Great Wall of China

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Great Wall of China
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{{redirect|Great Wall||Great Wall (disambiguation)}}{{pp-move-indef}}{{short description|wall along the historical northern borders of China}}{{pp-semi-vandalism|small=yes}}{{Use mdy dates|date=May 2018}}

| designation1=WHS
| designation1_offname=The Great Wall
| designation1_date = 1987 (11th session)
| designation1_type = Cultural
| designation1_criteria = i, ii, iii, iv, vi
| designation1_number = 438
| designation1_free1name = State Party
| designation1_free1value = China
| designation1_free2name = Region
| designation1_free2value = Asia-Pacific
}}21196miPUBLISHER=BLOOMBERG L.P.>DATE=JUNE 5, 2012, June 6, 2012, |building_type = Fortification}}

|j=Coeng4sing4|w=Ch'ang2-ch'eng2|mi={{IPAc-cmn|ch|ang|2|.|ch|eng|2}}|poj=Tn̂g-siâⁿ|tl=Tn̂g-siânn|t2=萬里長城|s2=万里长城|l2="The 10,000-
li Long Wall"|wuu2=Vae去-li上 zanå¹³-zenå¹³|y2=Maan6lei5 Cheung4sing4|ci2={{IPAc-yue|m|aan|6|.|l|ei|5|-|c|oeng|4|.|s|ing|4}}|j2=Maan6-lei5 coeng4-sing4|tl2=Bān-lí tnÌ‚g-siânn|order=st}}The Great Wall of China ({{zh|t=萬里長城|p=Wànlǐ Chángchéng|lit="Ten-Thousand Mile Long Wall"}}) is the collective name of a series of fortification systems generally built across the historical northern borders of China to protect and consolidate territories of Chinese states and empires against various nomadic groups of the steppe and their polities. Several walls were being built from as early as the 7th century BC by ancient Chinese states;BOOK, The New York Times Guide to Essential Knowledge: A Desk Reference for the Curious Mind, The New York Times with introduction by Sam Tanenhaus, St. Martin's Press of Macmillan Publishers, 2011, 978-0-312-64302-7, 1131, Beginning as separate sections of fortification around the 7th century B.C.E and unified during the Qin Dynasty in the 3rd century B.C.E, this wall, built of earth and rubble with a facing of brick or stone, runs from east to west across China for over 4,000 miles., selective stretches were later joined together by Qin Shi Huang (220–206 BC), the first Emperor of China. Little of the Qin wall remains.ENCYCLOPEDIA,weblink Great Wall of China, Encyclopædia Britannica, Large parts of the fortification system date from the 7th through the 4th century BC. In the 3rd century BC Shihuangdi (Qin Shi Huang), the first emperor of a united China (under the Qin dynasty), connected a number of existing defensive walls into a single system. Traditionally, the eastern terminus of the wall was considered to be Shanhai Pass (Shanhaiguan) on the coast of the Bohai (Gulf of Zhili), and the wall's length—without its branches and other secondary sections—was thought to extend for some {{convert, 4160, mi, km, flip, on, .}} Later on, many successive dynasties have built and maintained multiple stretches of border walls. The most well-known sections of the wall were built by the Ming dynasty (1368–1644).Apart from defense, other purposes of the Great Wall have included border controls, allowing the imposition of duties on goods transported along the Silk Road, regulation or encouragement of trade and the control of immigration and emigration. Furthermore, the defensive characteristics of the Great Wall were enhanced by the construction of watch towers, troop barracks, garrison stations, signaling capabilities through the means of smoke or fire, and the fact that the path of the Great Wall also served as a transportation corridor.The frontier walls built by different dynasties have multiple courses. Collectively, they stretch from Liaodong in the east to Lop Lake in the west, from the present-day Sino{{ndash}}Russian border in the north to Taohe River in the south; along an arc that roughly delineates the edge of Mongolian steppe. A comprehensive archaeological survey, using advanced technologies, has concluded that the walls built by the Ming dynasty measure {{convert|8850|km|mi|abbr=on}}. This is made up of {{convert|6259|km|mi|abbr=on}} sections of actual wall, {{convert|359|km|mi|abbr=on}} of trenches and {{convert|2232|km|mi|abbr=on}} of natural defensive barriers such as hills and rivers.NEWS,weblink Great Wall of China 'even longer', BBC, April 20, 2009, April 20, 2009, Another archaeological survey found that the entire wall with all of its branches measures out to be {{convert|21196|km|mi|abbr=on}}.WEB,weblink Great Wall of China even longer than previously thought, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, June 6, 2012, June 6, 2012, Today, the defensive system of Great Wall is generally recognized as one of the most impressive architectural feats in history.NEWS,weblink Great Wall of China, History, April 20, 2009,


