Published on June 23, 2016
Machines of Ancient China | Inventions That Shaped the Modern World | History Documentary Films
China has been the source of many innovations, scientific discoveries and inventions. This includes the Four Great Inventions: papermaking, the compass, gunpowder and printing (both woodblock and movable type). The list below contains these and other inventions in China attested by archaeology or history.
The historical region now known as China experienced a history involving mechanics, hydraulics and mathematics applied to horology, metallurgy, astronomy, agriculture, engineering, music theory, craftsmanship, naval architecture and warfare. By the Warring States period (403–221 BC), inhabitants of the Warring States had advanced metallurgic technology, including the blast furnace and cupola furnace, while the finery forge and puddling process were known by the Han Dynasty (202 BC–AD 220). A sophisticated economic system in imperial China gave birth to inventions such as paper money during the Song Dynasty (960–1279). The invention of gunpowder during the mid 9th century led to an array of inventions such as the fire lance, land mine, naval mine, hand cannon, exploding cannonballs, multistage rocket and rocket bombs with aerodynamic wings and explosive payloads.