron found many uses in ancient Chinese society as it was poured into moulds to make ploughshares, cooking utensils as well as weapons and pagodas. Cast iron would not become available in Europe until the 15th century, where initiated the casting of cannons and cannonballs in England.
•:, Chinese archaeologist (1982) asserts that shards having this type of have been recovered from (25–220 AD) tomb excavations in; he also asserts that this type of ceramic became well known during the (220–265). Richard Dewar (2002) disagrees with Wang's classification, stating that true celadon—which requires a minimum 1260 °C (2300 °F) furnace temperature, a preferred range of 1285° to 1305 °C (2345° to 2381 °F), and reduced firing—was not created until the beginning of the (960–1127). The unique grey or green celadon glaze is a result of 's transformation from to iron (Fe 2O 3 → FeO) during the firing process. Wares, which the archeologist Nigel Wood at the University of Oxford writes were first made during the Northern Song, had bluish, blue-green, and olive green glazes and high and contents which resembled later wares made at and rather than. •: The Greek (3rd or 2nd century BC) described a and used in the operation of a (a repeating ), 'but the chain drive did not continuously transmit power from shaft to shaft and hence they were not in the direct line of ancestry of the chain-drive proper'.
A continuously driven chain drive first appeared in 11th century China. Perhaps inspired by which had been known in China since at least the Han Dynasty (202 BC – 220 AD) when they were mentioned by the Han dynasty philosopher (27 – c. 100 AD), the endless power-transmitting chain drive was first used in the gearing of the built at in 1090 by the Song Chinese politician, mathematician and astronomer (1020–1101). •: The earliest archaeological evidence of chain stitch dates from 1100 BC in China. Excavated from royal tombs, the embroidery was made using threads of. Chain stitch embroidery has also been found dating to the. Chain stitch designs spread to through the.
•: The Han dynasty historian and writer (145–86 BC) wrote in the that was the first to make chopsticks out of in the 11th century BC; the most ancient archaeological find of a pair of chopsticks, made of bronze, comes from Shang Tomb 1005 at Houjiazhuang,, dated roughly 1200 BC. By 600 BC, the use of chopsticks had spread to (Dapona in ), and by the 1st century. The earliest known textual reference to the use of chopsticks comes from the, a philosophical text written by writer and philosopher (c.
280–233 BC) in the 3rd century BC. •: The use of chromium was invented in China no later than 210 BC when the was interred at a site not far from modern; modern archaeologists discovered that bronze-tipped bolts at the site showed no sign of corrosion after more than 2,000 years, because they had been coated in chromium. Chromium was not used anywhere else until the experiments of French pharmacist and chemist (1763–1829) in the late 1790s. •: Chuiwan, a game similar to the Scottish-derived sport of, was first mentioned in China by Song dynasty writer Wei Tai (fl. 1050–1100) in his Dongxuan Records (東軒錄); it was popular amongst men and women in the Song Dynasty (960–1279) and Yuan Dynasty (1279–1368), while it was popular among urban men in the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644) in much the same way that was for during the (according to Andrew Leibs).
In 1282, the writer Ning Zhi published the Book of Chuiwan, which described the rules, equipment, and playing field of chuiwan, as well as included commentary of those who mastered its tactics. The game was played on flat and sloping grassland terrain and—much like the of modern golf—had a 'base' area where the first of three strokes were played. •: Churn drills date back to as early as China, 221 BC, capable of reaching a depth of 1500 m.
Churn drills in ancient China were built of wood and labour-intensive, but were able to go through solid rock. The churn drill appears in Europe during the 12th century. A modern churn drill using, based on 'the ancient Chinese method of lifting and dropping a rod tipped with a bit,' was first built in 1835 by the American inventor and businessman.
•: During the Han Dynasty (202 BC – 220 AD), the system of recruiting government officials through formal recommendations was the chief method of filling bureaucratic posts, although there was an to train potential candidates for office and some offices required its candidates to pass formal written tests before appointment. However, it was not until the (581–618) that examinations became open to all adult males not belonging to the (although having wealth or noble status were not requirements) and were used as a universal prerequisite for appointments to office, at least in theory.
The civil service system was implemented on a much larger scale during the Song Dynasty (960–1279), when an elite core of dynastic-founding and professional families lost their majority in government to a broad strata of lesser from throughout the country. The civil examination system was later adopted by China's other East Asian neighbors Japan and Korea. The imperial examination system attracted much attention and greatly inspired political theorists in the Western World, and as a Chinese institution was one of the earliest to receive such foreign attention. The Chinese examination system was introduced to the Western world in reports by and diplomats, and encouraged the to use a similar method to select prospective employees. Following the initial success in that company, the British government adopted a similar testing system for screening civil servants in 1855. Other European nations, such as France and Germany, followed suit.
Modeled after these previous adaptations, the United States established its own testing program for certain government jobs after 1883. •: Although British scientist, sinologist, and historian speculates that it could have existed beforehand, the first clear written evidence of the fusion of and to make comes from the 6th century AD in regards to the swordsmith Qiwu Huaiwen, who was put in charge of the arsenal of general from 543 to 550 AD. The Tang Dynasty (618–907) Newly Reorganized Pharmacopoeia of 659 also described this process of mixing and heating wrought iron and cast iron together, stating that the steel product was used to make and. In regards to the latter text, (1020–1101) made a similar description and noted the steel's use for. •: By the 11th century, during the Song Dynasty (960–1279), the demands for used in the and of the iron industry led to large amounts of of prime timberland; to avoid excessive deforestation, the Song Dynasty Chinese began using coke made from as fuel for their metallurgic furnaces instead of charcoal derived from wood.
