Inspection begins on section of Great Wall
By Qin Jize (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-12-30 05:54
China is planning to conduct its first comprehensive investigation of the Great Wall next year on a section that was built during the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC).
China Great Wall Society announced the news on Tuesday.
The detailed content of the investigation, including the planned investment and date of the project launch, is yet to be announced, according to sources from the society.
However, Dong Yaohui, vice-chairman and secretary-general of the society said that the project would probably begin in April or May next year, Xinhua reported yesterday.
"Everything is in the final stages of preparation," Dong was quoted as saying, adding that his society is organizing the necessary man-power and material resources.
Dong said that this section, built more than 2,000 years ago, is suffering from severe natural and man-made damage and the current measures to protect the wall have not been sufficient.
In addition, very little is known about the history of this Qin section, Dong added, emphasizing the importance of a thorough investigation in the area.
The Great Wall is not a continuous wall but a collection of sections of wall that have been built in various dynasties.
The first set of walls, built by China's first emperor Qin Shihuang, were built to defend the nation from an attack by Huns, an ancient nationality in North China.
Researchers believe that it took 1 million workers over 12 years to build this vast section of the wall.
These walls were modified and added to over the next millennium but the major construction of the "modern" walls began in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).
As the Qin Great Wall was built using earth and rocks within wooden frames, many parts have collapsed but researchers have discovered several well-preserved Qin sections in Northwest China's Gansu, Ningxia, and North China's Inner Mongolia and Hebei.
It is believed that the investigation will commence on these well-preserved sections of the Great Wall.
Since the 1980s, the central government has been allocating special funds to restore this national monument.
(China Daily 12/30/2005 page2)