Friday, July 26, 2013

The Han Dynasty and Han Contributions

Han Contributions
The Han people made many lasting contributions to Chinese society. A number of their innovations were related to technology In A.D. 132 a Han inventor created the world's first seismograph, an instrument that detects and measures earthquakes. Han scientists also made tools that allowed them to study the movement of the planets.

Of all their innovations, the Han are perhaps best known for developing the technology of papermaking. People living in the western regions of the Han Empire probably made the first paper about 100 B.C. It came to the attention of the imperial court about A.D. 100. A court official took credit for its invention.

The arts also developed during Han times. Advances were made in both landscape and portrait painting. Han dynasty authors wrote many essays and poems that are still studied in China's schools.

One Han writer, Sima Qian (SOOMUH CHIH»YIHN), wrote the first history of China. Much of what we know about the Shang, Zhou, and Qin dynasties comes from Sima Qian's work.

The Han are also remembered for philosophy. Confucianism became the official Han teaching. Han rulers also supported such teachings as Daoism (DOW»ih»zuhm). Daoism teaches that the key to happiness is accepting life as it is. Daoism developed into a religion, with its own rituals and houses of worship.

The Han dynasty ended in A.D. 220. However, Han ideas lived on and can still be seen today in the culture of the present- day Chinese people. It is no wonder that the Chinese people still call themselves the children of the Han.

What are some of the lasting contributions the Han made to Chinese civilization?

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