The collection of fortifications known as the Great Wall of China has historically had a number of different names in both Chinese and English.In Chinese histories, the term "Long Rampart(s)" (長城, changcheng) appears in Sima Qian's Records of the Grand Historian, where it referred both to the separate great walls built between and north of the Warring States and to the more unified construction of the First Emperor.{{sfn|Waldron|1983|p=650}} The Chinese character }}, meaning city or fortress, is a phono-semantic compound of the "earth" radical }} and phonetic }}, whose Old Chinese pronunciation has been reconstructed as *deÅ‹.WEB, Baxter, William H. & al.,weblink Baxter–Sagart Old Chinese Reconstruction, Version 1.1, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, September 20, 2014, January 22, 2015, It originally referred to the rampart which surrounded traditional Chinese cities and was used by extension for these walls around their respective states; today, however, it is much more often the Chinese word for "city".See Lovell 2006, p. 25The longer Chinese name "Ten-Thousand Mile Long Wall" (萬里長城, Wanli Changcheng) came from Sima Qian's description of it in the Records, though he did not name the walls as such. The {{sc|ad}} 493 Book of Song quotes the frontier general Tan Daoji referring to "the long wall of 10,000 miles", closer to the modern name, but the name rarely features in pre-modern times otherwise.{{sfn|Waldron|1990|p=202|ps=. Tan Daoji's exact quote: "So you would destroy your Great Wall of Ten Thousand Li!" (乃復壞汝萬里之長城) Note the use of the particle (wikt:之|之) zhi that differentiates the quote from the modern name.}} The traditional Chinese mile (}}, lǐ) was an often irregular distance that was intended to show the length of a standard village and varied with terrain but was usually standardized at distances around a third of an English mile (540 m).BOOK, Byron R. Winborn, Wen Bon: a Naval Air Intelligence Officer behind Japanese lines in China,weblink 1994, University of North Texas Press, 978-0-929398-77-8, 63, Since China's metrication in 1930, it has been exactly equivalent to {{convert|500|m|disp=or}},WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, April 25, 2014, The Weights and Measures Act (1929), The Legislative Yuan of the Republic of China (1912-1949), Republic of China, which would make the wall's name describe a distance of {{convert|5000|km|abbr=on}}. However, this use of "ten-thousand" (wàn) is figurative in a similar manner to the Greek and English myriad and simply means "innumerable" or "immeasurable".BOOK, Lindesay, William,weblink The Great Wall Revisited: From the Jade Gate to Old Dragon's Head, 21, Wuzhou Publishing, Beijing, 2007, 978-7-5085-1032-3, Because of the wall's association with the First Emperor's supposed tyranny, the Chinese dynasties after Qin usually avoided referring to their own additions to the wall by the name "Long Wall".{{sfn|Waldron|1983|p=651}} Instead, various terms were used in medieval records, including "frontier(s)" (}}, sāi),{{sfn|Lovell|2006|p=15}} "rampart(s)" (}}, yuán),{{sfn|Lovell|2006|p=15}} "barrier(s)" (}}, zhàng),{{sfn|Lovell|2006|p=15}} "the outer fortresses" {{nowrap|(}},}} wàibÇŽo),{{sfn|Waldron|1990|p=49}} and "the border wall(s)" {{nowrap|(t }},}} {{nowrap|s }},}} biānqiáng).{{sfn|Waldron|1983|p=651}} Poetic and informal names for the wall included "the Purple Frontier" {{nowrap|(}},}} Zǐsāi){{sfn|Waldron|1990|p=21}} and "the Earth Dragon" {{nowrap|(t }},}} {{nowrap|s }},}} TÇ”lóng).{{sfn|Waldron|1988|p=69}} Only during the Qing period did "Long Wall" become the catch-all term to refer to the many border walls regardless of their location or dynastic origin, equivalent to the English "Great Wall".{{sfn|Hessler|2007|p=59}}The current English name evolved from accounts of {{nowrap|"the Chinese wall"}} from early modern European travelers.{{sfn|Hessler|2007|p=59}} By the 19th century,{{sfn|Hessler|2007|p=59}} "The Great Wall of China" had become standard in English and French, although other European languages such as German continue to refer to it as "the Chinese wall".


