Around the early 3rd century BC, the Chinese figured out how to treat products like vinegar and soy sauce using fermentation and distillation technology. The evidence is that the experiment of Dr. Patrick McGovern (University of Pennsylvania, USA) found traces of fermented drinks made from rice, honey and grapes or hawthorn, on ceramic jars taken from Jia Ho village. , Henan Province (China). Therefore, he asserts that alcohol first originated in the North of this most populous country in the world at least 7000 BC. Thereby, they invented wine by this method.
Moreover, in ancient books such as Theory of Literature and Liberation of Hua Than in the Han Dynasty, the Eight Things Zhi of Truong Hoa in the Tan Dynasty, the History of the History of Cao Thanh in the Song Dynasty, etc., it is recorded that Do Khang was the inventor. how to make wine. Do Khang, also known as Thieu Khang, lived in the late Western Zhou Dynasty and is said to be the inventor of wine making in China. He is worshiped by winemakers and wine sellers as the ancestor of the wine industry.
The art of printing
In the Song Dynasty (about 900 years ago) in Hubei Phat Gia Tat Thang (a commoner living and working in a sculpture workshop) through many practices invented a kind of automatic printing technique. , he used inscriptions on mud (the type of mud used to make bricks), a piece of each word, and baked it to dry. Then prepare an iron tray, on that iron tray are sprinkled with cedar incense, candle wax, paper ashes, … The 4 edges of the iron tray are braced by an iron frame, in that iron tray are arranged to seal the engraved words, heated on fire, use a flat metal plate to press down the words in the tray. Thus, the wax has taken the letters and can be printed.
Although Tat Thang’s invention is a leap forward, there are still some disadvantages such as worn out letters, difficult to ink, and not sharp words. To overcome that, in the Nguyen Dynasty, Nguyen Vuong Trinh improved by using wooden letters. After that, people also used separate letters made of tin, copper, and lead.
Since the Tang Dynasty, Chinese printing and engraving techniques have spread to Korea, Vietnam, and Arabia, and then to Europe and Africa. In 1448, the Germans used metal letters and oil ink to print the bible. That laid the basis for today’s metal printing.
Although the Chinese could not accurately measure earthquakes on the richter scale (because the richter magnitude was not invented until 1935), they also invented the world’s first earthquake detector: the georecorder. concussion. In the early 2nd century, the royal astronomer Chang Heng created a beautiful seismograph during the Han Dynasty. It’s a seismograph that warns of danger. The interesting thing is that at first glance this machine looks exactly like a beautiful copper vase.
This seismograph is in the form of a bronze vase with nine dragons bowing their heads down, surrounding the body of the vessel. Under the 9 dragons are 9 frogs with their mouths open upwards. Inside the jar, a pendulum is suspended motionless. When an earthquake occurs, the pendulum will activate the levers and a small ball will escape from the dragon’s mouth, falling into the mouth of the frog sitting below. This machine helps to warn quite well because earthquakes often occur in China. It looks simple, but it was not until the 9th century that the seismograph was invented in Persia and in France in the early 13th century.
Research documents show that the Chinese created complicated watches hundreds of years before the Europeans. In 727, the world’s first mechanical clock was created by a monk Nhat Hanh and the Chinese mathematician Yixing (683-727). The device also serves as an astronomical instrument.
The watch operates by dripping water which turns the gears and completes one complete revolution in 24 hours. The escapement (also known as the escapement) is an important component of a mechanical watch. It is used to adjust the running force of the watch, allowing a gear to rotate slowly, continuously at a constant speed.
The clock is made in the image of a circular sky and on it is full of the Twenty-eight Zodiacs (calling for the 28 constellations located in the sky according to the division in ancient Chinese astronomy), the equator and the scale of the circumference of the sky. The flow of water into the spoon causes the gear to automatically rotate one cycle in 1 day and night (24 hours). In addition, there are two rings with images of the sun and moon arranged outside the spherical sky, they are made to move in a circular orbit… And they made a wooden case to represent the line horizon with equipment half-submerged in it. It allows to accurately determine the time of sunrise and sunset, full moon and waning moon, slowly or quickly. Furthermore, there are two wooden pedestals on the horizon surface, there is a bell and a drum in front of it, the bell is struck automatically to indicate the time, the drum is struck automatically to indicate the time. notifications every 15 minutes.
Yixing watches are like other water clocks, they are subject to changes in the weather. To keep the water in them from freezing, people often light a torch next to them.
Much later, engineer To Tung (1020-1101) developed a more sophisticated watch in 1092, about 200 years before mechanical watches were introduced in Europe.
Silk weaving first appeared in China probably very early, around 6000 BC. The first evidence of silk was discovered at the Yangshao cultural site in Xian County, China, where a double-bite silkworm cocoon was discovered dating from 4000-3000 BC.
Originally, only the king could use or give it to others; However, after that, silk was gradually used by social classes in China and spread to other parts of Asia. Silk quickly became a luxury commodity in the places where Chinese merchants set foot, because it was durable and had a beautiful iridescent beauty. The demand for silk was great and it became a transnational trade.
In July 7, archaeologists discovered delicately woven and dyed silk fabrics in a tomb in Jiangxi province dating back to the Eastern Zhou Dynasty, some 2007 years ago. . The first evidence of the silk trade was the discovery of silk thread in the hair of an Egyptian mummy. Silk was brought to the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East, Europe and North Africa through the famous Silk Road.
