The construction of the Great Wall of China was a massive feat that took a ton of laborers to build. Its construction and reconstruction spans several centuries. Construction of the Great Wall began around 220 BC. It was built on and off for many centuries until the 1500s.
In the Qin dynasty, the wall was made by certain methods. The laborers would put a thick layer of raw earth on the bottom. This was used as a foundation of sorts. On top of that they would put a layer of silt and clay known as loess. After this foundation had been built, rammed earth was used to build up the wall.
The Ming dynasty had different methods of building the Great Wall. They had better technology such as kilns to make strong bricks for building. They would build the wall by constructing rammed earth and using it as the innermost layer of the wall. They would then use bricks and stone on the outer layer by methodically placing them together. They had a special mortar for the bricks that was made of rice and lime. This method made a wall that was many times stronger.
Building the Great Wall was a tremendous effort. Trying to send materials from anyplace that wasn't local was too much of a hassle. Depending on the landscape, the materials of the wall would change accordingly to decrease transportation problems.
If the wall was going through a mountain, stones from that same mountain would be used as materials for the wall. If the wall was passing through plains, rammed earth would be used.
When the wall passed through the desert, the materials used were juniper tamarisks and sanded reeds.
The materials used when the Great Wall was first built were mostly rammed earth and loess since weapon technology wasn't very advanced.The Ming dynasty brought with it new, stronger materials for the Great Wall. They used bricks, stone slabs and lime.
The Great Wall of China was built to protect the emperor and his states from the Mongolians and other warlike peoples. The beginning of the Great Wall actually started with several smaller barriers that various dukedoms created for protection. Walls are a great way to slow down and even stop military forces.
Convicts, forced laborers, and soldiers all contributed to its construction. Hundreds of thousands of people helped build the wall. This number may have even climbed up to a million during some periods. Even some regular citizens were forced to help build the wall since there was such a desperate need for labor.
It took Approximatly 500.000 people to build the Great wall of china.
Because of the lack of technology for moving materials, some of the large stones and other materials had to be moved purely by the laborers. They would slowly move larger objects to the necessary areas.
Wheelbarrows (a Chinese invention) were an other convenient way to move materials. Many strong animals that could carry heavy burdens helped immensely in material transport.
There were a few innovative, helpful ways to move materials and build the wall. They'd use baskets to move some materials, and they would also use rolling timbers to help with moving very heavy items.
Several dynasties added a little repair over the centuries. Because the Great Wall was of good use to most of the dynasties, they repaired sections that would benefit them the most.
The Great Wall was a massive effort that took many different types of materials and a couple of innovative methods to build. It is a modern marvel.