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  • Ancient Chinese Science and Technology Exhibition Opens in Athens, Greece


    Ancient technology showcased

    (China Daily, Sept. 23-24, Page 3)

    (Image courtesy of China Daily)

    Visitors explore an exhibit on the science and technology of ancient China in Athens, Greece, on Friday. The exhibit shows 90 tools used in navigation, papermaking, printing, textiles, machinery and handicrafts. A similar exhibit on ancient Greek science and technology will be staged in Beijing soon. The two are among the cultural activities produced during 2017, which is the China-Greece Cultural Exchange and Cultural Industry Cooperation Year. MARIOS LOLOS/XINHUA




    ANCIENT CHINESE SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY



     

     

    SEPTEMBER 23, 2017-APRIL 29, 2018
    With the support of the Ministry of Culture of the People’s Republic of China

    Under the auspices of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the Hellenic Republic
     


    Hand Spinning Wheel (475 BC - 221 AC)       

     Seismograph (132 AC)

     

    Animal-drawn seed plough (Han Dynasty 206 BC- 220 AC)

    (Image Courtesy of The Museum Herakleidon)


    The exhibition “Ancient Chinese Science and Technology” of the China Museum of Science and Technology in Beijing will introduce to the Greek public for the first time some of the remarkable technological achievements of the Chinese civilization, which is one of the most ancient. These achievements cover a broad scientific spectrum, from astronomy and navigation to weaving techniques, papermaking, printing, seismography, et al., and will be presented through the models of a variety of inventions. Exhibits are supported by video-installations and all accompanying texts are trilingual (Greek-English-Chinese). 

    Moreover, visitors will have the unique opportunity to watch the following demonstrations:

    Papermaking: This presentation will allow the audience to understand the papermaking process, an epoch-making invention in the history of human civilization.
    Printing hands-on demonstration: Visitors can experience traditional Chinese printing by using wooden movable types, rubbing and stamping.
    Rubbing: The audience will be introduced to the ancient Chinese rubbing technique, created by placing a piece of paper over the subject and then rubbing the paper. 
    Weaving game for childred, to introduce them to the technique of weaving in a simplified way. 
    - Dougong/Luban Lock/Ball-shaped Luban Lock: This complex jumble of wooden brackets known as “dougong” (11th cent.-256 BC) is one of the outstanding features of traditional Chinese architecture, designed to absorb the earthquake energy. 
    Dragon Wash Basin: These folk amusement articles were especially made for the Imperial Court (10th-13th cent AD), as their dragon pattern on the interior suggests.


    Chinese civilization, one of the most ancient in the world, has many remarkable achievements to offer in the area of the physical sciences and mechanical engineering. Chinese scientific discoveries and technological inventions cover almost the whole spectrum of the sciences, from mathematicsphysicsmechanical engineering and astronomy, to geophysicsbiology,botanymedicinepharmaceuticschemistry, et al. The ancient Chinese scientists were the first to observe the sunspots, they researched magnetic phenomena, but also calculated, as did the ancient Greeks, the value of π – the ratio of the circumference to the diameter of a circle. The compass, gunpowder, paper, moveable type, bronze and iron casting, the seismograph, crossbow, iron plowshare, wheelbarrow, and the stern rudder are some of the technological achievements of China.

    The main thematic units will be:
     
    Astronomy and Time Measurement 
    The Chinese have always been great astronomers and skilled technicians of astronomical instruments. As early as the 16th century B.C., they were studying the comets, meteors, sunspots, constellations, the sun and the moon. Their calendar is considered a unique combination of the lunar and the Gregorian calendar.
     
    Navigation and Orientation

    The compass, one of the most important inventions of the ancient Chinese civilization, was widely used for navigation as early as the Song (960-1279 A.D.) and the Yuan (1271-1368 A.D.) dynasties and spread to Asia and Europe in the 12th century, contributing decisively to the development of trade, finance and culture. 

    Weaving and Embroidery
    China was the first country in the world to practice sericulture systematically, producing silk 6.000-7.000 years ago. As early as the 16th cent. B.C., it developed innovative weaving methods and from the Han dynasty (206 B.C.-220 A.D.) through the Tang dynasty (618-907 A.D.), the famous Chinese silk spread throughout Europe, indelibly marking world culture.
     
    Papermaking and Printing
    Papermaking during the Han dynasty is one of the most important inventions of ancient Chinese civilization, as are the numerous printing techniques that were first developed in the 7th cent. A.D., subsequently spreading in Arabia and from there to Africa and Europe, forever changing the history of world culture. 

    The exhibition will also present models of various other important Chinese inventions, such as the first seismograph (132 A.D.), ancient farming tools (i.e., the ancient Chinese plow that first appeared 5000 years ago), the forerunner of the odometer, the first wheelbarrow, which was constructed a century, approximately, before the equivalent European one, and others. 
     

    Curators
    Paul & Anna Belinda Fyros 
    Co-ordination & Management
    Eleni Nomikou
    Scientific Advisors
    - Ms. Yang Jun, Senior Engineer of Ancient Science and Technology Exhibition Department/CSTM 
    - Mr. Chang Cheng, Lecturer of Ancient Science and Technology Exhibition Department/CSTM

     

    The Museum Herakleidon has been bringing art, education, and culture to the general public since 2004. Based on its philosophy of Science, Art and Mathematics, it provides original educational programs for students, teachers and adults as well as exhibitions of art and science. The Museum Herakleidon is honored and delighted to announce its official collaboration with the China Science and Technology Museum of Beijing, with the objective of organizing and exchanging exhibitions of ancient science and technology, in parallel, in 2017, which has been declared the "2017 Year of Cultural Exchange and Cooperation between the Cultural Industries of Greece and China". More info, at the website of the Secretariat General for Media and Communication of the Ministry of Digital Policy, Telecommunications and Information. 


    (Article from the Museum Herakleidon Website: http://herakleidon-art.gr/en-us/Exhibitions/Ancient-chinese-technology)

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