15 Chinese Artifacts That Will Change How You Look at China

ancient-weird-chinese-inventions-01

From Sina Weibo:

@范炜: A collection of shocking artifacts that will change your perceptions of China… The wisdom of the ancients should not be underestimated!

[Note: Click on the image below for the original image as seen on Sina Weibo.]

First, let's start with something fun~~~ 1. This is a picture of Ming Xuanzong [Ming Dynasty emperor, 1425-1534] at leisure. The person in the picture holding a small club hitting a small ball is Ming Xuanzong. Guess what he's doing? Playing golf. It's true, this sport was called chui wan in ancient times, using a club to strike a ball. It originated in the Song Dynasty [960-1279], was popular amongst the upper classes in the Yuan Dynasty, and became a popular sport in the Ming Dynasty. It was a form of leisure for men and women, young and old. These are reconstructions of excavated clubs, since wood does not survive well, and the originals have already decayed. But rocks can last a long time. These are the chui wan balls displayed at the Beijing Capital Museum. Before the surfaces eroded, they must've been very smooth. The sport of chui wan evolved from the popular horse polo during the  Tang Dynasty [618-907], and polo without horse became walking polo,  which slowly became chui wan. Don't mistakenly think golf is so high-end and foreign, as this is something left over [passed-down] from our Song Dynasty ancestors. 15th century Scots may have invented modern golf, but Chinese had long mastered it. If in the future artifacts are excavated in Europe proving chui wan was spread into  Europe, then [golf] will thoroughly become something that was exported only to be reimported back. How do you guys feel about high-end golf clubhouses now? I've been thinking myself so foreign for half my life, but all I was doing was being retro.  Yuan Dynasty [1271-1368] golf game guide manual.

2. Guess what this is? Excavated from the Ming Tombs, a soap box/dish. One side for soap, one side for oil. Soap to wash your face, oil for moisturizing. If you thought ancient women didn't care for their skin, you'd be extremely wrong. 3. The pursuit of beauty by ancient rich women truly cannot be compared with by modern girls. I'm guessing you've already looked at the test on the image. Yes, these are these are makeup powder, from the Southern Song Dynasty [1127-1279 AD]. Used by ladies to powder their faces, adding fragrance and color. 4. Guess what this is? Correct, they're underground water pipes [plumbing, sewage]. Guess when they were constructed/used? Qin Dynasty [230 BC], and built before the unification of the six states. Excavated at Xijiao in Xi'an. People in Xi'an should know of this place. There  used to be a fireworks market nearby. This row of pipes have already deteriorated, and it only dates to the Qin Dynasty. So let me post an even earlier [older], intact ceramic drainage pipe. Excavated at the Yin ruins [Shang Dynasty, 1600-1046 BC] in Anyang. I encourage people to go to the Anyang Yinxu Museum to see the real thing. 5. This is an energy-efficient and "environmentally-friendly" smokeless goose bronze lamp from the Han Dynasty [206 BC - 220 AD]. Bronze lamps of this style were relatively common, so just what exactly makes this one so awesome? The awesomeness is in its design [figure below, the smoke is filtered].

6. Tang Dynasty belt buckles. Unfortunately the leather belts have already rotted away. Hermès and whatever can't touch this. 7. This is an artifact excavated from a tomb in Anji county. Made of lacquered wood, but because of its extremely old age, very severe corrosion, and having already come apart, it is difficult to discern what it is. You guys can guess. Above is a reconstructed image. See it now? This is a toilet seat. Combine it with the plumbing pipes from above, and think about it.. 8. Yet another Han Dynasty tomb discovery. A lesbian [double-ended] bronze dildo... Wait, [Prince] Liu Sheng, you bury yourself with something like this...? No wonder he is known as the licentious Prince Jing of Zhongshan... even the concubines were like this... 9. Han Dynasty mural, does it feel like the two people standing on top of the wagon are stupid cunts? Actually, it's because those aren't real people. Heh, the real thing looked like this. This contraption is known as a da zhang cheng, known as a "drum car" today. Every 500 meters, the drum would sound once. This is the internal [mechanical] diagram.

