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The History of Mining: The events, technology and people involved in the industry that forged the modern world by Michael Coulson

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4. China

In the latter years of the 20th century and the opening decade of the 21st, one of the most dramatic developments affecting the global economy has been the rise of China to economic superpower status. However, China’s position as an economic power goes back millennia and along with this goes an equally long history of mining. China’s reputation as a centre for inventions and thus technological advance is well deserved, with paper, printing, gunpowder and the compass as four important examples. Paper was invented early in the 1st century AD in the Han Dynasty, and the other three items appeared in the middle of the 11th century, just before the cut-off date used in this book when we move from the Ancient World to the Middle Ages. These ...

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