East Asia ~ Technology CCOT

Neolithic Period to Classical Period


Neolithic Revolution

8500 B.C.E. - 3500 B.C.E.

The succession of technology innovations and changes in human organization that led to the development of agriculture.

Neolithic Age

8000 B.C.E. - 5000 B.C.E.

The New Stone Age; period in which adaptation of sedentary agriculture occurred; domestication of plants and animals accomplished.

Invention of Ideographs

5000 B.C.E.

Pictographic characters grouped together to create new concepts; typical Chinese writing

Bronze Age

4000 B.C.E. - 1500 B.C.E.

From about 4000 B.C.E., when bronze tools were first introduced in the Middle East, to about 1500 B.C.E., when iron began to replace it.

Emergence of cuneiform

3500 B.C.E.

A form of writing developed by the Sumerians using a wedge-shaped stylus and clay tablets.

Sumerians developed a cuneiform alphabet

3500 B.C.E.
  • First known case of human writing
  • First used pictures to represent various objects, geometric shapes to symbolize spoken sounds.

Shang Dynasty

1600 B.C.E. - 1046 B.C.E.

First Chinese dynasty for which archaeological evidence exists; capital located in Ordos bulge of the Huanghe; flourished 1600 to 1046 B.C.E.

Zhou Dynasty

1029 B.C.E. - 256 B.C.E.
  • Originally a vassal family of Shang China; possibly Turkic in origin; overthrew the Shang and established second historical Chinese dynasty that flourished 1122 to 256 B.C.E.
  • Extended territory by encouraging settlers to move into Yangzi River valley.
  • Heightened focus on central government
  • Mandate of Heaven
  • Urged more restrained ceremonies to worship gods.
  • Promoted linguistic unity >> Mandarin Chinese

Chinese astronomers develop accurate calendar

444 B.C.E.

Based on year of 365.5 days

Ox-drawn plows introduced

300 B.C.E.
  • Greatly increase productivity
  • new collar invented (under Han)

Qin Dynasty

221 B.C.E. - 207 B.C.E.
  • Established in 221 B.C.E. at the end of the Warring States period following the decline of the Zhou dynasty; fell in 207 B.C.E.
  • Ruled by Qin Shi Huangdi, who acted as a tyrant
  • Seized the territories of small states on its south and west borders

Han Dynasty

206 B.C.E. - 220 C.E.
  • Chinese dynasty that succeeded the Qin in 202 B.C.E., ruled for next 400 years.
  • Ruler was Wu Ti (140 - 87 BCE); enforced peace throughout
  • Unified Chinese civilization
  • Development of first civil service examination and professionalization of Chinese administration
  • Expanded territory to Korea, Indochina, and Central Asia

Silk Road (Used during Han Dynasty)

206 B.C.E. - 220 C.E.
  • Most well-known trading route of ancient Chinese (transcontinental network)
  • Linked Europe and Asia through trade
  • During Han Dynasty (202 B.C.E - 220 CE)
  • Name came from the Chinese silk trade
  • The route grew with the rise of the Roman Empire because the Chinese initially gave silk to the Roman-Asian governments as gifts.
  • Promoted cultural diffusion
  • The central Asian sections of the trade routes were expanded around 114 B.C.E. by the Han Dynasty

Calligraphy developed

200 B.C.E.

Great Wall of China built

7 B.C.E.
  • Chinese defensive fortification intended to keep out the nomadic invaders from the north; initiated during Qin dynasty and reign of Qin Shi Huangdi
  • Over 3000 miles long
  • Protected expansionist drives

Introduction of the lateen sail

7 C.E.

Triangular sails attached to the masts of dhows by long booms, or yard arms, which extended diagonally high across the force and aft of the ship.

Invention of paper in China

105 C.E.

Change Heng invents seismograph

132 C.E.
  • Zhang (Chang) Heng (78-140 CE) was a scientist, mathematician, geographer, and astronomer
  • In Luoyang, China, he made the ancient seismograph to determine the direction of an earthquake (132 CE)
  • Over 1,700 years later, a similar tool was invented in Europe.

Discovery of block printing in China

600 C.E.

Kana script developed in Japan

800 C.E.

Gunpowder developed

850 C.E.
  • The Silk Road help it spread to the West
  • Emperor Wu Di (156-87 B.C.E) of the Han dynasty financed
    research done by the alchemists on the secrets of eternal life.
  • Gunpowder was used to treat skin diseases

China prints first book

868 C.E.

A scroll 16 ft long and a foot high, formed of sheets of paper glued together at their edges