10. These were unearthed in Dunhuang [Gansu], Han Dynasty children's shoes. Top are weaved summer sandals, bottom are cow leather shoes. From this, some people believe Chinese people started wearing leather shoes since the Han Dynasty. This is nonsense. It was obviously [earlier] during the Warring States Period [475-221BC]. This is a leather shoe from the Warring States Period. 11. This was posted by a Tang Dynasty enthusiast on Sina Weibo, and I bet many people have already seen it before. A Tang Dynasty handbag, same as Louis Vuitton. 12. These are a bunch of Liao Dynasty [907-1125AD] toothbrushes unearthed in Inner-Mongolia. China's earliest toothbrush was invented in the Eastern Han Dynasty, most made from bone. It's said there pretentious local despots who used jade toothbrushes, but I haven't seen them. 13. Guess what this is. High-heeled shoes from the Ming Dynasty [1368-1644 AD]. There's a reconstructed image online; those interested can search for it. 14. This, a bronze measurement ruler from the Xin Dynasty [9-23 AD], and some say material evidence that Wang Meng time traveled. 15. The "Little Bronze Man" [bronze vessel] from the Shanxi Provincial History Museum: Google Android Logo.

Comments on Sina Weibo:

月鹿:

Then the late-Qing arrived and the pride that was once China’s vanished and became taking pride in having foreign things.

泡泡燕窝:

More and more lost as it is handed down. These days, I have such respect and admiration for the all the nice things preserved in the tombs of ancient people. What nice things can people today leave behind for future generations?

无事不登三宝殿大师:

The ancients were really amazing, especially the last one. Although of course, all of these things must’ve been invented by Koreans.

2b小马夹:

Wow, Wang Mang really did time travel…fuck… [Wang Mang was an usurper during the Tang Dynasty known for progressive reforms].

弑神哥在:

Fuck, Qin Dynasty plumbing looks better than today’s.

张七公子HBU:

The story goes the Prince Liu Sheng had over 100 children. With so many wives, having that [dildo] is quite normal [expected].

木子海波:

Why is it double-ended? For two wives to use at the same time?

麦唛二世:

So does this prove that each generation is worse than the one before it, that our ancestors were far superior to us?

SuperZ:

My god, if you let the Koreans see this, then it’ll all become Korea’s [inventions].

EX-MORISEIKI:

Suddenly I feel people must have traveled back in time and changed history.

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  • Surfeit

    It’s all bullshit. I’ve been to a Chinese ‘museum’ and seen their ‘reconstructions’. Those places will have you believe they invented the wheel… “We can prove it, here’s a reconstruction.” Swallow my dick and balls.

    • arterius2

      Whoa, what’s with the attitude here? Whether you believe this internet post or not, China did in fact had one of the most advanced civilizations at the time, no one is denying that fact.

      • lacompacida

        That was a thousand years ago. Was there any significant invention in China in the last thousand years ?

        • wnsk

          Loads. Paper money, for instance.

        • Irvin

          We created alcohol! nothing else matters. Steve Jobs may have the Iphone but he can’t get people drunk if it weren’t for the chinese.

          • Jahar

            lots of cultures invented alcohol….

          • David

            You don’t honestly think the Chinese invented alcohol do you?

        • arterius2

          well the discussion here is ancient China? why not stay on topic here? why must every discussion turn into how unbearable you think modern China is? We know! but lets deviate from that train of thought for maybe just one thread?

        • Alex Dương

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Movable_type

          “The world’s first known movable type system for printing was created in China around 1040 A.D. by Bi Sheng (990–1051) during the Song Dynasty;”

          Narrow your window to 200 years and your point isn’t so stupid.

          • Jahar

            that wasn’t in the last 1000 years. edit. well , it was, just barely

          • Alex Dương

            Good to know you can add and subtract (well, just barely, at least).

          • Jahar

            i didn’t pay close attention to the dates, just glanced at the oldest one, which was the guy’s birth year. In any case, the guy’s comment wasn’t intended to be regardibng specific dates. Such kind of language is just meant to show it’s been a long long time. since whatever. and your dig about math isnt much better than a “hurr hurr” comment.

          • Alex Dương

            That’s a pretty pathetic excuse. I didn’t quote one paragraph; I quoted one sentence. You can’t even read one sentence correctly? You’re that desperate to discredit (ancient) China that when you take a look at three dates, you fixate on the first one and go, “not in the last 1,000 years!”?

            If you want to talk about China post-1800 AD, there are plenty of valid points to be made about the relative lack of major innovations from China. That you’re this desperate to discredit China essentially post-1000 AD shows just how much of a tool you are.

          • Jahar

            I’m not trying to discredit ancient china. i read the post, but when i was posting i just looked up and grabbed the oldest date(which would actually have given them credit for making it earlier), then as i was posted i looked a little more closely, saw i was incorrect, and 5 seconds later corrected myself.

