The exchange of goods and services used to happen via barter system until the Chinese started using folding money at the end of 8th and onset of 9th century AD. Buyers and merchants used to deposit their cash in capital and receive a paper as an exchange certificate using which they bought metal coins in other cities. Paper bills initially were used as exchange notes or bills of credit that were privately issued. This system of paper money slowly led to the creation of hard cash and what we now know as currency. Thanks to the Chinese!
The Shang dynasty and the Zhou dynasty brought China into the Bronze Age and the making of bronze reached its peak in this period around 1600-256 BC. They used bronze to make many weapons, ritual vessels and bronze tools during those times. The world was having master craftsmen in the Bronze Age but the Chinese bronze wares were unmatchable for their inscriptions and intricate ornamental patterns.
The Chinese have made another fascinating thing besides kite and toothbrush. It is the umbrella. The first time umbrella was used is 3500 years ago in ancient China when it was first invented. If the legends are to be believed, Lu Ban, a Chinese carpenter and inventor created the first umbrella. He was inspired to make something better when he was tired of looking at small kids who used lotus leaves as shelter in rain and he finally created an umbrella out of flexible framework that was covered by cloth. What we now see in a further well finished way is that same ancient umbrella.
The modern spa and massage therapy may be healing, but the oldest book on Chinese medicine, “Neijing”, depicts evidence of acupuncture in ancient China. Different kinds of acupuncture needles were found in the tomb of Prince Liu Sheng who supposedly died in 200 BC. Since then the Chinese have been using this traditional way of healing and evidence even reports that the modern acupressure came from ancient Chinese practices that have been around for more than two centuries.
They made alcohol, they made tea, how amazingly innovative the Chinese were in ancient times. Tea was first discovered by Shennong, the Chinese father of agriculture, around 2737 BC. In the Tang dynasty, tea became a popular drink enjoyed by people across all social classes. Lu Yu was among the well renowned Tang dynasty who explicated ways for cultivating tea, drinking tea and multiple classifications for tea in details. His book, Cha Jing aka “The Book Of Tea” is considered the world’s first detailed description regarding tea. Slowly this tea production spread across the European countries.
The ancient Chinese inventions still contribute to our world on a large scale in medicine, military, navigation, warfare and health and on small scale in our day to day lives and leisure activities. Every country has a rich history and Chinese people have their fair share of inventions that are making this world a better place. Although I know how amazing flying kites is, I wonder what shall happen to this kite flying activity in today’s time of play station gaming and social media addiction. So we should not forget to thank our ancient Chinese folks who have showered us with their wonderful inventions and made our lives much simplified.