Discovery & Research

1,000-year-old Section of Great Wall Confirmed in Shanxi

Chinese archaeologists have confirmed after a recent field examination that a 20-km-long section of the Great Wall in north China's Shanxi province was built in the Song Dynasty (960-1279).

This section is located in Kelan County in northwest Shanxi and is made of stones.

Sources from local archeological departments said that about 20 km of this part of the Great Wall remain, though there are longer ruined portions.

The remaining wall is 1.6 meters wide at the top and the zenith exceeds 3 meters. At some places, 30-cm-high parapet walls can still be seen and many porcelain pieces were scattered nearby.

Before this discovery in Shanxi Province, experts had once thought that no part of the Great Wall was built during the Song Dynasty.

The best-known sections of the Great Wall were built in the Ming Dynasty (13681644) based on construction of previous dynasties. The entire Wall is more than 6,000 km long, running west-to-east from the Jiayuguan Pass in northwest China's Gansu Province to the Shanhaiguan Pass at the Bohai Sea in north China.

Chinese rulers of ancient times built walls in an attempt to resist intrusions from outside powers. The Great Wall's construction began during the Warring States Period (475-221 BC), when separate sections were built at scattered strategic areas.

The Great Wall was rebuilt time and again through the centuries, and many sections of it have suffered serious damage from windstorms and water and man-made destruction over the centuries.

Since the early 1980s, the Chinese government has allocated special funds to restore this national monument to its magnificance in some parts, such as the sections at Badaling, Mutianyu, and other sites.

Experts say this latest confirmation will provide adequate material for the Great Wall research and related topics. (Xinhua)