The Great Wall Of China

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade April 2001

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The Great Wall of China One of the greatest wonders of the world is the Great Wall. It is the world's largest military structure. It's very important due to its incredible history. It is more than 2,000 years old. Stretching 4,500 miles from the mountains of Korea to the Gobi desert, it was first built to protect the ancient Chinese empire from raiding tribes from the north (Discovering great wall; Eventually, it evolved into something much greater. It took the efforts of 3 dynasties to complete the masterpiece that stands today. The Qin, Han, and Ming dynasties all contributed to the construction of the Great Wall.

The Great Wall is a series of walls built and rebuilt by different dynasties over 1,000 years. The Great Wall had 3 major components: passes, signal towers, and walls. Passes were major strongholds along the wall. The passes were usually positioned as the key point of a trade route.

Also, passes were used as a passageway for soldiers and patrols. Signal towers (beacon towers) were used to send military communications by fires or lanterns during the night, or by smoke signals in the daytime. Additional methods were raising banners, beating clappers, and firing guns. Signal towers were often built on hilltops for great visibility. At lower levels, there were rooms for soldiers, stables, sheepfolds, and storage areas. The body of the wall was the key part of the defense system. It usually stood 21.3 feet wide at the base and 19 feet at the top, with an average height of 23-26 feet (Great Wall of China; The structure of the wall varied depending where the walls were being built, and who was building them.

The oldest section of the wall began in 221 B.C, the Qin dynasty. This was short after China...