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India: Ancient Superpower

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posted on Dec, 27 2009 @ 02:04 AM
reply to post by Project2501

What? You are saying that Hinduism has no substantial writings? LOL! That's a good one!

For one, the Muslims destroyed most of the vast amount of writings, but of those that do exist, the Vedas date between 1500–1000 BCE, the oldest books of the Bible were written 1050 - 465 BCE, and the Quran was written after 600 CE! So, of all the world religions, Hinduism has the oldest and largest writings, with the Bible next, and the Quran last.

I love the way people just make stuff up!

posted on Dec, 27 2009 @ 02:04 AM
Okay all, now, I may be getting off topic when I say this, but, for the sake of legitimacy here, could we please perhaps refraining from always running to wikipedia to support our claims?
I could go up there right now, make a bunch of stuff up or edit someone else's stuff, come back here and post a link supporting any argument.
If wikipedia is not allowed for us college students to referrence in writing a research paper, then how about, in the search for 'enlightenment', that we...oh...I don't know...look elsewhere instead of just going up there and posting a link.
Could we do that maybe?

posted on Dec, 27 2009 @ 02:27 AM

Originally posted by Indigo_Child

Further it is an established FACT where the vast majority of metallurgical revolutions came from - NOT INDIA - and these are without DOUBT the phases which influenced modern humanity the most.

No, actually they did. Indian metallugy was the most advanced of ancient times. They were mining all kinds of metals from their ores on a semi-industrial scale and exporting them to the world.

Evidence of the earliest production of high carbon steel in the Indian Subcontinent was found in Samanalawewa area in Sri Lanka.[24] Wootz steel was produced in India by about 300 BC.[25] Along with their original methods of forging steel, the Chinese had also adopted the production methods of creating Wootz steel, an idea imported from India to China by the 5th century AD.[26] This early steel-making method in Sri Lanka employed the unique use of a wind furnace, blown by the monsoon winds and produced almost pure steel.[27] Also known as Damascus steel, wootz is famous for its durability and ability to hold an edge.

They were producing very high quality steel, in fact their version of steel is still considered the highest quality in the world.

Other metals that require advanced techological process like zinc were also being produced in India before the common era:

Zinc mines at Zawar, near Udaipur in India, have been active since the Mauryan period in the late 1st millennium BC. The smelting of metallic zinc here however appears to have begun around the 12th century AD.[53][54] One estimate is that this location produced an estimated million tonnes of metallic zinc and zinc oxide from the 12th to 16th centuries.[13] Another estimate gives a total production of 60,000 tons of metallic zinc over this period.[53] The Rasaratna Samuccaya, written in approximately the 14th century AD, mentions two types of zinc-containing ores; one used for metal extraction and another used for medicinal purposes.[54]

Zinc was distinctly recognized as a metal under the designation of Fasada in the medical Lexicon ascribed to the Hindu king Madanapala and written about the year 1374.[55] Smelting and extraction of impure zinc by reducing calamine with wool and other organic substances was accomplished in the 13th century in India.[4][56] The Chinese did not learn of the technique until the 17th century.[56

I don't understand your insecurity in acknowleding to the Indians what rightfuly was discovered by them?

[edit on 27-12-2009 by Indigo_Child]

Also, let us not forget the Pillar of Delhi, with it's highly sophisticated anti-rust iron that has withstood corrosion and wear for over 1600 years!

