- Sunshu Ao
Sunshu Ao (孫叔敖) was an ancient Chinese court minister serving the administration of
Duke Zhuang of Chuduring the reign of King Ding of Zhou( 606 BC- 586 BC), during the Eastern Zhou Dynasty. During his governmental career, Sunshu Ao was given notice by Duke Zhuang, who had him promoted to the rank of Prime Ministerin the State of Chu. Sunshu Ao was entrusted with many endeavors of the state, and because of a large dam, reservoir, and irrigationproject he had established, he is also credited as the first known hydraulic engineerof China.Needham, Volume 4, Part 3, 271.]
Dams, reservoirs, and irrigation
Both the ancient historian
Sima Qian(in his " Shiji") and the author of the "Huai Nan Zi" wrote of Sunshu Ao and his works. Their records state that Duke Zhuang had given Sunshu Ao the responsibility and oversight of the construction of a large river dam that would create an enormous planned reservoir for means of agriculturalirrigation. The erection of this dam flooded a flat valley in modern-day northern Anhuiprovince (south of ShouxianCity), the reservoir created spanning a circumference of 62 miles. Since Sunshu's time, this ancient reservoir accumulated tons of north-flowing water that came from the mountains north of the YangtzeRiver, and supplied an irrigated area of some six million acres (24000 km²). In ancient times, the Chinese had called this reservoir the "Si-Si Bei", as well as the "Shao Bei" ( Peony Dam). Today, the large reservoir created thousands of years ago by Sunshu Ao still exists, known in modern times as the Anfeng Tang(Anfeng Reservoir).
Subsequent Chinese authorities following the Zhou Dynasty repaired and maintained the dam that flooded the reservoir created by Sunshu Ao, such as the Chinese states of the
Han Dynasty( 202 BC- 220 AD) era and the Tang Dynasty( 618- 960AD) era.
List of Chinese people
*Needham, Joseph (1986). "Science and Civilization in China: Volume 4, Part 3". Taipei: Caves Books, Ltd.
* [http://www.icold-cigb.org.cn/icold2000/largedam.html Large Dams in China - with a description of Sunshu's dam]
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