Walking west from Yumenguan Pass for about 5 kilometers, people can find some ancient beacon towers, broken and dilapidated through years of storms and stress, stand lonely on the Gobi Desert. They are the remains of the Great Wall of the Han dynasty. Like an old man, fatigued and spiritless however, they tell you the ancient and brilliant history of the Qin and Han dynasties.
The Dunhuang Great Wall is a unique Great Wall of Han Dynasty, which were made from concrete slab and reed. During the construction of this section of Great Wall, a large quantity of reed and plant produced in local area were used. Simple as the materials were, this section of the wall is cast-iron and till today, they were well preserved.
In ancient times, every 10 li along this section of wall, one beacon tower was erected. In an emergency, various substances, including wolves' dung were burnt to send up columns of smoke for military alarms. Today, about 80 beacon towers were preserved near Dunhaung. According to local natural condition, the reed became the main firewood of the beacon tower. They were bound together to form a large sheaf. Among the unearthed firewood, the biggest firewood event is 2 meters long, 1.5 meter wide and more than 1.8 meter high.