Inventions of Ancient China

China's long history has seen some extremely important inventions emerge, most noticeably gunpowder, paper making, printing and the compass. China's four great ancient inventions made tremendous contributions to the world's economy and the culture of mankind. They were also important symbols of China's role as a great world civilization.

Gunpowder Paper making Printing Compass


Paper making



Apart from the four great inventions, porcelain is perhaps the invention most significant to the world. That is why today's westerners call porcelain "china", which means that porcelain is China's unique invention.

Silk was invented by China. As early as 2,100 years ago, the country had mastered the sophisticated technique of silk weaving - aristocrats in the West were willing to pay gold of the same weight for the silks. The road used to transport silk called the Silk Road. Today, China is still the largest producer of silk.

Tea was discovered in China. The history of China's ancestors' drinking tea goes back as far as some 4,000 years. Admiring tea, tasting tea and discussing tea are all the embodiments of the unique philosophy of China's everyday normal life. China is a big country in tea and the tea culture.

Chinese medicine has also contributed greatly to the world. Acupuncture and massage treatments from Chinese medicine are becoming more and more recognized by the world.

Porcelain Silk Tea Chinese medicine




Chinese medicine

Pi is the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. The person who contributed most to the calculation of pi was Zu Chongzhi (429-500). He went even further in calculating the approximate value of pi, and denoted it by the mathematical sign, i.e. 3.1415926< pi <3.1415927.

There were many other inventions, such as the political system of China has included the imperial civil examination system, The chemical techniques used in making the "immortality-pill", the invention of the first seismograph, the science of genetics and breeding, the lunar calendar of China - all played an important and profound role in the world's history.

Ancient Scientific Thoughts

The idea unifying two integral parts, man and nature, was the systematic view of the world in the traditional culture of China. Such thought allowed China to develop a set of systems that are different from western science and culture. Its characteristics lie in the ability to think systematically, comprehensively and dialectically and take an integrated view of the world.

Chinese medicine is representative of the scientific thinking system of China. According to Chinese medicine, the human body is a unification of the harmony of the two poles of yin and yang. Health means the balance and harmony of yin and yang. It also discovered the dialectical connections between yin, yang, and the Five Elements, and the theory of what each produces and how it is overcome by the others.? Different parts of the human body are also connected with the skin, hair and organs. So, the way of treating diseases in Chinese medicine is not treating the head when the head hurts, or the feet when the feet ache. Instead, in order to get a comprehensive idea it uses four methods of diagnosis: "observation of the patient's complexion, expression, movements, tongue, etc.; auscultation and olfaction; interrogation; and pulse-feeling and palpation". This way of dialectical treatment and full-body adjustment illustrates the principle of harmony between man and nature in Chinese culture.

The ideas of comprehensive thinking, universal connections and mutual restraining and complementing in Chinese culture are being given more and more attention by scholars all over the world. The rise of chaos and fuzzy theories have tested and confirmed the correctness of ancient Chinese thoughts.