•: By at least the Yuan Dynasty, China had invented color printing for paper. British art historian writes that 'the earliest color printing known in China, and indeed in the whole world, is a two-color frontispiece to a Buddhist sutra scroll, dated 1346'. •: After numerous conquests and consolidation of, China's first emperor (r. 221–210 BC) commissioned the engineer Shi Lu to build a new waterway canal which would pass through a mountain range and connect the and rivers. The result of this project was the, complete with thirty-six, and since it closely follows a (i.e. Following the contours of the ), it is the oldest known contour canal in the world.
•: Counting rods were used by ancient Chinese for more than two thousand years. In 1954, forty-odd counting rods of the were found in Zuǒjiāgōngshān (左家公山) Grave No.15 in,.
In 1973, archeologists unearthed a number of wood scripts from a Han dynasty tomb in Hubei. On one of the wooden scripts was written: “当利二月定算”. This is one of the earliest examples of using counting rod numerals in writing.
In 1976, a bundle of counting rods made of bones was unearthed from in. The use of counting rods must predate it; (6th or 5th century BCE) said 'a good calculator doesn't use counting rods'.
The recorded: 'they calculate with bamboo, diameter one fen, length six cun, arranged into a hexagonal bundle of two hundred seventy one pieces'. At first calculating rods were round in cross section, but by the time of the triangular rods were used to represent positive numbers and rectangular rods were used for negative numbers. • and: The earliest hand-operated cranks appeared in China during the Han Dynasty (202 BC-220 AD), as Han era glazed-earthenware tomb models portray, and was used thereafter in China for silk-reeling and hemp-spinning, for the agricultural fan, in the water-powered flour-sifter, for hydraulic-powered metallurgic, and in the well. In order to create a handle by means of a wheel to easily rotate their grain winnowers, the Chinese invented the crank handle and applied the centrifugal fan principle in the 2nd century BC. The crank handle was used in well-windlasses, querns, mills, and many silk making machines.
The rotary winnowing fan greatly increased the efficiency of separating grain from husks and stalks. Harvesting grain by the use of rotary winnowing fan would not reach the Western World until the eighteenth century, where harvested grain was initially thrown up in the air by shovels or winnowing baskets. However, the potential of the crank of converting circular motion into reciprocal one never seems to have been fully realized in China, and the crank was typically absent from such machines until the turn of the 20th century. • and: According to British art historian Matthew Landruss and Gerald Hurley, Chinese crossbows may have been invented as far back as 2000 BC, while the American historian Anne McCants at the Massachusetts institute of Technology speculates that they existed around 1200 BC. In China bronze bolts dating as early as the mid 5th century BC were found at a burial site in Yutaishan,. The earliest handheld crossbow stocks with bronze trigger, dating from the 6th century BC, comes from Tomb 3 and 12 found at,, capital of the. Other early finds of crossbows were discovered in Tomb 138 at Saobatang, dated to the mid 4th century BC., first mentioned in the, were discovered in 1986 in Tomb 47 at Qinjiazui, Hubei dated to around the 4th century BC.
The earliest textual evidence of the handheld crossbow dates to the 4th century BC. Handheld crossbows with complex bronze trigger mechanisms have also been found with the in the tomb of (r. 221–210 BC) that are similar to specimens from the subsequent Han Dynasty (202 BC – 220 AD), while crossbowmen described in the Han Dynasty learned drill formations, some were even mounted as, and Han dynasty writers attributed the success of numerous to massed crossbow fire. In comparison, the ancient Greeks also had a crossbow known as the gastraphetes ('belly-bow', so named because the shooter had to draw the bow by pressing his stomach against the concave rear) also invented in the 5th century BC; other versions were the more portable Cheirobalista (hand balista), arcubalista and manubalista, this last Roman version was almost all metal composed (the spring mechanism and the skeins).
There was also the katapeltikon (399 BC), a siege weapon using similar mechanisms. Unlike the Chinese crossbow, the heavy weight and bulk of these weapons necessitated a prop to keep them standing. •: The game of known as cuju was first mentioned in China by two historical texts; the (compiled from the 3rd to 1st centuries BC) and the (published in 91 BC) by (145–86 BC). Both texts recorded that during the (403–221 BC) the people of city, capital of the, enjoyed playing cuju along with partaking in many other pastimes such as. Besides being a recreational sport, playing cuju was also considered a military training exercise and means for soldiers to keep fit. •: American anthropologist Vincent C.
Pigott of the University of Pennsylvania states that the cupola furnace existed in China at least by the (403–221 BC), while Donald B. Wagner writes that some melted in the may have been, but most, if not all, iron smelted in the blast furnace during the Han Dynasty (202 BC – 220 AD) was remelted in a cupola furnace; it was designed so that a injected at the bottom traveled through pipes across the top where the charge (i.e. Of and scrap or ) was dumped, the air becoming a before reaching the bottom of the furnace where the iron was melted and then drained into appropriate molds for casting. A (581–618 AD) plough figurine pulled by a •: The bronze Yuan Dynasty gun from which dates to about 1288 is a little over 0.3 m (1 ft) in length and weighs 3.6 kg (8 lbs). It has a small for ignition and an even bore except for the bulbous enlargement around the explosion chamber.