Early walls

{{further|Great Wall of Qi}}
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- GreatWallofQinDynasty.png -
The Great Wall of the Qin stretches from Lintao to Liaodong
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- GreatWallOfHanDynasty.png -
The Great Wall of the Han is the longest of all walls, from Mamitu near Yumenguan to Liaodong
The Chinese were already familiar with the techniques of wall-building by the time of the Spring and Autumn period between the 8th and 5th centuries BC.WEB,weblink zh:歷代王朝修長城,, October 24, 2010, zh, During this time and the subsequent Warring States period, the states of Qin, Wei, Zhao, Qi, Han, Yan, and ZhongshanWEB,weblink zh:古代长城 – 战争与和平的纽带,, October 24, 2010, zh, WEB,weblink zh:万里长城,, October 24, 2010, zh, all constructed extensive fortifications to defend their own borders. Built to withstand the attack of small arms such as swords and spears, these walls were made mostly by stone or stamping earth and gravel between board frames.King Zheng of Qin conquered the last of his opponents and unified China as the First Emperor of the Qin dynasty ("Qin Shi Huang") in 221 BC. Intending to impose centralized rule and prevent the resurgence of feudal lords, he ordered the destruction of the sections of the walls that divided his empire among the former states. To position the empire against the Xiongnu people from the north, however, he ordered the building of new walls to connect the remaining fortifications along the empire's northern frontier. "Build and move on" was a central guiding principle in constructing the wall, implying that the Chinese were not erecting a permanently fixed border.BOOK, Empires in World History: Power and the Politics of Difference, Burbank, Jane, Cooper, Frederick, Princeton University Press, 2010, Princeton, New Jersey, 45, Transporting the large quantity of materials required for construction was difficult, so builders always tried to use local resources. Stones from the mountains were used over mountain ranges, while rammed earth was used for construction in the plains. There are no surviving historical records indicating the exact length and course of the Qin walls. Most of the ancient walls have eroded away over the centuries, and very few sections remain today. The human cost of the construction is unknown, but it has been estimated by some authors that hundreds of thousands,{{sfn|Slavicek|Mitchell|Matray|2005|p=35}} if not up to a million, workers died building the Qin wall.{{sfn|Evans|2006|p=3}}WEB,weblink Defense and Cost of The Great Wall, 3, Paul and Bernice Noll's Window on the World, July 26, 2011, Later, the Han,WEB,weblink British researcher discovers piece of Great Wall 'marooned outside China', Coonan, Clifford, February 27, 2012, February 28, 2012, The Irish Times, the Northern Dynasties and the Sui all repaired, rebuilt, or expanded sections of the Great Wall at great cost to defend themselves against northern invaders.{{sfn|Waldron|1983|p=653}} The Tang and Song dynasties did not undertake any significant effort in the region.{{sfn|Waldron|1983|p=653}} Non-Han dynasties also built their border walls: the Xianbei-ruled Northern Wei, the Khitan-ruled Liao, Jurchen Jin and the Tangut-established Western Xia, who ruled vast territories over Northern China throughout centuries, all constructed defensive walls but those were located much to the north of the other Great Walls as we know it, within China's province of Inner Mongolia and in Mongolia itself.{{sfnm|Waldron|1983|1p=654|Haw|2006|2pp=52–54}}

Ming era

File:GreatWallChina4.png|thumb|The extent of the Ming Empire and its walls]]The Great Wall concept was revived again under the Ming in the 14th century,{{sfn|Karnow|2008|p=192}} and following the Ming army's defeat by the Oirats in the Battle of Tumu. The Ming had failed to gain a clear upper hand over the Mongolian tribes after successive battles, and the long-drawn conflict was taking a toll on the empire. The Ming adopted a new strategy to keep the nomadic tribes out by constructing walls along the northern border of China. Acknowledging the Mongol control established in the Ordos Desert, the wall followed the desert's southern edge instead of incorporating the bend of the Yellow River.Unlike the earlier fortifications, the Ming construction was stronger and more elaborate due to the use of bricks and stone instead of rammed earth. Up to 25,000 watchtowers are estimated to have been constructed on the wall.{{sfn|Szabó|Dávid|Loczy|2010|p=220}} As Mongol raids continued periodically over the years, the Ming devoted considerable resources to repair and reinforce the walls. Sections near the Ming capital of Beijing were especially strong.{{sfn|Evans|2006|p=177}} Qi Jiguang between 1567 and 1570 also repaired and reinforced the wall, faced sections of the ram-earth wall with bricks and constructed 1,200 watchtowers from Shanhaiguan Pass to Changping to warn of approaching Mongol raiders.WEB, Great Wall at Mutianyu,weblink Great Wall of China, dead,weblink" title="">weblink March 9, 2013, mdy-all, During the 1440s–1460s, the Ming also built a so-called "Liaodong Wall". Similar in function to the Great Wall (whose extension, in a sense, it was), but more basic in construction, the Liaodong Wall enclosed the agricultural heartland of the Liaodong province, protecting it against potential incursions by Jurched-Mongol Oriyanghan from the northwest and the Jianzhou Jurchens from the north. While stones and tiles were used in some parts of the Liaodong Wall, most of it was in fact simply an earth dike with moats on both sides.{{sfn|Edmonds|1985|pp=38–40}}Towards the end of the Ming, the Great Wall helped defend the empire against the Manchu invasions that began around 1600. Even after the loss of all of Liaodong, the Ming army held the heavily fortified Shanhai Pass, preventing the Manchus from conquering the Chinese heartland. The Manchus were finally able to cross the Great Wall in 1644, after Beijing had already fallen to Li Zicheng's rebels. Before this time, the Manchus had crossed the Great Wall multiple times to raid, but this time it was for conquest. The gates at Shanhai Pass were opened on May 25 by the commanding Ming general, Wu Sangui, who formed an alliance with the Manchus, hoping to use the Manchus to expel the rebels from Beijing.{{sfn|Lovell|2006|p=254}} The Manchus quickly seized Beijing, and eventually defeated both the rebel-founded Shun dynasty and the remaining Ming resistance, establishing the Qing dynasty rule over all of China.{{sfn|Elliott|2001|pp=1–2}}Under Qing rule, China's borders extended beyond the walls and Mongolia was annexed into the empire, so constructions on the Great Wall were discontinued. On the other hand, the so-called Willow Palisade, following a line similar to that of the Ming Liaodong Wall, was constructed by the Qing rulers in Manchuria. Its purpose, however, was not defense but rather to prevent Han Chinese migration into Manchuria.Elliott, Mark C. "The Limits of Tartary: Manchuria in Imperial and National Geographies". Journal of Asian Studies 59, no. 3 (2000): 603–646.

