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Describe important technologies of China such as bronze casting, silk manufacture, and gunpowder.

Bronze Zun (wine storeage vessel)
Bronze Zun (wine storeage vessel)

Screen Shot 2018-01-06 at 11.48.22 AM.pngThe Great Bronze Age of China: An Exhibition from the People's Republic of China at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.


  • Bronze making requires iron and tin ores
  • Extreme heat used to cast it
  • Used clay for models
    • Click here for the full process
  • The Bronze Age began in China around 2000 BC
    • Bronze vessels and weapons survive from China's earliest archaeologically recorded dynasty, Shang.
  • The "First Bronze Age"
  • The art focused on the "Cult of the Dead"
  • Occurred from the Shang to the Han Dynasties
  • Concerned with securing immortality and safe passage to the afterlife, kings constructed and decorated lavish tombs

("Harmonious Balance" which exemplifies all aspects of Chinese culture, is exemplified in its art. Chinese bronze art is a careful balance of traditions and innovations, both native and foreign ideas, and of religious and secular images.) *

Click here for a cool interactive website that shows the process for bronzing!!

Early Chinese Bronze


external image Making_Paper.gif
Ts'ai Lun (Cai Lun) was the inventor of paper, 105 CE. He used bark from trees, hemp waste, old rags and fishing nets.

For more, see The Invention of Paper from the Robert C. Williams Paper Museum at Georgia Tech University.


  • Silk originated in China
  • The Chinese took pride in their silk
  • Silk was used as currency and could be used to pay taxes, wages, buy land
  • The process of making silk was kept secret for thousands of years
  • When silk was brought back to the Western empires, it quickly became a favorite of the wealthy
  • The silkworms feed off mulberry bushes
  • They form cocoons that are boiled and wound to create strong filaments
  • The silk can be dyed different colors
  • For more info, click here
Multimedia.pngClick here for a youtube video on the production of silk
lessonplan.jpgClick here for a lesson plan on the silk road
Ancient Silk, Suzhou Museum


Earliest known written description of the formula for gunpowder (1044)
Earliest known written description of the formula for gunpowder (1044)

  • One of the great 4 Chinese inventions
  • Invented in the Tang Dynasty, around 850AD
  • Mix of saltpeter, charcoal, and sulfur
  • Originally thought to extend the life
  • Actually discovered as an accident
  • Used this discovery for fireworks along with use in military
  • Click here for more info