It was excavated with a bronze pan, mirror and vase. •: The oldest existing Chinese fans are a pair of woven side-mounted fans from the 2nd century BCE. The for 'fan' (扇) is etymologically derived from a picture of feathers under a roof. Matlab Program For Dolph Chebyshev Array there. The Chinese fixed fan, pien-mien, means 'to agitate the air'.
A particular status and gender would be associated with a specific type of fan. During the, famous artists were often commissioned to paint fans. The Chinese dancing fan was developed in the 7th century. The Chinese form of the hand fan was a row of feathers mounted in the end of a handle.
In the later centuries, Chinese poems and four-word idioms were used to decorate the fans by using Chinese calligraphy pens. In ancient China, fans came in various shapes and forms (such as in a leaf, oval or a half-moon shape), and were made in different materials such as silk, bamboo, feathers, etc. •, explosive: Before explosive grenades, were used by the, incorporating. Early prototypes to the modern explosive grenade, according to British scientist and sinologist Joseph Needham, appear in the military book, ('Compilation of Military Classics'), by 1044. During the Song Dynasty, weapons known as were created when Chinese soldiers packed into ceramic or metal containers and thrown at the enemy.
Further descriptions and illustrations of early Chinese hand grenades are provided in the Huolongjing. •: An early known depiction of a hand gun is a sculpture from a cave in, dating to 1128, that portrays a figure carrying a vase-shaped, firing flames and a cannonball. However, the oldest existent archaeological discovery of a metal barrel is the Heilongjiang hand cannon from the Chinese excavation, dated to 1288.
Handheld firearms first appeared in China where. They were hand cannons (although they were not necessarily fired from the hand, but rather at the end of a handle).
By the 14th century, they existed in Europe as well. The first handheld firearms that might better be called 'pistols' were made as early as the 15th century, but their creator is unknown. •: The handscroll originated from ancient Chinese text documents. From the (770-481 BCE) through the Han dynasty (206 BCE - 220 CE), were bound and used to write texts on. During the Eastern Han period (25-220), the use of and as handscrolls became more common. The handscroll was the one of the main formats for texts up until the Tang dynasty (618-907). Since the (220–280), the handscroll became a standard form for mounting artwork.
New styles were developed over time. •: Hanging scrolls originated in their earliest form from literature and other texts written on and banners in ancient China.
The earliest hanging scrolls are related to and developed from silk banners in early Chinese history. These banners were long and hung vertically on walls.
Such silk banners and hanging scroll paintings were found at dating back to the Han Dynasty (206 BCE – 220 CE). By the time of the (618–907), the aesthetic and structural objectives for hanging scrolls were summarized, which are still followed to this day.
During the early Song Dynasty (960–1279), the scrolls became well suited to the art styles of the artists, consequently hanging scrolls were made in many different sizes and proportions. •: The invention of the harrow was first written in the Chinese agricultural text written by the official Jia Sixie. The harrow was used as a farm implement for breaking up soil chunks as well as eradicating weeds, suppressing pests, and diseases. •: Although use of the simple in China must have preceded it, the earliest discovered Chinese iron plows date to roughly 500 BC, during the Zhou Dynasty (1122–256 BC) and were flat, V-shaped, and mounted on wooden poles and handles. By the 3rd century BC, improved iron casting techniques led to the development of the heavy moldboard plow, seen in Han Dynasty (202 BC – 220 AD) artwork such as tomb carved bricks.
The moldboard allowed the Chinese to turn farm soil without clogging the with dirt, which was flung off the wheelbarrow via slanted wings on both sides. While the frame of excavated plowshares dating to the Warring States period (403–221 BC) were made mostly of perishable wood except for the iron blade, the frame of excavated plowshares dating to the Han Dynasty were made entirely of solid iron with the moldboard attached to the top to turn the soil. • and: The use of a helicopter rotor for vertical has existed since 400 BC in the form of the, an ancient Chinese toy.
The bamboo-copter is spun by rolling a stick attached to a rotor. The spinning creates lift, and the toy flies when released. The Jin dynasty philosopher and politician 's book the (Master Who Embraces Simplicity), written around 317, describes the apocryphal use of a possible rotor in aircraft: 'Some have made flying cars (feiche) with wood from the inner part of the jujube tree, using ox-leather (straps) fastened to returning blades so as to set the machine in motion.' British scientist and sinologist Joseph Needham concludes that this is a description of a helicopter top, because 'returning (or revolving) blades' can hardly mean anything else, especially in close association with a belt or strap.' The Italian polymath designed a machine known as an 'aerial screw' with a rotor based on a. The Russian polymath developed a rotor based on the Chinese toy. The French naturalist Christian de Launoy constructed his rotor out of turkey feathers.
The English aerospace engineer and inventor, inspired by the Chinese top in his childhood, created multiple vertical flight machines with rotors made of tin sheets. French engineer and inventor would later develop coaxial rotor model helicopter toys in 1870, powered by rubber bands.
One of these toys, given as a gift by their father, would inspire the American inventors the to pursue the dream of modern flight. •: Hell money is a form of printed to resemble fake. The notes are not an official form of recognized or legal tender since their sole intended purpose is to be offered as to the as a superstitious solution to resolve their ancestors financial problems. This custom has been practiced by the modern Chinese and across since the late 19th century. •: The hill censer, a vessel used for burning incense, dates to the Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD). The censers are shaped like mountains and were used for religious rituals. The shape of the hill censer acts as a visual aid for envisioning the sacred mountains that were said to have been inhabited by immortals.
