The Great Wall of China is one of the world's iconic attractions, and there is little that can be said about the Great Wall that has not been stated over and over again throughout the wall's more than 2,000 - year history. Construction of the Great Wall started in 221 BC to defend the Middle Kingdom from Mongol soldiers. But many of the sections were already in place, built by a series of independent kingdoms stretched across the land, from Shanhaiguan on the east coast to Jiayuguan in the Gobi Desert - Emperor Qin Shihuang merely oversaw the joining of these walls.
The first chapter in the history of the Great Wall of China ended in 207 BC, when the last of the over 6 billion cubic feet of compacted earth was set into place. The Great Wall was only moderately effective in carrying out its purpose, even after it was faced with bricks and stones. Its real value came in the way it eased transportation throughout the land, acting as a kind of elevated thruway, equipment, goods and passengers could more easily traverse the arduous mountainous wilderness that enveloped the Great Wall.
Image Source: Vishal Malik, www.pacifica-consultants.com