The Liuhe Pagoda
, or Six Harmonies Pagoda, in Hangzhou
, 60 m (196 ft) in height, erected in 1156 and fully constructed in 1165 AD.
The architecture of the Song Dynasty (960–1279) was based upon the accomplishments of its predecessors, much like every subsequent dynastic period of China. The hallmarks of Chinese architecture during the Song period were its towering Buddhist pagodas, enormous stone and wooden bridges, its lavish tombs, and palatial architecture. Although literary works on architecture existed beforehand, during the Song Dynasty literature on architecture blossomed into maturity and held a greater professional outlook, described dimensions and working materials in a concise manner, and overall had a greater style of organization than previous works. Architecture in Song artwork and illustrations in published books showing building diagrams also aid modern historians in understanding all the nuances of architecture originating from the Song period.
The profession of the architect, craftsman, carpenter, and structural engineer were not seen as high professions equal to the likes a Confucian scholar-official in pre-modern China. Architectural knowledge was passed down orally for thousands of years in China, from a father craftsman to his son (if the son wished to continue the legacy of his father). However, there were government agencies of construction and building along with engineering schools. The Song literature of building manuals aided not only the various private workshops, but also the government employees enlisted as craftsmen for the central government.
: Zhāng Héng
: Chang Heng
) (AD 78
) was an astronomer
, and literary scholar
of the Eastern Han Dynasty
in ancient China
. He had extensive knowledge of mechanics
and gears, applying this knowledge to several of his known inventions. He is best known for inventing the world's first water-powered armillary sphere
to represent astronomical observation, improving the inflow clepsydra
clock with an additional tank, and inventing the world's first seismometer
device, which discerned the cardinal direction
from incredibly far distances. In addition to writing an extensive star catalogue
, Zhang also posited theories about the moon
and its relationship to the sun
, specifically the moon's sphericity, its illumination by reflecting sunlight, and solar
and lunar eclipses
. (read more...