Article on Pillar of Delhi

posted on Dec, 27 2009 @ 02:30 AM
reply to post by Matthew Dark

If you want to talk about a people PLEASE use the right way to go about it and dont use wiki to justify your own missunderstand of what it is your trying to say ?

did i miss something? nevermind

posted on Dec, 27 2009 @ 02:39 AM

Originally posted by 13579

The history of the world is the recorded memory of the experience, around the world, of Homo sapiens. Ancient human history[1] begins with the invention, independently at several sites on Earth, of writing, which created the infrastructure for lasting, accurately transmitted memories and thus for the diffusion and growth of knowledge.[2][3] Nevertheless, an appreciation of the roots of civilization requires at least cursory consideration to humanity's prehistory. Human history is marked both by a gradual accretion of discoveries and inventions, as well as by quantum leaps—paradigm shifts, revolutions—that comprise epochs in the material and spiritual evolution of humankind. One such epoch was the advent of the Agricultural Revolution.[4][5] Between 8,500 and 7,000 BCE, in the Fertile Crescent (a region in the Near East, incorporating the Levant and Mesopotamia), humans began the systematic husbandry of plants and animals — agriculture.[6] It spread to neighboring regions, and also developed independently elsewhere, until most Homo sapiens lived sedentary lives as farmers in permanent settlements[7] centered about life-sustaining bodies of water. These communities coalesced over time into increasingly larger units, in parallel with the evolution of ever more efficient means of transport. The relative security and increased productivity provided by farming allowed these communities to expand. Surplus food made possible an increasing division of labor, the rise of a leisured upper class, and the development of cities and thus of civilization. The growing complexity of human societies necessitated systems of accounting; and from this evolved, beginning in the Bronze Age, writing.[8] The independent invention of writing at several sites on Earth allows a number of regions to claim to be cradles of civilization. Civilizations developed perforce on the banks of rivers. By 3,000 BCE they had arisen in the Middle East's Mesopotamia (the "land between the Rivers" Euphrates and Tigris),[9] on the banks of Egypt's River Nile,[10][11][12] in India's Indus River valley,[13][14][15] and along the great rivers of China. The history of the Old World is commonly divided into Antiquity (in the ancient Near East,[16][17][18] the Mediterranean basin of classical antiquity, ancient China,[19] and ancient India, up to about the 6th century); the Middle Ages,[20][21] from the 6th through the 15th centuries; the Early Modern period,[22] including the European Renaissance, from the 16th century to about 1750; and the Modern period, from the Age of Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution, beginning about 1750, to the present.

That is but ONE version of history, of which there are many pieces of evidence contradicting it. We all know the typical bunk they teach in school... and for me, I see that ATS is about exploring other things, to see what other ideas and facts are out there, perhaps forgotten, perhaps buried, perhaps revised. And the reason I call the "standard" story bunk is because I see way too much "other" material out there that casts a shadow of doubt over it... and that intrigues me

I must say though, I am glad at least that you brought something forward other than pedantic quibbling and for that I do commend you!

posted on Dec, 27 2009 @ 02:54 AM
reply to post by downisreallyup

The Pillar of Dehli!!!
That's the one I was thinking of!
Touche and well done!

posted on Dec, 27 2009 @ 02:56 AM
reply to post by 13579

I'm not sure, and perhaps I'm not paying attention, but you replied to me with a quote that wasn't mine, although it is reflective of what I had said earlier.

posted on Dec, 27 2009 @ 03:05 AM

off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


posted on Dec, 27 2009 @ 03:07 AM
reply to post by Matthew Dark

yes it was mine that i posted as you mentioned wiki.. I was showing how the OP used wiki?

just incase you didnt notice that part of the thread .. considering people hate me for pointing out something when i was in fact trying to help..

anyway india is a great place and has a very rich culter and i did enjoy reading what was posted

posted on Dec, 27 2009 @ 03:16 AM

Originally posted by downisreallyup
reply to post by Project2501

What? You are saying that Hinduism has no substantial writings? LOL! That's a good one!

For one, the Muslims destroyed most of the vast amount of writings, but of those that do exist, the Vedas date between 1500–1000 BCE, the oldest books of the Bible were written 1050 - 465 BCE, and the Quran was written after 600 CE! So, of all the world religions, Hinduism has the oldest and largest writings, with the Bible next, and the Quran last.

I love the way people just make stuff up!

