What Farming Tools Were Used in Ancient China?

The very oldest farming tools in China were made of stone or animal bones shaped into spades. From 770 to 476 B.C., a time period known as the Spring and Autumn Period, iron tools replaced conventional wooden or stone tools. Iron plows pulled by cattle plowed more deeply and efficiently, while advancements in water conservation allowed the Chinese to divert floods and irrigate farmland.

During the Western Han Period, iron plowshares were common. By the Tang Dynasty from 618 to 907 A.D., China had become one of the most powerful countries in the world in part due to its improvements in farming technology. The curved-shaft blow and bucket carriage expanded available farmland. The former represents the advancement of agriculture at the time; made of both metal and wood, it has 11 component parts, can turn in multiple directions, performs various functions and is easy to operate.

During the Yuan Dynasty from 1271 to 1368 A.D., Huang Daopo, a female textile specialist, converted the spinning wheel into a three-spindle cotton spinning frame that let the cotton industry take a massive leap forward. The Ming Dynasty, which lasted from 1368 to 1644 A.D., saw improvements introduced to the jacquard loom that allowed weavers to produce silk of higher quality and in greater quantities.