Foreign accounts

(File:Part of the Great Wall of China (April 1853, X, p.41) - Copy.jpg|thumb|Part of the Great Wall of China (April 1853, X, p. 41)JOURNAL, Part of the Great Wall of China, The Wesleyan Juvenile Offering: A Miscellany of Missionary Information for Young Persons, April 1853, X, 41,weblink February 29, 2016, )
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The Great Wall in 1907
None of the Europeans who visited Yuan China or Mongolia, such as Marco Polo, Giovanni da Pian del Carpine, William of Rubruck, Giovanni de' Marignolli and Odoric of Pordenone, mentioned the Great Wall.BOOK, Ruysbroek, Willem van,weblink The Journey of William of Rubruck to the Eastern Parts of the World, 1253–55, as Narrated by Himself, with Two Accounts of the Earlier Journey of John of Pian de Carpine, London, The Hakluyt Society, 1255, 1900, Translated from the Latin by William Woodville Rockhill, {{sfn|Haw|2006|pp=53–54}}The North African traveler Ibn Battuta, who also visited China during the Yuan dynasty c. 1346, had heard about China's Great Wall, possibly before he had arrived in China.{{sfn|Haw|2006|pp=54–55}} He wrote that the wall is "sixty days' travel" from Zeitun (modern Quanzhou) in his travelogue Gift to Those Who Contemplate the Wonders of Cities and the Marvels of Travelling. He associated it with the legend of the wall mentioned in the Qur'an,Qur'an, XVIII: "The Cave". English translations hosted at (:s:Main Page|Wikisource) include (:s:The Holy Qur'an (Maulana Muhammad Ali)/18. The Cave|Maulana Muhammad Ali)'s, (:s:The Qur'an (Palmer)/Kahf|E.H. Palmer)'s, and the (:s:Quran (Progressive Muslims Organization)/18|Progressive Muslims Organization)'s. which Dhul-Qarnayn (commonly associated with Alexander the Great) was said to have erected to protect people near the land of the rising sun from the savages of Gog and Magog. However, Ibn Battuta could find no one who had either seen it or knew of anyone who had seen it, suggesting that although there were remnants of the wall at that time, they were not significant.{{sfn|Haw|2006|pp=53–55}}Soon after Europeans reached Ming China by ship in the early 16th century, accounts of the Great Wall started to circulate in Europe, even though no European was to see it for another century. Possibly one of the earliest European descriptions of the wall and of its significance for the defense of the country against the "Tartars" (i.e. Mongols) may be the one contained in João de Barros's 1563 Asia.BOOK, Barros, João de, Ásia de João de Barros: Dos feitos que os portugueses fizeram no descobrimento dos mares e terras do Oriente, 3a Década, pp. 186–204 (originally Vol. II, Ch. vii), V, Lisbon, 1563, 1777,weblink Lisboa, Other early accounts in Western sources include those of Gaspar da Cruz, Bento de Goes, Matteo Ricci, and Bishop Juan González de Mendoza.{{sfn|Waldron|1990|pp=204–05}} In 1559, in his work "A Treatise of China and the Adjoyning Regions", Gaspar da Cruz offers an early discussion of the Great Wall.{{sfn|Waldron|1990|pp=204–05}} Perhaps the first recorded instance of a European actually entering China via the Great Wall came in 1605, when the Portuguese Jesuit brother Bento de Góis reached the northwestern Jiayu Pass from India.{{sfn|Yule|1866|p=579|ps=This section is the report of Góis's travel, as reported by Matteo Ricci in De Christiana expeditione apud Sinas (published 1615), annotated by Henry Yule).}} Early European accounts were mostly modest and empirical, closely mirroring contemporary Chinese understanding of the Wall,{{sfn|Waldron|1990|pp=2–4}} although later they slid into hyperbole,{{sfn|Waldron|1990|p=206}} including the erroneous but ubiquitous claim that the Ming Walls were the same ones that were built by the First Emperor in the 3rd century BC.{{sfn|Waldron|1990|p=206}}When China opened its borders to foreign merchants and visitors after its defeat in the First and Second Opium Wars, the Great Wall became a main attraction for tourists. The travelogues of the later 19th century further enhanced the reputation and the mythology of the Great Wall.{{sfn|Waldron|1990|p=209}}{{anchor|Inner Great Wall}}


