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中国古代四大发明怎么说?(3)

2007-03-28 15:23英语麦当劳

  Four Great Inventions of Ancient China —— Paper

  China was the first nation who invented paper. The earliest form of paper first appeared in the Western Han Dynasty (206BC-23AD), but the paper was generally very thick, coarse and uneven in their texture, made from pounded and disintegrated hemp fibers. The paper unearthed in a Han tomb in Gansu Province is by far the earliest existing ancient paper, tracing back to the early Western Han Dynasty.

  In the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220), a court official named Cai Lun made a new kind of paper from bark, hemp, rags, fishnet, wheat stalks and other materials. It was relatively cheap, light, thin, durable and more suitable for brush writing.

  The art of paper-making spread east to Korea and Japan at the beginning of the seventh century (the end of the Sui Dynasty and the beginning of the Tang Dynasty). In the eighth century, along with the Silk Road, the Arab countries began to learn how to make paper. It took about 400 years for paper to traverse the Arab world to Europe. In the 14th century many paper mills were established in Italy, from where the workmanship of paper-making spread to the European countries such as Germany. The Italians vigorously produced the material and exported large amounts of it, dominating the European market for many years. In the 16th century, the art of paper-making appeared in Russia and Holland, and it spread to Britain in the 17th century.

  Before paper was invented, Qin Shihuang, the first emperor in Chinese history, had to go over 120 kilos of official documents written on bamboo or wooden strips. With the invention of paper, the popularization of knowledge has turned into reality. The invention of paper is an epoch-making event in human history.

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