Top 18 Ancient Chinese Inventions and Discoveries (2023)

The ancient Chinese were innovative and determined. They met their daily needs by creating and innovating some of the most important and long-lasting items in history.

Ancient Chinese inventions date back to the Paleolithic period, and the Chinese were always ahead of their contemporaries when it came to inventing valuable things.

They have given us the four greatest inventions in the world – the compass, gunpowder, paper, and printing, but the list doesn’t stop there.

Here are the top 18 (including two from the medieval period) most famous Chinese inventions:

Contents show

18. Papermaking (50–121 AD)

Top 18 Ancient Chinese Inventions and Discoveries (1)

Before the invention of paper, people used different materials like wood, stone, and bone to write on. Around 2200 BC, the Egyptians discovered a type of reed called papyrus which could be used to write on by overlapping thin strips that had been soaked in water. The world “paper” was derived from papyrus.

Paper was invented in ancient China around 105 AD during the reign of the Han emperor He Di by Ts’ai Lun (or Chai Lun), an official of the imperial court. However, a recent archeological survey indicates that paper had already been invented 200 years earlier and was used by the ancient Chinese military.

Ts’ai Lun used the bark of the mulberry tree and pounded the fibers into a sheet. Later, he discovered that the quality of the paper could be improved by adding hemp and old fish nets to the pulp. Soon, paper became the new writing material, and it only took a few years before it was widely in use all over China. Later, paper was brought to the rest of the world via the Silk Road.

17. Silk

Top 18 Ancient Chinese Inventions and Discoveries (2)

The invention of silk dates back to the fourth millennium BC during the Neolithic period. Apart from clothing, silk was widely used in a variety of sectors including writing, fishing, and for musical instruments. Silk was dominantly used by emperors and high-class society but later it spread to the rest of the population. During the Han dynasty (202 BC–220 AD), silk became more than just a commodity. It was used as a reward for a worthy Chinese citizen or government official.

Silk became an important part of the Chinese economy. Japan and the Middle East started cultivating silk around 300 AD and the Crusades brought the concept of silk production to Western Europe. This resulted in an economic boom and Chinese silk started to decrease in value and exports. However, China dominates the luxury silk market today.

(Video) Top 18 Ancient Chinese Inventions and Discoveries

16. Tea Production (2737 BC)

Top 18 Ancient Chinese Inventions and Discoveries (3)

Tea was discovered in ancient China by the Chinese emperor Shennong in 2737 BC. Shennong liked to drink hot water. One day during a march he and his army stopped to rest and his servant prepared some boiling water for him. A brown leaf fell into the water and the water turned brown. The servant presented it to the emperor, he drank it and found it refreshing.

During the Han dynasty, tea was used as a medicine, and it was used as a drink on social occasions from the Tang dynasty (618–907 AD). Tea was prepared differently in ancient China than it is today. Tea leaves were processed and compressed into cake form.

The dried teacake known as brick tea was ground in a stone mortar. The powder from the teacake was then boiled in a kettle, or hot water was added to it. It was then served as a hot beverage. White tea (compressed tea) was produced during the Tang dynasty, and it was harvested in the early spring when the tea leaves were still silver needles.

15. Kites

Top 18 Ancient Chinese Inventions and Discoveries (4)

The Chinese were ahead of the rest of the world in producing silk, and they used this silk to make kites, adding a resilient and lightweight bamboo framework to high tensile strength silk. Chinese philosophers Lu Ban and Mozi documented the first kite in ancient China in the fifth century BC.

By 549 AD, paper kites were being used to carry messages for rescue missions. During the medieval period, the Chinese used kites to test the wind, measure distance, and for military communication.

See also:
Top 10 Astonishing Ancient Chinese Mythology Stories

14. The Seed Drill (250 BC)

Top 18 Ancient Chinese Inventions and Discoveries (5)

The Babylonians in ancient Mesopotamia invented single tube drills around 1500 BC, but these never reached Europe or Asia. Chinese farmers generally planted seeds by hand which was time-consuming and ineffective. Most of the seeds never germinated because of pests and the elements. The ancient Chinese found an alternative to this problem.

