Shenwei: Dauguan Benacao (Chinese pharmacopeia), 1116 AD, Jin Dynasty

Egyptians were writing medical texts on papyrus in 2,600 BC. But the oldest surviving printed medical book in the world is this fragment of 70 leaves of a Chinese pharmacopeia and herbal, the Dauguan Benacao. It was printed in 1116 AD during the Jin Dynasty on rice paper. Illustrated with 33 wood-engraved illustrations of fish and insects, the complete work from which this comes comprised 31 books plus a preface by Yisheng. This fragment has pieces of books 20 and 21. No copy of the first printed edition has survived.