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What Kind of Equipments Were Used to Build the Great Wall

As we all know the construction of the Great Wall is an enormous engineering feat, therefore it is next to impossible to build the Great Wall all by manpower, then what kind of equipments or tools were used to build the Great Wall in ancient times?

Great Wall in China

According to historical documents, there are some equipments and tools which were used while building the Great Wall. However, they are very simple and crude. The equipments for building the Great Wall are mainly for transportation, like the hand-pushed wagon. The little wagon is made of wood with only one wheel. It is said that the wagon was invented by the famous militarist Zhugeliang. According to legends, Zhu invented a wagon-like transportation to carry the supplies. Some researchers confirmed that what he invented is just the single-wheel wagon. When the Great Wall was built in Ming Dynasty, the single-wheel wagon was only used to carry construction materials on gentle slopes, and when the slopes got steep, the workmen used the so-called Flying Basket and Ropeway. Back then, the workmen would set up some ropeway between two mountains with some baskets hooked on the ropeway (equipped with pulleys) to carry the materials up the hill.

Moreover, when the enormous stone materials were needed to be carried up the hill, the workmen used the rolling logs and crowbar. With the help of the rolling logs and crowbars, the large amounts of stone materials were transported up the hills. In addition, when the slopes got stepper, the workmen would use capstan to carry the heavy materials up the hill, in this way, it was easier and safer and under the circumstance of the time, it was pretty sophisticated. The simple and crude tools aside, there were some animals involved to carry the materials up the hills, like the donkeys and goats alike. According to legends, when Badaling section was built, a large amount of donkeys and goats were driven up the rugged hills, carrying loads of bricks.

All in all, while these simple and crude equipments and tools may seem out of date from architectural perspective of the current time, but they did contributed a whole lot in the construction of the Great Wall. Even for the recent restoration of the Great Wall, there were some donkeys used to carry the construction materials up the hill.