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Dating a military man board

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During the Tang Dynasty (618-907) and Song Dynasty (960-1279) many varieties of paper were developed, including bamboo paper, hemp paper, hide paper and xuan paper.Xuan paper is used in Chinese painting and calligraphy because of its smoothness and durability, and its whiteness. The second great invention, which goes closely hand in hand with paper, was printing.

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Paper reached the Americas in the 16th century, by which time it had become a truly global product.He made his paper by boiling up all the raw materials with wood ash or lime for up to 35 days.Another vital ingredient was birch leaves, from which the mucilage was drained out for strengthening the paper, and giving it evenness and smoothness.It was brought to Japan around 610 AD, and then moved to Vietnam and India at the beginning of the 6th century.It took a thousand years after its invention for proper paper to reach Europe.In fact the earliest paper is very similar to modern paper in concept and technology.

The inventor of paper is traditionally assumed to be Chai Lun (or Ts'ai Lun), who was the head of a royal workshop in 2nd century China.

These are paper, gunpowder, the compass and printing.

Interestingly the word 'paper' is derived from 'papyrus'.

Keith Ray surveys the four great Chinese inventions that have changed the World.

It is an article reprinted from SACU's China Eye magazine (2004).

But it was an improvement over the materials previously used for writing on, like bone, wood and stone.