Gunpowder - Top 10 Ancient Chinese Inventions | HowStuffWorks
Oct 22, by Anna Michaels Middle Ages Gunpowder was invented around A.D., by Chinese chemists that were trying to find an elixir for eternal. Main · Videos; The perfect message online dating who invented gunpowder yahoo dating · dating vatbaar betekenis voornaam · ted talk hacking dating. Gunpowder is considered one of the Four Great Inventions of the Chinese, though in fact it is not Neither its inventors nor exact date of creation is known.
The dagger-axe or ge was developed from agricultural stone implement during the Neolithic, dagger-axe made of stone are found in the Longshan culture — BC site at Miaodian, Henan.
Who Invented the First Gun?
It also appeared as ceremonial and symbolic jade weapon at around the same time, two being dated from about BC, are found at the Lingjiatan site in Anhui. It consisted of a long wooden shaft with a bronze knife blade attached at a right angle to the end. The weapon could be swung down or inward in order to hook or slash, respectively, at an enemy. Some of the earliest evidence of water wells are located in China. The Chinese discovered and made extensive use of deep drilled groundwater for drinking.
The Chinese text The Book of Changesoriginally a divination text of the Western Zhou dynasty BCcontains an entry describing how the ancient Chinese maintained their wells and protected their sources of water. A well excavated at the Hemudu excavation site was believed to have been built during the Neolithic era. The oldest fired bricks were found at the Neolithic Chinese site of Chengtoushandating back to BC. By BC, fired bricks were being used at Chengtoushan to pave roads and form building foundations, roughly at the same time as the Indus Valley Civilisation.
While sun-dried bricks were used much earlier in Mesopotamia, fired bricks are significantly stronger as a building material. Bricks continued to be used during 2nd millennium BC at a site near Xi'an.
The carpenter's manual Yingzao Fashipublished in during the medieval Chinese Song dynasty described the brick making process and glazing techniques then in use. A painted stick dating from BCE excavated at the astronomical site of Taosi is the oldest gnomon known in China.
The ancient Chinese used shadow measurements for creating calendars that are mentioned in several ancient texts.
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According to the collection of Zhou Chinese poetic anthologies Classic of Poetryone of the distant ancestors of King Wen of the Zhou dynasty used to measure gnomon shadow lengths to determine the orientation around the 14th-century BC. Chinese jade has played a role in China's science and technological history. Jade was prized for its hardnessdurabilitymusical qualitiesand beauty.
Lacquer was used in China since the Neolithic period and came from a substance extracted from the lac tree found in China. The discovery in northern China of domesticated varieties of broomcorn and foxtail millet from BC, or earlier, suggests that millet cultivation might have predated that of rice in parts of Asia.
The success of the early Chinese millet farmers is still reflected today in the DNA of many modern East Asian populations, such studies have shown that the ancestors of those farmers probably arrived in the area between 30, and 20, BPand their bacterial haplotypes are still found in today populations throughout East Asia.
Rowing oars have been used since the early Neothilic period ; a canoe-shaped pottery and six wooden oars dating from the BC have been discovered in a Hemudu culture site at YuyaoZhejiang. In a rare occurrence, the Song made a successful offensive on Jin forces and conducted a night assault using boats.
They were loaded with gunpowder arrows, thunderclap bombs, a thousand crossbowmen, five hundred infantry, and a hundred drummers. Jin troops were surprised in their encampment while asleep by loud drumming, followed by an onslaught of crossbow bolts, and then thunderclap bombs, which caused a panic of such magnitude that they were unable to even saddle themselves and trampled over each other trying to get away.
Two to three thousand Jin troops were slaughtered along with eight to nine hundred horses.
History of gunpowder
Traditionally the inspiration for the development of the iron bomb is ascribed to the tale of a fox hunter named Iron Li. According to the story, around the year Iron Li developed a new method for hunting foxes which used a ceramic explosive to scare foxes into his nets.
The explosive consisted of a ceramic bottle with a mouth, stuffed with gunpowder, and attached with a fuse. Explosive and net were placed at strategic points of places such as watering holes frequented by foxes, and when they got near enough, Iron Li would light the fuse, causing the ceramic bottle to explode and scaring the frightened foxes right into his nets.
While a fanciful tale, it's not exactly certain why this would cause the development of the iron bomb, given the explosive was made using ceramics, and other materials such as bamboo or even leather would have done the same job, assuming they made a loud enough noise.
Qizhou was a major fortress city situated near the Yangtze and a 25 thousand strong Jin army advanced on it in News of the approaching army reached Zhao Yurong in Qizhou, and despite being outnumbered nearly eight to one, he decided to hold the city.
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While the formula for gunpowder had become potent enough to consider the Song bombs to be true explosives, they were unable to match the explosive power of the Jin iron bombs. Yurong describes the uneven exchange thus, "The barbaric enemy attacked the Northwest Tower with an unceasing flow of catapult projectiles from thirteen catapults. Each catapult shot was followed by an iron fire bomb [catapult shot], whose sound was like thunder.
That day, the city soldiers in facing the catapult shots showed great courage as they maneuvered [our own] catapults, hindered by injuries from the iron fire bombs. Their heads, their eyes, their cheeks were exploded to bits, and only one half [of the face] was left. Some said there was a traitor. If not, how would they have known the way to strike at both of these places?
They are made with pig iron, about two inches thick, and they cause the city's walls to shake. Within four weeks all four gates were under heavy bombardment.
