[Feudal period – 4th Cent BC]
In ancient China the compass had been invented and has left a profound influence on the civilization of our world.
Which means pointing to south, was recorded in the great literature Han Feizi during the Warring States Period (206BC-23AD) for identifying directions. It is the original basis for the invention of compass, and the oldest south-pointing device in human history. It is chiseled out of magnetic lodestone in the shape of a ladle or spoon. Its handle will point south when put on the smooth Earth Plate used for divination, which contains 24 directions based on the magnetic meridian direction.
In the Chinese history, numerous skillful craftsmen created interesting and delicate directional devices, such as the Compass Chariot made by Ma Jun during the Three Kingdoms period, the Compass Fish in the Northern Song Dynasty and the Compass Tortoise designed by Chen Yuanliang in the Southern Song Dynasty. The “Zhang Xianren Porcelain Figurine” unearthed in 1988 is a strong evidence to the fact that the basic form of modern compass was first invented by ancient Chinese.
The compass in real sense was created by a Chinese geomantic omen master in late Tang Dynasty, who originally used it for divination. The major material of the compass is magnetized steel needle, making up for the flaw that magnetism is easily lost in lodestones, of which Si’nan was made. The compass body was first made simple, then complicated and finally simple enough for application in navigation.
Now the compass has a variety of forms and has already been used in many fields in our life.