The Chinese kings tried to keep the silkworm farming secret in order to keep the Chinese monopoly. However, the Koreans learned the craft around 200 BC, then the ancient Khotan around the first half of the 1st century and the Indians around 300.
Gunpowder is one of the four great inventions of the ancient Chinese, specifically the alchemists belonging to the Dao School, a religion that was very popular during the Tang Dynasty. Gunpowder in Chinese means “fire medicine”. Gunpowder consists of three basic ingredients: sulfur, potassium nitrate, and charcoal. This mixture of three types burns very strongly. That’s why people call this mixture “fire medicine”.
At the beginning of the XNUMXth century, gunpowder began to be used to make weapons such as rockets, fireballs, cannons, flying bullets, … and until the Song Dynasty, gunpowder was constantly improved. In the XNUMXth century, during the invasion of China, the Mongols learned how to make gunpowder and then spread it to Arabia, the Arabs spread it to Europe via Spain.
Gunpowder is classified as a weak explosive. Due to its properties, gunpowder is effectively used as a propellant that creates thrust in the barrel to propel the bullet (small infantry ammunition) to the target.
The main disadvantages of black powder are its low energy density (or work capacity) (compared to modern smokeless propellants) and the formation of a lot of soot. During combustion, less than half of the black powder is converted to gas. The result of firing was the formation of a layer of soot inside the barrel and a dense cloud of smoke. Therefore, the barrel is easily oxidized, causing rust and damage.
The kite is a beautiful memory in the hearts of many Vietnamese village children. But none of us know its origin. According to historians, the first kite was built around 3000 BC by two men living in ancient China.
Around the XNUMXth century BC, Gongshu Ban and Mo Di, an art patron and a philosopher, invented a kite shaped like a bird that could fly in the wind. This invention of theirs quickly became famous. The first version of the kite was made of wood, called Muyuan (wooden kite).
In the early days, kites were used mainly for military purposes such as sending messages, measuring distances, wind strength and signaling. Later, people improved and added to the original design of the kite a few details to use it for some purpose other than entertainment. For example, using kites to fish in hard-to-reach waters. Kites are also used in the military when people use them as unmanned “aircraft” to drop projectiles at enemy fortifications. Over time, kites spread all over the world and became the favorite entertainment of young children.
The art of making paper
Around the 105nd century BC, the Chinese invented a method of using hemp to make paper. In the Eastern Han Dynasty, in XNUMX, an eunuch named Thai Luan used bark, old nets, rags, … as raw materials and improved papermaking techniques of the Western Han Dynasty. Since then, paper has been widely used to write in place of the objects used before. Because of that, Thai Luan was awarded the title “Long Dinh Hau” by the Emperor of the Eastern Han Dynasty, and the people called his paper “Thai Maru” and respected him as the ancestor of the paper-making profession.
Around the XNUMXnd century, paper was transmitted to Vietnam, in the XNUMXth century to Korea, in the XNUMXth century to Japan, and in the XNUMXth century to India. After that, paper making in turn spread to Arabia, Spain, and Italy through the Silk Road. Ancient Egyptian materials such as leaves, Papirut paper, sheep skin were gradually replaced.
According to ancient Chinese documents, tea was discovered by Shen Nong – one of the Three Emperors of Chinese culture. Legend has it that Shen Nong was the one who taught the people to farm and was very good at medicine. Wherever he went, he searched and tried to taste the plants in nature to distinguish what is a cure and which is a poison. In 2737 BC, Shen Nong first tasted burnt tea leaves that were blown by the hot wind and fell into his cauldron of boiling water. From there, he discovered the medicinal effects of tea and considered it a very good medicine, able to detoxify 70 other plants.
During the Tang Dynasty (618－907) tea became a popular drink among all social classes. Then gradually spread to regional countries such as Japan and Tibet. Therefore, the “Tra – Ma Co Dao” road was formed with a length of more than 4.000 km. The sixteenth century marked a turning point on the way of tea reaching the world by being brought to Europe for trial cultivation.
Tea has a refreshing effect, helps the spirit and mind to be more alert, diuretic and detoxifies, so from then on, tea leaves were gradually exploited, collected and planted. After going through many modifications, the new tea tasted like the one we enjoy today.
From the 24rd century BC, the Chinese knew the magnetism and directional properties of magnetite and invented a directional device called “Sinan”. Tunan is made of natural stone, ground into the shape of a spoon and placed on a square plate. The four around the area have 8 directions, ie 12 units Giap, At, Binh, Dinh, Canh, Tan, Nham, Quy and 4 branches: Rat, Ox, Dan, Mao, Thin, Snake, Horse, Mui, Than, Rooster, Dog, Pig. There are XNUMX unique steps: Can, Khon, Ton, Can. The handle of the spoon will point south. Tunan is considered the ancestor of the pointer, but it has many limitations because it is difficult to grind, heavy, has a large frictional force, and indicates the direction is not accurate.
During the Song Dynasty, feng shui masters invented artificial magnet needles. They used an iron needle, sharpened it into stone to collect magnetism, and then used that needle to make a compass. The first compass was used by feng shui masters to see the direction of the earth. Later, in the Northern Song Dynasty, compasses were used to navigate the sea.
Around the second half of the XNUMXth century, the Compass was transmitted to Arabia by sea and then to Europe. The Europeans improved on the dry compass, that is, a compass with engraved fixed positions. In the second half of the sixteenth century, the dry compass returned to China.