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New Book by Professor Tang Chung

Proceedings of the International Conference on Prehistoric Rotary Technology and Related Issues at Hac Sa, Macao

(Macao: Instituto Para os Assuntos Civicos e Municipais)

Year of Publication: 2014
Author: Professor TANG Chung
Detail:
The wheel is an important scientific invention in human history, and rotary machinery is one of the core components of mechanical engineering and technology. Since ancient times, China has made remarkable achievements in the use of rotary machinery. In recent years, new archaeological finds have revealed much about its origin and development. There is evidence that rotary machinery has made significant impact on jade, pottery and lacquerware production technologies in the early Neolithic, and metallurgy in the Bronze Age. In June 2013, we held the International Conference on Prehistoric Rotary Technology and Related Issues at Macao, joining archaeological and history of science and technology expertise from around the world. Our participating scholars together discussed the emergence of prehistoric rotary machinery in China and its relationship to the origin of the Chinese civilization.

The 22 essays collected in this volume are the papers presented at the Conference. Structurally, the Conference Proceeding covers systematic discourses on the origin, development and applications of rotary machinery in China. It includes a focused discussion of Neolithic to Bronze Age jade ring and slit ring perforation technology, and attempts to explore the relationships of rotary machinery to pottery, lacquerware, and bronzeware production.

This conference was a groundbreaking attempt in recent investigations of the origin of the Chinese civilization. Capitalizing on the collaborative efforts of archaeologists and science and technology historians, it was the first international conference held in China to investigate the origin of rotary machinery through both perspectives.