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The main sections of the Ming dynasty Great Wall that are still standing today
File:Hanmuren.JPG|thumb|Great Wall of Han dynasty near YumenguanYumenguanFile:20090529 Great Wall 8185.jpg|thumb|right|Ming dynasty Great Wall at JinshanlingJinshanlingA formal definition of what constitutes a "Great Wall" has not been agreed upon, making the full course of the Great Wall difficult to describe in its entirety.{{sfn|Hessler|2007|p=60}} The defensive lines contain multiple stretches of ramparts, trenches and ditches, as well as individual fortresses.

Han Great Wall

Han fortifications starts from Yumen Pass and Yang Pass, southwest of Dunhuang, in Gansu province. Ruins of the remotest Han border posts are found in Mamitu ("Horse lose its way") near Yumen Pass.

Ming Great Wall

The Jiayu Pass, located in Gansu province, is the western terminus of the Ming Great Wall. From Jiayu Pass the wall travels discontinuously down the Hexi Corridor and into the deserts of Ningxia, where it enters the western edge of the Yellow River loop at Yinchuan. Here the first major walls erected during the Ming dynasty cut through the Ordos Desert to the eastern edge of the Yellow River loop. There at Piantou Pass {{nowrap|(t }},}} {{nowrap|s }},}} Piāntóuguān) in Xinzhou, Shanxi province, the Great Wall splits in two with the "Outer Great Wall" {{nowrap|(t }},}} {{nowrap|s }},}} Wài ChÇŽngchéng) extending along the Inner Mongolia border with Shanxi into Hebei province, and the "inner Great Wall" {{nowrap|(t }},}} {{nowrap|s }},}} Nèi ChÇŽngchéng) running southeast from Piantou Pass for some {{convert|400|km|abbr=on}}, passing through important passes like the Pingxing Pass and Yanmen Pass before joining the Outer Great Wall at Sihaiye {{nowrap|(, SìhÇŽiyÄ›),}} in Beijing's Yanqing County.The sections of the Great Wall around Beijing municipality are especially famous: they were frequently renovated and are regularly visited by tourists today. The Badaling Great Wall near Zhangjiakou is the most famous stretch of the Wall, for this is the first section to be opened to the public in the People's Republic of China, as well as the showpiece stretch for foreign dignitaries.{{sfn|Rojas|2010|p=140}} South of Badaling is the Juyong Pass; when used by the Chinese to protect their land, this section of the wall had many guards to defend China's capital Beijing. Made of stone and bricks from the hills, this portion of the Great Wall is {{convert|7.8|m|ftin|abbr=on}} high and {{convert|5|m|ftin|abbr=on}} wide.One of the most striking sections of the Ming Great Wall is where it climbs extremely steep slopes in Jinshanling. There it runs {{convert|11|km|mi|abbr=on|0}} long, ranges from {{convert|5|to|8|m|ftin|abbr=on}} in height, and {{convert|6|m|ftin|abbr=on}} across the bottom, narrowing up to {{convert|5|m|ftin|abbr=on}} across the top. Wangjinglou {{nowrap|(t }},}} {{nowrap|s }},}} WàngjÄ«ng Lóu) is one of Jinshanling's 67 watchtowers, {{convert|980|m|ft|abbr=on}} above sea level. Southeast of Jinshanling is the Mutianyu Great Wall which winds along lofty, cragged mountains from the southeast to the northwest for {{convert|2.25|km|mi|abbr=on}}. It is connected with Juyongguan Pass to the west and Gubeikou to the east. This section was one of the first to be renovated following the turmoil of the Cultural Revolution.{{sfn|Lindesay|2008|p=212}}At the edge of the Bohai Gulf is Shanhai Pass, considered the traditional end of the Great Wall and the "First Pass Under Heaven". The part of the wall inside Shanhai Pass that meets the sea is named the "Old Dragon Head". {{convert|3|km|mi|abbr=on|0}} north of Shanhai Pass is Jiaoshan Great Wall (焦山長城), the site of the first mountain of the Great Wall.WEB,weblink Jiaoshan Great Wall, September 15, 2010,, Jiaoshan Great Wall is located about {{convert, 3, km, mi, 0, on, from Shanhaiguan ancient city. It is named after Jiaoshan Mountain, which is the highest peak to the north of Shanhai Pass and also the first mountain the Great Wall climbs up after Shanhai Pass. Therefore Jiaoshan Mountain is noted as "The first mountain of the Great Wall".}} {{convert|15|km|0|abbr=on}} northeast from Shanhaiguan is Jiumenkou {{nowrap|(t }},}} {{nowrap|s }},}} JiÇ”ménkÇ’u), which is the only portion of the wall that was built as a bridge.Beyond Jiumenkou, an offshoot known as the Liaodong Wall continues through Liaoning province. This wall reportedly terminates at the Hushan Great Wall, in the city of Dandong near the North Korean border.NEWS,weblink The Great Wall: Liaoning Province, October 14, 2014, Global Times, December 4, 2014, However this is contested by Korean academia.In 2009, 180 km of previously unknown sections of the Ming wall concealed by hills, trenches and rivers were discovered with the help of infrared range finders and GPS devices.NEWS,weblink Great Wall of China longer than believed as 180 missing miles found, The Guardian, April 20, 2009, April 18, 2015, Associated Press, In March and April 2015, nine sections with a total length of more than {{Convert|10|km|mi|abbr=on|0}}, believed to be part of the Great Wall, were discovered along the border of Ningxia autonomous region and Gansu province.WEB,weblink Newly-discovered remains redraw path of Great Wall, China Daily, April 15, 2015, April 18, 2015,