During the Zhou dynasty, they discovered the seed drill that allowed … However, it wasn’t until the second century BC that they invented a multi-tube iron seed drill that helped them to produce food on a larger scale.

13. Deep Drilling (Second Century BC)

Top 18 Ancient Chinese Inventions and Discoveries (6)

The Chinese developed drilling technology to extract brine from beneath the earth’s surface. It was developed in the landlocked province of Szechuan, around 1,200 miles from the sea, in order to get salt from boreholes.

Deep drilling borehole technology slowly improved, and the ancient Chinese were finally able to extract natural gas from the boreholes. The gas was carried by a bamboo pipe to its destination and then used as fuel.

By the 11th century, the Chinese were able to drill boreholes over 3,000 feet deep. The same technology was used to drill the first petroleum well in California in the 1860s.

(Video) Ingenious Inventions of Ancient China | Ancient Discoveries (S1, E10) | Full Episode

12. Porcelain

Top 18 Ancient Chinese Inventions and Discoveries (7)

Porcelain was not a sudden invention, and an ancient form of porcelain existed during the Shang dynasty (1600 BC–1046 BC). It was perfected during the Tang dynasty and was exported to the Middle East.

During the Song dynasty (960–1279 AD), the manufacture of porcelain became highly organized and reached new heights. By the time of the Ming dynasty (1368–1644 AD) porcelain was being exported to Europe, Africa, and Asia via the Silk Road.

11. The Compass

The Chinese considered south their cardinal direction, and the original compass was created by the Chinese using a lodestone to point south. This was called the south pointer. A lodestone is a type of mineral magnetite that aligns itself with the earth’s magnetic field.

The ancient Chinese discovered that a suspended lodestone could turn freely and would point towards the magnetic poles. During the Han dynasty, it was mainly used for geomancy and fortune telling. In the 11th century, during the Song dynasty, the Chinese figured out that the lodestone, which was primarily being used as a divination tool, could also be used to indicate a direction for travelers.

In the book Shorter Science and Civilization in China, Volume 3 written by Joseph Needham, it is stated that the Chinese began to use the compass for navigation between the 9th and the 11th centuries.

10. Noodles

Top 18 Ancient Chinese Inventions and Discoveries (8)

An archeological survey in 2002 at the Lajia site of the Qijia culture discovered some ancient noodles made of grains from millet grass. The 50cm-long yellow strands of noodles are predicted to be 4,000 years old.

Prior to this period, the earliest noodles were thought to have been eaten during the Han dynasty. There was a huge controversy over whether the Arabs, the Italians, or the Chinese first invented them.

See also:
Top 10 Traditional Ancient Chinese Foods

9. Alcoholic Beverages

Top 18 Ancient Chinese Inventions and Discoveries (9)

The consumption of beer began in ancient China around 9,000 years ago during the Neolithic period. They used rice, hawthorn, honey, and grapes to make the beer.

The four to five percent alcoholic beer was made popular by Yi Di and Du Kang of the Xia dynasty. Various bronze vessels preserved from the Shang dynasty indicate that they had once contained alcohol.

8. Iron and Steel Smelting

Top 18 Ancient Chinese Inventions and Discoveries (10)

During the Paleolithic period, the Chinese used arrowheads made of stone for fishing and hunting. During the Neolithic period, conflicts began to arise among different groups and the Chinese started to modify their farming and fishing tools into deadly weapons. During the Shang and Zhou periods, bronze smelting was perfected to create different weapons as well as tools for farming.

(Video) Four Great Inventions of Ancient China | Compass, Gunpowder, Paper, Wood Block Printing

An Iron Age began in ancient China during the Zhou dynasty (1050 BC–256 BC) and iron was used to create weapons, farming tools, and household products. During the Han dynasty private iron making was abolished, and the state began to monopolize the iron smelting industry.

The Chinese used different techniques for creating iron and steel weaponry. Their innovative techniques led to the rapid growth of the iron and steel industry in China. They invented various casting processes to produce crude iron, cast iron, wrought iron, tempering, and wrought steel that put them way ahead of other civilizations at that time.

