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    Posted: 30-Dec-2006 at 14:23
The ancient Chinese (much like their contemporary peers in ancient Greece) were brilliant pioneers in philosophy, mathematics, science, literature, mechanics, and many more broad fields to note. I will be compiling some interesting stuff on Chinese ideas and innovation on hydraulics for civil engineering such as early transport and irrigation projects, but you guys may choose any civilization past and present to focus on and post info about here. Enjoy!

The first considered hydraulic engineer of China was Sunshu Ao, written of by the later Han-era historian Sima Qian in the book Huai Nan Tzu. Sunshu Ao was a minister for Duke Zhuang of the Chu State during the reign of the Eastern Zhou Dynasty high-ruling King Ting (606 – 586 BC). Sunshu Ao was put in place as the superintendent for a new public works project known in ancient times as the Shao Pei (Peony Dam, modern times as the Anfeng Tang). This dam was located in today’s Anhui Province, stopping up a considerable amount of water gushing from the mountains north of the Yangtze River. This dam, in effect flooded a valley that was 62 miles in circumference, covering an area of six million acres under a new lake of water, essentially, China’s first large-scale and historically-recorded reservoir. This dam of Sunshu Ao’s was later repaired by subsequent dynasties, such as the Han (202 BC – 220 AD) and the Tang (618 - 907 AD). When the State of Wei was under the governance of Duke Wen (403 – 387 BC), the rationalist statesman known as Ximen Bao (the same who abolished by law the human sacrifice to river gods) organized a massive diversion of the Zhang River. The latter river “formerly flowed into the Huang He near An-yang, so that it met the great stream, then in course lower down, i.e. nearer the bend at modern Tianqin. Thus the Zhang, which rises in mountainous Shanxi and flows southeastwards, was led away northeastwards as a lateral contour canal to irrigate a large region of Henei instead of wastefully adding to the burden of the Yellow River,” (Needham, Volume 4 Part 3 271). This diversion was completed by the time of the grandson of Duke Wen (sometime between 318 – 296 BC), whereupon Shi Qi was placed as the overseer of the continuing hydraulic-diversionary project (the Han-era historian Ban Gu wrote that the people of the region made a popular song in honor of the dammed diversionary project that benefited their now thriving irrigation works and thus their ability to grow more crops and feed more mouths).

Below are some noteworthy passages from ancient Chinese texts on early hydraulic concerns and civil engineering to solve them. From the book Guan Tzu, written in the 2nd century BC, the Duke Huan interrogates his minister Guan Zhong for obtaining sound advice in the auspiciously-determined location for the state capital. In determining the best location, Guan Zhong mentions ‘five harmful influences’ (wu hai), drought, unseasonable winds, fog, hail and frost, pestilence and insect plagues, and finally floods, which he deemed the worst. When Duke Huan pressed him about the harmful influence of excessive water damage to a region, Guan Zhong spoke thus:

Quote “It is the nature of water to flow, but when it reaches a bend (in its channel) it is retarded, and when the bend is full (the water) behind pushes forward that which is ahead. Where the land slopes downward it flows along smoothly, but where it rises (the water) is impeded. (In some places) (the water) becomes agitated and leaps up. When it leaps up it runs to one side. On running to one side it forms whirlpools. After forming whirlpools it returns to its central course. On returning to its central course (and slowing) it deposits its silt, and when this has occurred (the channel) becomes obstructed. Obstruction leads to a change of course. Change of course brings fresh stoppage. Thus impeded (the water) runs wild. Running wild, it injures men. When it injures men, there arises great distress among them. In great distress they treat the laws lightly. Laws being treated lightly, it is difficult to maintain good order. Good order lapsing, filial piety disappears. And when people have lost filial piety, they are no longer submissive,” (Needham, Volume 4 Part 3 223).


