• Studies in the History of Natural Sciences NO.2 2005

Studies in the History of Natural Sciences  NO.2 2005




Astronomical Archaeology on the Colony of Sites of the Han-Wei Period in Northeast China's Three-River Plain……YI Shitong

【Abstract】 The colony of sites in the ancient royal city of Fenglin is a typical representative of Han and Wei sites of the Seven-Atar River valley in the Three-River Plain of Northeast China,among which the sacrificial altar for the seven stars of the Great Dipper on Mt.Battery is the largest one of its kind hitherto discovered in China and in the world.Though this altar was built during the Han-Wei period,the upper limit of the passing on and adoption of star configurations can still be inferred to 4000~5000 years ago.The bearings of the region of the altar's bowl of the Dipper denotes the area(around) the Three-River Plain.When the handle of the Dipper points to the south,it indicates both the importance attached to the information on ancient ceremony for summer sacrifice and the relationship of passing on & adoption and exchange with the culture of the Central Plains.




Studies on the Bronzes Excavated from the Tombs in the Xiajiang River Region……YAO Zhihui,SUN Shuyun,etc

【Abstract】 129 bronze samples are studied by scanning electron microscopy and metallography.All the samples are made of Cu-Sn alloy and Cu-Sn-Pb alloy,among which 119 samples are of cast structure,and 9 samples show recrystal grain and twin crystal.Maybe these 9 bronzes were first cast and then forged.Only 1 sample shows β'M-quenching.For the samples with identical cultural background,the components are similar.Compared with Chu-style weapons,the content of Pb in the weapons of Ba-Shu style is lower.Proper content of Sn and Pb enables the weapons and tools to have high hardness and tensile strength.After analysis,it can be seen that most of these bronzes were made in the locality,and a small quantity of them were obtained from other places.These samples present a comparatively high bronze technological level of the Ba and Xiajiang River region.The bronze technology in the Xiajiang River region had its own development.




An Inquiry into Two Substances in Dao Zang(Taoist Patrology)Used for Polishing Bronze Mirrors……HAN Jishao

【Abstract】 Through textual research and analysis on two historical materials in Dao Zang's Shangqing Mingjian Yaojing and Dongxuan Lingbao Daoshi Mingjingfa used for polishing bronze mirrors,this article holds that:China had already mastered the technique of plating a bronze mirror with an alloy of stannum,lead and hydrargyrum during the Northern and Southern Dynasties at latest,and this technique was quite probably developed by necromancers or Taoists in the process of producing artificial gold and silver,golden elixir and great elixir;before the Song Dynasty,the technique of using the alloy of stannum,lead and hydrargyrum to polish a bronze mirror was only prevalent among a part of Taoist alchemists;and after the Song Dynasty,due to the decline of Taoist laboratory alchemy,the technique of using such an alloy was spread among the people.




The Historical Evolution of the Theory of Compass in China……GUAN Zengjian

【Abstract】 After the appearance of compass,Chinese scholars began to explore the problem why compass could point to south.Most of their explorations evolved on the basis of yin yang and wu xing theories and the then knowledge of the shape of the earth.During the Wanli period(15731620)of the Ming Dynasty,missionaries came to China,bringing along with them the Western compass theory,a theory which states that the earth is in the shape of a ball,as well as some related knowledges about science and technology.Under the influence of those knowledges,Chinese scholars started to discuss the theory of compass in a new light.In such explorations,the function of yin yang and wu xing weakened and the analysis from the view of mechanics increased,which had never existed before.(Among) the missionaries,Ferdinand Verbiest's theory of compass was the most systematic one,but it is still confined to ancient science and actually not the magnetic theory of William Gilbert.Ferdinand Verbiest's theory had a far-reaching influence in China.Even in the second half of 19 century,there were still Chinese scholars who used the theory of Ferdinand Verbiest to explain the problem of compass.




