Science and Civilisation in China: Volume 5, Chemistry and Chemical Technology, Part 13, Mining
The fifth volume of the late Dr. Needham's immense undertaking covers the subjects of chemistry and chemical technology. This, the thirteenth part of the volume, is the first history of Chinese mining to appear in a Western language. Spanning from the Neolithic period to the present day, it deals with the full range of Chinese mining from copper to mercury, arsenic to coal. The author explores not only the written sources but also the archaeological remains, and observes the traditional techniques still in use. The interrelationship between Chinese mining and its social, economic and political implications is examined. Through these discoveries, the author concludes that these factors were probably more important in determining how mining was carried out than the technological progress itself.
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