On hearing this advice, the now greatly concerned Duke Huan replied:

Quote “I request that you establish Water Conservancy Offices (Shui Kuan) (in each district) and staff them with men who are experienced in the ways of water. There should be one high official (Ta Fu) and one Deputy (Ta Fu Tso), with just enough labor corps brigadiers (Shuai Pu), section commanders (Hsiao Chang), and administrative assistants (Kuan Tso) (to meet the need). Then for the area on both sides of each river select one man as chief hydraulic engineer (Tu Chiang Shui Kung). Order all these to inspect the waterways, the walls of cities and their suburbs, the dykes and rivers, canals and pools, government buildings and cottages; and to supply those who are to carry out the repair work in the districts with just enough men,” (Needham, Volume 4 Part 3 223).


As time went on problems with hydraulic engineering ensued, much to the fear of those like Duke Huan mentioned before. During the reign of Emperor Cheng (Liu Ao, reigned 32 – 7 BC), there was an enormous effort to aid the cause of stopping massive flooding of the Yellow River in the years 28 and 26 BC. This involved the case of the two initial engineers known as Guo Chang (Kuo Chhang) and Feng Jun (Feng Chün), as both engineers had been trying since 30 BC to relieve pressure on the lower Yellow River dykes by building several different diversionary canals. However, it was the latter engineer, Feng Jun, who discovered the major cause of trouble in this concern was the growing of silt deposit on the Tun-shi (Thun-shih) River (one of the channels of the delta). It was this case, recorded thus in the historical book of the Qian Han Shu, that showed the Chinese had realized the necessity of placing in charge skillful mathematicians and engineers with administrators in water conservancy and control works. The passage in the mentioned book went as thus [note: spelling in Wade-Giles, not Pinyin]:

Quote "These affairs were brought to the attention of the ministers of state, who referred them to the learned doctor Hsu Shang, a man expert on the Shang Shu (chapters of the Shu Ching, the Historical Classic) and skillful at mathematics (shan wei suan) so that he was able to compute labor force problems (and the like).

Hsu Shang was sent down to inspect the situation. He agreed that the Thun-shih River was the cause of the floods. But because of the expense, which the financial situation of the government would (it was thought) not permit, the deepening and dredging were postponed.

After three years, the Yellow River again caused floods at the Kuan-thao and the Eastern Commandery, breaking the ‘Metal Dyke,’ and overwhelming four commanderies and thirty-two hsien districts. More than 150,000 chhing (about 2.5 million acres) were under water, thirty foot deep at the worst parts. Of houses, official and private, some 40,000 were destroyed. This (proved how) mistaken had been the opinion of Yin Chung, the Imperial Censor [who had presumably been responsible for the financial stringency], and the emperor reproached him so much that he committed suicide. Fei Tiao, the Minister of Agriculture, was ordered to see to the problem of fair taxation to help the flooded districts, and two Inspectors-General were dispatched to arrange for 500 grain-transport ships from the Honan and the east to move more than 97,000 inhabitants to the hills.

Wang Yen-shih, Comptroller of Water-Conservancy Works (Ho-Thi Shih-Che), was then asked to close the breaches in the river dykes. He used for the fill bamboo “sausages” containing stones (chu lo, lit: bamboo plugs, or falling bamboo crates); these were 4 chang (40 ft. approximately) long, and 9 spans (arm-stretches, wei) in circumference (of cross-section, i.e. c. 17.2 ft. diam.) all packed with small stones. They were deposited in place by being suspended between two barges (before dropping). After 36 days the dyke was fully repaired. The emperor thereupon said: ‘Although the bursting of the Yellow River dykes in the Eastern Commmandery caused floods over two provinces, now our Master-Comptroller (Wang) Yen-shih has blocked the breaches in (hardly more than) thirty days. Let us change the 5th year of the present reign-period into the 1st year of a new reign-period, to be called Ho-Phing (The River Pacified) [28 BC]. All soldiers who have taken part in the water-control operations shall receive exemption from six months’ frontier service. Due to (Wang) Yen-shih’s excellence in planning, the expense has been minimal, and the time short. Desiring to encourage him I bestow upon him the title of Kuang-Lu Ta-Fu, with an appanage of 2,000 tan as a Kuan-Nei Marquis, and 100 catties of gold.

