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January 19 , 2010

Ancient Chinese Encyclopedia of Technology

Translation and Annotation of Kaogong ji, The Artificers' Record


This book presents the first translation into English of the full text of the Kaogong ji. This classic work, described by the great scholar of the history of Chinese science and technology Joseph Needham as "the most important document for the study of ancient Chinese technology", dates from the fifth century BC and forms part of the Zhouli (The Rites of the Zhou Dynasty), one of the great Confucian classics. The text itself describes the techniques of working and the technologies used by over twenty different kinds of craftsmen and artificers, such as metal workers, chariot makers, weapon makers, music instrument makers, potters and master builders. This edition, besides providing the full text in English, also provides a substantial introduction and other supporting explanatory material, over one hundred illustrations of ancient Chinese artefacts, and the original Chinese text itself.

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