The Zhou dynasty was noted for its many inventions and achievements. During this era, Chinese writing improved, iron was introduced and advancements were made in philosophy and culture.
During the Zhou reign, iron casting technology began and bronze casting was perfected. Higher-quality iron weapons, chariots, armament and fortifications were created. There was also a widespread use of iron tools. It is believed that iron tools in ancient China were made of cast iron, whereas most iron weapons were made of steel and wrought iron. Iron was also used in agriculture, leading to increased productivity.
The Chinese acquired other skills, such as decorating metal and wooden objects with gold and silver, during the Zhou reign. They also created copper coins, which were used in trading, and began creating city walls made out of clay for protection. The concept of irrigation was also introduced in the Zhou dynasty, as was the engineering technology for waterways, drainage, dikes, dams and canals.
Mathematics became more advanced, as the Chinese were able to describe fractions and arithmetic, make calculations with tallies or chips and do geometry and trigonometry. They learned astronomy, astrology, geography and physics. This led to the perfection of the Chinese calendar, creation of geographical maps and the discovery of magnetism. Schools of thought, such as Taoism, Confucianism and Legalism, were also products of the Zhou dynasty.
During the Zhou era, the Chinese discovered more advanced ploughing methods and the use of pesticides and fertilizers. They also learned the descriptions of treatment methods, including moxibustion and acupuncture.