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The Great Wall at Mutianyu, near Beijing
(File:Great Wall of China in tourist season.jpg|thumb|Great Wall of China in tourist season)Before the use of bricks, the Great Wall was mainly built from rammed earth, stones, and wood. During the Ming, however, bricks were heavily used in many areas of the wall, as were materials such as tiles, lime, and stone. The size and weight of the bricks made them easier to work with than earth and stone, so construction quickened. Additionally, bricks could bear more weight and endure better than rammed earth. Stone can hold under its own weight better than brick, but is more difficult to use. Consequently, stones cut in rectangular shapes were used for the foundation, inner and outer (:wikt:brim|brims), and gateways of the wall. Battlements line the uppermost portion of the vast majority of the wall, with defensive gaps a little over {{convert|30|cm|abbr=on}} tall, and about {{convert|23|cm|abbr=on}} wide. From the parapets, guards could survey the surrounding land.{{sfn|Turnbull|2007|p=29}} Communication between the army units along the length of the Great Wall, including the ability to call reinforcements and warn garrisons of enemy movements, was of high importance. Signal towers were built upon hill tops or other high points along the wall for their visibility. Wooden gates could be used as a trap against those going through. Barracks, stables, and armories were built near the wall's inner surface.{{sfn|Turnbull|2007|p=29}}


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A more rural portion of the Great Wall that stretches throughout the mountains, here seen in slight disrepair
File:The Great Wall of China in a clear day at Badaling.jpg|thumb|right|The Great Wall of China at BadalingBadalingWhile portions north of Beijing and near tourist centers have been preserved and even extensively renovated, in many other locations the Wall is in disrepair. The wall sometimes provided a source of stones to build houses and roads.Ford, Peter (November 30, 2006). New law to keep China's Wall looking great. Christian Science Monitor, Asia Pacific section. Retrieved March 17, 2007. Sections of the Wall are also prone to graffiti and vandalism, while inscribed bricks were pilfered and sold on the market for up to 50 renminbi. Parts have been destroyed to make way of construction or mining.Bruce G. Doar: The Great Wall of China: Tangible, Intangible and Destructible. China Heritage Newsletter, China Heritage Project, Australian National University A 2012 report by the National Cultural Heritage Administration states that 22% of the Ming Great Wall has disappeared, while {{convert|1961|km|mi|abbr=on}} of wall have vanished.WEB,weblink China Fears Loss of Great Wall, Brick by Brick, Wong, EdwardThe New York Times> date=June 29, 201560miGansu province may disappear in the next 20 years, due to erosion from Dust storm>sandstorms. In some places, the height of the wall has been reduced from more than {{convertmabbr=on}} to less than {{convertmabbr=on}}. Various square lookout towers that characterize the most famous images of the wall have disappeared. Many western sections of the wall are Mudbrick, rather than brick and stone, and thus are more susceptible to erosion.CHINA'S WALL BECOMING LESS AND LESS GREAT DATE = AUGUST 29, 2007ACCESSDATE =AUGUST 30, 2007, In 2014 a portion of the wall near the border of Liaoning and Hebei province was repaired with concrete. The work has been much criticized.HTTP://WWW.CNN.COM/2016/09/21/ASIA/GREAT-WALL-CHINA-CEMENT-REPAIR/INDEX.HTML>TITLE=CHINA'S GREAT WALL COVERED IN CEMENTLAST=CNNDATE=2016-09-21,