Hill censers were originally designed for Taoist rituals, but were later used by Chinese Buddhists. Hill censers often include carvings of wilds animals and birds. Some censers depict waves at the foundation of the vessel, said to be the waves of the. A hole at the top of the censer releases the smoke of the incense. •: A significant improvement of the was the horse collar. The horse collar was depicted in a (386–534) mural at, China, dated 477–499; the latter artwork does not feature the essential collar cushion behind the cross bar, though, while a later Tang Dynasty (618–907) mural of about 851 accurately displays the cushioned collar behind the cross bar.
An earlier painting of the (581–618) accurately depicted the horse collar as it is seen today, yet the illustration shows its use on a instead of a horse. •: Throughout the ancient world, the 'throat-and-girth' harness was used for harnessing horses that pulled; this greatly limited a horse's ability to exert itself as it was constantly choked at the neck. A painting on a box from the, dated to the 4th century BC, shows the first known use of a yoke placed across a horses's chest, with traces connecting to the chariot shaft. The hard yoke across the horse's chest was gradually replaced by a breast strap, which was often depicted in carved reliefs and stamped bricks of tombs from the Han Dynasty (202 BC – 220 AD). Eventually, the was invented in China, at least by the 5th century. •: The Chinese hot pot has a history of more than 1,000 years. Hot pot originated during the Chinese where the main ingredient was meat, usually beef, mutton or horse.
It then spread to Southern China during the medieval Song Dynasty and was further established during the Mongolian. •: Prototype hygrometers were devised and developed in the hills during the in Ancient China to elucidate mechanisms of long-range meteorological fluctuations.
The Chinese used a bar of charcoal and a lump of earth: its dry weight was taken and then compared with its damp weight after being exposed in the air. The differences in weight was used to tally the humidity level. Other techniques were applied using mass to measure humidity such as when the air was dry, the bar of charcoal would be light while the air was humid, the bar of charcoal would be heavy. By hanging a lump of earth and a bar of charcoal on the two ends of a staff separately and adding a fixated lifting string on the middle point to make the staff horizontal in dry air, an ancient hygrometer was made. A painting by Ma Lin, dated 1246, using on •: According to biological anthropologist and ecologist David Michael Stoddart of the University of Tasmania, 'the earliest recorded use of incense comes from the Chinese who burned various herbs and plant products.' ,,, and were used by the Chinese. •: Incense clocks were Chinese timekeeping devices that appeared during the Song Dynasty (960-1279) and spread to neighboring East Asian countries such as Japan and Korea.
In addition to water, mechanical, and candle clocks, incense clocks were used in Asia, and were fashioned in several different forms. Incense clocks were first used in China around the 6th century spread to Japan as one survives in the. Pse Serial Number Year.
Although popularly associated with the incense clock is believed by some to have originated in, at least in its fundamental form, if not function. •: Although named after pigment materials originating from India, Indian ink first appeared in China; some scholars say it was made as far back as the 3rd millennium BC, while others state it was perhaps not invented until the (220–265 AD).
•: The inkstone is a stone used in for grinding and mixing ink. Other than stone, inkstones are also manufactured from clay, bronze, iron, and porcelain. The device evolved from a rubbing tool used for rubbing dyes dating around 6000 to 7000 years ago. The earliest excavated inkstone is dated from the 3rd century BC, and was discovered in a tomb located in modern Yunmeng, Hubei. Usage of the inkstone was popularized during the Han Dynasty.
•: As Europeans would not begin to develop vaccinations for smallpox until 1796, historical Chinese records show that Chinese physicians have been inoculating against the same disease hundreds of years earlier. The British scientist, sinologist, and historian states that a case of inoculation for smallpox may have existed in the late 10th century during the Song Dynasty (960–1279), yet they rely on a book Zhongdou xinfa (種痘心法) written in 1808 by Zhu Yiliang for this evidence. Wan Quan (1499–1582) wrote the first clear reference to smallpox inoculation in his Douzhen xinfa (痘疹心法) of 1549. The process of inoculation was also vividly described by Yu Chang in his Yuyi cao (寓意草), or Notes on My Judgment published in 1643, and Zhang Yan in his Zhongdou xinshu (種痘新書), or New book on smallpox inoculation in 1741. As written by Yu Tianchi in his Shadou jijie (痧痘集解) of 1727, which was based on Wang Zhangren's Douzhen jinjing lu (痘疹金鏡錄) of 1579, the technique of inoculation to avoid smallpox was not widespread in China until the reign of the (r. 1567 – 1572) during the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644).
•: In the modern region belonging to the of ancient China, the devised by the Qin Chinese hydrologist and irrigation engineer was built in 256 BCE to irrigate a vast area of farmland that today still supplies water. By the 2nd century AD, during the Han Dynasty, the Chinese also used that lifted water from a lower elevation to higher one.
These were powered by manual foot pedal, hydraulic, or rotating mechanical wheels pulled. The water was used for of providing water for urban residential quarters and palace gardens, but mostly for irrigation of canals and channels in the fields. J [ ] •: The Song Dynasty (960–1279) polymath (1031–1095), an who pursued studies of finds, unearthed an ancient crossbow-like mechanism from a garden in which had on its stock a graduated sighting scale in minute measurements. He wrote that while viewing the whole of a mountain, the distance on the instrument was long, but while viewing a small part of the mountainside the distance was short due to the device's cross piece that had to be pushed further away from the observer's eye, with the graduation starting on the further end. He wrote that if one placed an arrow on the device and looked past its end, the degree of the mountain could be measured and thus its height could be calculated. Shen wrote that this was similar to mathematicians who used right-angled triangles to measure height.
