The Han Dynasty:  206 B.C. - 220 A.D.

Map of China under rule of Han Dynasty

Location:  The Han dynasty expanded its borders to include what is now known as Tibet, North Korea, and northern Vietnam.


Advancements and Achievements:

- developed paper
- developed a sundial
- developed acupuncture
- invented the seismograph
- cast iron technology
- glazed pottery
- wheelbarrow
- embroidery for decorating garments
- hot air balloon
- made decorated mirrors, lamps, and burners
- installed a state academy to educate and train individuals for state service

Significant Achievement:  Developed paper

  Paper was invented in China, during the Han Dynasty, between 206 B.C and 23 A.D.  The original paper was thick, coarse, and had an uneven texture.  It was made from pounded and disintegrated hemp fibers.  Around 105 A.D. in the Han Dynasty, a court official named Cai Lun made a new kind of paper.  It was made from bark, hemp, rags, fishnet, wheat stalks, and other materials.  It was cheaper, lighter, thinner, durable, and better for writing.  Before paper was invented, records were written on bamboo or wooden strips, as well as other solid objects.  With the invention of paper, records were able to be written, moved, stored, and retained more easily. 

Han Dynasty paper

Han Dynasty glazed pottery