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.
Preface Background Part I 1. Opening paragraphs 2. Wheelwrights 3. Chariot-body makers 4. Pole makers 5. Metal workers 6. Forging founders, Smelting founders, Sword-smiths 7. Bell-founders 8. Measure makers, Plough makers 9. Cuirass makers 10. Skinners 11. Drum-makers, Tanners, Furriers 12. Painters, Embroiderers 13. Feather-dyers, Silk printers 14. Silk-cleaners Part II 15. Jade makers, Comb makers, Carvers 16. Stone-chime makers 17. Arrow makers 18. Potters, Proto-porcelain makers 19. Cabinet makers 20. Weapon-handle makers 21. Master-builders, builders and carpenters 22. Cartwrights 23. Bow makers Appendix 1. Original Chinese Text Appendix 2. A Brief Chronology of the Dynasties in History of China Appendix 3. The Equivalence of Chinese Weights and Measures in Metric Units Glossary of Chinese Characters
The aim of this series is to publish original, high-quality work by both new and established scholars in the West and the East, on all aspects of the early history of Asia.