Great Wall of China had another destination, researchers say

(ORDO NEWS) — Israeli archaeologists said that the northern section of the Great Wall of China was not built to block the invasion of armies, but to control the civilian population.

When researchers first completely mapped the northern line of the Great Wall of China with a length of 740 kilometers, their results cast doubt on previous assumptions about the purpose of the structure.

“Before our study, most scholars thought that the goal of building the wall was to stop Genghis Khan’s army,” said Gideon Shelach-Lavi of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, who led the two-year study.

But the northern line, lying mainly in Mongolia, crossing the valleys, has a relatively low height and is close to paths indicating non-military functions.

“We came to the conclusion that the purpose of this site was rather monitoring or blocking the movement of people and livestock,” Shelah-Lavi said.

He suggested that people may have looked for warmer southern pastures during medieval cold periods.

The construction of the Great Wall of China, which is divided into sections that, in total, extend over thousands of kilometers, first began in the third century BC and continued for centuries.

Shelah Lavi and his team of Israeli, Mongolian and American researchers used drones, high-resolution satellite imagery and traditional archaeological tools to map the wall and find artifacts that helped determine the dates.

According to Shelah-Lavi, whose results from an ongoing study were published in Antiquity magazine , modern scholars largely ignore the Northern Line.


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