British scientist, sinologist, and historian writes that what Shen had discovered was Jacob's staff, a tool which was not known in Europe until the medieval French Jewish mathematician (1288–1344) described it in 1321. Two-masted Chinese junk from the Tiangong Kaiwu published by, 1637 •: Burial suits existed in China during the Han Dynasty (202 BC – 220 AD). Confirming ancient records about Han royalty and nobility buried in jade burial suits, archaeologists discovered in June 1968 the tombs and jade burial suits of Prince (d. 113 BC) and his wife in Hebei province. Liu's suit, in twelve flexible sections, comprised 2,690 square pieces of green jade with holes punctured in the four corners of each piece so that they could be sewn together with gold thread. The total weight of the gold thread used in his suit was 1,110 g (39 oz). Princess Dou Wan's suit had 2,156 pieces of jade stitched together with 703 g (24.7 oz) of gold thread.
Although jade burial outer wears and head masks appear in tombs of the early Han Dynasty, burial suits did not appear until the reign of (r. 180–157 BC), with the earliest being found in the site. A total of 22 Western Han (202 BC – 9 AD) and 27 Eastern Han (25–220 AD) complete and partial jade burial suits were uncovered between 1954 and 1996. They are found mainly in,, and, as well as at,,,, and. The jade burial suit gradually disappeared when it was forbidden in 222.
•: The Chinese junk, derived from the Portuguese term junco (which in turn was adapted from the djong meaning 'ship'), was a ship design unique to China, although many other ship types in China (such as the towered ) preceded it. Its origins could be seen in the latter half of the Han Dynasty (202 BC – 220 AD), when ship designs began to have square-ended and with flat bottom. Unlike the earliest shipbuilding traditions of the Europe and South Asia, the junk had a (flat or slightly rounded) which lacked a and (necessitating or socket-and-jaw attachment of the Chinese ). Since there is no keel in the design, take the place of structural ribs. There are many theories about the evolution of the junk.
One suggests that it developed from the double canoe, another claims that the bamboo raft used by Taiwanese aboriginals was the source of the junk. Records by Western travelers in China during the Song Dynasty mention that junks could support 130 sailors. The size of junks grew during the Ming Dynasty.
By the 14th century, junks could carry 2,000 tons. Archaeological evidence of the large size of the junk has been proven by a sunken junk discovered in 1973 near the coast of Southeastern China.
K [ ] •: Kang bed stoves were traditional long (2 metres or more) heated bed floors for general living, working, entertaining and sleeping used in northern part of China, where there is cold climate in winter. It is made of or other forms of fired and more recently of concrete in some locations.The kang is said to be derived from the concept of a heated bed floor called a huoqiang found in China in the period, according to analysis of archeological excavations of building remains in Banpo Xi'an. However, archeological sites in, Liaoning, show humans using the heated bed floor as early as 7,200 years ago. Literary evidence from the Shui Jing Zhu also gives evidence of heated floors by the, though it was not explicitly named a dikang: •: The adjustable centerboard keel traces its roots to the medieval Chinese Song dynasty. Many Song Chinese junk ships had a ballasted and bilge keel that consisted of wooden beams bound together with iron hoops. Maritime technology and the technological know-how allowed Song dynasty ships to be used in naval warfare between the Southern Song Dynasty, the Jin Dynasty, and the Mongols. •: As written in the, the Zhou Dynasty philosopher, carpenter, and structural engineer (fl.
5th century BC) from the created a wooden bird that remained flying in the air for three days, essentially a kite; there is written evidence that kites were used as rescue signals when the city of was besieged by (died 552) during the reign of (r. 502–549), while similar accounts of kites used for military signalling are found in the (618–907) and (1115–1234) dynasties; kite flying as a pastime can be seen in painted murals of dating to the (386–534) period, while descriptions of flying kites as a pastime have been found in (960–1279) and (1368–1644) texts. An ornate bronze bell belonging to (d. 621 BC) from the (722–481 BC) •: Ancient China was among the earliest civilizations in the world with and trade of salt mining. They first discovered natural gas when they excavated rock salt as the Chinese writer, poet, and politician of the Jin Dynasty wrote in his book how people in Zigong, Sichuan excavated natural gas and used it to boil a rock salt solution. The ancient Chinese gradually mastered and advanced the techniques of producing salt. Salt mining was an arduous task for the ancient Chinese, where they faced geographical and technological constraints.
Salt was mainly extracted from the sea and salt works in the coastal areas in late imperial China equated to more than 80 percent of national production. In conjunction to this, the Chinese made use of of salt lakes and constructed some artificial evaporation basins close to the shores. In 1041, during the medieval Song dynasty, the Chinese drilled a well with a diameter about the size of a bowl and several dozen feet deep was drilled for salt production. In Southwestern China, natural salt deposits were mined with that could reach to a depth of more than 1000 meters but the yields of ground and salt were relatively low. As salt was a necessity of life for human civilization, salt mining played a pivotal role as one of the most important sources of Imperial Chinese government revenue and state development.