            And honestly, you splitting hairs over 50 years in a “what about the last 1000 years” kind of post makes you seem a little too hung up on this.

            If you could slow down on the crazy anger and hating me about some small error, which, again, i immediately corrected, we could talk about the actual point, which is, it was still a loooong time ago

          • Alex Dương

            You’re just elaborating on your excuse, and it’s still pathetic. Forget one paragraph or one article; you couldn’t even read ONE sentence properly. You looked at it, saw three numbers, saw the first one was before 1014 AD, and then immediately thought, “that’s not in the last 1,000 years!”

            lacompacida asked for one significant Chinese invention in the last 1,000 years. I gave him one: movable type. That is all. His point was stupid; it would’ve been much less stupid if he had asked for one significant Chinese invention in the last 200 years.

          • Jahar

            why are you so angry? it’s a website, my attention wasn’t fully on it, it wasn’t particularly attention grabbing. and as i said, i immediately corrected my mistake. Why is that so important to you?

            Why not focus on the actual point? you know, whether or not it is 1000 years or 950 doesn’t really make a difference. people round numbers.

            I’m much more interested in why you are sticking so fiercely to this point, and your date, 1800. Was the Qing dynasty whipping out lots of inventions or something?

          • Alex Dương

            Is English not your native language or something? I said his point would be much less stupid if he was talking about China after 1800; that implies that the Qing Dynasty was NOT whipping out lots of inventions.

          • Jahar

            You still haven’t told me why you hate me so much. Or does it just make you feel good to call me names?
            I’m sure as the China expert that you are, you are fully aware that the Qing dynasty was around long before 1800. 1644 and on, was it not? You’ve also said nothing about Ming. Why not instead of acting so superior, point out what you are talking about, not just one that happened about a thousand years ago, which, in my native English, can be stated as “1000 years” ago(when having a conversation).

          • Alex Dương

            I don’t “hate” you, per se, but I find that your comments consistently show a pattern of mindlessly trashing China: seriously, it doesn’t get more pathetic than trying to prove me wrong that something significant has come from China in the last millennium.

            You don’t seem to understand any part of the discussion you’ve interjected in. Fine. I’ll walk you through step by step:

            1. lacompacida asked whether there was any significant invention from China in the last 1,000 years.

            2. I responded with movable type and mocked him by saying that his point would be much less stupid if he asked for significant Chinese inventions from the last 200 years.

            3. You come in and try to say that I’m wrong because you can’t be bothered to read one sentence before replying. Then, you make replies which obviously indicate that you have no idea why I picked 1800 and that you don’t even understand what I’m saying.

            4. Roughly speaking, the Industrial Revolution started in the U.K. around 1800 and spread to Western Europe and the U.S. It was after the Industrial Revolution that a technological gap emerged between the West and the East.

            Let me spell that out for you in case you don’t get it: it was after 1800 that the West became the source of significant innovation instead of China. So my reply that lacompacida’s question would be much less stupid if he talked about inventions since 1800 implies that the Qing Dynasty was NOT a big source of innovation after 1800. It amazes me that you can’t even understand that.

          • Jahar

            i totally understand everything you say, except for the insults, and the need for them. but the numbers you said and he said are 800 years apart.

            You seem to get that I’m bashing “China” for some reason, and I don’t see why. I don’t see lacompacida’s question as being particularly stupid either, just perhaps ignorant. unless we are assuming he is doing that on purpose.

            You seem to be reacting as if I’m attacking you, or your country, or something, for some reason. Which I’m not. There have been quite a few great accomplishments here, and there is a rich history. It’s what drew me here to begin with.

            Post 1800 is just the latter half of the Qing. My point, which was quite clearly stated, was about the half before that. I’m not clear why you chose to pretend I wasn’t.

            As for the time period when the west began to surpass the east, I would think the renaissance, or thereabouts would be a better turning point than the industrial revolution. Do you have any points to to make in disagreement?

          • Alex Dương

            I disagree that the Renaissance is when the West began to surpass the East. The Renaissance covers the period from the 1300s to the 1600s. During that time, Asia was not inferior to Europe in terms of military technology and application.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Battle_of_Tamao_%281521%29

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Battle_of_Tamao

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Fort_Zeelandia

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sino%E2%80%93Russian_border_conflicts

          • Jahar

            I don’t think a few battles fought on the other side of the world are an accurate depiction on the overally level of technology at the time. Especially considering how greatly outnumbered they were. Maybe the end of the Renaissance would be a better way point to start. the Industrial revolution began in the mid 1700s, and not much progress was being made with the Qing dynasty.

