Tuesday, 21 Apr, 2009 Current Events

Great Wall of China Longer than Previously Thought


The results of a government mapping research unveiled new sections of the famous Great Wall of China. The discovered sections total about 290km (180 miles). The official website of the State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping features a report that describes the two-year study and its results.

With the help of advanced mapping technologies, including infrared range finders and GPS devices, specialists managed to find portions of the Great Wall that were covered by the hills, rivers and trenches. According to the official China Daily these portions start their way from the Hu Mountain, found in northern Liaoning province and stretch to Jiayu Pass, located in western Gansu province.

In their study researchers wrote that the discovered parts of the Great Wall were erected during the Ming Dynasy (1368-1644) with the goal of protecting against invaders that came from north. Due to sandstorms that continuously circulated throughout the dry region, these parts submerged. With the new parts discovered, the Great Wall now stretches 6,300km (3,900 miles) across the northern part of China.

It is worth mentioning that Chinese emperors began constructing the wall approximately 2,000 years ago so it would defend the country from Monguls and aggressors.

The report also states that the project, in which the State Administration of Cultural Heritage works in collaboration with State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping, will carry on for another year so researchers could identify sections of the Wall that were constructed during the Qin (221 B.C.-206 B.C.) and Han (206 B.C.-9 A.D.) Dynasties.

Government of People's Republic of China has started restoring sections of the Great Wall. It also has been struggling to restrain commercial development on and around the wall. Each year thousands of tourists visit the modern sections of the wall found around Beijing and built during the Ming Dynasty. Some of those sections were restored after the Communist Party took power back in 1949. The most popular tourist attraction is the Badaling section, north of Beijing, where nearly every brick on the section features tourists' names or other graffiti.

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