You would have to live 6 life times to properly read & digest all of the Hindu writings that are available. This is why hindus believe in reincarnation I believe? So you don't feel overwhelmed perhaps in one life time as you can't read all that it has to throw in your face? And for the record real hindus read the "Bhagavad Gita" It's the hindu bible so to speak. While the Vedas as you speak of has in it's forth Saṃhitās a collection of spells and incantations, divination & apotropaic charms for voodoo doctors? Yea Real old stuff!

And the "Upanishads" are the mystical backbone of Hinduism this is where all the people who only care about spirituality without equilibrium for reality drool over it's philosophy of cosmic reality. The Upanishad teachings are what a lot of the so called teachers of hinduism sucker people in with. While the Puranas are basically allegorical/fable stories. And I could list tons more that no one really reads. The vast amount of Hindu writings were never destroyed by Muslims. Some people are just not real hindus 1 & 2 most people are to lazy to figure out where the real hinduism writings are, Much less what they are.

posted on Dec, 27 2009 @ 03:25 AM
reply to post by 13579

Ah, understood.
Yeah, using wiki first is basically not trying at all.

posted on Dec, 27 2009 @ 07:35 AM

Originally posted by downisreallyup

Originally posted by Anamnesis
reply to post by infinite

There's an article in this months Archeology Today magazine which claims that modern humans may have arrived in India much earlier than previously thought, as early as 74,000 years ago. They are finding stone tools and evidence of cattle herding underneath the Toba ash layer. That eruption occured about 74,000 yrs ago.

Toba - Wiki

Just goes to show that we have much to discover about the ancients.

One of the things I find fascinating about Inida is the Hindu religion, there seems to be no seperation between what we call Science and Religion. In other words Science and religion to the Hindus (my estimation... please forgive if it is not accurate) is the same thing. There is evidence that the ancient Indian's knew of the expanding Universe and Sub-Atomic particles as well.

All very cool and interesting stuff... India is one of my favorite topics and Indian food is one of my favorites as well... lol....

I study both science and religion together, because they each tell their particular side of the diamond. Science attempts to explain what we are observing, and religion attempts to explain how it came to be and why it's all here in the first place. Both are completely valid and complimentary activities of the mind/heart, and anyone who doesn't see that is really missing so much in life...IMHO

I completely agree. I'm familiar w/the Diamond analogy as well, the truth having many facets. I also believe that Science and Religion are not mutually exclusive.
Thanks for the response.

posted on Dec, 27 2009 @ 09:00 AM

Originally posted by Onboard2
I also believe that India was one of the first, great civilizations on earth, but I still don't believe there was an Aryan invasion. After reading the Rig Vedas, it seemed the author was referring to sky gods.

Shri Indra was the favourite national god of the Vedic Indians, with about 250 hymns dedicated to him in the Rigveda, more than those devoted to any other god and almost one fourth of the total number of hymns of the Rigveda.

Shri Indra is the god of thunder, being similar in many ways to the Teutonic Thor (Old Norse Þorr; Old English Þunor; German Donner), or Greek Zeus/Roman Jupiter. Like Thor, he is described in the Rigveda as red- or tawny-beared (RV 10.23,4), though the extant sculpture and carvings seem to invariably show him as beardless. His characteristic weapon is the cudgel vajra ('thunder-bolt'), just as Thor's is the famous hammer Mjöllnir. Shri Indra is the pre-eminent drinker of the divine soma (the madhu or 'mead' of the gods), the imbibing of which exhilerates him and aids him in his heroic actions.[

The Indians referred to themselves as 'Aryan' or noble ones. I've also read that the Iranians referred to themselves as 'Arian' also. One who is noble or of higher spirituality.

I truly have my doubts about the Aryan invasion and wish I had more time to study the Rig Veda. I don't think any foreign power could crack a mountain into, unless they had supersonic weapons. I think there is evidence of green glass. One author even claimed the RigVeda is a code for Orion. Who knows. Was there a war from Orion, lol?