But two years later the river broke out again [26 BC], at Phing-yuan, with floods which reached to Chinan and Chhien-chheng, where half the buildings were destroyed. So Wang Yen-shih was again sent to control it.
However, Tu Chhin, speaking to the Commanding General Wang Feng, said: ‘Formerly, when the Yellow River broke out, the Vice-Minister Yang Yen told me that Wang Yen-shih really learnt the techniques of blocking dyke breaches from him, but nevertheless Yang Yen remained unknown (as a hydraulics expert). Now you are giving the responsibility solely to Wang Yen-shih, but as he closed the dykes before with such ease, I fear he will not give very serious consideration to the harm (which the River can do). If these things are so, the skill (chhiao) of Wang Yen-shih is not as great as that of Yang Yen. Now the effects of water are various, and if their advantages and disadvantages are not the subject of wide discussion, if you give to one man only responsibility to the task, and if he himself is not quite up to the standard called for; then come winter come spring, when the early freshets arrive (thao hua shui), there will (inevitably) be damage due to excess of silting. Then the spring sowing will not be possible in several commanderies, the people will flee away, and banditry will arise. Passing sentences of death on Wang Yen-shih then will be no use at all. (My opinion is, therefore, that) you should appoint Yang Yen, the Director of Engineering Works (Chiang-Tso Ta-Chiang) Hsu Shang, and the Imperial Counselor Chhengma Yen-Nien, to be associated with Wang Yen-shih as colleagues. He and Yang Yen will certainly have violent disputes; there will be deep discussions and mutual criticism. Hsu Shang and Chhengma Yen-Nien are both excellent mathematicians, able to calculate labors and results, to distinguish truth from error (fen pieh shih fei), and to select the best plan to follow. In this way, the works will certainly be successful.’

Wang Feng did as Tu Chhin suggested, and sent Yang Yen and others to help start the work. In six months it was completed, and again Wang Yen-shih received 100 catties of gold, and his soldiers, if they had not hired paid substitutes, were granted exemptions as before,” (Needham, Volume 4 Part 3 329-331).


^Needless to say, Wang Yen-shih owed his reputation (and quite possibly his own head) to the behind-the-scenes meddling of Tu Chhin. In other words, look out fo yo homies, dog. Lol.

Another problem was drainage and tunneling, mentioned by the historian Sima Qian during the reign of Emperor Wu, in this passage below about the engineer Chuang Hsiung-Phi:

Quote “After that (i.e. about 120 BC) Chuang Hsiung-Phi declared that the people of the Lin-chin wanted to open a canal which would leave the river Lo and irrigate 10,000 chhing of land lying east of Chung-chhüan. This land had previously been salty, but if one could really succeed in getting water for it, harvests of ten tan for every mou could be obtained. Accordingly more than ten thousand laborers were recruited for the work, and they cut a canal which, starting from (the city of) Cheng, brought the waters of the Lo to the foot of Shang-yen Mountain.

As the banks were liable to slide and crumble easily, (a series of) wells was dug, the deepest of which was as much as 400 ft.; and there were wells all along at regular intervals. At the bottom they communicated with each other (by a tunnel) through which the water flowed. The water came down until it met, and flowed round, the Shang-yen mountain, east of which the canal continued more than 10 li until it reached the hills. This was the first time that a subterranean canal with well-openings (ching chhu) was built.

While the canal was being excavated, the bones of a dragon [dinosaur?] were found, hence it was called the ‘Dragon-Head Canal’. More than ten years after its completion, the water was coming through all right, but very little benefit had accrued from it for agriculture,” (Needham, Volume 4 Part 3 334).


There's other early Chinese documents talking about "dragon" bones being dug up and examined, but for now I'll stick to hydraulics (not early finds of dinosaur bones). In the next entry, I'll post some info on early Chinese sluice and lock gates for canals. Until next time...


Eric
    
    

Edited by Preobrazhenskoe - 30-Dec-2006 at 14:24
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Good post.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Preobrazhenskoe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Jan-2007 at 16:14
A little off-topic with hydraulics, but for this next post I'd like to demonstrate in detail some mechanical devices and applications early Chinese (Qin and Han Dynasty) used for practical or extraordinary usage. The sources come from Joseph Needham's Science and Civilization in China: Volume 4 Part 2.

