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'The Piano Guys' scales the Great Wall for video shoot

Internet sensation, the Piano Guys are in China. The Utah-based group took some precious time off their Asian tour in Singapore and Malaysia to fulfil their China dream - shooting a music video on the Great Wall of China...

September 16, 2013
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Great Wall Forest Festival kicks off

The 2013 Yanqing Great Wall Forest Festival, the fourth edition of its kind, was held from August 24 to August 25 in the Tanglewood Music Valley at the foot of the Great Wall Badaling Section in Beijing's Yanqing County...

August 29, 2013
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Jet Team above the Great Wall

Aircraft of Breitling Jet Team, a famous European aerobatic team, perform above the Great Wall of the Jiayuguan Pass in northwest China's Gansu Province, Aug. 13, 2013...

August 16, 2013
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Unique section of the Great Wall draws in visitors

As people all know what the Great Wall looks like but did you know that some of it is built over water? The Jiumenkou section of the wall in Liaoning Province in North East China is famous for just that...

  August 09, 2013
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Parts of Great Wall still to be found

 

The oldest sections of the Great Wall in the Beijing area - parts built around 1,500 years ago - should be getting more attention, according to an authority on the ancient landmark.

Tang Xiaofeng, a professor from the center of historical geography at Peking University, made the observation while explaining his research to members of the third session of 11th Beijing municipal committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Committee.

Tang has been studying the most ancient sections of the wall for five years and co-wrote a book about the "forgotten sections" in the shadows of Beijing's Yanshan Mountain.

The book Report on the Ruins of the Ancient Great Wall in the Northern Mountains was published in January.

Tang said the ravages of time have ensured the wall is no longer standing but stones used in its construction remain.

"The stone blocks, which are all that is left after the walls were broken down by the constant force from the growth of plants inside the gaps, are valuable," said Tang.

He told METRO yesterday the ruins are the earliest sections of the Great Wall in Beijing's municipal area. They are 900 years older than the Ming Dynasty Great Wall.

The Great Wall was begun between 220 and 206 BC by the first Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang. Little of that wall remains today. Most of the wall celebrated today was built during the Ming Dynasty (1369-1644).

"The ruins of the Great Wall that was built, rebuilt and maintained during the dynasties between the two periods, are often ignored by the public and government," said Tang.

Five years ago, Tang and a group of experts from the Beijing Institute of Surveying and Mapping started to map the historical geography of Beijing. During the process, they found a long, ruined, stone wall snaking along the top of a mountain.

Tang and other experts believed the ruined wall was a missing part of the Great Wall constructed during the Northern Qi Dynasty, which was one of the Northern dynasties that was in power between 550 and 577.

In 1993, a retired teacher discovered the first traces of the missing walls and wrote a book on the subject.

Local villagers also spoke of "stone fences" nearby.

Tang and his team found additional ruins on Yanshan Mountain in the following years and he believes there are probably more sections waiting to be found on the mountain.

"I am not calling on the municipal government to protect the ruins, since there is nothing to demolish, only the stones that are left behind that have witnessed so much history," said Tang. "However, there is still great research value in the history.

"For instance, I suspect the wall was used to strike awe into potential invaders from the north more than it was built for practical military defensive reasons," said Tang.

He said he would like to see the ruins explored and incorporated into a tourism site along the same lines as the Ming Dynasty Great Wall.

Beijing municipal administration of cultural heritage is planning to conduct full-scale research on the ruins of the ancient Great Wall, said Tang.

By Wang Ru (China Daily) Updated: 2010-01-29 10:05

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