•: The Chinese have been using brine wells and a form of salt solution mining as part of their civilization for more than 2000 years. The first recorded salt well in China was dug in the Sichuan province around 2,250 years ago. This was the first time that ancient water well technology was applied successfully for the exploitation of salt, and marked the beginning of Sichuan’s salt drilling industry. Shaft wells were sunk as early as 220 BC in the Sichuan and Yunnan provinces. By 1035 AD, Chinese in the Sichuan area were using percussion drilling to recover deep brines, a technique that would not be introduced to Europe and the Western World for another 600 to 800 years.
Medieval and modern European travelers to China between 1400 and 1700 AD reported salt and natural gas production from dense networks of brine wells. Archaeological evidence of Song dynasty salt drilling tools used are kept and displayed in the Salt Industry Museum. Many of the wells were sunk deeper than 450 m and at least one well was more than 1000 meters deep. The medieval Venetian traveler to China reported an annual production in a single province of more than 30,000 tonnes of brine during his time there. According to Salt: A World History, a Qing Dynasty well, also located in Zigong, 'continued down to 3,300 feet [1,000 m] making it at the time the deepest drilled well in the world.'
•: The Chinese have been using as a means for identification, authentication, and verification dating back before the 3rd century BC. This has been recorded since the 3rd century BCE in China – continuing for at least a millennium, and by the 8th century AD the practice had spread to Japan. Chinese dynastic history would utilize ancient fingerprint authentication technology long before European historical fingerprint records. Chinese documents bore a clay seal marked by the fingerprint of the originator.
The clay seal would provide evidence tracing the fingerprint back the originator and the uniqueness of the signature would be used for means of authentication. Signatures were utilized by the Chinese to consider the impression of a fingerprint on a document to be a unique signature. The seal would also contain a left thumbprint embedded on one side and a Chinese script on the other for authentication. Fingerprints were used as identifying marks in ancient China during the Qin and Han dynasties as early as 246 BCE. Chinese seals were used by individuals as signatures for many kinds of official documents, such as army rosters, engagements and divorces, deeds for lands and homes, legal papers and financial transactions.
In addition to clay seals, the Chinese also used bamboo and wooden slips to record fingerprints were used in burglary crime scene investigations. With the invention of paper by the Han dynasty and Six Dynasties period, the availability of paper and silk would replace bamboo as a medium for recording fingerprints. Fingerprints were also used as evidence in criminal and civil disputes as well as recording confessions.
Kia Kung-Yen, a Chinese historian of the Tang dynasty mentions the use of Chinese documents dating from the Tang dynasty, which allude to fingerprints used to seal contracts and legal documents. Yung-Hwui, a Chinese law book, specified that in order for a husband to divorce must present a document giving the reasons for the action, all letters must be in his handwriting and if unable to write, he must sign with his fingerprints.
In his (Universal History), the Persian physician (also known as 'Rashideddin', 1247–1318) refers to the Chinese practice of identifying people via their fingerprints, commenting: 'Experience shows that no two individuals have fingers exactly alike.' •: The Chinese polymath and inventor (78–139) of the Han Dynasty (202 BC – 220 AD) invented the first seismometer in 132, a large metal urn-shaped instrument which employed either a suspended or acting on inertia (i.e. Ground tremors from ) to dislodge a metal ball by a lever trip device; this ball would fall out of dragon-shaped metal mouth into the corresponding metal toad mouth indicating the exact cardinal direction of where a distant earthquake had occurred in order for the state to send swift aid and relief to the affected regions; several subsequent recreations of his device were employed by Chinese states up until the Tang Dynasty (618–907), when use of the device fell into obscurity, a fact noted even by the writer Zhou Mi around 1290, during the Yuan Dynasty (1271–1368). •: The first use of snow gauges were precipitation gauges that was widely used in 1247 during the to gather meteorological data. The Song Chinese mathematician and inventor records the use of gathering rain and snowfall measurements in the Song mathematical treatise.
The book discusses the use of large conical or barrel-shaped snow gauges made from bamboo situated in mountain passes and uplands which are speculated to be first referenced to snow measurement. •: The medieval Song dynasty Chinese invented the solid-propellant rocket at a time when bows, arrows, and catapult-based projectile launchers were state of the art military technology in medieval Europe.
Illustrations and descriptions in the 14th century Chinese military treatise by the Ming dynasty military writer and philosopher confirm that the Chinese in 1232 used proto-solid propellant rockets then known as ' to drive back the Mongols during the. Each arrow took a primitive form of a simple, solid-propellant rocket tube that was filled gunpowder. One open end allowed the gas to escape and was attached to a long stick that acted as a guidance system for flight direction control. •: Although the claim of mechanical engineer and statesman (fl. 220–265) that the south-pointing chariot was first invented by the mythological are dubious, his south-pointing chariot was successfully designed and tested in 255 AD with many later models recreated in subsequent dynasties; this device was a wheeled vehicle with that ensured a mounted wooden figurine would always point in the southern direction no matter how the vehicle turned, in essence a non-magnetic. The written in the 6th century states that the device was successfully reinvented by the mathematician and astronomer (429–500) during the (420–479).
The Japanese historical text, compiled by 720, states that the device was crafted and presented as a gift to (661–672) on two different occasions (658 and 666) by the Tang Dynasty (618–907) monks Zhi Yu and Zhi You. The wheeled vehicle device was described in intricate detail in the historical text covering the Song Dynasty (960–1279), i.e.
The Song Shi (compiled 1345); for example, it revealed the number of gear teeth on each mechanical gear wheel, the diameter of each gear wheel, and how these gear wheels were properly positioned. •: Chinese records dating prior to 2000 BC mention the use of cultivated soybeans to produce edible soy oil.
