Foundation and EstablishmentThe Song Dynasty itself first began in 960 when it's founder and first emperor, Emperor Taizu of Song, first usurped the throne from the former dynasty known as the Later Zhou Dynasty. He was emperor from 960-976, and he spent these 17 years using his new power to control the entirety of China not under his control. His founding of a central government in Kaijing marked the start of the Norhtern Song period Image Source
Period: 960 to 1279
Song DynastyThe duration of time in which the imperial Song Dynasty of ancient China existed. The Song Dynasty is an extremely important period of China's development. It is noted by modern scholars to represent a span of almost unprecedented growth and innovation in China's vast history. Advances in many fields such as science, philosophy, and mathematics lead not just to firsts in the lands of China, but world firsts as well.
Period: 960 to 1127
Northern Song periodThe first of the two major periods that make up the Song Dynasty.
Discovery of Champa RiceA drought-resistant strain of rice spread through China, becoming the saving grace of the people during the drought of 1012 when Emperor Zhenzong (992–1022) learned of the Champa rice and sent envoys for it. Champa rice matured early, could grow where other varieties had previously failed, and was resistant to stressors such as heat, cold, flooding, droughts, and excess salinity.
A Champa Ricefield
Printing InnovationsBi Sheng (990-1051) invented movable type printing using baked clay, which marked the origin of movable type printing. Due to its fragility, baked clay was replaced by wooden and cast metal type printing after several centuries. Bi Sheng’s invention revolutionized the production and distribution of literature. National Palace Museum
Gunpowder and other WeaponsA manuscript known as the Wujing Zongyao manuscript, sometimes translated to English as "The Complete Essentials for the Military classics", is first published. This piece of literature would be the first known written document to contain not only the chemical formula for gunpowder, but also the many various uses for said gunpowder in guns, bombs, flamethrowers, and other weapons. The Manuscript
Growth of Industry and the EconomyIron and steel production greatly increased to about 125,000 tons per year. These metals were used for many things, especially for armor, swords, and arrows for the military. Nails, tools, and chains were also manufactured for practical and artistic uses, including reinforcing bridges and statues. Coal also began to take over charcoal in the production process by 1200 C.E.
Warriors practicing with their iron weapons
Su Song and his Mechanical Clock TowerA high-ranking official by the name of Su Song is well known for having constructed a mechanical clock tower that is considered by many, both modern and ancient alike, to be a mechanical marvel of engineering. The clock displayed to the viewer not only the time of day, but also the day of month, current phase of the moon, and the location of certain stars and planets.
Population BoomThe first explosion of the Chinese population occurred during the Song dynasty, largely due to technological and agricultural advancements. The population reached 100 million people, exceeding Europe’s population and making China the largest country in the world during the time period.
Picture: A very large and impressive, 138-foot tall stone and wood pagoda that could've likely housed hundreds of people
Perfection and Use of the Magnetic Mariner's CompassThe use of a magnetic compass with a fixed needle dates to the Song dynasty. Instead of putting a needle in water, seafarers carried compasses with small, fixed needles that were sometimes enclosed in cases with glass. This type of portable compass made ocean travel and navigation much easier.
An example of said compass
Economy at LargeThe state of the economy as a whole during the Song dynasty was extremely favorable for it's people of because oversea trade along the Grand Canal and Yangtze River being extremely lucrative. In this year alone, the government collected 18 billion ounces of silver in taxes. The Song Dynasty marked the establishment of the first known time that official, government-distributed paper money was utilized.
Photo of paper money
The Fall of the Great Song DynastyIn the Battle of Yamen on the Pearl River Delta in 1279, the long and prosperous Song Dynasty was finally brought to an unfortunate end by the Yuan army. The last remaining ruler, a 13-year-old, committed suicide, and other family royals lived on in the Yuan Dynasty.
image: Emperor Taizu of Song, Emperor Taizong of Song, prime minister Zhao Pu, and other ministers playing an early version of football together