Wall of Qin Dynasty

Significance of the Wall of Qin Dynasty

Qin was the first dynasty in China to construct walls on a grand scale.

Qinshihuang was the first emperor of the Qin Dynasty. After unifying China, he ordered his great general Mengtian to build a wall for defense against the Xiongnu tribes (a name given to the various nomadic tribes in northern China). Walls previously built by independent kingdoms were also linked together.

Location of the Wall

Wall of the Qin Dynasty stretched from Litao (today's Min County in Gansu Province) in the north to Liaoning Province in the east, tens of thousands of meters long.

In recent years, ruins of the Qin Wall were found around Baotou in China's Inner Mongolia.

The Human Cost

Qin Dynasty's unique style and method of wall construction was copied by later dynasties, especially the Han Dynasty.

The walls of Qin Dynasty were built mainly on the northern slopes of mountains, using natural terrains as part of the walls. The materials used ranged from pounded earth to stones, or mixture of both, which made the wall sturdy and durable.

The cost in human lives and resources was unimaginable. It is said that among the materials used in the walls were the constructors' bones. Many myths relate this fact, some based on true stories, such as the famous story of Mengjiangnu.

Map of Qin Dynasty Wall
Qin Dynasty Wall

Map of Qin Dynasty Wall, click here to enlarge