The lastest survey results released yesterday showed that China's Great Wall, one of the country's signature relics, is 21,196.18 kilometers long.
The Jiankou Great Wall (Arrow Lock) is located in Huairou County, 73 km north from Beijing City. It connects with the Mutianyu Great Wall 10 km to the east, and with the Huanghuacheng Great Wall to the west. This section was built in 1368 during the period of the Ming Dynasty.It is built of large white hill rocks which makes it very prominent from a distance.[ Photo / China.org.cn ]
This was the first time such a figure had been released, as a preliminary survey only showed the Great Wall structures built during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) extended more than 8,850 kilometers.
An archaeological survey conducted since 2007 found a total of 43,721 heritage sites, including stretches of the wall, defense works and passes, as well as other related Great Wall facilities and ruins, Tong Mingkang, deputy chief of the the State Administration of Cultural Heritage, said.
Construction of the first Great Wall dates back to the Warring States Period (475-221 BC) and, over subsequent centuries, walls were built by later dynasties in scattered, but strategic areas to fend off northern nomadic tribes.
It was put on UNESCO's list of World Heritage sites in 1987.
Cultural heritage officials and experts warn that the Great Wall is threatened by natural forces as well as human activities.
Only 8.2 percent of the wall built during the Ming Dynasty remains intact, 74.1 percent is in poor condition, and in some sections, only a foundation remains, the report stated.
(Xinhua contributed to this story)