            In any case, there was also a long stretch of time in the middle where neither the west nor east could be said to be technologically superior.

          • Alex Dương

            Being greatly outnumbered is of no matter if the technology gap is wide enough.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Opium_War

            As I said, the Renaissance covered the period from the 1300s to the 1600s. In 1662, Koxinga defeated the Dutch on Taiwan. This is not to say that China was superior to Europe in the 17th Century; only that the gap wasn’t there yet.

            If you think Europe progressed ahead of China before the Industrial Revolution, that may be the case, but it wouldn’t be because of the Renaissance. It would be because Europe from the 1300s to the 1700s was very violent; between 1500 and 1800, Europe fought on average 1.48 wars per year. By contrast, from 1350 to 1800, China fought one war every five years.

            http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.27.4.165

            The frequency of war in Europe exerted strong downward pressure on population without an equal effect on land and infrastructure. The surviving populace thus tended to have more land per person. This increased per capita income, which ultimately spurred innovation to reduce labor costs. Enter the Industrial Revolution.

            Meanwhile, the relative lack of war in China meant that there was no corresponding downward pressure on population. Per capita income stagnated, and with labor plentiful and cheap, there was no need to develop innovations to reduce already low labor costs. So there was no Industrial Revolution in China in the late 1700s to early 1800s.

            So it is not because Europe was more enlightened than China culturally that it became dominant. Quite the opposite: it was because it was much more violent.

          • Jahar

            Oh I wasn’t speculating on the cause, I was just generally referring to the time period.

          • Zappa Frank

            even if is true, actually we use the one invented later by Gutemberg, that did it without any imput from the chinese one… China did many invention that somehow died or were lost.. they even invented the soccer more or less, but now they can barely play.

          • Alex Dương

            He asked for one example of a Chinese invention within the last 1,000 years. I gave movable type as an example. That Gutenberg independently developed another version of movable type several centuries later doesn’t change that Bi Sheng invented one in 1040 AD.

          • Zappa Frank

            yes but i think was implicit one invention that we use today… else enven greeks invented the automatic door….

          • Alex Dương

            I didn’t read as implicit that he asked for an invention still in use today. I don’t typeset professionally, but as I understand it, typesetting is not usually done with Gutenberg’s movable type in the 21st Century:

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Typesetting#Digital_era

            The bottom line is that of course a point can be made that China isn’t the source of great innovations that it once was. There are many reasons for that, and we can discuss them. But several people here are not doing that. They are just pointing and going “hurr hurr!”

        • johndoe

          China actually made some massive strives in the fields of genetic agriculture and medicine, recently they also made several break throughs in the field of computer networking protocol, using visible light frequency to transmit data ‘wirelessly’ just to name a few, I could probably dig up a lot more if i looked harder. But whats your point again?

        • cantonizi

          Don’t know for sure but for sure the west like the UK and the US were living in caves or straw huts.
          That time most of western Europe was Rome’s bitches and eastern Europe was getting screwed by the Mongol mother muggers and father rappers Empire.
          China was busy warring on all the uncivilized western world and teaching South East Asia to be Chinese.

          • Jahar

            can you really say it was “Chinese” culture? What is one main culture at the time?

        • ScottLoar

          See Science and Civilization in China by Joseph Needham et.al. , also Why the West Rules For Now showing the West at a technological disadvantage until the mid-18th century and relieve your ignorance.

        • ElectricTurtle

          Since others have already mentioned e-cigs and movable type, I will add: a calendar that was as accurate as the Gregorian but developed hundreds of years earlier, percussive cap drilling that was capable of the deepest wells in the early 19th century, paper currency, watertight compartments partitioning ships, dental fillings, dominoes, clockwork escapements, forensic entomology, multi-stage rocketry, pontoon bridges, toilet paper, Non-invasive prenatal diagnostic testing for Down’s Syndrome, Synthesis of crystalline bovine insulin, etc.

          • ScottLoar

            Oh Jesus, there’s a whole library of Chinese technology achievement should anyone want to go beyond Wikipedia and this forum to look, see, understand.

      • loki

        haha…. china had an advantage back when fire was a new invention and eating with 2 wood sticks was “innovation”…

      • Surfeit

        The attitude mostly stems from chronic alcoholism and a small penis. It is in effect because I dislike seeing history being represented by false articles.