7. The Wheelbarrow

Top 18 Ancient Chinese Inventions and Discoveries (11)

There is archaeological evidence of wheelbarrows in ancient China from the Han dynasty, as seen in Hui’s tomb murals and brick tomb reliefs. However, the invention of the wheelbarrow can be credited to prime minister Zhuge Liang (181–234 AD) of Shu Han sometime between 197 and 234 AD. Liang created the wheelbarrow to carry military weapons and to move injured and dead soldiers from the battlefield.

There were two types of wheelbarrow that were common: the front-wheeled wheelbarrow and the centrally mounted wheel. The centrally mounted design didn’t require a huge amount of energy to pull the wheelbarrow, the total weight being distributed equally between the wheels and pullers. This made it convenient to use and these wheelbarrows were used mainly by builders, soldiers, traders, and farmers.

See also:

  • Top 10 Ancient Roman Inventions
  • Top 11 Inventions and Discoveries of Mesopotamia
  • Top 10 Inventions and Discoveries of Ancient Greece
  • Top 10 Inventions of the Mayan Civilization
  • Top 10 Inventions and Discoveries of Ancient Egypt

6. Acupuncture

Top 18 Ancient Chinese Inventions and Discoveries (12)

There is archaeological evidence that acupuncture was practiced in ancient China from the Paleolithic period. Different materials such as stone knives and bamboo or bone needles used as instruments of healing have all been excavated in China.

Acupuncture was revolutionized during the period of Huang Di, the Yellow Emperor (2697–2597 BC). The earliest book of Chinese medicine is the Nei Jing and was written around 305 BC–204 BC. It consists of a dialogue between Huang Di and his physicist Qi Bo about the whole spectrum of the Chinese medical arts.

5. The Seismograph

Top 18 Ancient Chinese Inventions and Discoveries (13)

In 132 AD, Zhang Heng (78–139 AD) of the Han dynasty invented the first seismograph called “Houfeng Didong” to measure the movements of the earth and seasonal winds. The seismograph was an urn-like instrument made of copper with a central pendulum.

The eight dragons on the surface, each one holding the copper in its mouth, point out the eight different directions: east, south, west, north, southeast, northeast, southwest, and northwest.

When there was an earthquake, the dragon’s mouth that was closest to the earthquake’s source opened and the ball dropped into the mouth of the frog, producing a sound. This let people know the direction of the earthquake.

4. The Great Wall

Top 18 Ancient Chinese Inventions and Discoveries (14)

The Great Wall of China was built by the first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang (260–210 BC) to protect the country from northern invaders. The 5,500-mile-long wall was built by slaves, criminals, and peasants.

(Video) Top 10 Ancient Chinese Inventions That Will Blow Your Mind

It is estimated that millions of people worked to build the Great Wall over a period of 1,000 years. Most of the Great Wall that we can see today was built during the Ming dynasty. Glutinous rice flour was used as a binding material to bind the bricks.

3. The Silk Road

Top 18 Ancient Chinese Inventions and Discoveries (15)

The Silk Road was an ancient trading route used by merchants, traders, and city dwellers linking Asia to the Mediterranean. The history of the Silk Road can be traced back to the Han dynasty.

The name “Silk Road” came into existence due to the lucrative silk industry that exported silk all over the world. The Silk Road was 6,400 miles long and considered an important development, enabling the silk industry to flourish.

Chinese Inventions During the Medieval Period:

2. Gunpowder

Top 18 Ancient Chinese Inventions and Discoveries (16)

The first chemical explosive known as a gunpowder or black powder was made from sulfur, charcoal, and potassium nitrate (saltpeter). Gunpowder wasn’t a sudden invention. The Chinese had used saltpeter since the middle of the first century AD in various medical treatments.

Gunpowder was invented during the Tang dynasty in the 9th century, but it wasn’t until the Song dynasty in the 11th century that the first recorded formula was documented. The Chinese used gunpowder and gunpowder-based weaponry as a military defense.