Finally the Jin made a frontal assault on the walls and scaled them, after which followed a merciless hunt for soldiers, officers, and officials of every level. Zhao managed an escape by clambering over the battlement and making a hasty retreat across the river, but his family remained in the city. Upon returning at a later date to search the ruins, he found that the "bones and skeletons were so mixed up that there was no way to tell who was who.
The launcher is constructed using basketry. A "charging leopard pack" arrow rocket launcher as depicted in the Wubei Zhi. So called because of its hexagonal honeycomb shape. A "long serpent enemy breaking" fire arrow launcher as depicted in the Wubei Zhi.
It carries 32 medium small poisoned rockets and comes with a sling to carry on the back. The 'convocation of eagles chasing hare' rocket launcher from the Wubei Zhi. A double-ended rocket pod that carries 30 small poisoned rockets on each end for a total of 60 rockets.
It carries a sling for transport. The 'divine fire arrow screen' from the Huolongjing. A stationary arrow launcher that carries one hundred fire arrows. It is activated by a trap-like mechanism, possibly of wheellock design. Mongol Wars[ edit ] Three hollow pottery caltrops speculated to have been filled with gunpowder. Ming dynasty exploding pottery caltrops. From Jizhou District, Tianjin. A 'magic fire meteor going against the wind' bomb as depicted in the Huolongjing. It is composed of a cast iron casing, iron pellets coated in tung oil, urine, sal ammoniac, feces, and scallion juice.
In the middle is a gunpowder stick. Stoneware bombs, known in Japanese as Tetsuhau iron bombor in Chinese as Zhentianlei thunder crash bombexcavated from the Takashima shipwreck, Octoberdated to the Mongol invasions of Japan AD. The Mongols and their rise in world history as well as conflicts with both the Jin and Song played a key role in the evolution of gunpowder technology.
Unfortunately textual evidence for this is scant as the Mongols left few documents. This lack of primary source documents has caused some historians and scholars such as Kate Raphael to doubt the Mongol's role in disseminating gunpowder throughout Eurasia. On the opposite side stand historians such as Tonio Andrade and Stephen Haw, who believe that the Mongol Empire not only used gunpowder weapons but deserves the moniker "the first gunpowder empire.
In the Mongols besieged the Jin capital of Kaifeng and deployed gunpowder weapons along with other more conventional siege techniques such as building stockades, watchtowers, trenches, guardhouses, and forcing Chinese captives to haul supplies and fill moats. Whenever the [Mongol] troops encountered one, several men at a time would be turned into ashes. They were called 'heaven-shaking-thunder' bombs, and they were like an enclosed rice bowl with a hole at the top, just big enough to put your finger in.
The troops said they hadn't been used for a very long time.
The idea of this mechanism is simple, similar to a modern lighter which has a flint pressed up against a roughened metal wheel.
When you spin the wheel with your finger, the flint pressed against its surface throws off sparks. The same system was used in these firearms to create sparks as needed to ignite the gunpowder to fire the gun.
No more waiting to get a wick lit, and no more stressing about it going out when it rains. The wheel lock design was eventually improved with more durable springs, their main weak point, and a cover over the wheel mechanism to protect it and keep it dry. The wheel lock was an expensive gun to make and a matchlock cost less than half as much, so it was impossible to equip a complete army with the more costly mechanism.
Only a person of substantial wealth could afford one for himself. They brought to Spain unsurpassed knowledge of firearms production. By aroundGerman gunsmiths were using wooden stocks and adorning them with inlays of ivory and horn. At about this time the metal parts were fire-blued to add extra beauty and to protect against corrosion.
Also, metallurgy had improved to the point that gun barrels were no longer bursting very often.
The strongest barrels were of damascene manufacture. In this process, strips of metal about the thickness of a man's finger are wound together. Then, another strip is wound around them for the full length of the piece, then the whole thing is heated and welded. It is hammered and forged into the final shape, then bored out. The damascene barrel was the only one that could survive being packed for its full length with gunpowder then fired.
Other gun barrels were at risk with only a quarter of their length packed. The Snaphaunce first appeared aroundand was really an early form of the Flintlock. This mechanism worked by attaching the flint to a spring-loaded arm. When the trigger is pressed, the cover slides off the flash pan, then the arm snaps forward striking the flint against a metal plate over the flash pan and hopefully produces enough sparks to ignite the powder.
This mechanism was much simpler and less expensive than the Wheel Lock. The German gunsmiths, who tended to ignore the technical advances of other nationalities, continued to produce and improve upon the wheel lock up until the early 18th century. The Flintlock was developed in France around The Flintlock's manufacture slowly spread throughout Europe, and by the second half of the century it became more popular than the Wheel Lock and Snaphaunce.
The main difference between the Flintlock and Snaphaunce is that in the Flintlock the striking surface and flashpan cover are all one piece, where in the Snaphaunce they are separate mechanisms. This made the mechanism even simpler, less expensive, and more reliable than its predecessor.
This simplicity allowed for more creative gun designs, such as guns with multiple barrels and miniature pistols which could be concealed easily inside a garment.
By experiments with rotating-block repeated fire guns were under way like a revolver which holds a number of shots in a rotating cylinder but such weapons were dangerous to operate and would have to wait for another century and a half to be made a standard weapon. In the early s the Brown Bess Flintlock made its appearance.
It probably got its name from the acid-brown treatment of its barrel. By this time, the flintlock was accurate up to about 80 yards but nobody could aim at a man and kill him at yards. A shooter of average experience could load and fire two to three rounds per minute.