Mechanical engineering during the Han era was greatly innovative to say the least, and in some aspects revolutionary in concept. During the Han period (202 BC - 220 AD), the Chinese discovered such things as the full components for link-works of the postillion (chest-trace) horse harness. They used sliding levers in the collapsible parasol (umbrella, Chinese: san) by the year 21 AD during the usurpation of Wang Mang, the latter of which had a large one made for a ceremonial four-wheeled carriage. The 2nd century AD commentator known as Fu Qian wrote that “his umbrellas all had bendable joints enabling them to be extended or retracted,” (Needham, Volume 4 Part 2 71) as well, and that pieces of his umbrellas “have actually been recovered from the tomb of Wang Kuang at Korean Lo-Lang,” (Needham, Volume 4 Part 2 71). Although umbrellas, canopies, and parasols had existed since ancient Babylonia (and used in ancient Greece and Rome afterwards), the Chinese were the first to invent the mechanical-driven collapsible parasol, which wasn’t discovered in the West until centuries later. It is uncertain of when the first stone rotary mills came about in China, but the earliest mentioning comes from the writing of the Shih Pen (Book of Origins), quoted often in the Shi Ji compilation by the Grand Historian Sima Qian in the 2nd century BC. The first representation of a crank-handle of any civilization came from a green-glazed pottery model of a farmyard dating to the Han Dynasty (202 BC – 220 AD) in China. In the pottery model there was “a rotary grain-mill and a man working a foot tilt-hammer [using lever and fulcrum] grain-pounder;” and “on the left a built-in winnowing-machine with hopper and two lower apertures, along with, “the crank handle for working the rotary fan of the winnowing-machine,” (Needham, Volume 4 Part 2 Plate CLVI). It is important to note that the pedal tilt-hammer (dui) was not written of in Europe until 1537 CE, while the first mentioning in China was 40 BC with the Chi Chiu Phien dictionary written by Yang Xiong. The mechanized dui, the hydraulic-powered Chinese trip-hammer (shui dui), was timed by the rotation of the water wheel and the mechanical pestle, lifting by use of a cam and falling by its own weight in order to stamp or smash the object(s) or material desired (its original purpose being for pounding in decorticating rice and grain, but expanded far beyond this to other uses such as in metallurgic forges). Its use was widespread in China during the Han Dynasty, as Huan Dan remarked in his book Xin Lun (New Discoveries), “Fu Hsi invented the pestle and mortar, which is so useful, and later on it was cleverly improved in such a way that the whole weight of the body could be used for treading on the tilt-hammer (tui), thus increasing the efficiency ten times. Afterwards the power of animals – donkeys, mules, oxen, and horses – was applied by means of machinery, and water-power too used for pounding, so that the benefit was increased a hundredfold,” (Needham, Volume 4 Part 2 392). In the Imperial workshops and manufactories, the Chinese had many mechanical devices on hand to work with in performing various functions, as the Chinese of the Qin and Han dynasties had many machines that required gear-wheels for practical applications. The mechanical inventor Zhang Heng was famous for being able to “‘make three wheels rotate as if they were one,’” (Needham, Volume 4 Part 2 85), and his contemporary Liu Xi (died in 120 AD) spoke of the use of cooperating wheels (fu chhe) or toothed wheels (ya chhe) in his synonymic dictionary known as the Shih Ming. These early advancements in gear-wheel mechanisms led to further Chinese discoveries centuries later such as the escapement mechanism in 725 AD used for advanced clockwork (the Chinese before that point used purely water-powered mechanical clocks, sundials, and incense-clocks with the timed burning of incense sticks). Pulleys incorporating the use of sinews, cords, thongs, ropes, and stone or metal chains wrapped around rotating axles and wheels found many practical uses, such as “a draw-well jar model of Han time with its pulley in place,” (Needham, Volume 4 Part 2 96), as well as a small representation of a bucket on the side of the pottery jar to show where water was collected. The pulley found industrial/manufactory usage in projects such as hauling buckets of salt from salt mines and salt-refining plants, as illustrated on a molded brick found in Qiong-lai, Szechuan, China, dated to the Eastern Han phase (23 – 220 AD), although the functioning salt industry at Szechuan was as ancient as the 3rd century BC in the late Warring States Period. With mechanisms such as the pulley there were also extraordinary applications to solving problems desired. For instance, recovering items from the depths of a river, such as “the famous Wu Liang tomb-shrines (147 AD) depicting the attempted recovery of the Chou [Zhou Dynasty] cauldrons from the river, where two crane pulleys are inferable,” (Needham, Volume 4 Part 2 95). The latter case shows that the Han royalty and nobility were interested collectors of fine arts and crafts from previous periods in China, especially of exquisite bronze-wares including the cauldrons mentioned from the Zhou Dynasty period (1050 - 256 BC). Although springs and mechanical springs would play a much greater role in medieval China (with torsion springs in mechanical frame-saws, in forceps and padlocks, in tripping the jack-work for clocks, and cart-springs in wheeled vehicles since the 7th century AD), during the Han Dynasty spring mechanisms were used in things such as mechanically-wound toys and compound springs in crossbows (since even the earlier Eastern Zhou Dynasty phase, 771 - 256 BC). It was recorded in the book Hsi Ching Tsa Chi that the first Han emperor, Gaozu, found many impressive things in the treasury of the late Qin Shihuangdi when he had it dissolved into the new Han treasury. Among them was an entire mechanically-driven orchestra of puppets dressed in miniature fine silken robes holding either a lute (chhin), guitar (chu), or mouth-organs with free reeds (sheng or ya). There were no air-pumps or bellows involved in the process of their movement and playing of instruments, since “it took one person to provide the air-blast by blowing [into bronze tubes], while another [pulling a knotted rope] set all the puppets in motion by means of cams, levers, weights, etc., all working off a central drum. Immediately following the Han Dynasty, the engineer and mechanical genius known as Ma Jun (Ma Chün, famous for reinventing the south-pointing compass-vehicle of Zhang Heng) presented to the Wei Kingdom ruler Emperor Ming (during the San Kuo Period of 227 – 239 AD) an impressive theatrical set of mechanically-operated puppets. It was described in the book San Kuo Chih:
 
