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The Great Wall of China


... was the first emperor of China and is considered the first Great Wall builder. ... Billy Chan, The Great Wall of China, ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China
What is the Great Wall?
The Great Wall of China is the worlds largest
military structure. It was built as a defense to
stop invaders from northern areas. The Great Wall
is actually a series of walls built and rebuilt
by different dynasties over 1,000 years.
It has a total length of over 6,000 kilometers.
The Chinese measured the wall in li. A single
li is equivalent to half a kilometer. In Chinese
the wall is called Wan-Li Chang-Cheng which
means 10,000-Li Long Wall. The Great Wall runs
from Jiayu Pass of Gansu Province in the west to
the mouth of the Yalu river in Liaonling Province
in the east.
Who Built The Great Wall? Zhou Dynasty (1045
b.c. 246 b.c.)
During the Zhou Dynasty, Xiongnu tribes
frequently attacked northern border states. In
the 7th century B.C., the northern states built
their own walls for defense purposes.
Qin Dynasty (221 b.c. 207 b.c.)
Qin Shi Huang was the first emperor of China and
is considered the first Great Wall builder. He
was a relentless tyrant whos dynasty eventually
fell to peasant uprising. The oldest section of
the Great Wall was begun in 221 b.c. The
construction linked together the restored ruins
of older walls created in the Zhou Dynasty to
create a 5000 kilometer (10,000 li) section. This
is the origin of the 10,000-li wall name.
First Emperor Qin Shi Huang
Who Built The Great Wall? Qin Dynasty (221 b.c.
207 b.c.) cont.
It is estimated that over 3 million people (70
of Chinas population at the time) were involved
in the construction of the wall. The Qin Great
Wall is constructed out of local materials. The
builders used dry-laid stone or used layers of
compacted earth. To build with compacted earth
the workers first built a 4 inch high frame, then
filled it with loose earth, and packed it. Thus,
the wall was built one 4-inch layer at a time.
A section of the Qin Wall built using the
tamped-earth process.
According to historical records, the Qin Great
Wall was built in 10 years or about 25 miles a
month. In modern dollars, the estimated cost to
build the Qin Great Wall would be 260 billion.
Who Built The Great Wall? Han Dynasty (206 b.c.
220 a.d.)
Han Wu-Di expanded the China empire westward into
the wilderness of Central Asia. He is considered
the second Great Wall builder. During the Han
Dynasty the crumbling Qin wall was rebuilt and
extended over 480 kilometers through the Gobi
desert. Since local materials were always used
for the construction, the Han Great Wall
A section of the Han Wall built using water,
gravel, and willow reeds.
is created from a mixture of water and fine
gravel, reinforced with willow reeds. These
layers were compacted upon each other in much the
same manor as the Qin Dynasty compacted
earth. The major contribution of the Han Dynasty
to the Great Wall was the watchtowers.
Who Built The Great Wall? Han Dynasty (206 b.c.
220 a.d.) cont.
The watchtowers were typically spaced 15 to 30
miles apart and were used to alert other sentries
to attacks and defend the wall. In the event of
an attack, the guards would set fire to a mixture
of wolf dung, sulfur, and saltpeter. This would
create a column of smoke to alert the other
watchtowers. The number of columns of smoke
related to the attacking force. One column meant
an outpost was under attack by a force of fewer
than 500 troops. Two columns would represent a
force fewer than 2500, etc. The Chinese realized
the smoke beacons carried alerts faster than a
rider on a horse.
A watchtower signaling an attack
Who Built The Great Wall? Ming Dynasty (1368
The Ming Dynasty is considered the greatest of
all Great Wall builders. The walls built by the
Ming Dynasty were larger, longer, and more ornate
than the walls from previous dynasties. The Ming
Dynasty rebuilt crumbling sections of the Han
Great Wall and lengthened it to 6,400 kilometers.
Kiln-fired bricks used during the Ming Dynasty
The major advancement in the Ming Great Wall was
the use of kiln-fired brick rather than cutting
individual stones. The new wall sections were
built with a tamped earth interior and encased in
this brick. If you took all of the bricks from
the Ming portion of the Wall alone, they could
circle the Earth at the equator in a wall five
feet high and three feet thick.
Who Built The Great Wall? Ming Dynasty (1368
1644) cont.
