An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Zhou Period Science, Technology, and Inventions

The shift of power from the Zhou kings to the many feudal lords was reflected in the the change of worldview that became more and more focused on  man and his needs. Schools of thought like the Mohists investigated physical objects and their metaphysical background. Theoreticians like Zou Yan tried to integrate man and his environment (tastes, colors, diseases) into a cosmic structure that was reigned by the Five Phases (Wuxing 五行) and the principle of Yin-Yang 陰陽.
- perfection of bronze casting, development of lost wax technology (shilafa 失蠟法)
- gold and silver inlays in metal and wooden/lacquered objects
- begin of iron casting technology and widespread use of iron tools during Warring States Period
- development of warfare technology like iron weapons, armament, chariots and fortifications
- engineering technology for irrigation, drainage, waterways, canals, dikes, dams
- development of music temperation by pipes and bells
- dyeing of yarns and woven materials like silk and linen
- glass production
- multi-color lacquering of wooden or bamboo objects
Astonomy, Astrology, Geography, Physics:
- perfection of the calendar
- regular observation of the starry sky and recording of irregular astronomical events
- maps of the starry sky; first geographical maps
- division of China into the Nine Provinces (Jiuzhou 九州, see the Tribute of Yu Yugong 禹貢)
- discovering of magnetism
- description of basic arithmetics (size yunsuan 四則運算) and fractions (fenshu 分數)
- calculating with chips or tallies (chousuan 籌算)
- geometry (jihexue 幾何學) and trigonometry (gougu celiang 勾股測量)
- amelioration of ploughing methods
- use of fertilizers and pesticides
- descriptions of healing methods like acupuncture (zhen 針) and moxibustion (jiu 灸)