Acient Chinese Contributions

Topics: Centuries, 1st millennium, China Pages: 3 (1018 words) Published: December 12, 2012
O’Dell Holliday
Humanities Vol. 1




Ancient China provided a great many inventions and contributions to the world. I will attempt to narrow it down to eight or ten examples.
Cast iron was invented between the late 4th century BC and the early 5th century BC (Zhou dynasty). The process was created by melting pig iron. The blast furnace was used for smelting iron ore and coke (a high carbon fuel), charcoal or anthracite (a type of coal). Limestone was used as a flux. Sand was used to create the castings. Innovators used this process to create tools, wheels, weapons and machinery. The iron plow, swords, spears and knives were developed around the 6th century BC (Han dynasty).

Paper making evolved in the 2nd century BC (Tang dynasty). China was the first country to properly make paper. Raw materials such as tree bark, rope, rags and old fishing nets were used. The refinement of paper making eventually led to the invention of printing during the 9th century AD (Song dynasty). Movable print blocks were originally made of wood fired clay blocks in the 8th century AD. Paper Money came into being in the 9th century AD. Toilet paper was created in the 5th century AD (Sui dynasty). Splinter free, ultra soft, paper was developed to resolve the hygiene issue for bladder and bowel need. Toilet paper replaced the use of water or corn cobs to complete the bathroom process.

The formula for Gunpowder came into being around the 9th century AD. It was comprised of potassium nitrate (salt peter), sulfur, and charcoal. It was initially used for fireworks. Further development led to mining and military applications such as grenades, the fire lance,

The Compass was invented sometime in the 4th century BC (Qin dynasty). The loadstone compass primarily pointed south. Loadstone is a type of magnetic iron ore. It was comprised of a bronze plate with a spoon made of loadstone in the center. This compass was...
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