They certainly loved their Soma. I have read that Soma was originally a plant that could produce visions or experiences, but the knowledge of which plant has been lost.

Never the less, I would much rather have two or three sources of information rather than settling for one author's opinions.

Yes, if you do read the Rig Veda, find as many sources as you can. I can recommend you a good anthology by Sujoy Ghosh, "Rig Veda for the laymen" He does a very good job in translating the Vedas. I also recommend reading "Holy Vedas" by Pundit Vidyalankar.

Notice that in my earlier proofs on the Aryan Invasion theory I said that Muller Aryan invasion theory was based on a highly interpretive and selective reading of the Rig Veda and he was commisioned especially by the British empire to translate the Rig Veda. His mission for doing this in his words was, "to show Indians their root of their civilisation and to uproot it" In other words his job was to make the Rig veda look very bad, primitive and foul. His translation effort relied mainly on a 14th century commentator Sayana who was only interested in ther ritualistic content of the Rig veda. Muller ws not faithful to Sayana either, and would translate certain passages opposite to how Sayana would. Basically the old cololnial mentality that the natives are clueless on everything.

Muller for the most part and the other european scholars that followed(Griffith etc) that translated the Vedas were translating the Vedas through the prism of the Aryan invasion theory. They had assumed that the Indo-Aryan were nomadic, barbarian, primitive and thus sought in the Vedas primitive, barbaric, nomadic content. Any reading which produced otherwise was rejected because it was not what they wanted. You have probably guessed it - the traditional Indian reading methods produced different results. The traditional Indian method used ancient dictionaries, grammar and etymologies in the Vyakarna tradition. Muller rejected these all as "false etymology, false tradition" In the same way he and other colonial scholars rejected India's histories as false. Recall what Macaculay said: "false religion, false science, false history" The irony is, they would appeal to this false stuff when it suited their needs.

Rather than using Indian dictionaries to decode the Rig Veda, Muller and co instead guessed at the meaning of words in the Vedas. They would look at similar words and gods in other Indo-European languages and then guess at what the words meant, adjusting where necessary to force meanings they wanted. As a result if you read their translation they sound incoherent.

Many critics have accused Muller and co's translations as being total fabrications, distortions of the Vedas. In fact even if you read Mullers translation you would find his own translation producing inconsistencies which indicate that his translation is inaccurate. For example where words which translate to luminious in Sanskrit are used to for example to describe the "Maruts", Muller uses, "fair and white skinned" to make them seem like white-skinned invaders. When in fact in Sanskrit it is saying the Maruts are the luminous energies. They are even described as being born of Agni(fire) and Rudra's children. Rudra is the "electric one" and hence why the Maruts get their reputation as "storm gods"

Indra is described as the one that slays Vritra releases the Soma, Agni raises Suraya(sun) and brings the earth realm. Muller translated this as Indra slaying the evil-dragon Vritra, which he interprets as the chief of the Indus valley civilisation that the incoming warlord Indra who is the chief of the invading Aryan army kills and gains heroic status. In Sanskrit Indra comes the root word "Indh" which means the all-powerful. Vritra means cloud or mass of concentration. Sure enough Vritra is described as holding all the waters. In the Vedic account creation only comes into being when Indra(all powerful) smites Vritra(holds the waters) releasing Soma and Agni which then becomes the sun and earth. Interesting, the etymology of the word Surya comes from "su" which literally means "compressed one" It is quite clear what this account is describing. It is just an earlier version of the later Vedic creation account where the ONE breathes on the primordial waters and brings manifest existence into being(releasing the waters i.e., Soma) then later condense to form the sun Surya(compressed one) and Pritvhi, Earth(Pritvhi literally means solid, static)

Thus you probably get an idea now the Vedas are describing cosmic principles and not some Odin like gods or human-gods. The word "Deva" itself means "shining one" Indeed this is entirely consistent with the impersonal nature of Hinduism.

