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HUM 111 Assignment 2 Project Paper Ancient Chinese Contributions

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Ancient Chinese Contributions
Ancient Chinese civilization is one of the greatest civilizations in the world. They have made
important contributions in different fields like art, literature, science and technology. This paper
is discussing important inventions of ancient China. Among the many innovations of the
Chinese, I believe Gunpowder, paper, printing and compass are the most innovative and useful
inventions. They are the true symbols of the wisdom and vision of the ancient Chinese people.
Ancient Chinese people contributed a number of innovative instruments and tools which are
still useful and relevant to the modern man. The invention of fine variety of silk is one of the
greatest contributions of China to the world. Ancient Chinese people learned the technique of
harvesting silk from silk worms. Another important invention of Chinese people is porcelain
which is used extensively by people all over the world. Ancient Chinese used to drink Tea
almost even 4000 years back. Thus they are considered as the inventors of this tasty drink.
Another important contribution of China to the world is the Chinese medicine. Acupuncture and
Chinese massage treatments have got recognition in our modern world. (Inventions of Ancient
China, 2010). Ancient Chinese people are considered as the inventors of umbrella. They made
umbrella using oiled paper, bamboo etc. Another important invention of the Chinese people is
the invention of wheelbarrow. This instrument was greatly used in agriculture and industries all
over the world. It was even used in the battle field to remove injured soldiers. (Ancient Chinese
contributions, n.d).
I believe Gunpowder, paper, printing and compass are the most innovative and useful
inventions. Among the many other important inventions, I consider these four as the most
important because of the significance of these inventions in the history of mankind. In fact, even

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in this century, they haven’t become irrelevant. All these four inventions had contributed
tremendously in the development of economy, technology and the culture of the mankind. These
instruments had great impacts on the ancient civilizations as they spread gradually to other parts
of the world civilizations. Many great men of other societies could create much more advanced
and useful tools based on the innovative ideas developed by the ancient Chinese people. In brief,
these four are the greatest inventions of the Chinese people as they could reshape the world as
we are experiencing now. The advanced forms of these four ancient creations are still a part of
our modern lives.
First among the four great inventions of the ancient Chinese people is the invention of paper.
Before that, ancient people used natural materials such as grass stalks, earthen plates or tree
leaves were used for inscription. Before the invention of paper, Chinese people used different
things like bamboo, wooden strips, tortoise shells or shoulder blades of ox for writing. The
ancient Chinese people first made a kind of paper using the process of silk reeling which was
very expensive because of the shortage of raw materials. It was in the early 2
nd
century a new
type of paper invented. It was cheaper than the previous one as the raw materials used were rags,
bark, wheat stalks etc. This paper was light, durable and seemed to be fit for brush writing. Later
this innovative idea spread to countries like Korea and Japan and gradually into Europe and
America. (Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the Republic of South Africa, 2004)
The second of the four greatest inventions of ancient Chinese people was printing. Before the
invention of printing, the only way of propagating knowledge was either word of mouth or hand
written manuscripts. They were time consuming and were likely to be erroneous. They first
invented a kind of printing which became known as block printing. Later they invented a more

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advanced model for printing and the new innovative technology gradually spread to countries
like Japan, Korea, Japan, Vietnam etc.The invention of the printer in metal by Johann Gutenberg,
which is considered as one of the greatest inventions in history, is indebted to the ancient Chinese
model of printing. (Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the Republic of South Africa,
2004).
The third among the four great inventions of Chinese people is the invention of
gunpowder.This invention has its own significance in this modern world because of the use of
gunpowder for military purpose. This innovative idea was a result of the search of ancient
Chinese monks for the medicine of immortality. Though the monks failed to find the medicine,
they invented a mixture of sulphur, saltpetre and charcoal having explosive nature. They used
this mixture for fireworks and signal flares initially and later it was adapted to military use. With
this invention, they further developed their military powers. (Ancient China Inventions, 2010).
The fourth great invention of the ancient Chinese was the invention of the compass. Compass
was first invented to meet some religious requirements. They used the device to check if a new
building is facing the right direction to be in harmony with the nature. (Contributions of Ancient
China to the World, 2012). Later it became an indispensable instrument for navigators. The
invention of compass initiated revolutionary changes in the history of mankind. As the invention
reached Europe, many Europeans travelled through the oceans to discover the unknown
countries. (Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the Republic of South Africa, 2004).
This was the very beginning of cultural, economic and social development of the mankind.
Among the four great inventions paper, printing, gunpowder and compass of the ancient
Chinese, paper is the one I believe as indispensable for our daily life. They are used for writing,

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Nice! Really impressed with the quality.

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