Han Dynasty


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  • Government The Han Chinese government was a bureaucracy.  Civil servants (i.e. government workers) were hired based on knowledge and ability and had many responsibilities including overseeing the maintenance of roads and canals.
  • Agriculture Several important advances made in agriculture during the Han dynasty, such as the chain pump, ironwork and the invention of the wheelbarrow.  All of these inventions helped farmers grow enough food to feed their families and to help stock the shared granaries, or grain storehouses.
  • Industry During the Han Dynasty, new inventions helped the two most important industries in China: silk and salt.  During the Han Dynasty, a foot-powered machine was developed to help silk production.  In addition, the Chinese learned to mine salt not only from the sea, but also from the ground using bamboo poles.
  • Art A key invention during the Han dynasty was the invention of paper. Prior to the invention of paper, the Chinese people was wrote on silk. The invention of paper changed the way people communicated.
  • Medicine During the Han dynasty, two forms of healing techniques devloped are still used today: (1) acupuncture and (2) moxibustion.  In addition, several medical discoveries were made about how the human body works. 
  • Science Chinese scientists made several discoveries during the Han dynasty such as observations of the heavens and inventions of the seismograph and the compass.
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