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Ancient Chinese Contributions - Paper

By Jennifer1216 Feb 11, 2012 1000 Words
The Ancient Chinese culture was a very successful culture that created many inventions and contributed to the advancement of not only the Chinese civilization but also to the civilization of the world. According to Henry Sayre, the Qin Dynasty, which was said to exist from 221BCE until 206 BCE, was the first empire in China to rise to dominance; however, the Han Dynasty was given credit for the most Ancient Chinese contributions and inventions (2012). The Han Dynasty existed from 206 BCE until 220 CE, and during the Han Dynasty contributions and inventions by the Ancient Chinese included: the wheelbarrow, seismograph, paper, compass, map, glazed pottery, hot air balloons, and silk. While the Ancient Chinese made many contributions and inventions for the world, the four most useful are the wheelbarrow, the seismograph, paper, and the map. Today the wheelbarrow is commonly used for farming, gardening, and construction work such as moving dirt, bricks, mulch. It is suitable for many jobs because it allows the weight of the contents to be evenly distributed between the wheel and the operator. For many of the same purposes as we use the wheelbarrow today, the Ancient Chinese invented the wheelbarrow. It served the purpose of transporting things from one place to another that could not easily be one with just one person alone. According to Jeff, the earliest form of the Chinese wheelbarrows was said to be invented by a famous prime minister of the time named Zhuge Liang (2003). There are different variations of the wheelbarrow design that range from consisting of two wheels to four wheels; some even have motors on them making them easier to use since they require less human work to propel them (2012) All wheelbarrows come equipped with two handles in the rear for guiding the wheelbarrow in the direction the operator needs it to go. Another invention that was contributed to the world by the Ancient Chinese is the seismograph. The purpose of the seismograph is to measure the magnitude of an earthquake. The seismograph was invented by Zhang Heng in 132 AD for forecasting and reporting the movement of an earthquake (2010). Heng’s seismograph was intricately designed with eight dragons representing the eight directions from which the earthquake could be coming from (2010). When an earthquake takes place levers from within the seismograph would activate and cause the ball inside the dragon’s mouth to fall into the mouth of toad to let out a sound advising of the earthquakes direction (2010). The Ancient Chinese made another contribution to the world that has significantly improved our way of living and contributed to not only the civilization of the Chinese but the civilization of the world, and this contribution is paper. The purpose of paper was to serve as a method for recording important events throughout a culture’s history and to record data. Paper also allowed for the rapid transport of ideas from one place to another. According to Sayre, the invention of paper allowed China to develop widespread literacy much more rapidly than the West (2012). The first paper was made of hemp by the Han Dynasty, but around 105 CE Cai Lun developed a cellulose-based paper made from worn fishnet, bark and cloth because the cost for these raw material cost less and were nowhere near as heavy as the wood and bamboo they had been previously using for recording (Four Great Inventions of Ancient China, 2012). The fourth most useful invention that has contributed to the civilization of the Chinese and the civilization of the word is the map. The invention of maps made the Han the first in the world to become cartographers. Maps developed by the Han were considered to be more complex than those of any other Dynasty because they included well-designed may symbols, covered a much larger area, and included information on the population and military sites, according to Mei-ling Hsu (1993). According to Hsu the Han maps were very different than what we use now, as they were orientated with the southern direction at the top. All these inventions and contribution made by the Ancient Chinese have contributed to the civilization of the world and have been of assistance to me. When the leaves have fallen from the trees down into my yard, I know that I can count on the wheelbarrow to help me collect the leaves from the yard and move them to the curbside for pickup by the city. Now that we have the invention of the seismograph we can now identify the magnitude of any earthquake and know the direction from which it is coming. This invention has and will continue to save many lives. The invention of paper allows me to use paper money to purchase things that I want or need. I use paper to make lists of things that I need to do and also for taking notes for classes. The maps were a great invention and contribution from the Ancient Chinese to the civilization of the world as they provide us with the necessary information that we need to get from one location to another. Although each of these inventions has been of assistance to me the one that I could not live without is paper. Paper can used to make money, record important data, and pass ideas from one place to another with ease. For these reasons I could not live without money.

Author: Jeff Title of work: Wheelbarrow Website: ChinaCulture.org http://www.chinaculture.org/gb/en_madeinchina/2005-05/25/content_69096.htm (2003) has Zhuge Liang in the sentence. Author: Daniel Gruttadaro Title of work: Facts About the Wheelbarrow Website: eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/about_6453818_wheelbarrow.html (2012). About wheelbarrow with four wheel and self-propelled. Author: none Title of work: Kaleidoscope Website. CulturalChina (2010) http://kaleidoscope.cultural-china.com/en/137Kaleidoscope6712.html Hsu, Mei-ling. "The Qin Maps: A Clue to Later Chinese Cartographic Development," Imago Mundi (Volume 45, 1993): 90–100.

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