The Ming Wall crosses some of the most forbidding
terrain in all of China. In some places, the
Wall rises at a 70 degree angle. The Ming Dynasty
also purchased cannons from Portuguese traders
and mounted them in strategic watchtower
Section of BaDaLing wall built during Ming Dynasty
The cannons were used in defense of the Wall and
as an alert (in addition to the smoke columns) to
alert other sentries to an attack. It took
approximately 200 years to complete the Ming
Wall. In modern terms, construction of the Ming
Great Wall would cost 360 billion. At its peak,
the Ming Great Wall contained thousands of
individual forts and towers. It was guarded by
more than a million men.
Sections of the Great Wall BaDaLing
The BaDaLing section of the Great Wall was built
at the beginning of the Ming Dynasty. It was
built to safeguard the capital of Beijing and is
considered an important strategic point. BaDaLing
has battle forts at important locations including
the corners. It is 7.8 meters in height and 5
meters wide. The top of the wall is paved with
square bricks and is wide enough for six horses
or ten soldiers to march side by side. The
BaDaLing wall is built from local materials
including green bricks from the surrounding hills
and rectangular slabs of stone.
Section of BaDaLing wall near Beijing
Sections of the Great Wall BaDaLing cont.
Near BaDaLing is the Pass of Conscripted
Laborers. The important gateway northwest of
Beijing is believed to be named after the workers
and slaves conscripted to build the Great
Wall. It is built 10 kilometers south of the
BaDaLing section in an 18.5 long valley.
Pass of Conscripted Laborers
The interior of the Pass contains carvings of
elephants, lions, birds, flowers, and heavenly
kings as well as charms in six languages.
Passage Inscriptions
Sections of the Great Wall Mutianyu Section
The Mutianyu Section of the Great Wall is located
70 kilometers northeast of Beijing. It links the
Gubeikou section on the east and the BaDaLing
section on the west. The Mutianyu Wall one of the
best-preserved parts of the Great Wall and is
older than the BaDaLing section. It is heavily
fortified to stop invaders and some of the battle
forts are as close as 50 meters apart. The upper
protective walls are notched on both the inside
and outside so that shots could be fired at
enemies on either side. This feature is very
rare on other parts of the Great Wall.
Mutianyu Section
Sections of the Great Wall JinShanLing Section
The JinShanLing section contains 67 watchtowers
within an 11 kilometer stretch. Each watchtower
is unique and an example of different
architecture. This section of the Wall is 5 to 8
meters high. Its sides taper from 6 meters wide
at the bottom to 5 meters wide at the top. The
JinShanLing Wall is considered to be the most
spectacular section of the Wall and
representative of the Ming Dynasty.
JinShanLing Section with Watchtowers
The battlements take advantage of mountain ridges
to give guards the advantage of high terrain.
And is part of the GujbeiKou defense barrier.
Sections of the Great Wall Simatai Section
The Simatai Section is located east of
JinShanLing and is also part of the Gubeikou
defense barrier. It is 5.4 kilometers long and
has 35 watchtowers. This section of Great Wall is
uniquely designed by incorporating the different
characteristics of other sections of the Great
Wall. The Simatai Wall rises and falls with the
precipitous mountain ridge and the watchtowers
are located high upon the hilltops.
Simatai Section of Great Wall
Sections of the Great Wall Lost Sections of the
Great Wall
Since the 1600s, parts of the Wall in some areas
have been dismantled to provide building
materials. Other areas have succumb to nature and
are buried by silt. Using satellite data,
scientist have rediscovered more than 600 miles
of buried Wall in the past decade. Scientist have
discovered a deteriorated second wall running
parallel to the BaDaLing section. Only a few
meters separate the locations. It was partially
buried and so degraded that youd have to know it
was there to recognize it in the field., says
Diane Evans, project scientist at NASAs Jet
Propulsion Laboratory.
Satellite Photo of the Great Wall Note double
lines in BW radar images remainder of previous
Books Ann Paludan, Chronicle of the Chinese
Emperors. New York Thames Hudson Inc.,
1998 Robert E. Murowchick, Cradles of
Civilization China. Normand University of
Oklahoma Press, 1994 Magazine The Great Walls
Ancestor, Discover (Aug. 1996) Internet The
Great Wall,
eatwall.html (2001) Viewed 11-05-2001 Billy
Chan, The Great Wall of China,
hinese_school/greatwall/ (2001) Viewed
11-05-2001 Secrets of the Great Wall,
all.html (2001) Viewed 11-05-2001 Famous
Scene of the Great Wall,
china_great_wall/scene/index.htm (2001) Viewed