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Military Equipment

Who invented the gun?


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September 30, 2012 8:51PM

The gun was invented as late as the 12th century, by an unknown inventor, presumably in China where gunpowder was first discovered, and where the first archaeological evidence of guns has been found.

The direct ancestor of the gun is the fire lance invented in 10th century China. Shrapnel was sometimes placed in the barrel so that it would fly out together with the flames.

The earliest depiction of a gun is a sculpture from a cave in Sichuan, China dating to the 12th century of a figure carrying a vase-shaped bombard with flames and a cannonball coming out of it. The oldest archaeological evidence for a gun, made of bronze, has been dated to 1288 and was discovered in Heilongjiang Province in China. Li Ting, a military commander of Jurchen descent, led foot-soldiers armed with guns ina battle to suppress the rebellion of the Christian Mongol prince Nayan.

The gun was brought to Europe through either the Middle East or Central Asia. English Privy Wardrobe accounts list "ribaldis," a type of cannon, in the 1340s, and siege guns were used by the English at the Siege of Calais in 1346.