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In water-powered clockworks, the premodern Chinese had used the escapement mechanism since the 8th century and the endless power-transmitting chain drive in the 11th century.
The following is a list of the Four Great Inventions—as designated by Joseph Needham (1900–1995), a British scientist, author and sinologist known for his research on the history of Chinese science and technology.
Although it is recorded that the Han Dynasty (202 BC – AD 220) court eunuch Cai Lun (50 AD – AD 121) invented the pulp papermaking process and established the use of new materials used in making paper, ancient padding and wrapping paper artifacts dating to the 2nd century BC have been found in China, the oldest example of pulp papermaking being a map from Fangmatan, Tianshui; by the 3rd century, paper as a writing medium was in widespread use, replacing traditional but more expensive writing mediums such as strips of bamboo rolled into threaded scrolls, strips of silk, wet clay tablets hardened later in a furnace, and wooden tablets.
However, the earliest known book printed at regular size is the Diamond Sutra made during the Tang Dynasty (618–907), a 5.18 m (17 ft) long scroll which bears the date 868 AD.
Joseph Needham and Tsien Tsuen-hsuin write that the cutting and printing techniques used for the delicate calligraphy of the Diamond Sutra book are much more advanced and refined than the miniature dharani sutra printed earlier.
Nearly two dozen American and Caribbean writers, many from islands damaged during 2017's hurricane season, are exploring Caribbean literature, heritage and commonalities in U.