JERUSALEM: The northern segment of the Great Wall of China was built not to block invading armies but rather to monitor civilian movement, an Israeli archaeologist said Tuesday (Jun 9).
When researchers fully mapped the Great Wall's 740km Northern Line for the first time, their findings challenged previous assumptions.
"Prior to our research, most people thought the wall's purpose was to stop Genghis Khan's army," said Gideon Shelach-Lavi from Jerusalem's Hebrew University, who led the two-year study.
But the Northern Line, lying mostly in Mongolia, winds through valleys, is relatively low in height and close to paths, pointing to non-military functions.
"Our conclusion is that it was more about monitoring or blocking the movement of people and livestock, maybe to tax them," Shelach-Lavi said.
He suggested people may have been seeking warmer southern pastures during a medieval cold spell.
Construction of the Great Wall, which is split into sections that in total stretch for thousands of kilometres, first began in the third century BC and continued for centuries.
The Northern Line, also known as "Genghis Khan's Wall" in reference to the legendary Mongolian conqueror, was built between the 11th and 13Read More – Source