        Furthermore, regarding these articles as evidence ignores the imperative combining components between history and civilisation. It displays to me only a headstrong desire to prove self (and national) worth. Other nations do it too, including my own, but I don’t have to accept it through a pressure and/or guilt not to dislike things about China. If that offends you, I believe you should reevaluate your attitude rather than question my own.

        This is a forum for discussion, but I find your speculations that A. I denied a fact, and B. I hate everything about China, to be largely unsubstantiated and severely lacking in merit, despite all the ‘likes’ your post received.

        I’m sorry my attitude has now turned on you, but you are kind of being a bitch.

    • niggaplz

      they say terracotta warriors are fake, since its style is unlike any other excavated statues of the period

      • ScottLoar

        Not fake but heavily influenced by Greco-Roman statuary by way of India and Central Asia. The current theory is this new mode was consciously abandoned during the Han in favour of traditional burial figurines.

        • niggaplz

          mabey Qing shi huang was a white european

          • ScottLoar

            I do know Qinshihuang was not European but I don’t know about the guy you mentioned.

      • David

        Proof that I time traveled back in time and helped them design the statues.

    • DisqusUsername

      5,000 year old history

  • These are neat, but I can’t really say it’s changed how I look at China, double-ended dildo or not.

    • mr.wiener

      Yo whiskers, long time no post mate.

      • Yeah, not quite sure what happened haha
        Glad to see you’re still here, too

    • niggaplz

      Apparently ancient Chinese are buried with their toilet seat

      • Nessquick Choco

        yep, how do they forgot to make a toilet seat within few thousands years ? mystery …

    • The FRED FONG

      China invented the double headed dildo 500 years before any other country…are you not impressed?

      • Nessquick Choco

        I guess, the white missionare woman bring it/made it, once they saw the lack of dicks here …

  • The FRED FONG

    When can they UN-INVENT sh!ting in the street?

    • Mighty曹

      and UN-INVENT suing good samaritans.

    • lacompacida

      It took 5000 years for Chinese to be able to do it in the street. It will take at least another 5000 years for them to do it in a toilet.

      • 5000 years of history

        Oh please

    • cantonizi

      Big deal most New Yorkers in the streets of NYC know how to do that without learning from the Chinese for over 500 years, Harlem to Wall st.

  • Mighty曹

    I was totally fascinated…. until the Android bot.

    • YourSupremeCommander

      F—-king Chinese, they have to invent everything!

      • Mighty曹

        If they invented condoms there wouldn’t be 1 billion plus today.

        • YourSupremeCommander

          true true

        • Kai

          I know you’re just making a joke, but it’s worth pointing out that China’s historical population was due to innovations in agriculture and irrigation allowing more food and thus larger populations as opposed to lack of contraception or interest in contraception. China’s most recent ballooning of population has less to do with reproductive contraception and more to do with government social policy. Blame Mao. As far as I know, Chinese people have been about as historically interested as other cultures have been with regards to contraception for practical lifestyle consideratons.

          • Mighty曹

            Yep. People don’t realize that civilizations flourished due to innovations in, not only, technology, agriculture, irrigation, but also planning, administration, and governance. China was at the forefront in civic matters.that allow its society to grow.

            All that combination under a tyrant ruler is bound to fail. Present day example: N.Korea.

  • YourSupremeCommander

    The first pic, the two balls… wonder what their usage is.

    • Mighty曹

      Those are 皮蛋, “thousand year old eggs”.

      • maybeabanana

        I don’t know why but that was funny.

        • Mighty曹

          Banana! How the FAQ ya been?

          • maybeabanana

            Mehhh… got tired of Disq’s security hole with our accounts and i seldom reddit…so here i am wondering about china since all these china-russian-ukrane fiasco..its going to be a political nightmare.

    • Insomnicide

      Vibrating eggs, perhaps.

      • YourSupremeCommander

        batteries were not invented till 1800

        • mr.wiener

          It probably had an egg beater like attachment.

        • Jahar

          They dug up some of those too. invented in china, long before they were really invented.

    • Kai

      I thought those were just part of the display to keep the thing in place, upright, and not actually part of the artifact.

  • loki

    came for the double sided dildo, left because I didn’t see anyone using it…

  • vonskippy

    Interesting archaeology puzzle. We all know who the Chinese steal their current science and engineering from in modern times, but the big question is, who did they steal from 1000 years ago?