Quote “Certain persons offered to the emperor a theatre of puppets, which could be set up in various scenes, but all motionless. The emperor asked whether they could be made to move, and Ma Chün said that they could. The emperor asked whether it could be possible to make the whole thing more ingenious, and again Ma Chün said yes, and accepted the command to do it. He took a large piece of wood and fashioned it into the shape of a wheel which rotated in a horizontal position by the power of unseen water. He furthermore arranged images of singing-girls which played music and danced, and when (a particular) puppet came upon the scene, other wooden men beat drums and blew upon flutes. Ma Chün also made a mountain with wooden images dancing on balls, throwing swords about, hanging upside down on rope ladders, and generally behaving in an assured and easy manner. Government officials were in their offices, pounding and grinding was going on, cocks were fighting, and all was continually changing and moving ingeniously with a hundred variations,”
(Needham, Volume 4 Part 2 158).


Edited by Preobrazhenskoe - 14-Jan-2007 at 16:45
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Moustafa Pasha Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Jan-2007 at 16:30
Both of the above articles are off the subject of Hydraulics and Civil Egineering. The romans were ingenious in both subjects.They built wonderful works of providing water to their cities,towns and army through viaducts water wheels  combined with scientific knowledge of gravity and other techniques. They built roads for their army and to facilitate trade.Also buldings such as the Forum, baths of Caracala, Temples and much more.

Edited by Moustafa Pasha - 14-Jan-2007 at 16:46
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Preobrazhenskoe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Jan-2007 at 17:14
Originally posted by Moustafa Pasha Moustafa Pasha wrote:

Both of the above articles are off the subject of Hydraulics and Civil Egineering. The romans were ingenious in both subjects. They built wonderful works of providing water to their cities,towns and army through viaducts water wheels  combined with scientific knowledge of gravity and other techniques. They built roads for their army and to facilitate trade. Also buldings such as the Forum, baths of Caracala, Temples and much more.
 
