The Great Wall
in Ancient China
5 fundamental facts
- 1. The early Great Wall was built of soil and pebbles, reeds, wood, but over the time, the soil was replaced with stones. (Shuter, 36)
- 2. The workers who built the Great Wall were thieves, criminals, and murderers. (Shuter, 36)
- 3. The great wall is approximately 2232 years old. (Snedden, 10)
- 4. Because many people died while building the Great Wall, it has been called “the longest graveyard in the world”. (Achieve,17)
- 5. The long wall gave protection to traders as they traveled west to the Silk Road. (Achieve, 15)
It’s a wonder that the Chinese made the Great Wall with only elephants and humans. After the wall was finished, the wall gave protection to China.
Qin used the existing walls that Chinese used to protect themselves in early times and connected it into a long, single wall now known as the Great Wall. (Social Studies, 254) The purpose of the Great Wall was not only to keep out nomads of the steppes, especially the Mongols from the north, but also to help keep discontented Chinese in. (William, 17)
To make the Great Wall, China used elephants and human chains to load heavy, big rocks (Achieve, 17) and the workers who build it were thieves, criminals, and murderers. (Shuter, 36) In addition, thousands of peasants were marched from their fields to work on the Wall. Many of them never returned home. One consequence of this was that seeds were not sown, crops lay unharvested and many people went hungry. Because of that, the Chinese Emperor Shih Huang-di, who made the Great Wall, was feared by his people, but he was never loved. (Williams, 17) They made the wall with pounded earth method, but soon professional builders build with stone bricks. (Snedden, 10) Whenever friends or enemies approached the wall, watchers in watchtowers sent messages inland, using smoke, flags, and drum signals. (Achieve, 16)
- Boehm, Richard G. Harcourt Brace Social Studies. Orlando: Harcourt Brace, 2000.
- Davidson, Avelyn. Ancient China. U.S. edition. ed. Austin: Harcourt Achieve,
- Shuter, Jane. Ancient China. Express ed. Chicago: Raintree, 2008. Print.
- Williams, Brian, and James Field. Ancient China. Oxford: Heinemann Children's
Reference, 1996. Print.