Sunshu Ao (孫叔敖, ca. 630, † ca. 593 BCE) was a Chinese
hydrologist and politician. He was a court minister serving the
King Zhuang of Chu
King Zhuang of Chu during the Eastern Zhou Dynasty.
During his governmental career,
Sunshu Ao was given notice by King
Zhuang, who had him promoted to the rank of
Prime Minister in the
State of Chu.
Sunshu Ao was entrusted with many endeavors of the
state, and because of a large dam, reservoir, and irrigation project
he had established, he is also credited as the first known hydraulic
engineer of China.
1 Dams, reservoirs, and irrigation
2 See also
5 External links
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 agricultural irrigation. The
erection of this dam flooded a flat valley in modern-day northern
Anhui province (south of
Shouxian City), the reservoir created
spanning a circumference of 62 miles (100 km). Since Shunshu's
time, this ancient reservoir accumulated tons of north-flowing water
that came from the mountains north of the
Yangtze River, 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 BCE – 220 CE) era
Tang Dynasty (618–960 CE) era.
^ a b c d e f Needham, Volume 4, Part 3, 271.
Needham, Joseph (1986). Science and Civilization in China: Volume 4,
Part 3. Taipei: Caves Books, Ltd.
Large Dams in China – with a description