Great Wall Of China, The

   This fortification against raiders in China's northern and northwestern frontier was begun in about 221 BC, after Shih Huang Ti united China under his rule. It was added to, and repaired, over many centuries. When completed, it was about 2,400 kilometers (1,500 miles) long. Constructed of earth and stone, and faced with brick in the eastern portion. It is between 4.6 and 9.1 meters (15 and 30 feet) thick at the base, and about 3.7 meters (12 feet) thick at the top, with an average height of 7.6 meters (25 feet), not including the crenellated parapets. There are 12 meter (40 foot) watch towers placed about every 180 meters (600 feet). Several hundred kilometers of the eastern portion of the Great Wall are still intact. This manmade structure can be seen by the shuttle astronauts in orbit.

The writer's dictionary of science fiction, fantasy, horror and mythology. 2014.

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