History of the printing
The Chinese used wooden blocks to print Buddhist writings by hand on scrolls. Chinese writer Fenzhi mentioned in his writings Yuan Xian San Ji that woodblocks were used to print Buddhist scripture during the Zhenguan years (627-649 A.D.). The oldest known surviving woodblock-printed work is a Buddhist scripture of the Chinese Wu Zetian period (684-705 A.D.) discovered in 1906 in Tubofan in the Xinjiang province of China. Printing is considered one of the four great inventions of China; the other being the compass, gunpowder and paper. While there are no surviving examples of the Chinese printing presses of the 11th Century, the oldest surviving dated printed book on record is the Buddhist Diamond Sutra, dated 11 May 868 AD. Park Gi Tae from VANK (Voluntary Agency Network of Korea) contributed as follows: The Jikjia Buddhist doctrinal book called Jikjisimcheyojeol or “Jikji in short form is the oldest book made by metalloid type. It had been made in 1377, 78 years earlier than “the Bible in 48 lines” made by Gutenberg. However, recent excavations at a Korean pagoda have unearthed a Buddhist woodblock text even older than the Daimond-Sutra.