The Great Wall of China has many interesting facts surrounding its very existence.
The first known fact surrounding the Great Wall of China is that it is not just a wall; it is much more than a wall. While the Great Wall of China is indeed a great wall in China, there were other features built in such as: passes, beacon towers, forts, and other facilities.
The Great Wall of China was built as a defensive wall.
It would take more than a great wall to defend against invaders. For that reason, many other facilities were built into the wall. Defending against invaders both domestic and abroad was a 24/7 job. In most cases, soldiers would be on guard twenty-four hours a day and seven days a week.
Passes were built to allow troops to pass and exit the wall. Soldiers would have to leave the wall to do reconnaissance work such as gathering intelligence of possible enemy activity. Without the necessary time to prepare, the Great Wall of China would be useless as a defensive measure.
Beacon towers were necessary because they are lit up like a row. When one beacon is lit, the next one will be lit. This could be mirrored in the movie Lord of the Rings: Return of the King where all the beacon towers were lit up one by one.
Since being on guard duty is a 24/7 job, there had to be places where soldiers were housed. Grain and water had to also be stored as rations to feed and nourish the soldiers. Weapons also had to be stockpiled and stored in those forts. Melee weapons needed to be repaired and projectile weapons needed to be created.
The Great Wall of China provided protection on many fronts in the progress of culture and the development of the nation's economy. In the terms of the nation's economy, the Great Wall of China safeguarded the Silk Road which was the main land route connecting Asia and Europe. Because of the valuable goods transported across the Silk Road, merchants were vulnerable to attacks by bandits. The Great Wall of China provided protection against bandits that would attempt to steal such expensive goods.
Historically, the Great Wall of China is just as old as the nation's history itself. Under future dynasties, the Great Wall of China was either rebuilt or extended. The Great Wall of China in length exceeds 50,000 kilometers.
Two-thousand years is a very long time. A history of wars accompanied with age can weaken the integrity of the structure. This is why the Great Wall of China would have to be rebuilt. As kingdoms have extended, the Great Wall of China would be extended to protect those acquired domains. The other reason for rebuilding was the quality of materials. As time progresses, better material is created.
The Chinese also took note of using natural terrain as advantages.
When the wall was built around 7 B.C (Before Christ), the country was divided into many small states. The current Great Wall of China was built under the Ming Dynasty which was in power for three centuries.
Today, the Great Wall of China is the country's major historic monument. The Chinese government has taken measures to protect the integrity of the Great Wall by enacting laws to prevent damage along with the provision of funds to both protect and preserve the wall.
Individuals are encouraged to keep the areas within the Great Wall to keep them fresh and clean along with not leaving anything behind except ones own footsteps.
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