  • Insomnicide

    I feel like the history of China is that one of regression. From an extremely technologically and socially advanced world power since the Han dynasty to a backwards polluted and morally lacking third-world crab bucket.

    • cantonizi

      That’s right and westerners need to stay away or don’t go there.
      It is the CCP’s way of keeping the west mostly whiteys from over staying their welcome, too bad blacks don’t it.

      • Gordon Gogodancer

        yes indeed, the impossibility for a student of staying in China after his exchange year unless he can prove his already has 2 or so years of working experience has made it very clear that foreigner’s are not welcomed in China.

      • maybeabanana

        Yeah just look at the native americans.

        • Ale Jandro

          What kind of native americans? Cherokees???

    • moeimoei

      Nah, history of China is more like the stock market, volatile, got its ups and downs…and at different periods of time, it achieves its best in different areas, so there is no one specific era in China that was “good” in absolute terms…
      historically, China is advanced comparatively speaking to other countries, but today, China is definitely better than any other periods in its history b/c people enjoy higher standards of living…

    • maybeabanana

      ouch… pusheen with a gun…my pride…but it can’t hurt if it wasn’t true.

  • ScottLoar

    It is sad to see the most extensive catalogue of Chinese technologies from ancient times ignored; see the continuing project Science and Civilization in China, Joseph Needham, et.al.

  • Butsu

    Man that bronze dildo sure is sweet as fuck.

    • mr.wiener

      Bronze hmm? you’d have to be careful with that. someone could get hurt.

      • Butsu

        You just need to be gentle but firm at the same time.

  • SimpsonsGoldenAge

    Not remotely convinced that underground piping was found dating back to the Shang Dynasty.

  • ESL Ninja

    Why did you fall out with toilet seats China?

  • socali

    Sad to think how much culture and artifacts were lost because of Mao’s cultural revolution. Shit….it just hurts my heart to think about it

  • mr.wiener

    On another site I casually remarked [in response to some one else’s remark about ..ahem, anal sex] that I didn’t think Chinese were that much into that sort of thing. I had a number of responses to this.
    On poster responded [quite reasonably] that because of the value of virginity some couples resorted to this before marriage.
    A number of other posters responded in an irate fashion that the Chinese had invented anal sex of course , way back when my ancestors were squatting in caves in Europe….[face palm!]
    This was a fun article however.

  • Jazz88

    The whole chui wan thing is a proven fallacy. Chui wan is in every regard more similar to croquet than it is to golf. Hitting a ball into a hole comes in many many different shapes and sizes, and hitting a small stone ball over short distances has no relationship to golf at all.

    • Rick in China

      That’s exactly what I was thinking – by this measure, Mayans invented basketball and cavemen invented anime.

      • Nessquick Choco

        And I have LPG station in my lover back :D

  • mr.wiener

    So if we are all losers and you are here too you must be a……?

    • Repatriated

      Haha

  • ScottLoar

    The dildo is very impressive and “correct”, even to the nipple to stimulate the clitoris. The designer well understood the users and needed design and angle for a female duo. When discussing antiques we must always give dimensions.

  • mzungu

    Yeah, what have you invented lately? Car? train? airplane? computer? mobile phone?

    …. not much got invented there lately, has it? Maybe it’s because we are wasting too much time dwelling in the past.

    • Kai

      As I joked with Joe, Chinese did all the hard foundational stuff and left the derivative inventions to others lest they not have anything to pride themselves on.

      • fable=history

        So the Chinese invented pistons, the internal combustion engine, a way of extracting petroleum and turning it into a usable product, high grade steel and synthetic materials, rubber, not to mention all the math, chemistry, physics, and science underpinning those discoveries? I think you’ll find those things are the ‘hard foundational (sic) stuff’ of modern forms of technology such as automobiles.

        But not to worry I’m sure there’s some dodgy scroll somewhere depicting something with 4 wheels or a story about a prehistoric emperor and a magic vehicle so we can safely conclude that the Chinese invented all forms of modern transportation.

        The problem I find with discussing history with some Chinese (and East Asians in general) is they generally have a difficult time distinguishing between history (as in a field of social and scientific study based on actual historical facts supported by solid archaeological and textual evidence) and fables or legends. The two tend to get conflated in the Chinese mind. Makes rational discussion about the past and who ‘invented’ what almost impossible.

        • Kai

          Er, I worry it will be hard to have a rational discussion with someone whose response expresses indignation and doesn’t seem to recognize that I said “as I joked with Joe”.

