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Tang and Song Inventions

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Many of the inventions attributed to the West were actually first invented in China and later modified or refined by Western powers after the invention made its way from China. Important discoveries …

Many of the inventions attributed to the West were actually first invented in China and later modified or refined by Western powers after the invention made its way from China. Important discoveries such as paper, moveable type printing, gunpowder, and the mechanical clock all have had immense influence on modern life and originated in China. It is important to understand ourselves by looking to the past and seeing where these inventions came from and how they made their way to common use by us. This is especially true in an ever increasing global outlook to realize that other cultures have had a profound effect upon our own.

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  • 1. Tang & Song China Golden Ages
  • 2. Two Great Dynasties in China  During the Tang (618907) and Song (960-1279) dynasties, China becomes the richest, most powerful, and most advanced country in the world.
  • 3.  Main Idea: Tang and Song China experienced an era of prosperity and technological innovation.  Why it Matters Now: Chinese inventions from this period, such as printing, gunpowder, and the compass, changed history.
  • 4.  The Tang Dynasty World View:  west along the Silk Road  The Song Dynasty World View:  looks east towards the sea
  • 5. Trade/Foreign Contacts  Silk Road  west; Tang Dynasty
  • 6. Trade/Foreign Contacts  Silk Road  west; Tang Dynasty  east, Song Dynasty  ocean ships Korea Japan India Persian Gulf east Africa
  • 7. Agriculture  imported fastripening rice from Vietnam called “Champa Rice”
  • 8. Agriculture  imported fastripening rice from Vietnam - Champa  allowed two crops each season instead of one
  • 9. Agriculture  imported fastripening rice from Vietnam - Champa  allowed two crops each season instead of one  fueled population increase
  • 10. Science and Technology  mathematics flourished
  • 11. Science and Technology  mathematics flourished  adopted the use of algebra and the concept of zero and negative numbers
  • 12. Science and Technology  mathematics flourished  adopted the use of algebra and the concept of zero and negative numbers  invented movable type
  • 13. Science and Technology  mathematics flourished  adopted the use of algebra and the concept of zero and negative numbers  invented movable type  developed gunpowder
  • 14. Toilet Paper Although developed around 600 CE, it was only available at first to nobility and the elites. During the Tang Dynasty it became widespread. How different the world and your lives would be without it!
  • 15. Porcelain Commonly now preferred to as “China”. Made of special white clay found only in China.
  • 16. Mechanical Clock Early 700s Chinese developed clocks run by water that kept accurate time. Technology and concept of mechanical clock found its way to Europe where it was improved upon.
  • 17. Printing In 700s block printing was invented in which entire sheet was carved on a single block of wood and whole page was printed. In 1000s moveable type printing invented in which individual characters could be moved around and reused.
  • 18. Gunpowder Invented in 800s as an immortality potion Used 1st in fireworks & then rockets & guns
  • 19. Uses of Gunpowder Fireworks Weapons Gunpowder took about 300 years to reach Europe First used as a weapon against the Mongols as a simple gun that took 2 people to shoot
  • 20. Paper Money Song Dynasty first in world to adopt paper currency instead of coin.
  • 21. Magnetic Compass Adapted for Navigation Magnetic compass had existed for centuries, but Song Dynasty began to use it to guide their fleets. Allowed ships to move far from land and travel further safely.
  • 22. Tang & Song Inventions
  • 23. The Tang and Song Dynasties Compared Tang Only Expanded the empire, had a female ruler, adopted Buddhism Both Prospered through trade, improved agriculture, created great technological advances Song Only Ruled smaller empire, developed into great sea power, reinstituted Confucianism