Secrets were revealed in the oldest known technology encyclopedia


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Researchers have managed to analyze a Chinese article written 2300 years ago and decipher the artworks and weapons of the period, including two components that are difficult to understand in terms of language.

The Chinese text, known as the Kao Gong Ji, which is stated in 300 BC, is given six chemical formulas. Known as the world’s oldest technology encyclopedia, the manuscript contains information about how they are made as well as elements such as swords, bells, axes, knives, and mirrors.

Since 1920, researchers have been pondering translating the main components recorded as Jin and Xi. Experts translate these words as copper and tin, which are key components in the bronze construction phase, but researchers realized that metal appeared instead of the substance seen in ancient Chinese works when they try to recreate the components. Now, researchers believe that they have correctly identified the true meaning behind the mysterious components.

Jin means gold in modern Chinese. However, in the past, copper, copper alloy, or only metal was used. According to one of the researchers, these components were used in the largest bronze industry in Eurasia.

Researchers also analyzed the chemical composition of Chinese coins, which were pressed close to the time of Kao Gong Ji. Previously, researchers thought that the coins were made by diluting copper with tin and bullets. The new study revealed that one of the chemical compositions of the coins is caused by mixing two metal purchases made of copper, tin, and bullet, and the other from copper and bullets. The two researchers concluded that Jin and Xi were pre-mixed metal alloys.

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The findings show that bronze production was based on combining alloys instead of pure metals and metal processing is more complex than being thought.

Researchers say that such analyzes will benefit from the deciphering of other articles about ancient mining from different cultures and regions in the future.


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