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Lanzhou Waterwheel

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Lanzhou Waterwheel [File Photo]

The Lanzhou Waterwheel, an irrigation tool with a history of nearly 5,000 years, is dubbed “a public water instrument of ancient times.”

Invented in 1556 by Duan Xu, a local official, the ancient device uses flowing or falling water to create power through paddles mounted around a wheel.

The waterwheel, featuring advanced technology, low costs and a strong visual effect, greatly promoted the agricultural and social development in Lanzhou at that time. Its culture has also become an important part of the wider Yellow River culture.


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