Visibility from space

From the Moon

The notion that the Wall can be seen from the moon, (385,000 km, 239,000 miles) is a well-known but implausible myth.One of the earliest known references to the myth that the Great Wall can be seen from the moon appears in a letter written in 1754 by the English antiquary William Stukeley. Stukeley wrote that, "This mighty wall {{bracket|Hadrian's wall}} of four score miles [130 km] in length is only exceeded by the Chinese Wall, which makes a considerable figure upon the terrestrial globe, and may be discerned at the Moon."The Family Memoirs of the Rev. William Stukeley (1887) Vol. 3, p. 142. (1754). The claim was also mentioned by Henry Norman in 1895 where he states "besides its age it enjoys the reputation of being the only work of human hands on the globe visible from the Moon."Norman, Henry, The Peoples and Politics of the Far East, p. 215. (1895). The issue of "canals" on Mars was prominent in the late 19th century and may have led to the belief that long, thin objects were visible from space. The claim that the Great Wall is visible from the moon also appears in 1932's Ripley's Believe It or Not! strip."The Great Wall of China, Ripley's Believe It or Not, 1932.The claim that the Great Wall is visible from the moon has been debunked many timesUrban website. Accessed May 12, 2010."Can you see the Great Wall of China from the moon or outer space?", Accessed May 12, 2010.Cecil Adams, "Is the Great wall of China the only manmade object byou can see from space?", The Straight Dope. Accessed May 12, 2010.Snopes, "Great wall from space", last updated July 21, 2007. Accessed May 12, 2010."Is China's Great Wall Visible from Space?", Scientific American, February 21, 2008. "... the wall is only visible from low orbit under a specific set of weather and lighting conditions. And many other structures that are less spectacular from an earthly vantage point—desert roads, for example—appear more prominent from an orbital perspective." (The apparent width of the Great Wall from the Moon would be the same as that of a human hair viewed from {{convert|3|km|abbr=on|0}} away{{sfn|López-Gil|2008|pp=3–4}}), but is still ingrained in popular culture."Metro Tescos", The Times (London), April 26, 2010. Found at The Times website. Accessed May 12, 2010.

From low Earth orbit

(File:Great Wall of China, Satellite image.jpeg|thumb|A satellite image of a section of the Great Wall in northern Shanxi, running diagonally from lower left to upper right and not to be confused with the more prominent river running from upper left to lower right. The region pictured is {{convert|12|x|12|km|abbr=on|0}}.)A more controversial question is whether the Wall is visible from low Earth orbit (an altitude of as little as {{convert|100|mi|km|-1|order=flip|abbr=on}}). NASA claims that it is barely visible, and only under nearly perfect conditions; it is no more conspicuous than many other man-made objects.WEB,weblink NASA – Great Wall of China,, July 31, 2010, Veteran U.S. astronaut Gene Cernan has stated: "At Earth orbit of {{convert|100|to|200|mi|km|-1|disp=sqbr}} high, the Great Wall of China is, indeed, visible to the naked eye." Ed Lu, Expedition 7 Science Officer aboard the International Space Station, adds that, "it's less visible than a lot of other objects. And you have to know where to look."In October 2003, Chinese astronaut Yang Liwei stated that he had not been able to see the Great Wall of China. In response, the European Space Agency (ESA) issued a press release reporting that from an orbit between {{convert|160|and|320|km|mi|abbr=on|-1}}, the Great Wall is visible to the naked eye. {{sfn|López-Gil|2008|pp=3–4}}Leroy Chiao, a Chinese-American astronaut, took a photograph from the International Space Station that shows the wall. It was so indistinct that the photographer was not certain he had actually captured it. Based on the photograph, the China Daily later reported that the Great Wall can be seen from 'space' with the naked eye, under favorable viewing conditions, if one knows exactly where to look.Markus, Francis. (April 19, 2005). Great Wall visible in space photo. BBC News, Asia-Pacific section. Retrieved March 17, 2007.{{sfn|López-Gil|2008|pp=3–4}}


File:"The First Mound"--the west end of the Great Wall.jpg|"The First Mound" – at Jiayuguan, the western terminus of the Ming wallFile:明长城 - panoramio (1).jpg|Ming wall near YinchuanFile:榆林市的明长城遗迹 - panoramio.jpg|The Great Wall at YulinImage:GreatWall 2004 Summer 1A.jpg|The Great Wall at BadalingFile:Juyongguan Great Wall.jpg|The Juyongguan area of the Great Wall accepts numerous tourists each dayFile:Gubeikou Gate.jpg|Gateway of Gubeikou FortressImage:Great Wall at Simatai overlooking gorge.jpg|Ming Great Wall at Simatai, overlooking the gorgeImage:MutianyuGreatWallWildSection.JPG|Mutianyu Great Wall. This is atop the wall on a section that has not been restoredFile:Great wall stops in see.jpg|The Old Dragon Head, the Great Wall where it meets the sea in the vicinity of Shanhaiguan

