Li Bing (Li Ping)

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fl. 309–240 BC China
d. soon after 240 BC China
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Chinese hydraulic engineer who began the construction of the Guanxian irrigation system.
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He was Governor of Szechuan. His outstanding achievement was to initiate the Guanxian (Kuanhsien) irrigation system, one of the world's greatest irrigation projects. North-west of Chengdu, capital of Szechuan province, the Min Jiang river tumbles from the Tibetan border country. It was distributed in some 735 miles (1,185 km) of channels into an irrigation system that fertilized half a million acres of good agricultural land and enabled a largely farming population of some 5 million to support themselves, with a regular water supply and free from drought and flood. In the ancient world, it can only be compared in scale with the works on the Nile in Ancient Egypt. The irrigation system was completed by his son Li Erlang c. 230 BC. At the time, it earned both Li Bing and his son temples in their honour; it survives to this day and is still impressive.
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Further Reading
J.Needham, Science and Civilisation in China, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1971, vol. IV. 3, pp. 249, 288ff., 296, 304, 329.
LRD

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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