          I get it, vanity offends vanity. Maybe I should’ve added a smiley in there or something.

          That said, relevant to the pistons, synthetic materials, etc you bring up, there’s good history regarding the Chinese and blast furnaces:

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blast_furnace

        • Kai

          “Foundational” is also correctly spelled AFAIK?

  • Eidolon

    Pretty sure a few of these are hoaxes. The dildo especially – it depicts circumcised penii; last I checked, the Chinese did not have a tradition of circumcision.

    • Kai

      Dunno if its a hoax but it just shows a penis with a glans, and erect penises generally look like that the world over because for the vast majority of penises, the foreskin retracts in erection, exposing the glans. A penis is pretty much a penis everywhere and depicted similarly around the world in cultures also without the Judeo-Christian tradition of circumvention.

      Anatomically, the bronze dildo also doesn’t feature other mainstays of penises like a prominent blood vessel.

      • SongYii

        Wow, you know a lot about penises and dildos.

    • Insomnicide

      You know that’s what a penis looks like with the foreskin rolled back, right?

  • Gordon Gogodancer

    Don’t think golf so so high-end foreign and bla bla bla…it is our Song dynasty ancestors…bla bla bla. These people are so needy. I wish Song dynasty gave them an actual pair of balls instead of a golf heritage

  • Gordon Gogodancer

    I use to love China but after 9 years of this Chinese neediness and arrogance and them always having to transform any kind of could have been simple and friendly exchange into a battle or comparison intended to make them feel like their small dicks grew a few inches…i’m sorry to say i’m fucking starting to hate these people. You can’t make friend’s when someone consider you an adversary right from the start

  • Lei Feng’s Hat

    Thankfully the author didn’t include Emperor Zhu Di’s admirals and (their) ocean voyages…and the connection to the mysterious Piri Reis map. It’s a little early in the weekend for my favorite Ancient Astronauts/UFO theory to be usurped by the Chinese. Although it may very well be true…

  • Surfeit

    Whoa! You have jumped to so many conclusions about me from such little context. You’ve even put forth opinion about my character based on the ideas you created in your prose.

    That’s quite a whimsical mind you have. Especially given that you summarised by missing the point that these are not articles from a ‘faraway past’.

  • Surfeit

    You’ll need something bigger than a microscope. Also, what?!

  • Jahar

    we differentiate between ancient cultures and current ones though. I can’t say for sure, but do Egyptians go on like this? Indians? iraqis?

    • Kai

      What do you mean by “like this”?

      If you’re referring to the text of the Chinese netizen who assembled this, it’s mostly a mix of “did you know” and “impressive, huh?” That’s pretty common in these sort of topics where something from the past is brought to people’s attention to marvel at. Just a few days ago, Claude and I were marveling at Benjamin Franklin. Ever seen similar articles in the US or the UK? It’s pretty much all like this in tone.

      If you’re referring to your generalized conception of Chinese people being excessively proud to the point of unreasonable haughtiness (or actually, thinly maske insecurity, aka ball clutching) of their historical past, I’d lean towards Egyptians, Indians, and Iraqis being less so and primarily because they don’t feel like they are a re-emergent superpower. Of those three, India would be the closest to having China’s zeitgeist but it is too self-aware of itself being the other enormously populous country that is economically doing worse than China. If they can get their act together, hubris will rear its head too. It always has throughout history.

      Overall, comments like Surfeit’s and yours inevitablly communicate a sort of resentment with Chinese people possessing any pride. All pride is tied to a measure of insecurity, and insecurity over other people’s pride is tied to one’s own pride, and thus, heh, insecurity.

      • Rick in China

        Almost a repurposing of the famous quote: “It is our own vanity that makes the vanity of others intolerable to us.” Just s/vanity/pride.

      • David

        When a culture (or individual for that matter, in the case of many kings from all over in history) is emerging or sees themselves as new, it is quite common to point to things in the past they are connected to through a long line of (sometimes tenuous) achievements. In the west we often count back to Rome or Greece, as a direct line of our Democracy and thus western civilization (although western civilization has spent much more time NOT being a democracy)). Being crowned with the same crown that Victoria used or on the same stone that Robert the Bruce was sworn in on gives legitimacy to rule. In Thailand one of the first things a new king would often do is have the writings of the sacred script re-evaluated (sending monks to Sri Lanka to bring back scholars with original copies of texts) and build new temples with old relics buried at their center. China is NOT my area of expertise but it does touch on (and influences) other Asian cultures that are and it seems to me, China as a country (as represented by its government), while asserting itself on the world stage, is also trying to forge its identity as a mixture of the old and new. Meanwhile the Chinese people (separate from the government), in addition to the day to day living they must do, are looking for something to touch on that reminds them of the greatness that was once (and might be again) China. Just a thought.

