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Watch Tower of Great Wall

The Watch Tower of Great Wall is also known as Dilou in Chinese, built higher on the wall. According to studies in Tangshan Province of the Ming Dynasty Great Wall, we found that the enemy has solid and hollow towers. In Qian'an, Qianxi, Zunhua, there are 662 watch towers, with only 3 solid towers, the rest are hollow towers. Base on prefabricated strip stones, the wall is surrounded by rectangular bricks staggered on top, the towers from base have obvious contracture, and the wall is in the shape of a trapezoid on the narrow ridges. On the top of the wall is added with crenels, together with the observation hole. The three solid towers are preserved more complete.

Watch Tower on Great Wall

In the territory of Tangshan, among 559 hollow towers, more complete preservation is only about 20%. Hollow towers is built on the Great Wall, surrounded by windows where the soldiers can live inside, offering storage of the weapons, ammunition to fight the invading enemy. Hollow towers are an important symbol of the gradual strengthening of defense system of the Great Wall. The founder of hollow tower is Ming Dynasty's Qi Jiguang, composed of three parts. The lower base is a large stone, level with the same high walls, the middle part is hollow part, some with brick arched openings, interconnected with rooms, some with wooden pillars and wood plates, outer featuring thick walls, forming a layer or two layers of large space for soldiers, storage, forage and weapons.

The upper top of the majority of the watchtower is reserved for the soldiers to shelter from the wind and rain, but also some space is turned into a platform for smoke, fire alarm, without a watchtower. On top of the hole in the tower, soldiers use the rope ladder, and some set aside in brick wall for a person to pass the brick or stone steps. The central hollow part of arrow windows and doors are open, the number varies with the enemy general size. Each layer of the open arrows windows, around the two arrow window a large enemy units, each equipped with four or five arrows windows. The nearby towers of Great Wall, according to arrow window number, are called as "Three-hole Tower", "four-hole Tower", "five-hole tower". The Great Wall's towers are also independent from the wall - we call the piers of the wall. In the west of Xifengkou, the pier structure of hollow tower is basically the same.

The Earliest Great Wall in China

The Great Wall was built with thousands of years of history, based on the past history, the Great Wall scholars continue to debate about which section is the earliest Great Wall ever built in China. There are mainly two kinds of views: one is the Chu Kingdom Great Wall was built the earliest; another kind of view is, the Spring and Autumn period Great Wall is the first Great Wall in China, some people even think that the Chu Great Wall does not exist at all. Sima Qian's book Shiji is worthy of study, but the record of Great Wall is not written in his book, so it is not sufficient to prove if Qi Great Wall is the earliest.

Great Wall in China

Many Great Wall records can be identified, from the 16th year of Emperor Chu reign (656 years ago), they already began to use records, and has found a large number of well preserved ruins to prove the history of the Great Wall and to clarify the distribution of Chu Great Wall. And it can be said that the Chu Great Wall is the earliest. The Chu Great Wall has left a large number of multilayer fortification sites from the Spring and Autumn and Warring States periods. There are some evidences to show that the Great Wall built in later times was all influenced by the Chu Great Wall. For example, the garrison sentinel is necessary for the Great Wall, so the Qin, Han, Ming Dynasty the Great Wall also inherited and used a lot of the same form.

The construction principle of Chu Great Wall is to fully use the local conditions and to obtain raw materials from local surrounds. From the actual situation of the relics, built along the Funiu Mountain, stone wall accounted for the vast majority, and all featuring the stone architecture. Now those several rammed earth wall, because it is not built with stone, only some debris and remains are left. Historical records of the Chu Great Wall show the Chu Great Wall used to be called Square City. It may be related to the people's ideas. As already explained, the overall contour near the Great Wall is square or rectangular, some parts by the terrain constraints are irregular, but the traces show the Great Wall was built with square shape. This is probably because the ancient people firmly believed in Fengshui.

Were Civilian Workers Buried under the Great Wall

For thousand years, there have been some gossips revolving around the construction of the Great Wall. One of the most popular is about the legendary burial of the civilian workers. This legend enjoys quite a popularity in folk culture, but according to investigation concerning the construction of the Great Wall, it has not been officially confirmed yet that the civilian workers were buried alive under the Great Wall.

Great Wall in China

Logically speaking, the Chinese has long held much respect for the deceased according to the moral philosophy dominating Chinese culture. In ancient China, the Chinese went backwards ensuring the deceased rest in peace and various burial ceremonies were involved. Until today, this long-lasting old tradition has been well preserved in China. In the middle of the burial ceremony, there are burial music, dining and drinking as well as moaning involved to enrich the ceremony, quite like a Chinese wedding in some certain way, and in the end put the deceased rest in peace with dignity. In ancient China, there used to be a prevailing tradition: when the parents of the high-rank officials were dead, they would be granted three-year memorial break by the emperor to better show their respect for their parents. If this is all true, there is just no way that the civilian workers would be cold-bloodily buried alive under the Great Wall in such a country which holds much death-priority over other affairs. Even back in Qin and Han dynasties and under special circumstances, the dead soldiers got carefully wrapped up in horse hide and carried back to their hometown.

Now let us unveil the burial-legend from another point of view. The Great Wall was built in defense of the Mongolian invaders in the first place, so the harder it was built, the better. However, if the bodies were buried under the Great Wall, the solidity of the Great Wall could not be guaranteed, so it is pretty thin to say the workers were buried under the Great Wall. Moreover, the legend got prevailed partly due to the hatred of the scholars toward the First Qin Emperor who buried lots of scholars and burned lots of classic books after he united the whole country. Naturally, the descendent scholars all held the emperor in detest and went backwards trying to blacken his name whenever they got a chance and the construction of the Great Wall seemed just to fit in!

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