First off, those aren't articles, those are my own writings where I used direct quotes from Needham's work. Secondly, I would love for you or someone else to provide stats on Roman aqueducts and the like. Thirdly, my first post has no mentioning or regard to hydraulics or civil engineering??? Please explain why, in detail, because I am very confused as to how it doesn't. Also, although the second post is more to do with mechanical engineering, the hydraulic power of water wheels was mentioned with the hydraulic-powered trip hammer. As for hydraulics in the field of metallurgy (which I mentioned but did not go into detail), while the Romans had imported Noricum steel (because their iron ore deposits had unique level of carbon to classify as steel when smelted), the Chinese were the first to innovate the blast furnace, cast-iron, and true steel. Here's some stuff I wrote previously, with info pulled from wiki (and other sources I can't remember at the moment: 
 

During the Han Dynasty (202 BC - 220 AD), the now centuries-old method and use of casting iron from iron ore reached new heights and levels of sophistication in metallurgic advancements. Prior to the Han Dynasty, both brittle cast-iron and quench-hardened steel slowly phased out the importance of bronze as a major source for producing weapons and pedestrian commodities requiring metal parts and components, as metalworking techniques with both began to improve. However, it was during the Han Dynasty that metallurgists discovered the method of melting molten-hot, liquid pig iron into a large puddle confined in a furnace which was open to the cooling surface of the air above, calling this chao, or stir-frying, after a popular method of cooking Chinese food. This cooling forced the pig iron to lose its carbon content, become heavily decarburized, and therefore formed wrought iron, a weak, brittle form of iron with very low carbon content. Wrought iron, much like early Chinese cast-iron, was just as weak and brittle in quality, and was a type of iron-product found elsewhere in the world through the bloomery technique (collecting a spongy iron product called a bloom and beating a sl*g out of this in a laborious process to forge iron products), widespread throughout the kingdoms to the west who had by now phased out their Bronze Age as well. However, the Chinese took their stir-fry technique a step further by discovering that when melting wrought iron (with carbon content not exceeding 0.15%) and brittle cast-iron (carbon content of more than 2% throughout) together formed a surprisingly-sturdy iron-carbon alloy, essentially the world’s first steel (aside from quench-hardened steel, which is a mild steel found in China roughly by 300 BCE in a mass grave in Hebei Province, and earlier in places in the Near East and Eastern Mediterranean world, the oldest known quench-hardened steel being found on Cyprus, dated roughly 1100 BCE). Steel, by definition, is an iron-carbon alloy with a carbon-concentrated weight of no less than 0.2%, and no more than 1.7% carbon content throughout, as anything lower in carbon content would be considered wrought iron, and anything higher would be the brittle form of cast-iron. Another method of producing steel also came by the time of the usurping reign of Emperor Wang Mang (r. 9 – 23 CE), with the appearance of the first windmills (of the vertical and horizontal types) powering manufactories and foundries. Historians of the later, modern period would agree that rotary waterwheels and mills were found in China roughly the same time they were in Europe to the west (c. 2nd century BCE), and as recorded in 31 CE by the Chinese engineer Tu Shih (Du Xi), the Chinese had discovered how to harness hydraulic power, using horizontal or vertically-centered water wheels in order to power machines used the pumping action of piston bellows to inject a continuous blast of air into the blast furnaces for making cast-iron and steel. With the forging process known as the 100 Step Refining Method, employing two chambers of piston-bellows continuously shooting air into the blast furnace melting iron ore at the bottom, this new method was yet another aimed to reduce the high carbon content of cast iron into creating steel, and was employed to be used as often as the puddle-and-stir-fry process innovated before in making steel. In contrast, the first mentioning of a water wheel in Europe by the Greek epigrammatist Antipater, who lived in Macedonia under the reign of the first Roman imperator, Augustus Caesar (r. 27 BCE – 14 CE), was in the late 1st century BCE in a poem of his relating to how the recent toils of women pounding grain were wholly diminished once the innovation of the waterwheel was set forth to machines to do the work instead.

