A forgotten section of the Great Wall of China has been discovered in the Gobi desert, outside China. With the google earth help, an international expedition documented the ancient wall of approximately 100 kilometers in a restricted border area in the southern Mongolia in August 2011.
The defensive barrier formed part of the great wall, which was built by successive Chinese dynasties to repel Mongol invasions from the north, according to research published in the March issue of the Chinese edition of the magazine National Geographic.
With a height up to 2.75 meters in some places, the discovery in the desert 'belongs to a sequence of remnant walls in Mongolia known as Genghis Khan's Wall«Says expedition leader and Great Wall researcher William Lindesay.
Named for the founder of the Mongol Empire, the Genghis Khan Wall usually survives by "a faint traceLindesay says in an email. But "we have found a ‘royal wall’ in a high area from where the landscape is dominated", He says.
What is more, it was not the work of Genghis Khan or his heirs, what the researchers suggest is that it is a long-lost segment of the Great wall china.
¿Preparing to investigate the New Great Wall?
Near China, in the border region with Ömnögovi province, the ancient structure has not been scientifically explored or studied beforesays Lindesay, director of the conservation group International Friends of the Great Wall based in Beijing, China. "We are the first to investigate the ruins", it states.
“According to related army officers, we are the first foreigners to enter the area”, adds Lindesay. “We assumed that several local Mongols had been to the area, but they did not examine the structure with much interest.”.
Searching for topographical clues toocan be seen in Google Earth (the wall is visible in satellite images), and in fact, the team was in two well preserved sections.
One section is made primarily with wet mud and a woody desert shrub called saxaul, while the other is made with blocks of volcanic black rock.
Throughout its vast expanse, Lindesay suspects that the wall was originally about 2 meters higher that nowadays. "What we have found are simply the remains of a ‘fossil’, the skeleton of a large structure, missing the rest", He says. "One can expect the wall to be taller and continuous for vast expanses”.
The dark basalt rock appears to have been a obvious choice for the second section, which crosses the Existing remains of extinct volcanoes. The clean, straight edges of the blocks indicate that the stone was mined, which would have required a large organized work and an efficient transportation systemsays the team.
Ancient Mongolian texts suggest that the so-called Genghis Khan Wall was built by his son Ögedei as a close to keep the gazelle in their lands. But the recently examined wall of the Gobi Desert is not in a region where there are large herds of gazelles.
“There would be no reason to build a fence in Gobi"Says Mongolian historian and anthropologist Jack Weatherford, a former senior at Macalester College, Minnesota.
Chinese researchers, probably unsurprised, have speculated that the Han Chinese dynasty erected these little-studied spans over 115 BC. But radiocarbon testing of partially exposed wood and string pulled from the wall indicate that the construction of the saxaul segment will last for more than 1000 years, taking place around a hundred years later than thought, from the year 1040 to 1160. These dates suggest that the Western Xia dynasty built the walls, or at least rebuilt the ancient Han walls at various sites.
Containing the Mongolian Tide.
This northwestern dynasty is not known to have contributed to the system of the Big WallBut in one respect at least, Western Xia origin makes sense. During this time, Mongolian tribes increased their strength, making inroads south, Lindesay points out.
“If you imagine the wall as a platform, with some kind of battlements, perhaps wooden stakes with a function to protect the upper area, then it could have been an effective defensive installation.”, it states.
But, mysteriously, the expedition team has not found pottery, garbage, coins, or weapons, nothing to prove the wall was used. Nor were the watchtowers that mark the surviving sections of the Big Wall.
“The wall system was incomplete"Says Lindesay,"not only did they lack the signaling capability (to make smoke signals), but they did not appear to be able to house troops”.
“I think the wall in this area is only half built and there was no plan to locate the wall hereLindesay says. It is difficult to imagine how the location of the segment of the supposed Great Wall in the harsh desert could have led to the defense of the remote border at the be abandoned.
Weatherford agrees with Lindesay's conclusions that the newly discovered remains were chinese constructions. There is good reason, Weatherford adds, for the fragment to be named after Genghis Khan. Mongols are sensitive to the idea that “Chinese structures built on their lands make it possible to say that those lands were once Chinese”. “Calling it the Wall of Genghis Khan, the name makes the place Mongolian and rejects foreign influences.”Says Weatherford.
He has also described the new findings of the expedition as “very important because, to my knowledge, this wall has not been studied”. “I would risk saying that it is the largest human structure in all of Mongolia", Add. "It is exciting for me that it has not been better analyzed yet”.
Image: romantic66 in ArteyFotografia
Graduated in Journalism and Audiovisual Communication, since I was little I have been attracted to the world of information and audiovisual production. Passion for informing and being informed of what is happening in every corner of the planet. Likewise, I am pleased to be part of the creation of an audiovisual product that will later entertain or inform people. My interests include cinema, photography, the environment and, above all, history. I consider it essential to know the origin of things to know where we come from and where we are going. Special interest in curiosities, mysteries and anecdotal events in our history.