Andrade Provides Insight on Ancient Grenades Found along Great Wall

Dr. Tonio Andrade, Professor of History, was recently quoted in a Newsweek article about the historic discovery of 59 ancient stone grenades along the Badaling section of the Great Wall, just about 50 miles away from the center of Beijing. This is the first munition of this type that archeologists have found along the Great Wall. Andrade, a specialist in Chinese and Global History and author of the 2016 book The Gunpowder Age: China, Military Innovation, and the Rise of the West in World History (Princeton UP), provides context for the archeological find with insights on the history of Chinese military technologies. Read an excerpt citing him below along with the full article: “Ancient ‘Grenades’ Discovered Along Great Wall of China.”

“‘Bombs were used in China certainly by the middle of the Song Dynasty (960-1279 A.D.)—and used in the many wars the Song and its neighbors fought, hurled by hand or by catapult. It’s known that when Ming Dynasty leaders rebuilt and renovated the Great Wall, they defended it with gunpowder weapons,’ Tonio Andrade, a professor of Chinese and Global History at Emory University, who was not involved in the latest research, told Newsweek.

“‘In fact, the Ming Dynasty had more soldiers equipped with gunpowder weapons than any other state in the world, and it was in the Ming and in the preceding Yuan Dynasty (toward the end) that the gun evolved out of a weapon often called the fire-lance, a sort of stick with a barrel at the end that was loaded with gunpowder and, often, various other items, like rocks or iron. It’s a fascinating history.'”

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