Basically, if it isn't clear already almost anything you will read by colonial scholars or which is based on it is vastly distorted. Everything they say about Vedas, Indian history, Hinduism is based on the Aryan invasion theory. They have really done a job on distorting Indian history and trying to wipe out Indian heritage. Bastards

I am fortunate enough to own good translations of the Vedas. I assure you they are very beautiful, profound metaphysical poetry. No wonder they gave rise to the beautiful metaphysics of Vedanta.

[edit on 27-12-2009 by Indigo_Child]

posted on Dec, 27 2009 @ 09:34 AM

You would have to live 6 life times to properly read & digest all of the Hindu writings that are available. This is why hindus believe in reincarnation I believe? So you don't feel overwhelmed perhaps in one life time as you can't read all that it has to throw in your face? And for the record real hindus read the "Bhagavad Gita" It's the hindu bible so to speak. While the Vedas as you speak of has in it's forth Saṃhitās a collection of spells and incantations, divination & apotropaic charms for voodoo doctors? Yea Real old stuff!

The reason why reading the Gita is enough, is because the Gita contains the essence of the Upanishads and the Upanishads contains the essence of the Vedas. Almost no Hindu reads the Vedas, only priests do and even they are just chanting mantras outside of it without knowing the meanings.
Most Hindus, believe it or not have not read the Upanishads. Reading the Gita is enough to understand all the core principles of the Vedic religion.
Not all Hindus even read the Gita, they rather prefer to hear stories from the Mahabharata or Ramayana, because they represent Vedic principles in action and so much more interesting and colorful.

And I could list tons more that no one really reads.

It depends how devoted you are. I have read loads and loads of texts:

Rig Veda
Yajur Veda
Atharva Veda
Brahma Sutras
Core Upaniahds
Yoga Sutras
Yoga Vasistha
Vaiseshika Sutras
Nyaya Sutras

I have also read modern Hindus works: Complete works of Swami Vivekanada, The light of Truth by Swami Dayananda, The integral Yoga by Sri Aurobindo, Self analysis by Ramana Maharishi and the works of Prabhat Sarkar(Tantra yogi)

I have already dozens upon dozens of scholarly books on Hinduism, India, Yoga, Ayurveda.

I am probably the closest you will find to an expert on Indology and Hinduism on ATS. I have been absorbing India and Hinduism for almost 10 years now. I am very deeply spiritual and I quickly realised in my searching that Hinduism was the most spiritual religion on this planet with an unparalled amount of discourse on spiritual subjects. Hinduism is almost like a candystore for a spiritual seeker like me. I am not at all phased by how vast it is. In fact the bigger the selection the better. I intend to spend all my life in that store!

[edit on 27-12-2009 by Indigo_Child]

posted on Dec, 27 2009 @ 10:12 AM
Here is a wonderful satellite photo of what can only be described as 'Rama's Bridge', providing some semblance of truth to part of the story of the Ramayana.

posted on Dec, 27 2009 @ 12:35 PM
reply to post by Matthew Dark

The bridge really intruiges me. I am not sure what to make of it though. The Ramayana by Puranic accounts does indeed take place in that timeframe, but at the same time by astronomical dating the Ramayana can be conclusively dated to 7600BCE. That sounds more plausible. However, the same astronomical evidence can produce dates millions of years ago too. I think until evidence does not produce that can favour the extreme antiquity, we should accept the 7600BCE date for the Ramayana.

Besides I strongly suspect now the Ramayana is talking about none of other than the war between India and Atlantis(Lanka)

posted on Dec, 27 2009 @ 02:33 PM
I've enjoyed this thread quite a bit. You've done a great job presenting your research argument. It's convincing and a bit disheartening since there's so much lying and inaccuracy courtesy of the early disinformation agents.

