Great Wall re-discovered

Shaanxi province: Great Wall relics from multiple dynasties

Updated: Dec 20, 2021 Print
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Shaanxi is one of the provinces with the most abundant Great Wall resources in China, with a total length of 1,838 kilometers. Shaanxi province is home to Great Wall remains and their affiliated facilities mainly from the Warring States Period (475-221 BC), the Sui Dynasty (581-618) and the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).

Among them, the Great Wall of the State of Wei (403-225 BC) during the Warring States Period spans nine counties, with a total length of 146.6 kilometers, including one beacon tower, four enemy towers, nine single structures, and 22 other related sites. Distributed in six counties and districts, the Great Wall of the State of Qin (9th century –207 BC) during the Warring States, also known as the Great Wall of King Zhaoxiang of Qin (r. 307-251 BC) has a total length of 459 kilometers, including 451 single buildings, 22 passes and 44 related sites. The Sui Dynasty Great Wall is distributed in Shenmu, Jingbian, and Dingbian counties, with a total length of 19 kilometers, including 35 single buildings.

Located in Yulin, Northwest China’s Shaanxi province, Zhenbei Tower is one of the most magnificent examples of architecture from Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) Great Wall sites. It used be an important military installation that served as an impregnable pass and frontier garrison.[Photo/VCG]

The Great Wall of the Ming Dynasty is mainly distributed in Yulin and Yan'an in Shaanxi province, and is connected with the Great Wall in surrounding provinces as a complete defense system, including Inner Mongolia and Shanxi on the east, and Ningxia on the west. The Great Wall of the Ming Dynasty in Shaanxi province is 1,170 kilometers long, with 1,151 single buildings, 112 castles and 53 other related relics. It is relatively complete and well-preserved, and people can clearly observe the remains of the wall, beacon tower, camp fort and other facilities.

Unearthed clay statue from a Ming Dynasty Great Wall barracks fortress in Jingbian county, Yulin, Shaanxi province, June 2021. Archaeologists discovered a plethora of architectural relics from the site, including a courtyard, a central tower, and defense facilities. [Photo/IC]

An investigation showed that the Great Wall of King Zhaoxiang of Qin was later restored and reused, and most of it became the Great Wall of the Sui Dynasty. Similarly, the Great Wall of Sui was later strengthened and re-utilized as part of the Great Wall of the Ming Dynasty.

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