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5-08-2015, 22:43


China’s inventions have contributed to many modern advances still used today. China spread its ideas about culture and technology to other lands through trading. Arabic peoples often traded with the Chinese and then took Chinese wares to Europe.

The Tang Barbie

Archaeologists find many treasures from ancient times that give them glimpses into the culture and the people of China. Even artifacts from graves and bone inscriptions used in divinations reveal much information about people. One archaeological dig unearthed a statue of a woman, beautifully dressed, whose arms were made of paper tickets from a pawn shop during the Tang dynasty. The tickets include addresses of people and the amounts of money they borrowed. She was found in a gravesite at Turfan, in northwest China. The curators at the Metropolitan Museum of Art called her the “Tang Barbie” because she was the same size as an American Barbie doll and wore elaborate fashions.1 No one knows exactly why figurines like these ended up in the grave.

From major technological advancements, such as gunpowder, paper, printing, and the compass, to other inventions such as wheelbarrows and chopsticks, ancient China made a huge impact on the larger world. The Tang and Song dynasties were the most technologically advanced in the world at their time, and many of their inventions were not used in the rest of the world for hundreds of years after their inventions in China. But as trade and travelers spread information about Chinese inventions, the rest of the world built on and improved Chinese inventions.

After the Mongols took over China after the Song dynasty, six dynasties ruled China. During the Ming dynasty, from 1368 to 1644 CE, China began cutting itself off from the rest of the world. Europe became a powerful region, colonizing other areas around the world.


The ancient Chinese are remembered for their contributions to art, philosophy, literature, and science. The Qin dynasty’s efforts to centralize the government and military continue to impress modern historians. The Han dynasty brought forth great accomplishments, including porcelain and paper. The Chinese philosophies of Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism focused on the best ways to live a prosperous life. These beliefs are still prevalent throughout China and the world today.

Modern culture is still affected by ancient China.

The English custom of tea drinking, which spread to North America, originated in China. Chopsticks, rice, and the Chinese zodiac can easily be found in Western cultures. Modern pastimes such as playing cards and celebrating with fireworks came from China. Porcelain is still a prized possession for modern families.

Chinese Food

In Western cultures, Chinese food has permeated many small towns and big cities in Chinese restaurants. Restaurants bring many of the foods and cooking techniques of China to Western society. One such technique, stir-fry, in which meat and vegetables are cut very small to cook fast, has its roots in ancient China and is still very popular today. Soybeans, millet, and tea are just some of the foods from ancient China that are incorporated in Western diets.