Also, I think it would be a bit more convenient if you cited all of your sources (pg #, website, etc) better and refrained from using Wikipedia (but instead used other sources or the sources cited on the Wiki articles). I don't mean that as criticism, just a practical suggestion for easier reading (for me). heh

Keep up the good work!

posted on Dec, 27 2009 @ 03:36 PM
reply to post by Indigo_Child

We'll really never know for sure when it took place other than that the Ramayana, as told by Valmiki, took place in the age previous to the Kali Yuga, which dates it a few hundred thousand years ago.
And clearly, the war waged with Ravana was on the 'Island of Lanka' just off the south-western coast of 'fair Ayohdha'. And there has been some archaeological evidence of extremely old structures on 'Lanka' which indicate that there was a civilized people who had buildings with hot/cold running water and so forth, like what was described in Ravana's palace. The Raksashas/Rakshisas who populated the island had 'disappeared from mortal eyes but still roamed Lanka at night' leads one to believe that they had continued to live there for many years before humans rebuilt upon the ruins recently discovered. It's anyone's guess really...

posted on Dec, 28 2009 @ 01:43 AM

Originally posted by Indigo_Child
I am probably the closest you will find to an expert on Indology and Hinduism on ATS. I have been absorbing India and Hinduism for almost 10 years now. I am very deeply spiritual and I quickly realised in my searching that Hinduism was the most spiritual religion on this planet with an unparalled amount of discourse on spiritual subjects. Hinduism is almost like a candystore for a spiritual seeker like me. I am not at all phased by how vast it is. In fact the bigger the selection the better. I intend to spend all my life in that store!

Some of my personal favorite hindu writings are.

Manusmrti 8:410-418.

Rama's mothers have sex with a dead horse
(According to a Ritual : Asvamedha Sacrifice)

The Asvamedha yaga was a celebrated sacrifice in which many ancient Hindu queens & ksatriya women in various provinces had sex with a dead horse, and Lord Rama's mom (Kausalya) & co-mom's were no exception. Lord Rama's mom spends a whole night having sex with a dead horse for the purpose of 'righteousness & cleansing of sins':

(Note To have sex with a (human) outcaste, a twice-born Hindu should be executed. This is the hindu way. But Bestiality is ok?)

I also enjoy Brahma's Incest in Satapatha Brahmana 1:7:4:1-7

Lord Indra Rapes Gautama's Wife was quite interesting as well.

"Indra raped Ahalya and was cursed by her husband, the sage Gautama, to lose all his prosperity ...." -- Brahmavaivarta Purana 4:47:11-45.

Lord Indra Seduces Gautama's Wife & Has Testicle Transplantation From A Goat in Padma Purana 1:56:15-53 is most profound reading like wise.

Hinduism appears to be a most sick religion indeed? As it is documented by its own self.

Btw which hindu caste is your personal favorite?

Caste (varna):
Brahmin = Priest Caste;
Ksatriya = Rajanya/Ruler/Warrior Caste;
Vaisya = Commoner Caste;
Sudra = Servant/Slave Caste; and
Avarna = Outcaste/Untouchable/Dalit/Candala/Dog-eater.

posted on Dec, 28 2009 @ 04:03 AM

Chinese remainder theorem: The Chinese remainder theorem, including simultaneous congruences in number theory, was first created by the mathematician Sunzi in the 3rd century AD,
ircadian rhythm, recognition of: The Huangdi Neijing, compiled by the 2nd century BC during the Han Dynasty (202 BC – 220 AD),
Climate change, concept of: In his Dream Pool Essays of 1088, Shen Kuo (1031–1095)

Decimal fractions: As proven by inscriptions from the 13th century BC, the decimal system existed in China since the Shang Dynasty (c. 1600–c. 1050 BC).

