Nowadays, tourists could still find the preserved sections of the Great Walls built in the Han Dynasty in the northern area of Dunhuang. With the destruction of wind and sand in last two thousand years, part of the Great Wall was razed to the ground while the most have been preserved well. Among them, the section along the Danggu Tunnel on the west side of Yumen Pass is best-preserved. The ruin has a foundation of 3 meters wide with 3 meters high. It is recognize as the most complete section of the Great Wall of Han Dynasty in China.
History of the Great Wall
The magnificent Great Wall is a great masterpiece of the laboring people in ancient China. In the Western Han Dynasty, in order to resist the Huns, strengthen the frontier fortresses and guarantee the safety of the business trade and exchange with Central and Western Asian countries along the Silk Road, the emperors ordered construction of Great Wall, starting from Yongdeng, Zhangye, Jinta, Jiayuguan Pass, Yumen, Anxi and other cities along the the Hexi corridor ending at Mamitu in Dunhuang. The "Pavilion" (beacon tunnel) and"barrier" (larger castle and beacon tower) on the Great Wall were once extended to the Ancient Loulan Kingdom.
Structure of the Great Wall
The structure of the Dunhuang Han Great Wall is free of masonry. It is built according to local materials. A large area of plants such as red willow, reeds, apocynum and populus euphratica grow along the northern and western lakes of Dunhuang. When the Great Wall was under built, the branches of these plants were used as the foundation with soil, sand and gravel. The Great Wall was built in sections connecting by walls. Inside the Great Wall, low-lying land is covered with fine sand, namely "Tiantian". It is a defensive measure to observe footprints of the enemies or animals.