Ancient Chinese literature reveals that soybeans were extensively cultivated and highly valued as a use for the soybean oil production process before written records were kept. •: Soy sauce in its current form was created about 2,200 years ago during the and was soon spread throughout East and Southeast Asia where it is used in cooking and as a condiment.
The condiment considered almost as old as soy paste — a type of fermented paste (Jiang, ) obtained from soybeans — which had appeared during the and was listed in the bamboo slips found in the archaeological site. •: According to the Song dynasty military compendium (published 1044), the hu dun pao or squatting-tiger trebuchet is depicted as a traction trebuchet with a triangular frame.
It is operated by a dedicated corps of 70 haulers, who took turns pulling the ropes attached to the trebutchet arm to send the projectile, a 16-pound (7.3 kg) stone or bomb, into flight. It has a range of 85 yards (78 m). The, an official history of, carries drawings of trabuchium, a counterweighted trebuchet with triangular supporting trusses, that British historian, scientist, and sinologist considers to be derived from or related to the Chinese 'Crouching Tiger Trebuchet'.
Similar triangular-framed trebutchets are found in sources as labdarea (-shaped machines) and as 'Turkish trebuchets' (manjanīq turkī) by and the. Mao Yuanyi (茅元儀; 1594–1640), the compiler of the Ming dynasty military treatise, considered the 'Crouching Tiger Trebuchet' as an ancestor to the along with other bomb-throwing trebuchets. •: The earliest known production of steel is a piece of ironware excavated from an in () and is about 4,000 years old. Other ancient steel comes from, dating back to 1400 BC. In the 4th century BC steel weapons like the were produced in the, while was used by the. The Chinese, who had been producing from the late (722–481 BC), produced by the 2nd century BC through a process of, i.e.
Using to pump large amounts of on to molten cast iron. This was first described in the Han Dynasty (202 BC – 220 AD) book, compiled by scholars under Prince (179–122 BC).
For steel, they used both (i.e. Rapid cooling) and (i.e. Slow cooling) methods of.
Much later, the American inventor (1811–1888) brought four Chinese metallurgists to in 1845, whose expertise in steelmaking influenced his ideas about air injection to reduce carbon content of iron; his invention anticipated the of English inventor (1813–1898). •: Hydraulic mortar was not available in ancient China, possibly due to a lack of volcanic ash. Around 500 CE, sticky rice soup was mixed with to make an inorganic−organic composite mortar that had more strength and water resistance than lime mortar.
Played a major role in maintaining the durability of the as well as tombs, pagodas, and city walls. Sticky race mortar had high adhesive strength, sturdiness, waterproof, and prevented weeds from growing as crude mortar made of sticky rice and burnt lime created a seal between bricks that would rival modern cement in strength. During the Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644 AD), brick-making techniques in terms of quantity and quality of production improved significantly. Since then, Great Wall sections were widely built with bricks, with lime mortar and sticky rice used to reinforce the bricks strong enough to resist earthquakes and modern bulldozers while keeping the building intact. Modern chemists through their research identified, a type of, or complex carbohydrate, found in rice and other starchy foods is the secret that appears to be responsible for the sticky rice mortar's strength and durability.
•: The stinkpot was an earthenware incendiary weapon part filled with sulphur, gunpowder, nails, and shot, while the other part was filled with noxious materials designed to emanate a highly unpleasant and suffocating smell to its enemies when ignited. The weapon was used in the 19th century during the Qing Dynasty, where the British Admiral recorded the use of the stinkpot in 1856 during the in his book Hurrah for the Life of a Sailor - Fifty Years in the Royal Navy. These incendiary weapons were wrapped in calico bags and were then hoisted in a basket to the truck of the mast. When an enemy ship was alongside, one of the crew members would climb up the mast and primed the stinkpots with lighted joss sticks. The stinkpots were then launched onto the enemy deck by cutting the rope by which the basket had been hoisted. The ensuing noise, flying debris, and pungent smell would create, would cause the enemy crew sufficient confusion and blow them into disarray.
•: Stir frying is a Chinese cooking technique used for preparing food in a wok. It originates from the Han Dynasty, but did not fully develop until the Song Dynasty. Although there are no surviving records of Han Dynasty stir frying, archaeological evidence of and the tendency to slice food thinly indicate that the technique was likely used for cooking. It was not until the that stir frying was popularized as primary cooking method of Chinese cuisine. Stir frying was brought to America by early, and has been used for non-Asian cuisines.
•: There are authors who point out that it is unclear whether the stirrup was invented by northern nomads or the sedentary Chinese. Liu Han (1961) credited the invention of the stirrup to nomadic invaders of northern China. Archaeologial evidence shows that horse riders in India had a small loop for a single toe to be inserted by roughly the 1st century AD. However, the first true depiction of the stirrup is featured on a (265–420) Chinese tomb figurine dated 302 AD, yet this was a single stirrup and was perhaps used only for initially mounting the horse. The first validated depiction of a rider with a pair of saddle stirrups for both feet comes from a Jin Chinese tomb figurine dated 322. The first actual specimens of stirrups comes from a Chinese tomb in southern Manchuria that is dated 415.
The stirrup was not widely used by Chinese cavalry until the 5th century. By the 6th century, the use of the stirrup had spread as far west as the, where both the stirrup and were adopted. •: The first sunglasses were invented in 12th century China when medieval Chinese magistrates wore smoke-colored lenses to conceal their eyes and feelings during trials while questioning the witnesses and accused. They were a crude slab of smoked quartz that was made to block out the light from the sun.