1. Movable Type Printing

A major revolution in the history of printing came after the invention of movable clay type printing by Bi Sheng (990–1051) during the Northern Song dynasty (960–1127). The printing process consisted of four stages: making the types, composing the text, printing, and retrieving the movable types. Later, in 1298, it was re-invented by Wang Zhen during the Yuan dynasty.

He produced 100 copies of the Nong Shu or Book of Agriculture using more than 30,000 wooden movable types. The book consists of over 60,000 Chinese characters. Metal movable type printing was invented during the Jin (1115–1234) and Southern Song (1127–1279) dynasties in the 12th century. It was mostly made of bronze and was used to print money.


Ancient Chinese inventions revolutionized many industries that we take for granted today. Without paper, there would be no books, without the compass, traveling would have been curtailed, without printing, there would be no paper money.

The Chinese also invented lots of other things during the medieval period, and that is why two very important inventions from this period have also been included. The world would be a very different place without these ancient and medieval Chinese inventions.

Related posts:

  1. Top 10 Traditional Ancient Chinese Foods
  2. Top 10 Marvelous Types of Ancient Chinese Art
  3. Top 10 Most Important Events in Ancient China
  4. Top 10 Greatest Emperors of Ancient China


Top 18 Ancient Chinese Inventions and Discoveries? ›

Papermaking, printing, gunpowder and the compass - the four great inventions of ancient China-are significant contributions of the Chinese nation to world civilization.

What are the 4 famous discoveries and inventions of the Chinese civilization? ›

Papermaking, printing, gunpowder and the compass - the four great inventions of ancient China-are significant contributions of the Chinese nation to world civilization.

What are the 4 great inventions of China in Chinese? ›

The Four Great Inventions (simplified Chinese: 四大发明; traditional Chinese: 四大發明) are inventions from ancient China that are celebrated in Chinese culture for their historical significance and as symbols of ancient China's advanced science and technology. They are the compass, gunpowder, papermaking and printing.

What are some major Chinese inventions? ›

Below is a list of inventions created by ancient Chinese and some may surprise you!
  • Paper Making 105 A.C.
  • Movable Type Printing 960-1279 AD.
  • Gunpowder 1000 A.D.
  • Compass 1100 A.D.
  • Mechanical Clock 725 A.D.
  • Silk 6,000 years ago.
  • Umbrella 1,700 years ago.
  • Acupuncture 2300 years ago.

What are 5 inventions from ancient China that are still being used in our present time? ›

Many are surprised to realize that modern agriculture, shipping, astronomical observatories, decimal mathematics, paper money, umbrellas, wheelbarrows, multi-stage rockets, brandy and whiskey, the game of chess, and much more, all came from China—in additional to papermaking, printing, and gunpowder.

What 4 things did the Chinese invent that we still use today? ›

China is noted for having invented gunpowder, the printing press, paper and the magnetic compass all of which are still in use, in modernised forms today. In the West we focus on those four because we learnt them from the Chinese around the sixteenth century and they had a significant effect on the West at the time.

How many things did China invent? ›

the four great inventions – papermaking, printing, gunpowder and the compass, Ancient China contributed countless other inventions to the world, how many other creations do you know? Below is a list of the 20 inventions created by ancient Chinese and some may surprise you.

What is the greatest invention of all time? ›

The Greatest Inventions In The Past 1000 Years
1Printing PressJohannes Gutenberg
2Electric LightThomas Edison
3AutomobileKarl Benz
4TelephoneAlexander Graham Bell
6 more rows

What has China invented recently? ›

The respondents' top answers were high-speed rail, mobile payment, bike sharing, and e-commerce. Since then, Chinese media and officials have drawn on this to promote these technologies as China's "four new great inventions" in modern times.

What is China mostly known for? ›

Undoubtedly the most well-known landmark that China is famous for is The Great Wall, a colossal 13,170-mile fortification made of earth and stone. It is an official part of the Seven Wonders of the World. The spectacular wall was built over a period of 2,500 years and eventually finished construction in 220 BC.

What are the Chinese inventions in science? ›

Among the earliest inventions were the abacus, the sundial, and the Kongming lantern. The Four Great Inventions,the compass, gunpowder, papermaking, and printing – were among the most important technological advances, only known to Europe by the end of the Middle Ages 1000 years later.