Equal temperament: During the Han Dynasty (202 BC–220 AD), the music theorist and mathematician Jing Fang (78–37 BC) extended the 12 tones found in the 2nd century BC

First law of motion, partial description: The Mohist philosophical canon of the Mojing, compiled by the followers of Mozi (c. 470 – c. 390 BC)

Gaussian elimination: First published in the West by Carl Friedrich Gauss (1777–1855) in 1826, the algorithm for solving linear equations known as Gaussian elimination is named after this Hanoverian mathematician

Geobotanical prospecting: Geobotanical prospecting can be defined as the connection made between the types of vegetation that grow in certain areas and the minerals that can be found underground in those same areas; this observation was first made in China

Horner scheme: Although named after English mathematician William George Horner (1786–1837), the Horner scheme, an algorithm used to estimate the root of an equation and evaluate polynomials in monomial form, was actually first invented in China to find the cube root of the number 1,860,867 (the answer given being 123).[29] This is found in the Han Dynasty (202 BC–220 AD) work The Nine Chapters on the Mathematical Art, commented on by Liu Hui (fl. 3rd century) in 263

Leprosy, first description of its symptoms: The Feng zhen shi ??? (Models for sealing and investigating), written between 266 and 246 BC in the State of Qin during the Warring States Period (403–221 BC), is the earliest known text which describes the symptoms of leprosy, termed under the generic word li ? (for skin disorders).

Negative numbers, symbols for and use of: In the Nine Chapters on the Mathematical Art compiled during the Han Dynasty (202 BC–220 AD)

Pi calculated as : The ancient Egyptians, Babylonians, Indians, and Greeks had long made approximations for p by the time the Chinese mathematician and astronomer Liu Xin (c. 46 BC–23 AD) improved the old Chinese approximation of simply 3 as p to 3.1547 as p (with evidence on vessels dating to the Wang Mang reign period, 9–23 AD, of other approximations of 3.1590, 3.1497, and 3.1679).[35][36] Next, Zhang Heng (78–139 AD) made two approximations for p, by proportioning the celestial circle to the diameter of the earth as = 3.1724 and using (after a long algorithm) the square root of 10, or 3.162.[36][37][38] In his commentary on the Han Dynasty mathematical work The Nine Chapters on the Mathematical Art, Liu Hui (fl. 3rd century) used various algorithms to render multiple approximations for pi at 3.142704, 3.1428, and 3.14159.[39] Finally, the mathematician and astronomer Zu Chongzhi (429–500) approximated pi to an even greater degree of accuracy, rendering it , a value known in Chinese as Milü ("detailed ratio").[40] This was the best rational approximation for pi with a denominator of up to four digits; the next rational number is , which is the best rational approximation. Zu ultimately determined the value for p to be between 3.1415926 and 3.1415927.[41] Zu's approximation was the most accurate in the world, and would not be achieved elsewhere for another millennium,[42] until Madhava of Sangamagrama[43] and Jamshid al-Kashi[44] in the early 15th century.

Snowflake, observation of its hexagonal structure: In his Moral Discourses Illustrating the Han Text of the Book of Songs of 135 BC, the Han Dynasty (202 BC– 220 AD)

Solar wind, observation of via comet tails: In the Book of Jin compiled during the Tang Dynasty (618–907), a passage written in 635 AD

Spontaneous combustion, recognition of: In his Record of Strange Things written sometime before 290 A

Sunspots, recognition of as solar phenomena: The astronomer Gan De (fl. 4th century BC) from the State of Qi during the Warring States Period (403–221 BC)

True north, concept of: The Song Dynasty (960–1279) official Shen Kuo (1031–1095), alongside his colleague Wei Pu,


