How long is the Great Wall?
|This is a very complicated
question as many dynasties in Chinese history built, modified or
extended the Great Wall. The latest construction took place in Ming
Dynasty and the length built was over 6,000 kilometres.(The last investigation in 2009 show that the length of the Great Wall in Ming is 8,851.8 kilometres.) This is
the one often referred to when we talk about the Great Wall. However,
if including all the walls built in different dynasties around China,
the total length will exceed 50,000 kilometres.(The precise total length of Great Wall confirmed by the latest research work in 2012 is 21,196.18 km.)
Great Wall is not just a wall. Other defensive works such as forts,
passes and beacon towers were built along the Wall to house auxiliary
soldiers, store grain and weapons, and transmit military information.
As a product of the clashes between agricultural and nomadic economies,
the Great Wall provided protection to the economic development and
cultural progress, safeguarded the trading routes such as the Silk
Road, and secured transmission of information and transportation.
Today the world has completely changed.
No wall can withhold the progress that modern science has brought
about in our life. The Great Wall has lost its former function.
But does this mean that anyone has the right to use the Wall's stones
to build their own houses? It happened to Hadrian's Wall, it is
still happening to our Great Wall. How to promote the national awareness
of the archaeological value of the Great Wall? That is a challenge
we are facing. And for that purpose, everyone is welcome to join
us to better understand the Great Wall, and to better protect the
precious remains for generations to come.
(Written by e99, Map is downloaded from www.NationalGeographic.com)