Three years ago, I visited Beijing and by far the best thing I did there was visit the Great Wall of China. The scale of the Wall and the amount of time it has lasted, as well as the huge number of visitors it attracts every year are all reasons that I decided this should be the next place in my Ancient Wonders series.
Contrary to popular belief, the Great Wall was not built all in one go, and was not built solely to repel invaders. The earliest parts of the wall were started around the seventh century BC by individual states, including Qin, Wei, Zhao, Qi, Yan, and Zhongshan, to defend their own borders against other states. The individual parts didn’t quite all join together, but covered a fair amount of land. The initial walls were made out of compacted earth and gravel.
The sections of walls built by…
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