Why was ancient China so advanced? ›

Ancient China was a very independent civilization. Its formidable land lacked easy travel routes and made it very difficult for hostile invasions. This allowed early Chinese culture to develop aspects such as filial piety, religious beliefs, and writing that influenced and shaped a strong Chinese culture and society.

What are the achievements of China? ›

They also invented paper. In medicine, acupuncture was invented. Also, the Chinese discovered the circulatory system. In technology, they invented an iron plow, rudder for steering ships, the seismoscope for detecting earthquakes, a compass, and a wheelbarrow for hauling goods.

What are the three discoveries of China? ›

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).

What are 5 facts about Ancient China? ›

10 Ancient China Facts for Kids
  • Ancient China spans over 1800 years. ...
  • There were three main dynasties. ...
  • The Zhou dynasty is split into two parts. ...
  • Proof for the Xia dynasty emerged only recently. ...
  • Sun Tzu lived during the Eastern Zhou period. ...
  • The first parts of the Great Wall of China were built.
Oct 30, 2021

What is the legacy of Ancient China? ›

Gunpowder, paper, printing, and the compass are sometimes called the Four Great Inventions of Ancient China. Kites were first used as a way for the army to signal warnings. Umbrellas were invented for protection from the sun as well as the rain. Chinese doctors knew about certain herbs to help sick people.

What did Chinese astronomers discover? ›

Using the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST), Chinese astronomers have detected a new galaxy, which received designation FAST J0139+4328.

What did the Ming Dynasty invent? ›

The Ming dynasty continued refining previous inventions by revolutionizing the production of gunpowder, medicine, agricultural tools, and paper. They also invented the bristle toothbrush which improved hygiene and quality of life.

What did the Qing Dynasty invent? ›

The Qing Dynasty invented the first machine gun. It also developed a new lightweight armor. They also increased the printing of literature in a major achievement.

Which Chinese invention changed the world the most? ›

1. Paper would change the world forever. Paper is possibly one of the most important inventions of all time. Records show that paper existed in China as early as 105 AD.

How did Chinese inventions changed the world? ›

The Ancient Chinese were experts at inventing new things. Many of their inventions, such as paper and printing, the magnetic compass, and gunpowder, changed the world. Other Chinese inventions include the wheelbarrow and the bristle toothbrush. They invented the seismometer for measuring earthquakes.

Did China invent fireworks? ›

Many historians believe that fireworks originally were developed in the second century B.C. in ancient Liuyang, China. It is believed that the first natural "firecrackers" were bamboo stalks that when thrown in a fire, would explode with a bang because of the overheating of the hollow air pockets in the bamboo.

Which invention has changed the world the most? ›

1. Wheel. Before the invention of the wheel in 3500 B.C., humans were severely limited in how much stuff we could transport over land, and how far.

What was the first thing a woman invented? ›

On May 5, 1809, Mary Kies became the first woman to receive a patent in the United States. (It was for her technique of weaving straw with silk.)

What is the best invention of the last 100 years? ›

101 Inventions that changed the world
  1. Aerosol spray can. The first patent for the aerosol spray can was granted in 1927 to a Norwegian engineer named Erik Rotheim. ...
  2. Quick-release ski binding. Extreme sports are called that for a reason. ...
  3. Super soaker. ...
  4. Blender. ...
  5. Bra. ...
  6. Picnic cooler. ...
  7. Digital video recorder. ...
  8. Teflon pan.
Dec 8, 2022

What is China's best technology? ›

China leads in 37 of 44 technologies tracked in a year-long project by thinktank the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. The fields include electric batteries, hypersonics and advanced radio-frequency communications such as 5G and 6G.

What are 5 products of China? ›

Most imports from China to India
Products import from China to India 2022Value ($USD)
Plastics5.44 Billion
Fertilizers2.34 Billion
Optical, photo, technical, medical apparatus2.21 Billion
Iron and steel1.98 Billion
10 more rows
May 2, 2023

What invention did the Chinese use to invent paper money? ›

Once the Chinese had started making comparatively inexpensive paper from natural fibers, and invented block-printing, paper money came into use in the country.