      • Jahar

        I meant patting themselves on the back about accomplishments made by people living in the same place as them, but thousands of years earlier.

        • Kai

          Okay, and if you thought the Egyptians, Indians, and Iraqis don’t do this, I’m answering that they do.

  • Kai

    That scene surprised me.

  • Surfeit

    Are you arguing that my questioning of ‘replica’ ancient artefacts as evidence of history, is comparable to your observation that an iPhone is an iPhone?

  • Zen my Ass

    How can you use a dildo made of bronze? Do you warm it beforehand?

    • David

      yes, but not too much.

  • David

    I enjoyed reading what you wrote. Almost all of what you say is not only true it is really without dispute. However, I think you are ascribing attitudes and motives to Surfeit which are unwarranted. Even though I enjoyed the article for what it was, what it was not was real accurate history. I think it is wonderful to show things that have been unearthed in China to let us see how those in the past lived and what they accomplished (a lot) but they should stop there. What they do (meaning the present Chinese government generally and in this case the writers of the article specifically) is than make unscientific comments (like the golf thing) about the artifacts in an effort to brag about Chinese superiority and by extension the superiority of China today (the same way I hate fellow Americans who spread the stupid story of George Washington and the Cherry tree). As a historian and history teacher this is where I lose respect. I think the idea of drainage pipes and toilet seats during the Qin dynasty is fantastic and terracotta pipes from the Shang are also incredible but the Minoans had indoor flush toilets on Create in 3000 BC. Now, this does not take anything away from the accomplishments in China (because the Mycenaean who took their place did not have this luxury) and people do need to know about the MANY accomplishments of ancient China (probably the wealthiest and most advanced country in the world for over a millennium until the beginning of the 19th century) however, these facts are never presented without being political. Just my two cents. .

  • Surfeit

    I pointed out already that this episode is not unique to China. If you’d take the time to read my comments properly, you’ll see Im not saying the things you think I am.

  • Surfeit

    I’m not asking anyone to consider me as a whole. I’m just highlighting judgement made on fabricated grounds. ‘…you are thinking…shallow and narrow-minded of you…’, etc.

    How exactly have I displayed ignorance? I went to a Chinese ‘museum’, all the artefacts were labelled as reconstructions. That, to me, is not a museum. Furthermore it is not evidence of history.

    I do hate that. I think it’s disgusting to make claim and label something as history, when it was made last week in a pottery shed.

  • Surfeit

    Did I hurt your feelings?

  • ScottLoar

    Gandharan art for sure directly influenced (loaned?) the appearance of the Chinese 觀音 but I suppose as you do that Qinshihuang’s burial figurines have no precedent in Chinese art so Greco-Roman influence is a strong probability. A single statue seen by the right person could have effected a radical change, yet that radical change was limited to a single episode.

  • Kai

    Hope everylasting.

  • Nessquick Choco

    hmmm, and they say it’s dirty and want suck ? :D

  • Guest

    Where this inferiority complex comes from among the Chinese? Just get over it. Chinese haven’t invented much and in the last few hundred years really suck. Chinese have no creativity. They invent the paper, and 1000 years later still no toilet paper in Chinese toilets.

    • mr.wiener

      They do have toilet paper [sometimes] which I refer to as “John Wayne”.

  • Zappa Frank

    hahahaha…. are you serious, I can laugh louder..

  • Surfeit

    A-ha ha, he he, ho ho…

  • Vernon Alarcon

    Prince Jing of Zhongshan mussa seen sum african men or heard about us…

  • mr.wiener

    I’ll call BS on both those claims. Booze and pot making goes too far back to get any accurate claim on who invented them. You might as well claim “Chinese invented gravity”.

  • Nessquick Choco

    also a possible way. thanks ;)

  • Surfeit

    Wow. You actually define ‘codshit’.

  • Surfeit

    I’m so happy this upsets you.

  • sam

    i think it is interesting that they had plumbing and toilets

  • bob red white and blue

    Seriously ??enjoy making 10 cents a day working 20 hour shifts. remember Be great full you would still be undeveloped in the chung lee age drinking Mercury looking for eternal life if it wasnt for us white and black Americans

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