Ancient China remains as the oldest civilization that was continuously maintained. Others experienced a rise and fall, but during the thousands of years, the Chinese developed incredible tools and inventions.
While they tried to keep many of these secret from the rest of the world, trade on the Silk Road eventually allowed the inventions that they created to expand to other areas.
The Seed drill
3,500 years ago, the ancient Chinese created a device that would plant seeds into the soil at an even depth and then cover them.
Prior to this tool, farmers were required to plant each see by hand. This device not only improved the efficiency of planting but made it a lot faster.
Archeologists have found evidence of ancient Chinese iron smelting in 1050 BC-256 BC.
This single process allowed ancient China to create strong tools and weapons and improve the daily lives of everyone from farmers to the royal families
In 1700 BC, the ability to make bronze was accomplished by the ancient Chinese and this changed everything in their civilization.
Bronze was used for everything from ritual and religious vessels, to weapons and bronze tools. However, unlike those that were eventually made throughout the rest of the world, the Chinese bronze ware was known for their intricate patterns and designs as well as inscriptions.
Like so much that the ancient Chinese created, they always added art and beauty.
Moveable type printing
The ancient Chinese had previously invented woodblock printing, but this was a slow and expensive process requiring the creation of one item at a time.
Moveable type printing allowed the printer to make multiple copies rather quickly and inexpensively as well as make changes.
Credit is given to a man named Bi Sheng (990-1051) during the Song dynasty for inventing moveable type printing.
The process that he used was to carve each character into a single piece of clay, harden it through firing, and then use each piece by gluing them to an iron plate to create a printed page.
Once done, he could break up the individual pieces and use them again for another page. Once moveable print expanded into the rest of the world, it changed literacy and printing forever.
Originally created by the ancient Chinese in 1100 AD, its purpose was to confirm the philosophical belief in Feng Shui in the “balance” of nature and life and the layout and construction of buildings and rooms.
Navigational compasses were later used on the ships from China so that they could navigate on the open seas.
Arab traders that sailed to China brought the tool of the compass back to the Western world and they learned how to create a compass using a lodestone.
The mechanical clock
Up until the invention of the mechanical clock in 725 AD by the ancient Chinese, most civilizations used tools such as the sun dial to configure the time.
The Chinese mechanical clock was not only functional but beautifully crafted in the shape of spherical birds.
It was invented by a Buddhist monk named Yi Xing and was water-driven. The process involved water dripping that would power a wheel that made one complete revolution every 24 hours.
This clock was used until hundreds of years later when another inventor, Su Song, created a more detailed and sophisticated version. These clocks were made over 200 years before those in Europe.
Believed to have been created by a farmer in 100 BC, the wheelbarrow changed the way that many farmers and industries worked.
Using this tool, people could transport a lot of objects that were often very heavy from one location to another in a quick and efficient way.
China is a vast country and due to tectonic activity, earthquakes are common in some areas. Earthquakes happen suddenly and without warning, but there are often small pre and post shocks that occur.
In 132 AD, during the Han dynasty, an inventor named Zhang Heng created a seismograph that could determine the direction that an earthquake occurred in. This was far ahead of anything that was later developed in 1848 in Europe.
What ancient Chinese printing invention came after woodblock printing?
moveable type printing
Why was the seed drill so important?
faster and more efficient planting of seeds
What did the ancient Chinese originally invent the compass for?
balancing nature and life with Feng Shui
What two ancient Chinese inventions were beneficial to making tools and weaponry?
iron smelting and bronze making
What road was used for trade and travel that is believed to have allowed ancient Chinese secrets to be shared with the rest of the world?
How many years ahead of Europe was the invention of the mechanical clock by the ancient Chinese?
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