What is one unique fact about China? ›

The Forbidden City is the biggest imperial palace in the world. The Forbidden City was the Chinese Imperial Palace during the Ming Dynasty and served as the home of emperors for almost 500 years. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its finely preserved collection of ancient buildings in China.

What is the most unique thing about China? ›

In China over 30 million people live in caves. One in every five people in the world is Chinese. China is the most populous nation on Earth with around 1.3 billion people. In Chinese mythology, a monster called “Nian” (“year”) comes out to eat people on New Year's Eve.

Why is China so advanced in technology? ›

The study found that rising labor costs in China and "expanded market opportunities in the world economy" were the main drivers behind innovations. The study also found that state-owned firms innovated less than private firms, even though state-owned firms received far greater subsidies.

What innovation in medicine was developed in ancient China? ›

acupuncture, ancient Chinese medical technique for relieving pain, curing disease, and improving general health. It was devised before 2500 bce in China and by the late 20th century was used in many other areas of the world.

What did the Chinese first use paper for? ›

Among the earliest known uses of paper was padding and wrapping delicate bronze mirrors according to archaeological evidence dating to the reign of Emperor Wu of Han from the 2nd century BCE.

What did Ancient China value the most? ›

The Chinese traditional cultural values of harmony, benevolence, righteousness, courtesy, wisdom, honesty, loyalty, and filial piety are embodied in China's diplomacy through the concept of harmony, the most important Chinese traditional value.

What is the most ancient thing in China? ›

Yinxu was discovered, or rediscovered, in 1899. It is now one of China's oldest and largest archeological sites, and was selected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2006.

What does China call itself? ›

The People's Republic of China (Zhōnghuá Rénmín Gònghéguó) and Republic of China (Zhōnghuá Mínguó) are the official names for the two contemporary sovereign states currently claiming sovereignty over the traditional area of China.

What is the biggest advantage of China in the world? ›

China ranks first in terms of trade in goods and foreign exchange reserves, and ranks second in terms of its trade in services and consumer market. In 2020, it was the largest recipient of foreign direct investment.

What was ancient China called? ›

Kingdom of Ancient China. From 221 BCE to 1912 China was united under a single great kingdom. The people's name for China was the “Middle Kingdom,” because it seemed to them to be the center of the world.

When was China the most successful? ›

Both Han and Tang Dynasty are considered as the most powerful dynasty in Chinese history. Tang Dynasty's culture, politics and economy had great influence on the neighbor countries.

What are 3 treatments discovered in ancient China that are still used today? ›

The approaches that make up traditional Chinese medicine (such as acupuncture, tai chi, and herbal products) have been the subjects of many clinical studies and scientific reviews.

What is the new archaeological discovery in China? ›

22 (Xinhua) -- Six historic sites dating back to the Paleolithic period at the earliest were listed as China's new archaeological discoveries of 2022 at a forum on Wednesday. Among these sites unearthed in six provincial-level regions, two are believed to be from the Neolithic period and one from the Bronze Age.

What is the greatest invention of all times invented in China and has been a major factor in military technology? ›

GUNPOWDER – this chemical explosive, invented in China in the 9th century, has been a major factor in military technology (and, by extension, in wars that changed the course of human history).

What are 20 interesting Facts about China? ›

Historical Facts About China
  • Chinese Flag Was Chosen From Almost 3000 Entries. ...
  • Chinese Were The First To Use Paper Money. ...
  • Football Was Invented In China. ...
  • Ping Pong Was Not Invented In China. ...
  • Chopsticks Were Used For Cooking Not Eating. ...
  • Chinese Calligraphy Is A Respected Artwork. ...
  • China Has 56 Minorities. ...
  • Family Is Most Valued.

What is unique about ancient China? ›

Under the Chinese kingdom, education was highly prized, and the arts, especially music and painting, grew and flourished. The Ancient Chinese were also great scientists. Their invention of cast iron and gunpowder were centuries ahead of the rest of the world.

