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Chinese Culture >> Chinese Society Traditions >>

Notable Chinese Inventions

It might be difficult for westerners to perceive that Chinese inventions have been responsible for some of the most important innovations to come about, but the fact is that this is completely true. The Chinese have suffered under the stereotypical belief by others that they are not technologically accomplished. Just for started however, and these are not all, the Chinese invented spaghetti, the wheelbarrow, the water powered blast furnace, kits, chopstick, paper, gunpowder the seismograph, the crossbow, a plethora of weapons and armaments including tear gas, paper money, chess, the compass..need I go on?

The Chinese inventions which are considered to be the most important, particularly in that they spread to the rest of the world, are gunpowder, paper, printing and the compass. Although they have made some other pretty amazing discoveries also, they are even credited with the invention of whiskey and brandy.

Gunpowder has certainly made one of the biggest impressions on the world, it has been responsible for a hell of a lot more deaths than lives, and is one of the most important warfare discoveries of ancient times. It was invented by and alchemist who was actually trying to invent the elixir of life for a Chinese Emperor in the Tang Dynasty. Elixirs of life have been considered to be vital to the Chinese people for centuries.

Cai Lun, who was a Chinese Eunuch (probably to protect the harem of the Emperor) was the inventor of paper in 105 AD. To my way of thinking paper was a far more important discovery than gunpowder, but then I am a pacifist. Many centuries later in 751 AD Arab captured Chinese Paper makers after the defeat of the Chinese army at the Battle of Talas River and this is how paper making spread to the world.

The compass was originally used by the Chinese to ensure that a house faced due North so that it was perfectly in line with nature. This was a religious rite and the first compass consisted of a wooden circle which was marked and balanced a magnetic spoon on the top. Without the compass navigation techniques would have floundered over the centuries.

Anesthetics have been used as far back as the 3rd century, this was a type of wine which had an anesthetic affect. The Chinese are world renowned for their knowledge of herbal medicines and acupuncture and this dates back millennia. 4000 year old skulls have been found in Heilongjiang, Qinghai and Henan provinces which indicate some kind of surgery may have taken place on them, the age of these skulls have been confirmed by Carbon Dating.

We could seriously discuss this subject for a very long time and never get to the end of the inventions the Chinese have been credited with, but I think for now, this will do!

About the Author

Henry Fong Feng Shui Absolutely