  
 
Also, read this short paragraph for further stuff on ancient Chinese hydraulics and civil engineering:
 
In the year 80 AD it was recorded in the book Discourses Weighed in the Balance, written by the philosopher Wang Chong (27 - 97 AD) that the Chinese had innovated a new mechanism that accomplished the same function and purpose as the Archimedes Screw (3rd century BC, by Archimedes), in that it moved substance (water, dirt, pebbles, sand, etc.) from a lower elevation to a higher elevation. This Chinese invention was the chain pump, using hydraulic power of water wheels or manual self-driven pedal or rotating crank to power an endless circulating chain with square pallets attached. These pallets held water (or other substance if necessary) to move upward as in moving materials up a hill or moving water from a low-basin river to agricultural irrigation ditches on a higher plane of elevation. The infamous palace eunuch Zhang Rang (died 189 AD) once ordered the engineer Bi Lan to make various improvements to China's present capital city of Luoyang, lacking in water at several different areas at the time. One of these improvements was to construct chain pumps and suction pumps at the West Bridge near the Peace Gate of the City.
 
 


Edited by Preobrazhenskoe - 14-Jan-2007 at 17:41
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote malizai_ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Jan-2007 at 10:37
Here is some info on one of the world's oldest dams, the Marib Dam.
 
http://nabataea.net/marib.html
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Preobrazhenskoe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Jan-2007 at 19:40

"As the Sabaean kingdom developed, they built a huge earth filled dam in the second half of the 6th century BC to hold back some of the water that came down the wadi. From the lake that developed behind the dam, they developed a splendid irrigation system that watered about 25, 0000 acres."

^Taken from your link of
 
This is pretty cool! That means in the same century that the Chinese engineer Sunshu Ao was overseeing the construction of his dam at Shao Pei in modern-day Anhui Province, the ancient Nabataeans of Yemen had accomplished a similar feat.
 
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I've got a book with many hydraulic machines of archimedes and other ancient inventers
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Siege Tower Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Jan-2007 at 10:28

That is amzing although i have to give the hounur of the early hydraulic contribution to another scientist to Li Bin, here's the information from Wikipedia.


The Dujiangyan Irrigation System (Chinese: 都江堰; pinyin: Dū Jiāng Yàn) is a historical Chinese irrigation and flood control system constructed around 250 BCE by governor of Shu, Li Bing (李冰) and his son, 56 km west of present day Chengdu, which it still supplies with water. This irrigation system diverts part of the Minjiang River into an aqueduct leading to Chengdu. In order to build this irrigation system, it was necessary to cut a path through the mountains on the bank of the Minjiang River. The builders accomplished this before the invention of explosives by repeatedly heating and cooling the rock to crack and weaken it. The system also includes a dike in the middle of the river to help reduce the amount of silt that flows into the aqueduct. A spillway allows excess water to continue down the Minjiang River in order to prevent the flooding of the Chengdu basin.

The Dujiangyan Irrigation System diverts water from the Minjiang River, supplying Chengdu with fresh water and preventing floods. The dike Yuzui in the background separates the Minjiang River (flowing towards the left in this photo) into the inner river seen in this photo and the outer river on the other side (not visible). The diversion gate Baopingkou in the foreground to the left diverts water from the inner river down into an aqueduct towards Chengdu and allows excess water to continue down the Minjiang river.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Preobrazhenskoe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Jan-2007 at 15:36
Originally posted by Top Gun Top Gun wrote:

I've got a book with many hydraulic machines of archimedes and other ancient inventers
 
Before the legacies of figures such as Ctesibius or Heron of Alexandria, Archimedes was the greatest inventive and innovative figure in the Hellenistic world. I've read of many of his accomplishments (largely in mathematics), but I don't think I've ever read anything about hydraulic machines (?) of his. Please post some info! I would love that.
 
Eric


Edited by Preobrazhenskoe - 20-Jan-2007 at 15:39
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Preobrazhenskoe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Jan-2007 at 15:39
Originally posted by Siege Tower Siege Tower wrote:

That is amzing although i have to give the hounur of the early hydraulic contribution to another scientist to Li Bin, here's the information from Wikipedia.


The Dujiangyan Irrigation System

 
Thanks Siege Tower! Very cool indeed, and once again, an impressive feat for the ancient East.
 
Eric
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