Map of The Great Wall of China

Map of The Great Wall of China
American Geography Society of New York, 1920
1: 2,000,000

Hello everyone, 

This past Sunday, January 22nd, was Lunar New Year in many East Asian countries. According to the Chinese zodiac, 2023 is the Year of the Rabbit. For this week, I would like to highlight this map of the Great Wall of China to bring us all closer to the festival. 🙂

The Great Wall of China, as is probably known to all, is one of the most famous historical sites of China. Constructed to defend nomadic invasions from the north, the Great Wall may be seen as one of the living monuments that have been built and rebuilt by many dynasties across the past two millennia. The Great wall that we see today is mostly the Ming Great Wall built around the 14th to 17th century. In fact, the Ming Great Wall is also the area of focus for this “Map of The Great Wall of China.” About 8850 km in length, Ming Great Wall extends from the Kiayükwan (Jiayu Pass) in the west to the Shanhaikwan (Shanhai Pass) in the east. Major passes, provinces, and cities are labeled along the Great Wall.

On the left corner of the map, the smaller map entitled “ancient extension of the great wall in northwestern Kansu” shows the Han Great Wall which was created between 202 BC – 220 AD. The Han Great Wall was constructed in the north of Tunhwanghsien (Dunhuang) along Sulo Ho (疏勒河, Shule River), one of the most important rivers in the  Hexi Corridor. The right side of the map shows the Willow Palisade, an extension of the great wall in Manchuria. Unlike the traditional defensive walls, this willow palisade built in the middle of the 17th century was made of clay and willow. The wall was constructed primarily to separate and protect the Manchu area which the Qing Manchu rulers regarded as “the land where the dragon rises” (龙兴之地). 

Happy Lunar New Year! 兔年大吉!

Yidan Xu ’24