Ancient Chinese Contributions

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Assignment 2: Ancient Chinese Contributions HUM 111 − World Cultures I Ancient Chinese Contributions Throughout our human history many ancient cultures have contributed to our advancements today. One of these amazing ancient cultures is the Chinese. Gunpowder invented during 9th century by Chinese alchemists. The compass invented during the Song Dynasty. Paper was invented during the Han Dynasty. Other contributions of the ancient Chinese are pasta, wheelbarrow, alcohol, kites, hang gliders and silk. Of all on the contributions from the ancient Chinese gunpowder, paper, compass and printing are the most innovative. The discovery of gunpowder by the ancient Chinese was purely accidental in the 9th century. Rather, the Chinese alchemists were searching for an elixir of life. In other words, they were combining different chemicals in the hope of unfolding immortality in humans. On the contrary, ancient Chinese alchemists’ mixture of potassium nitrate (saltpetre), charcoal and sulphur was not the elixir of life but the foundation of an explosive powder. By the 12th century the Chinese was able to increase the levels of nitrate within gunpowder to burst cast iron containers alternately creating gunpowder-filled grenade bombs. In early history, gunpowder provided leverage for military conquest. Today, we use gunpowder in fireworks (another invention of the ancient Chinese), military purposes to defend our country, rockets, and bullets for guns just to name a few. There are many more applications for gunpowder in today’s society. Today we use paper for our newspapers, books, post-its, notebook and journals. Paper is a major form of communication in today’s society. Intriguingly, the ancient Chinese invented paper during the Han Dynasty by Cai Lun. Although paper existed in China before Cai Lun (since the 2nd century BC), he was responsible for the first
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