Papermaking During The Han Dynasty

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During the Han Dynasty, the year of 105 AD, is cited as the year papermaking was invented. Historical records show that an official of the Imperial Court, Tsai Lun, reported to the Chinese emperor about the invention of paper. However, recent studies show that papermaking could have started between 140 BC and 86 BC while Emperor Wu was ruling. Studies show that ancient pieces of paper from the Xuanquanzhi ruins of Dunhuang, in China’s northwest Gansu province were made during the years of 140 BCE and 86 BCE. These early sheets of paper were made by a suspension of hemp waste in water, washed, soaked, and beaten to pulp with a wooden mallet. A four sided bamboo frame was used to hold the pulp and hold it for drying. Later, a smooth material for the mold covering was developed, allowing papermakers to reuse the…show more content…
After it was invented, paper became weaved into all aspects of Chinese society. To begin with, it was used the most when written on and bound into books or rolled into scrolls. These books and scrolls were created with a wide variety of content, ranging from artful calligraphy and paintings to detailed Buddhist scriptures. Because paper was more common and less expensive than silk and bamboo, which were previously used as writing surfaces, more people started to learn to write and draw. This led to the development of many kinds of calligraphy, and calligraphy became considered as a form of art that required lots of talent. Paintings on paper scrolls were also valued and hung on walls. Paper was used to create many admired works, and scholars valued it so much it became one of the Four Treasures of the Study. In addition to art, paper was also used to make replicating and translating Buddhist texts more convenient, making them more accessible to the people. The Chinese would store thousands of Buddhist scrolls of quality paper in libraries and temples. In addition, paper was also used to make

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