See also

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  • BOOK, Northern Frontiers of Qing China and Tokugawa Japan: A Comparative Study of Frontier Policy, Richard Louis, Edmonds, University of Chicago, Department of Geography; Research Paper No. 213, 978-0-89065-118-6, 1985, harv,
  • BOOK, Elliott, Mark C., The Manchu Way: The Eight Banners and Ethnic Identity in Late Imperial China, 2001, Stanford University Press, 978-0-8047-4684-7, harv,
  • BOOK
LAST=EVANSYEAR=2006, 978-1-84162-158-6, Great Wall of China: Beijing & Northern China, Bradt Travel Guide, 3, harv,
  • BOOK, Stephen G., Haw, Psychology Press, 2006, 978-0-415-34850-8, Marco Polo's China: a Venetian in the realm of Khubilai Khan, Volume 3 of Routledge studies in the early history of Asia, harv,
  • JOURNAL, Hessler, Peter, Peter Hessler, 2007, Letter from China: Walking the Wall, The New Yorker, May 21, 2007, 58–67,weblink harv,
  • BOOK, Karnow, Mooney, Paul and Catherine, National Geographic Traveler: Beijing, National Geographic Books, 192, 978-1-4262-0231-5, 2008, harv,weblink
  • BOOK, Lindesay, William, The Great Wall Revisited: From the Jade Gate to Old Dragon's Head, 2008, Harvard University Press, 978-0-674-03149-4, harv,weblink
  • JOURNAL, Is it Really Possible to See the Great Wall of China from Space with a Naked Eye?, Norberto, López-Gil, Journal of Optometry, 1, 1, 3–4,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, September 10, 2008, 10.3921/joptom.2008.3, 2008, harv, 3972694,
  • BOOK, Lovell, Julia, Julia Lovell, The Great Wall : China against the world 1000 BC – AD 2000, Picador Pan Macmillan, Sydney, 2006, 978-0-330-42241-3, harv,
  • BOOK, Rojas, Carlos, The Great Wall : a cultural history, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2010, 978-0-674-04787-7, harv,weblink
  • BOOK, Louise Chipley, Slavicek, George J., Mitchell, James I., Matray, Infobase Publishing, 2005, 978-0-7910-8019-1, The Great Wall of China, 35, harv,weblink
  • BOOK, Szabó, József, Dávid, Lóránt, Loczy, Denes, Anthropogenic Geomorphology: A Guide to Man-made Landforms, Springer Science+Business Media, Springer, 2010, 978-90-481-3057-3, harv,
  • BOOK, Turnbull, Stephen R, Stephen Turnbull (historian), The Great Wall of China 221 BC–AD 1644, January 2007, Osprey Publishing, 978-1-84603-004-8, harv,
  • JOURNAL, Waldron, Arthur, Arthur Waldron, 1983, The Problem of The Great Wall of China
Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies>volume=43 pages=643–663 jstor=2719110, harv,
  • JOURNAL, Waldron, Arthur, Arthur Waldron, 1988, The Great Wall Myth: Its Origins and Role in Modern China
The Yale Journal of Criticism>volume=2 pages=67–104 jstor=, harv,
  • BOOK, Waldron, Arthur, Arthur Waldron, The Great Wall of China : from history to myth, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge England New York, 1990, 978-0-521-42707-4, harv,
  • BOOK, Sir Henry, Yule, Henry Yule, Printed for the Hakluyt society, 1866, Cathay and the way thither: being a collection of medieval notices of China, Issues 36–37 of Works issued by the Hakluyt Society,weblink harv,

Further reading

  • Arnold, H.J.P, "The Great Wall: Is It or Isn't It?" Astronomy Now, 1995.
  • Beckwith, Christopher I. (2009): Empires of the Silk Road: A History of Central Eurasia from the Bronze Age to the Present. Princeton: Princeton University Press. {{ISBN|978-0-691-13589-2}}.
  • Luo, Zewen, et al. and Baker, David, ed. (1981). The Great Wall. Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill Book Company (UK). {{ISBN|0-07-070745-6}}
  • BOOK, Man, John., The Great Wall, London, Bantam Press, 2008, 978-0-593-05574-8, 335 pages, y,
  • Michaud, Roland and Sabrina (photographers), & Michel Jan, The Great Wall of China. Abbeville Press, 2001. {{ISBN|0-7892-0736-2}}
  • Schafer, Edward H. (1985) The Golden Peaches of Samarkand. Berkeley: University of California Press. {{ISBN|978-0-520-05462-2}}.
  • BOOK, Yamashita, Michael, Lindesay, William, The Great Wall â€“ From Beginning to End, New York, Sterling, 2007, 978-1-4027-3160-0, 160 pages, y,

External links

{{sisterlinks|voy=Great Wall of China}} {{Great Wall of China}}{{New7Wonders of the World}}{{Mountain passes of China}}{{World Heritage Sites in China}}{{Authority control}}

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Eastern Philosophy
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