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History and Legend of Yumenguan Pass

Everyone is very familiar with the Yumenguan Pass but do not get the detail information of this section of the Great Wall. To get more about the background culture of it, I would like to lead you to walk into its background legend.

Yumenguan Great Wall

Original Transportation in Yumenguan
In China, Yumenguan Great Wall has the first name called Small Square City. Later its name was changed. It is said that in the past years, there are many caravans passed through a post in the west of Small Square City in Gansu Province. During that time, all the caravans are carrying about the precious jades. Adding the variety of terrains and hard locations, it is very hard to have a perfect transportation. What the most dangerous is that there are swamps, valleys, forests and fields of wild grasses growing everywhere. Especially during the hot summer, in order to get rid of the summer heat, these caravans always choose the night to transport. For the horses, they always get lost in the dark terrain. People are also unfamiliar with the dark road. So, the post gets the name of Horse Losing the Way.

Origin of Yumenguan Pass Great Wall
During the transportation journey, it is very easy to get lost. One day, there was a man got lost and he did not know how to get rid of the dark. When he is stuck in the losing, one goose appeared shouting, 'honk, honk, give me food, honk, honk, take me out'. Once heard this, the young man understood its meaning that this goose was hungry. So, he gave food and water to this goose. This goose led him safely to his destination, Small Square City. But, one day, the caravan lost himself again in the same place. The goose dropped on the caravan and said, 'honk, honk, led you out if you inlay jade on the pass'. Only the young man got what the goose said and he told his leader that they should inlay a luminous black green jade on the top of Small Square City. But, the leader refused. So, the very same caravan got lost and died of thirst.

End of the Story
For the black condition of transportation, the same young man has been rescued two times repeated the words of the goose, this time the leader followed and he chose the best and largest luminous black green jade to inlay on the top of the pass. At last, when the night falls, the brilliant rays that the jade sent out could be clearly seen from the far distance. It offered a great chance for the transportation.

Now, you have got why it was called Jade Gate Pass (Yumenguan).

Labor Force of Great Wall

As the world wonder, Great Wall always bring much surprise for the long-distance buildings, large scale and wild locations as well as the heavy materials - Bricks and the Stones. Every time climbed the Great Wall in China, you may ask the same question: how they were built such magnificent project. How many labors contributed on this project? How many materials were used in the Great Wall? Today, I will lead you to know the labor force.

Labor Force of Great Wall

Magnificent Project for Ancient People
As we all know, Great Wall experienced profound history, deep culture and was regarded as the world wonder. Another point is that Great Wall is a wonder that the ancient Chinese laboring people created under the poor-economy condition. All the laboring woks and buildings just depend on the manpower. It is said that the man is the machine during the ancient China. Among the magnificent Great Wall construction, there were millions of people contributed on the deep mountains and steep valleys. What the most important is that there are many and many workers lost their lives facing the dangerous works.

Three Groups Labor Force during Great Wall Construction
It is said that during the Great Wall building construction, the labor force was divided into three main groups including the soldiers, common people and criminals. According to the historical data, the criminals were rented as the slaves to do the serious work. Since the Qin Dynasty, the Great Wall construction has become a very large scale project. The emperor - Qinshihuang ordered millions of soldiers to finish this project. It is of course that the soldiers made up of the main construction. During the Qin Dynasty, over 300,000 soldiers made contribution to the construction. It took about nine years to finish the heavy work. For the millions of common people, they were ordered to build the wall. Just the Northern Qi's wall required over 500,000 common people to contribute. However, the criminals are regarded as the slaves receiving punishment during the construction. They were ordered to take turns patrolling the wall, while at night, building and extending the wall. According to the ancient laws, these criminals were forced to do the work for4 years.

Dangerous Condition
With the Great Wall construction becoming more and more serious, more and more common people were contributed in. Most of these people are man or boys. Even some children were ordered to do this work. Especially during the Wei-jin and Southern and Northern dynasties, there was almost no man engaged in the farming. The women were frightened to have a boy. The widows dared not to marry a woman. Also, the Great Wall led to large number of death and injuries. It is the common phenomenon that the women lost their sons, husbands.

We just appreciate the modern magnificent project and the background should lead our attention. We should protect the treasure housing blood and sweat as well as lives!

Construction Material of Great Wall

Great Wall is always regarded as the treasure of China. No matter in the distance, construction and sightseeing, it always gets high prestige in the world. Great Wall buildings will receive loads of tourist every day, let alone during the holidays. However, for the Great Wall construction, in different periods, the materials are also different. Today, I will lead you to explore the deep mystery.

Bricks of Great Wall

Before Usage of Bricks
Now, what we saw in the Badaling Great Wall or Mutianyu Great Wall, the main material is bricks. Before using bricks, the Great Wall buildings are mainly built from earth, stones and wood. During that time, because of the large scale construction and the heavy labor, the main materials of the construction are using the local resource. The mountain stones are used during building the mountain ranges. While in plains, earth was rammed into solid blocks to be used in the large scale construction. In the desert area, even the sanded reeds and juniper tamarisks were used.

Appearance and Usage of Bricks
With the construction time is longer and longer, the local resource received limitation. During this time, large bricks appeared. During Ming Dynasty, bricks were used in large scale area as well as materials such as tiles and lime. Attempts were always made to produce the materials locally, so kiln workshops were established to burn the crude materials. For the Great Wall buildings, there formed the certain Material Supply Department. Such as the Juyongguan Pass construction, the stone ponds and material supply department were recorded.

Advantage of Bricks and Stones during Great Wall Construction
During the large construction, bricks are easier and more convenient to carry than the earth and stones for small size and light weight. At the same time, bricks are also the ideal material to bear the weight. According to the historical data, the compressive strength, resistance to freezing and absorbency of the bricks of time are similar to the modern common bricks. For the stone materials, they also housed their own advantages. Cut in rectangular shapes, stone materials were always used to build the foundation, inner and outer brims as well as the gateways of the wall buildings. The stone material was found to better resist efflorescence than bricks.

Great Wall materials are also experiencing complex changes which also gathered the wisdom of ancient people.

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