Dating mining windlasses
With the navigational aid of the 11th century compass and ability to steer at high sea with the 1st century sternpost rudder, premodern Chinese sailors sailed as far as East Africa.
966-69 Offset Printing, General, Large Press Work (Quan.A bronze Chinese crossbow trigger mechanism with a butt plate (the wooden components have since eroded and disappeared), inlaid with silver, from either the late Warring States period (403–256 BC) or the early Han Dynasty (202 BC – AD 220) This includes the Four Great Inventions: papermaking, the compass, gunpowder, and printing (both woodblock and movable type).The list below contains these and other inventions in China attested by archaeology or history.Although it is recorded that the Han Dynasty (202 BC – AD 220) court eunuch Cai Lun (50 AD – AD 121) invented the pulp papermaking process and established the use of new materials used in making paper, ancient padding and wrapping paper artifacts dating to the 2nd century BC have been found in China, the oldest example of pulp papermaking being a map from Fangmatan, Tianshui; by the 3rd century, paper as a writing medium was in widespread use, replacing traditional but more expensive writing mediums such as strips of bamboo rolled into threaded scrolls, strips of silk, wet clay tablets hardened later in a furnace, and wooden tablets.The earliest known piece of paper with writing on it was discovered in the ruins of a Chinese watchtower at Tsakhortei, Alxa League, where Han Dynasty troops had deserted their position in AD 110 following a Xiongnu attack.They also made large mechanical puppet theaters driven by waterwheels and carriage wheels and wine-serving automatons driven by paddle wheel boats.
Some of the first inventions of Neolithic China include semilunar and rectangular stone knives, stone hoes and spades, the cultivation of millet, rice, and the soybean, the refinement of sericulture, the building of rammed earth structures with lime-plastered house floors, the creation of pottery with cord-mat-basket designs, the creation of pottery tripods and pottery steamers and the development of ceremonial vessels and scapulimancy for purposes of divination. Later inventions such as the multiple-tube seed drill and heavy moldboard iron plough enabled China to sustain a much larger population through greater improvements in agricultural output.
Scientific, mathematical or natural discoveries, changes in minor concepts of design or style and artistic innovations do not appear on the list.
The following is a list of the Four Great Inventions—as designated by Joseph Needham (1900–1995), a British scientist, author and sinologist known for his research on the history of Chinese science and technology.
Over 100,000), One or More Colors, No 4 Color Processes or Close Registration Required, May Exceed 11 x 17 In.
and Have Large Solids 966-68 Offset Printing, General, Large Press Work (Quan.
Joseph Needham and Tsien Tsuen-hsuin write that the cutting and printing techniques used for the delicate calligraphy of the Diamond Sutra book are much more advanced and refined than the miniature dharani sutra printed earlier.