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Even before this, however, the Wujing Zongyao military manuscript compiled by 1044 described a thermoremanence compass of heated iron or steel shaped as a fish and placed in a bowl of water which produced a weak magnetic force via remanence and induction; the Wujing Zongyao recorded that it was used as a pathfinder along with the mechanical south-pointing chariot.
A bronze hand cannon from the Yuan Dynasty (1271–1368), one of the oldest in the world; the oldest specimen dates to about 1288, when the first textual reference to the hand cannon appears in Chinese literature.
They also made large mechanical puppet theaters driven by waterwheels and carriage wheels and wine-serving automatons driven by paddle wheel boats.
The contemporaneous Peiligang and Pengtoushan cultures represent the oldest Neolithic cultures of China and were formed around 7000 BC.
He attributed the innovation of reusable fired clay characters to a little-known artisan named Bi Sheng (990–1051).
The list below contains these and other inventions in China attested by archaeological or historical evidence.
Joseph Needham and Tsien Tsuen-hsuin write that the cutting and printing techniques used for the delicate calligraphy of the Diamond Sutra book are much more advanced and refined than the miniature dharani sutra printed earlier.
Movable type: The polymath scientist and official Shen Kuo (1031–1095) of the Song Dynasty (960–1279) was the first to describe the process of movable type printing in his Dream Pool Essays of 1088.
The Chinese polymath Shen Kuo (1031–1095) of the Song Dynasty (960–1279) was the first to accurately describe both magnetic declination (in discerning true north) and the magnetic needle compass in his Dream Pool Essays of 1088, while the Song dynasty writer Zhu Yu (fl.
12th century) was the first to mention use of the compass specifically for navigation at sea in his book published in 1119.
1290–1333) of the Yuan Dynasty (1271–1368), who also arranged written characters by rhyme scheme on the surface of round table compartments.