Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist
Science and Civilisation in China

Science and Civilisation in China

Volume 6. Biology and Biological Technology

Part 2. Agriculture


Part of Science and Civilisation in China

  • Date Published: April 1984
  • availability: Temporarily unavailable - available from June 2020
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521250764

$ 411.00

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Looking for an inspection copy?

This title is not currently available for inspection. However, if you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an inspection copy. To register your interest please contact providing details of the course you are teaching.

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • This second part of the sixth volume of Joseph Needham's great enterprise is the first to be written by a collaborator. Francesca Bray, working closely with Dr Needham, has produced the most comprehensive study of Chinese agriculture to be published in the West. From a huge mass of source material, often confusing and obscure, and from first-hand study in China, she brings order and illumination to a crucial area of Chinese technological development. The main body of the book is an account of the technological history of agriculture, with major sections devoted to field systems, implements and techniques (sowing, harvesting, storing) and crop systems (what has grown and where and how crops rotated). The concluding section contrasts Europe's Agricultural Revolution with agrarian change in North China in the Han and with the 'Green Revolution' in South China in the Sung. In the theoretical analysis which concludes this section we find a vital contribution to the elucidation of the main question posed by Dr Needham's work: why did the Scientific Revolution which transformed the world take place in Europe and not in China?

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: April 1984
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521250764
    • length: 768 pages
    • dimensions: 253 x 200 x 51 mm
    • weight: 1.915kg
    • availability: Temporarily unavailable - available from June 2020
  • Table of Contents

    List of illustrations
    List of tables
    List of abbreviations
    Author's note
    Part 41. Agriculture
    a. Introduction:
    1. General characteristics of Chinese agriculture
    2. Agricultural regions
    3. Origins of Chinese agriculture
    b. Sources:
    1. The yüeh ling or agricultural calendars
    2. Agricultural treatises
    3. State-commissioned compilations
    4. Monographs
    5. Supplementary sources
    6. The content of the Chinese sources, and the implications for historical interpretation
    7. A comparison with the European tradition
    c. Field systems:
    1. Land clearance and reclamation
    2. Shifting cultivation
    3. Permanent fields
    d. Agricultural implements and techniques:
    1. Tillage implements
    2. Sowing
    3. Fertilisation
    4. Weeding and cultivation
    5. Harvesting, threshing and winnowing
    6. Grain storage
    e. Crop systems:
    1. Crop rotation
    2. Millets, sorghum and maize
    3. Wheat and barley
    4. Rice
    5. Legumes
    6. Oil crops
    7. Tuber crops
    8. Fibre crops
    9. Vegetables and fruits
    f. Conclusions: Agricultural changes and society - stagnation or revolution?:
    1. Did China contribute to Europe's Agricultural Revolution?
    2. Agricultural revolution in China?
    3. Development or change?
    General index.

  • Authors

    Joseph Needham

    Francesca Bray

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.