The Great Wall of China Withering Away

Considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Great Wall of China is unmistakably the greatest tourist attraction of the country. But this attraction is taking its toll on the ancient structure. According to a Chinese newspaper, Beijing Times, almost one third of the historical site has crumbled away completely. They claim the primary causes to be natural conditions and human activities.

Although believed to be a single structure, the great wall is actually a group of fortifications expanding from the district of Shanghaiguan (located in the east of China) to Lop Nor (located in the west). The first wall was built by Qin Shihuang, the first emperor of China in 220-206 BC. Since then the wall has been rebuilt, maintained and enhanced multiple times. Most of the existing wall comes from the great Ming Dynasty. In 1987, the place was designated as a UNESCO world heritage site.

According to a comprehensive archaeological survey, the entire length of the wall measures approximately 8,850 kilometers. Out of that, almost 1,962 kilo meters have fallen apart completely, according to the Chinese newspaper. That is to say, almost 30% of the entire structure is gone.

Originally built to defend the vast Chinese empire, the history behind the Great Wall of China is extremely rich. But this historically rich site is currently facing oblivion.

According to NBC News, Dong Yaohui, vice president of the nonprofit Great Wall Society, claims, “the destruction of the great wall has natural and human causes.” He further added that the urgent task is to protect what is left.

A CNN report claims that according to a 2014 survey of the Great Wall Society of China, only 8.2% of the wall is in good condition, with 74.1% being classified as poorly preserved.

These are the current wall facts. But the situation could worsen.

According to Global Times, an expert says, “Residents who live along the Great Wall of China used to pull down bricks to sell for as little as 5 dollars or use in the construction of their homes.”

He also held the expansion of urban areas and building of roads to be responsible for further damage.

But only theft is not responsible for the worn out condition of the ancient fortification.

The Beijing Times report claims that Dong Yaohui, the vice president of The Great Wall Society, is also worried that natural calamities might be the final straw for the ongoing destruction.

The report says that vice president Yaohui feels that the wall is not strong enough to face the recurrent exposure to wind and rain.

“Many towers are becoming increasingly shaky and may collapse in a single rain storm in summer.” He further added.

So right now, it’s time to wait and see what adequate measures will be taken to preserve this historical and ancient structure.