•: Although there is evidence that many early cultures employed the use of suspension bridges with cabled ropes, the first written evidence of iron chain suspension bridges comes from a local history and topography of written in the 15th century, which describes the repair of an iron chain bridge during the reign of the (r. 1402–1424); although it is questionable if Ming Dynasty (1368–1644) Chinese claims that iron chain suspension bridges existed since the Han Dynasty, their existence in the 15th century predates that of anywhere else. Tom mentions this same repaired Ming suspension bridge described by Needham, but adds that recent research has revealed a document which lists the names of those who allegedly built an iron chain suspension bridge in Yunnan around the year 600 AD. T [ ] •: The tangram is a consisting of seven flat shapes, which are put together to form shapes. The objective of the puzzle is to form a specific shape using all seven pieces, which may not overlap. The game is reputed to have been invented in China during the, and was popularized in Europe and United States during the 19th century.
The word tangram is likely derived from two words, the Chinese word tang, referring to the medieval Chinese, and the Greek word gramma, a synonym of 'graph'. •: The tea plant is indigenous to western; by the mid 2nd millennium BC, tea was being consumed in Yunnan for medicinal purposes. Tea drinking was already an established custom in the daily life in this area as shown by the Contract with a Slave, written by Wang Bao in 59 BC. This written record also reveals that and used as a drink instead of a medicinal herb, emerged no later than the 1st century BC. Early began from the time of Han Dynasty (202 BC – 220 AD) to the (420–589) when tea was widely used by Chinese gentry, but only took its initial shape during the Tang Dynasty (618–907). •: Packing tea in paper goes back to medieval 8th century China, during the Tang Dynasty when paper was folded and sewn into square bags to preserve tea flavoring and aromas.
Then the paper tea bags were stitched from all sides to create protective casings for the tea leaves. Modern tea bags in the Western World would not be patented until 1903. •: The teapot was invented during the, tea preparation in previous dynasties did not utilize a teapot. In the Tang Dynasty, a cauldron was used to boil grounded tea, which was served in bowls. Song Dynasty tea was made by pouring water boiled using a kettle into a bowl with finely ground tea leaves.
A brush was then used to stir the tea. The innovation of the teapot, a vessel that steeps tea leaves in boiling water, occurs during the late Yuan dynasty. Written evidence of a teapot appears in the Yuan Dynasty text, Jiyuan Conghua, which describes a teapot that the author, Cai Shizhan, bought from the scholar Sun Daoming. By the Ming Dynasty, teapots were widespread in China.
•: In 239 BC, stated that where water is too light, people suffer widespread and. It was not until the 1860 that French physician (1813–1901) linked goiter with the lack of in soil and water; iodine was discovered in the thyroid gland in 1896 by German chemist, while thyroid extract was used to treat patients in 1890. The Tang Dynasty (618–907) physician Zhen Quan (d.
643 AD), in his Old and New Tried and Tested Prescriptions, stated that the thyroid glands taken from were used to treat patients with goiter; the thyroid hormones could be swallowed in pill form (the body of the pill made from crushed pulp) or as a solid thyroid gland with the fat taken off. The Pharmacopoeia of the Heavenly Husbandman asserted that iodine-rich was used to treat goiter by the 1st century BC (, 284–364, also suggested using a derived from sargassum seaweed in about 340 AD), a treatment later recorded in the Western World by Italian practrica in his Practica Chirurgiae of 1180 AD. •: As precipitation was for important agriculture and food production, the Song Chinese mathematician and inventor developed a precipitation gauge that was widely used in 1247 during the to gather meteorological data.
Qin Jiushao later records application of rainfall measurements in the mathematical treatise. The book also discusses problems using large snow gauges made from bamboo situated in mountain passes and uplands which are speculated to be first referenced to snow measurement. Tianchi Basins were installed at provincial and district capitals and bamboo snow gauges were situated in mountain passes. The rain gauges were conical or barrel-shaped with one being installed at each provincial and district capital in China. In the treatise, Qin Jiushao also discusses how point measurements were converted to real averages.
These averages were important as they postulated indicators of natural disasters such as flooding, since river flooding has always been a problem in China. •: Although both popular tradition and Song Dynasty philosophers like (1130–1200 AD) credit the invention of —along with — to (179–122 BC), a of, no mention of tofu is found in the extant (compiled under Liu An). The earliest known mention of tofu was made in Records of the Extraordinary ( Qingyi lu 清異錄), which reported that tofu was sold at (). The earliest explanation of how to make tofu is found in the, written by the Ming dynasty polymath (1518–1593). According to Liu Keshun (1999), Liu An's process for making tofu was essentially the same as today. •: Toilet paper was first mentioned by the Sui Chinese politician and artist (531–591) in the year 589 during the, with full evidence of continual use in subsequent dynasties. By the mid 14th century during the Yuan Dynasty (1271–1368), it was written that ten million packages of 1,000 to 10,000 sheets of toilet paper were manufactured annually in province alone.
•: Historical records relating to invention of Chinese tower ships are found in sources such as the, written during the, and the Taibai Yinjing from the. Chinese tower ships were naval warships meant to be a central vessel in the fleet, the louchuan was equipped for boarding and attacking enemy vessels, as well as with siege weapons including for ranged combat against enemy ships.