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from China: A Teaching Workbook,
Asia for Educators, Columbia University

Dates in the "China" column indicate an approximate date of origin for the item or invention; dates in "The West" column indicate the approximate time when the item or invention was received in the West.

silk, ca. 1300 BCE
• 1300 BCE •
[received in the West, 552-54 CE]
folding umbrella (?)
• 300 BCE •
[received in the West, 1600s]
lodestone, 240 BCE
• 200 BCE •
shadow figures (?)
• 100 BCE •
[received in the West, after 1700]
BE/BCE
lacquer
• 100 CE •
[received in the West, 1730]
 
peach and apricot [earlier origins in China, but cannot be accurately dated]
paper, 105 CE
[received in the West, 1150]
tea, 264-273 CE
• 200 CE •
[received in the West, 1600s]
Word for porcelain first used
• 300 CE •
[produced in the West, 1709]
sedanchair
• 400 CE •
[received in the West, 1600s]
kite, 549
• 500 CE •
[received in the West, 1589]
silk, 552-554 [in China, ca. 1300 BCE]
• 600 CE •
playing cards
• 700 CE •
[received in the West, 1377]
dominoes
 
gunpowder (?)
[received in the West, 1330]
porcelain described, 851
• 800 CE •
[produced in the West, 1709]
oldest printed book, 868
[Bible printed in the West, 1456]
The Song Dynasty, 960-1279
• 900 •
movable type, 1041-1049
• 1000 •
[block printing in the West, 1423]
compass
[received in the West, 1190]
zinc used in coins, 1094-1098
[described in the West, 1500s; industrially produced, 1740]
orange [earlier origins in China, but cannot be accurately dated]
 
• 1100 •
paper, 1150 [in China, 105 CE]
explosives, 1161
[gunpowder and cannon in the West, 1330]
compass, 1190 [in China, 1000s]
• 1200 •
 
• 1300 •
gunpowder and cannon, 1330 [in China, 700s]
 
playing cards, 1377 [in China, 700s]
lemon [earlier origins in China, but cannot be accurately dated]
 
• 1400 •
block printing, 1423 [movable type in China, 1041-1049]
Gutenberg's Bible, 1456 [China's first printed book, 868]
chaulmoogra oil and
ephedrine described, 1552-1578
• 1500 •
[received in the West, after 1700s]
 
zinc described [used in coins in China, 1094-1098]
kite, 1589 [in China, 549 CE]
The use of the following also originated in China in early times, but cannot be accurately dated: peach, apricot, orange, lemon, pomelo, chrysanthemum, tea rose, camellia, azalea, China aster, gingko, "German silver," wallpaper, goldfish.
• 1600 •
sedanchair [in China, 400s CE]
tea [in China, 264-273 CE]
folding umbrella [in China, in the 300s BCE]
wallpaper manufactured, 1688
• 1700 •
porcelain, 1709 [in China, word first used, 300s CE; first described, 851 CE]
lacquer produced, 1730 [in China, in the 100s CE]
zinc in industrial production, 1740
"German silver" production, 1750
chrysanthemum, tea rose, camellia, azalea, China aster, grapefruit
shadow figures [in China, in the 100s BCE]
gingko, tung oil, soy bean
ephedrine and chaulmoogra oil [described in China, 1552-1578]

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China: A Teaching Workbook | afe.easia.columbia.edu