Ancient Chinese Contributions
HUM111-World Cultures 1
Ancient Chinese Contributions
(1) Identify eight to ten of these useful inventions or contributions:
It is well known that China has an ancient and glorious history, from the feudal periods ending in 222 BC through the three Imperial and Intermediate Eras, up to the Modern era – over 4000 years of dynastic reigns. It may also be well known that China is the source of many wonderful and useful inventions from spaghetti to gunpowder.
· Row Planting : The Chinese started planting crops in rows sometime in the 6th century BC. This technique allows the crops to ...view middle of the document...
· Deep Drilling : By the first century BC the Chinese had developed the technology for deep drilling boreholes. Some of these reached depths of 4800 feet (about 1.5 km). They stacked rocks with center holes (tube or doughnut shaped) from the surface to the deep stone layer as a guide for their drills. With hemp ropes and bamboo cables reaching deep into the ground, they employed cast iron drills to reach the natural gas they used as a fuel to evaporate water from brine to produce salt. The natural gas was carried via bamboo pipes to where it was needed.
· Ship’s Rudder : Chinese naval developments occurred far earlier than similar western technology. Chinese pottery models of slung axial rudders dating from the 1st century have been found. In another naval development, fenestrated rudders were common on Chinese ships by the 13th century which were not introduced to the west until 1901. Fenestration is the adding of holes to the rudder where it does not affect the steering, yet make the rudder easy to turn.
· Harness for Horses : The Ancient Chinese were also very inventive. About 300 BC the Chinese invented the horse collar. Previously horses were attached to vehicles by straps around their necks. The horse could not pull a heavy load because the strap would constrict its neck! The horse collar allowed horses to pull much heavier loads.
· Porcelain :Porcelain is a very specific kind of ceramic produced by the extreme temperatures of a kiln. The materials fuse and form a glass and mineral compound known for its strength, translucence and beauty. Invented during the Sui Dynasty and perfected during the Tang Dynasty (618-906), most notably by Tao-Yue (c. 608 – c. 676), Chinese porcelain was highly prized throughout the world. The porcelain of Tao-Yue used a ‘white clay’ that was found on the edge of the Yangtze River, where he lived. By the time of the Sung Dynasty (960-1279) the art of porcelain had reached its peak.
· Toilet Paper : paper was an early invention of China. One of the first recording of the accounts was using hygienic paper during the Sui Dynasty in 589. In colonial times in America (late 1700’s) it was still common to use corn-cobs or leaves. Commercial toilet paper was not introduced until the 1857.
· Printing – movable type : That paper was invented by the Chinese is well known (by Cai Lun c 50-121 AD), and it is one of the great Chinese inventions. The recipe for this paper still exists and can be followed by today’s artisans.
(2) Nominate four that you believe are the most ingenious or innovative
Papermaking, gunpowder, printing and the compass are four ancient inventions by Chinese people that I believe are the most ingenious and also had a huge impact on the entire world.
Paper Making: The invention of paper greatly contributed to the spread and development of civilization. Before the invention of paper, bones, tortoise shells, and bamboo slips were all used as writing surfaces. Hemp fiber and silk were...