A model in Kaifeng of a Chinese ladle-and-bowl type compass used for geomancy in the Han Dynasty (202 BC–220 AD); the historical authenticity of the model has been questioned by Li Shu-hua (1954).[35]
In San Lorenzo Tenochtitlán, Veracruz, Mexico, an ancient hematite artifact from the Olmec era dating roughly 1000 BC indicates the possible use of the lodestone compass in Central America long before it was described in China, yet the Olmecs did not have iron which the Chinese would discover could be magnetized by contact with lodestone.[36] Descriptions of lodestone attracting iron were made in the Guanzi, Master Lu's Spring and Autumn Annals and Huainanzi.[37][38][39] The Chinese by the Han Dynasty (202 BC–220 AD) began using north-south oriented lodestone ladle-and-bowl shaped compasses for divination and geomancy and not yet for navigation.[40][41][42] The Lunheng, written by Wang Chong (27–c. 100 AD) stated in chapter 52: "This instrument resembles a spoon, and when it is placed on a plate on the ground, the handle points to the south".[43][44] There is, however, another two references under chapter 47 of the same text to the attractive power of a magnet according to Needham (1986),[45] but Li Shu-hua (1954) considers it to be lodestone, and states that there is no explicit mention of a magnet in Lunheng.[35] 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 author 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.[21][41][46][47][48][49][50] 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.[51][52][53]

Inventions which originated in what is now China during the Neolithic age and prehistoric Bronze Age are listed in alphabetical order below.

A bronze ritual bell 2000 BC,
Coffin, rectangular wooden: The earliest evidence of wooden coffin remains, dating from the 5000 BC

A bronze dagger-axe from the State of Han, Warring States Period (403–221 BC); this type of weapon has existed in China since the Neolithic period

Dagger-axe: The dagger-axe or ge was developed from agricultural stone implement during the Neothilic, dagger-axe made of stone are found in the Longshan culture (3000–2000 BC) site at Miaodian, Henan.

By the early Han Dynasty (202 BC–220 AD), military use of the bronze ge had become limited (mostly ceremonial); they were slowly phased out during the Han Dynasty by iron spears and iron ji halberds.[70]

Drum, alligator hide: Drums (made from clay) have been found over a broad area at the Neolithic sites from modern Shandong in the east to Qinghai in the west, dating to a period of 5500–2350 BC.

The earliest alligator drums, comprising a wooden frame covered with alligator skin are found in the archaeological sites at Dawenkou (4100 BC–2600 BC), as well as several sites of Longshan (3000 BC–2000 BC) in Shandong and Taosi (2300 BC–1900 BC) in southern Shanxi.[74]

Fermented beverage: Archaeologists have discovered residue of a fermented beverage that was 9,000-years old in pottery jars from the Neolithic site of Jiahu,

Fork: The fork had been used in China long before the chopstick; a bone fork has been discovered by archaeologists at a burial site of the early Bronze Age Qijia culture (2400–1900 BC), and forks have been found in tombs of the Shang Dynasty (c. 1600–c. 1050 BC) and subsequent Chinese dynasties.

Lacquer: Lacquer was used in China since the Neolithic period and came from a substance extracted from the lac tree found in China.[82] A red wooden bowl, which is believed to be the earliest known lacquer container,[83] was unearthed at a Hemudu (c. 5000 BC–c. 4500 BC) site.

lacquerware items come from a Xiajiadian (c.2000–c.1600 BC)

Lamian noodles, similar to the 4,000-year-old noodles made from millet found at Lajia

Millet, cultivation of: The discovery in northern China of domesticated varieties of broomcorn and foxtail millet from 8500 BC

Noodle: In 2005, an archaeological excavation at the Lajia site of the Qijia culture (2400–1900 BC) revealed 4,000-year-old noodles made of millet (instead of traditional wheat flour)

Plowshare, triangular-shaped: Triangular-shaped stone plowshares are found at the sites of Majiabang culture dated to 3500 BC

Rice, cultivation of: In 2002, a Chinese and Japanese group reported the discovery in eastern China of fossilized phytoliths of domesticated rice apparently dating back to 11,900 BC

Salt, use of: The earliest salt use is argued to have taken place on Lake Yuncheng, Shanxi by 6000 BC.[105]

A pottery ding vessel used for cooking from the Yangshao culture (c. 5000–c. 3000 BC)

Silk: The oldest silk found in China comes from the Chinese Neolithic period and is dated to about 3630 BC,

Soybean, cultivation of: The cultivation of soybeans began in the eastern half of northern China by 2000 BC

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