Iron and Steel in Ancient China

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BRILL - Social Science - 573 pages
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This book is a study of the production and use of iron and steel in China up to the second century B.C., and simultaneously a methodological study of the reconciliation of archaeological and written sources in Chinese cultural history. An introductory chapter describes and discusses the available sources and their use, gives a brief outline of early Chinese archaeology and history, and develops certain important themes, especially the interaction of North and South in early China. Further chapters consider the invention of iron in a barbarian culture of southeast China, its spread to the area of Chinese culture, and the development of a large-scale iron industry in the third century B.C. The technology of iron production in early China is considered in two chapters, on the microstructures of wrought and cast iron artifacts.
  

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Contents

The bronze age in China
1
The earliest evidence of the use of iron in China
51
The state of Wu and the discovery of iron
97
A survey of early iron artifacts
147
Ironworks and ironmasters in the third century B C
247
Wrought iron and steel artifacts
267
Cast iron artifacts
335
Concluding remarks
405
Danish abstract
413
References and abbreviations
485
Index
553
Corrigenda
574
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Archaeomineralogy
George Rapp
Limited preview - 2009
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About the author

Donald B. Wagner has published extensively in the history of science and technology in China. His research has been supported by fellowships under the Danish Research Council for the Humanities, the Carlsberg Foundation, the University of Copenhagen, and the Julie von Mullen Foundation.

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