The Oldest Great Wall has been measured! Wild Great Wall Hiking/Camping 4

 

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Great Wall of Qi, latest length is 620 kilometres

The oldest Great Wall has been measured in the ancient state of Qi, today’s Shandong Province. It stretchs 620 kilometers from Jinan City, capital of east China’s Shandong Province, to Qingdao, a coastal city of Shandong, commonly known as the Great Wall of Qi. The starting point of Great Wall of Qi is located in Guangli village, Xiaoli town, Changqing district of Jinan city

The oldest Great Wall in China

The oldest Great Wall was built between 770 B.C. to 476 B.C by state of Qi. Although many parts of Great Wall of Qi had been destroyed and abandoned, the oldest Great Wall has been identified and measured by archaeologist Li Zhenguang and his investigation team recently.

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Where to see fading beacon towers? Wild Great Wall Hiking/Camping 3

 

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An indispensable part of Great Wall

Two thousand years of attack by rain and wind and destruction by man have changed  Great Wall into a rather dilapidated “Wild Great Wall” and make it difficult to find a beacon tower in Beijing. Beacon towers made it possible to transmit military intelligence in the mountainous area rather than solely relying on riding horses. It reveals to us the rich history, help us gain an insight into Wild Great Wall.

Meet beacon towers through Great Wall hiking

Great Wall hiking on Jinshanling  let us encounter this glorious military architecture. East beacon tower and west beacon tower sit on the two peaks of Jinshanling like two generals guarding the gateway to the north. It’s definitely not to be missed when you start walk with a short climb up to a watchtower at Shalingkou Pass of Jinshanling. Walking on Jinshanling is a good way to walk through the history and embrace nature if you think about strategic beacon towers offered excellent defense, connected into a mature defense system by the Great Wall.

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What were watchtowers used for? Wild Great Wall Hiking/Camping 2

 

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Hiking Wild Great Wall could be easy in some area of Beijing if walking through watchtowers all the time is possible. You may want to rest inside watchtowers to cool down in summer time when it’s too hot to walk.  It’s quite interesting to check the inner structure of watchtowers since a watchtower has three storys with enough space that could seat one hundred soldiers at most according to records. What? One hundred soldiers, incredible, isn’t it?

Structure and function of watchtowers on Great Wall

 

  • The base floor— the warehouses used for storing considerable supplies of arrows and bows, cannons and ammunitions and food.
  • The middle layer— the barrack for an equal number of soldiers who could sleep in the evening, with arrow-discharging openings on four sides.
  • The upper layer—  the lockout turret surrounded by battlements with windows on top to watch over the movement of approaching invaders.
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5 top reasons why watchtowers were built. Wild Great Wall Hiking & Camping 1

 

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Get a look watchtowers on Great Wall 

An Interesting fact about construction work of Great Wall is that to make up a complete defense network, Great Wall is connected by countless military architecture–namely watchtowers. Getting a look watchtowers helps us gain an insight into Great Wall since encountering them is unavoidable when touring it, such as Great Wall hiking. Visitors even “check in ” at the watchtower at Jinshanling when camping overnight on the Wall.

5 top reasons to build watchtowers on Great Wall

The high “fence” watchtowers were first built by local governor of Fujian province Tan Lun (1520-1577) and his chief officer Oi Jiguang (1528-1588) duing Ming dynasty. Patriotic general Qi Jiguang recorded the building and use of watch towers in his book on military training. He explained why watchtower were built at his behest:

 

  1. The existing Great Wall was rather thin and low and in a slow process of decaying.
  2. All types of towers were unconnected with the wall. Soldiers didn’t have shelters to keep off rain, frost and sunshine.
  3. Sending military supplies became extremely difficult during an emergency since there were no places on the Wall to store supplies.
  4. Intruders could shoot arrows at defenders on a higher position when they came in great number. 
  5. Defenders could hardly stand on the top of the wall. If intruders broke through one wall, soldiers had to retreat as they could.

“Under these circumstances, watch towers with spacious rooms had to be built to connect with each other and send reinforcement to neighbors” Qi said .

Tan Lun and Qi Jiguang made out a plan to build 3,000 watchtowers from Juyongguan Pass to Shanhaiguan Pass, a huge civil engineering project indeed. When the watchtowers had been completed, Mongolian arrows could not reach the soldiers on top of the wall, Their cavalry dare not approach the Great Wall. Watchtowers proved to be very useful to block the attracts of Mongolian cavalry. Simple put it did work!

 

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Do you have a question? What do you think about it? If you’ve enjoyed this article, I’d ask that you share it with a friend or consider leaving a comment below. As always, your thoughts and opinions matter, so feel free to leave them below.

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