A Primary Study on the Source of Western Knowledge in Bing Lu(Records of Military Art) ……YIN Xiaodong

【Abstract】 Written by Hu Rubin,Bing Lu(Records of Military Art)was printed in 1606,Vols.1113 of which record the knowledge of firearm,especially Vol.13,which deals with the technology about Western firearms including"A Treatise on the Wonderful Gunnery of the West".The Spanish artillery expert Luys Collado completed his Practica Manuale dell'Arteglieria in 1586.Through comparing the illustrations and data for ballistic trajectory in Bing Lu and in the three editions of the work of Luys Collado & other European documents and in the light of current researches on artillery illustrations and ballistic trajectory of 17th century China and West,this paper deems that the knowledge of technology about Western firearm recorded in Bing Lu should come from such works as Practica Manuale dell'Arteglieria.




On the Date of Tianwenlue's Author Coming to China and Other Backgrounds……YAO Licheng

【Abstract】 Emmanuel Diaz came to China in July 1604.Due to a mistake in forecasting solar(eclipse),the voice of amending calendar was evoked towards the end of Ming dynasty,and it lasted for more than one year.To make preparations in theory and knowledge,Chinese scholars and Jesuits perhaps discussed and planned what to introduce,which books to translate and whom to choose,and Tianwenlue,Biaodushuo and Requesting the Translation of Works on Western Calendar might be the products of the activity.Emmanuel was invited and arrived at Beijing between 1612 and 1613,and wrote Tianwenlue with the help of Zhou Xiling,Kong Zhenshi and Wang Yingxiong.




The Evolution of Chinese Terms for Elements in Chemistry Textbooks in the Late Qing Dynasty and the Early Period of Republic of China——Study on the Establishment of Chinese Terms for Elements(I) ……HE Juan

【Abstract】 Thirty-two chemistry textbooks that were first published from the year 1901 when Chemical Terms and Nomenclature was established to the year 1932 when The Nomenclature of Chemistry was approved are selected. Based on an analysis of the Chinese terms for 83 elements in these textbooks, two main conclusions are drawn. Firstly, the year 1920 saw the significant turn of the uses of Chinese terms for elements in textbooks. In the prophase, the majority of Xu Shou's terms were used, while in the anaphase, the terms in The Chinese Nomenclature of Inorganic Chemistry approved in 1915 by the Ministry of Education were generally adopted. Secondly, as far as the Chinese terms for some significant elements such as hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, fluorine, chlorine, carbon, phosphorus and mercury were concerned,輕、淡、養、弗、綠、炭、燐、汞 were used in the prophase, while氫、氮、氧、氟、氯、碳、磷、銾 were adopted in the anaphase. These conclusions call in question David Wright's explanation of the competition between terms in meme theory.




Comments on the Life and Achievements of Hanaoka Seish……LIAO Yuqun

【Abstract】 Renowned for his research on anaethetics and for his sucessful operation of excision on the world's first case of breast cancer,Hanaoka Seish is an eminent Japanese physician living in the Edo period.The medical school initiated by him esteemed the traditional Chinese medicine,yet meanwhile it absorbed the medical skill of the Netherlands,having as its key idea "the combination of internal and external causes into one with a thorough inquiry into the innate laws of things".Giving a brief account of the life and achievements of Hanaoka Seish and his foremost successor Honma Sken and comparing China's Hua Tuo of the same category in the Han Dynasty,this article expects to ignite,via an analysis of the above case,the reflection of readers on the differences and similarities between China and Japan in the history of the development of science and technology.




An Intercalary Method in Chinese Mathematical Astronomy……QU Anjing

【Abstract】 Based on historical material found in Zhu Zaiyu's Luli Rongtong(A Comprehensive Book on Acoustics and Mathematical Astronomy),a conjecture about the meaning of the mo and mei methods is verified.They are a kind of intercalary system.The computation of the sum of the numbers for mo and mei days is related to the arrangement of the intercalary month.Interestingly,the definitions of mo and mei are the same as those in Indian mathematical astronomy.