In 2007, the British “Independent” rated 101 inventions that changed the world. China’s four great inventions: papermaking, printing, compass, gunpowder, and another invention, the abacus, are on the list.
Here, I’d like to introduce them.
Papermaking was invented in my country in the early Western Han Dynasty. The paper from the time of Emperor Han Jing, unearthed in Fangmatan, Tianshui, Gansu in 1986, is the earliest known paper. In 105 AD, Cai Lun improved papermaking in the Eastern Han Dynasty and called it “Caihou Paper”. Papermaking is a great revolution in writing materials.
Cai Lun styled himself Jingzhong, Guiyang people…Lun is talented, dedicated, and cautious. …The easy availability of papermaking raw materials is one of the important reasons why Caihou Paper is widely used. Use tree skin, hemp head, cotton cloth, and fish net as paper. The emperor was played in the first year of Yuanxing (Han and Emperor’s reign). The emperor praised his talents and used his paper since then, so the world says “Caihou paper”.——《The Book of Later Han·Biography of Cai Lun》
In our cardboard display, printing and paper is also the basic element. We can see how talent our ancestor is.
Engraving printing appeared in the Sui and Tang Dynasties. The Diamond Sutra printed in 868 is the earliest surviving engraving print in the world. In the early 11th century, Bi Sheng, a commoner in the Northern Song Dynasty, invented movable type printing, more than four centuries earlier than the European invention. The invention of printing technology was a major contribution to the spread and preservation of human culture.
During the Song and Yuan dynasties, my country already had topping printing technology. In the wooden pagoda of Yingxian County, Shanxi Province, red, yellow, and blue Buddha engravings of the Liao Dynasty were discovered. This is the earliest engraved color overprint print found in my country.
The record of Bi Sheng in 《Mengxi Writing》:
Runner typesetting (Yuan Dynasty scientist Wang Zhen invented the roulette wheel typesetting. When typesetting, you can pick out the characters you want to use as long as you turn the wheel with movable type)
(Bi Sheng’s movable type printing) If only three or two copies are printed, it is not easy; if printing tens of hundreds of thousands of copies, it will be extremely fast.——By Shen Kuo ’s《Mengxi Writing》
The third we’d like to introduce is gunpower, invested by the idea of emperor who want to live forever. Invented by ancient Chinese alchemists, books in the mid-Tang Dynasty recorded the method of making gunpowder. Used in the military at the end of Tang Dynasty. In the Southern Song Dynasty, invented the “fire spear”, which was introduced to Arabia and Europe in the 13th century. The invention and spread of gunpowder changed the mode of warfare in the Middle Ages and was an epoch-making event in the military.
We really want this invent bring happiness for the world, like the beautiful fireworks. Not the wars, peace is very important for all the people in the world. Peace is very important for everyone.
During the Warring States Period, people made the instrument “Sinan” to indicate the direction, and later used the principle of magnet guide to make a compass. The compass of the Northern Song Dynasty was used in navigation. It was introduced to Arabia and Europe in the 13th century. The invention and spread of the compass provided important conditions for European navigators to explore new routes.
Wold development with the intelligence of each country. Let’s hand by hand, create a bright future~