Major Engineering Events in History: The Great Wall of China 300 B.C.

About the major engineering events in history, the construction of the Great Wall of China in 300 B.C.

Great Engineering Feats from Early Times to the Present

300 B.C. (The Great Wall of China). Extending 1,500 mi., the Great Wall of China is about 50' high, 26' wide at the base, and 16' wide at the top. At one time, there were at least 40,000 watchtowers strung out along the length of this barrier. Calculations have shown that the wall was constructed of almost 400 million cubic yards of material, enough to build 120 pyramids equal in size to King Khufu's great pyramid in Egypt. This same quantity of material could be used to build a wall 6' high around the world at the equator. Although not conceived initially as a single continuous wall, additions to the original fortifications continued until 1646 A.D., when the present version of the Great Wall was completed. During the peak of construction, every 3rd male Chinese was conscripted to labor in building it. The toll in lives due to severe weather, exhaustion, and starvation numbered in the hundreds of thousands, a high price to pay for a fortification that never really provided security.

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