What are 4 contributions of ancient China? ›

Papermaking, printing, gunpowder and the compass - the four great inventions of ancient China-are significant contributions of the Chinese nation to world civilization.

What are 5 important contributions of ancient China? ›

Below is a list of the 20 inventions created by ancient Chinese and some may surprise you.
  • Paper Making 105 A.C.
  • Movable Type Printing 960-1279 AD.
  • Gunpowder 1000 A.D.
  • Compass 1100 A.D.
  • Alcohol 2000 BC-1600 BC.
  • Mechanical Clock 725 A.D.
  • Tea Production 2,737 BC.
  • Silk 6,000 years ago.

What are the two most important features of ancient China? ›

The two most important geographical features of Ancient China were the two major rivers that flowed through central China; the Yellow River to the north and the Yangtze River to the south.

What are 5 facts about ancient China? ›

10 Ancient China Facts for Kids
  • Ancient China spans over 1800 years. ...
  • There were three main dynasties. ...
  • The Zhou dynasty is split into two parts. ...
  • Proof for the Xia dynasty emerged only recently. ...
  • Sun Tzu lived during the Eastern Zhou period. ...
  • The first parts of the Great Wall of China were built.
Oct 30, 2021

When was China discovered? ›

Marco Polo, the famous explorer who familiarized China to Europe in the 13th century CE, referred to the land as 'Cathay. In Mandarin Chinese, the country is known as 'Zhongguo' meaning "central state" or "middle empire".

When did the Chinese invent gunpowder? ›

Chinese monks discovered the technology in the 9th century CE, during their quest for a life-extending elixir. The key ingredient, saltpeter, had been in use by this same culture since the late centuries BCE for medicinal purposes. It was found to be incendiary and immediately applied to warfare.

What is China known for? ›

What Is China Famous For? China is famous for its ancient architecture, for example, the illustrious Great Wall of China which was constructed in the 7th century BC. Similarly, China has ancient traditions such as martial arts which originated during the Xia dynasty.

What are the 8 features of civilization ancient China? ›

The eight features of civilizations include cities, organized central governments, complex religions, job specialization, social classes, arts and architecture, public works and writing. Early peoples developed unique civilizations.

What is the oldest Chinese history? ›

The Shang dynasty emerged in the 17th century B.C.E. as the first true Chinese dynasty. Its boundaries are shown in gray. To guard against flooding by the Yangtze and Yellow Rivers, the ancient Shang developed complex forms of irrigation and flood control.

What was China before China called? ›

Over the centuries, Zhongguo was at times used in diplomatic dispatches to foreign vassal states but the dynastic name was still the official one. The first time Zhongguo was used as the Chinese nation's official name was in the Sino-Russian Treaty of Nerchinsk of 1689.

Is Egypt older than Chinese? ›

Though the ancient Chinese rank high among the world's oldest civilisations (2000 BC), the development of a united China came almost 1100 years after the ancient Egyptians (3100 BC). Mesopotamia (4000 BC), Egypt (3100 BC) and the Indus Valley civilisations (3300 BC) all significantly pre-date ancient China.

What is the legacy of ancient China? ›

Gunpowder, paper, printing, and the compass are sometimes called the Four Great Inventions of Ancient China. Kites were first used as a way for the army to signal warnings. Umbrellas were invented for protection from the sun as well as the rain. Chinese doctors knew about certain herbs to help sick people.

What do the Chinese call themselves? ›

Chinese people are known as Zhongguoren (simplified Chinese: 中国人; traditional Chinese: 中國人) or as Huaren (simplified Chinese: 华人; traditional Chinese: 華人) by speakers of standard Chinese, including those living in Greater China as well as overseas Chinese.

What are 2 cool facts about China? ›

  • The Terracotta Warriors were found by farmers. ...
  • The Great Wall of China is actually a collection of walls. ...
  • Tiananmen Square contains the Mausoleum of Mao Zedong. ...
  • Chinese food varies greatly from region to region. ...
  • The Forbidden City is the biggest imperial palace in the world. ...
  • The Yangtze River is the longest river in Asia.
Jan 24, 2022


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