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5-kilometer stone Great Wall discovered
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A five-kilometer span of stone Great Wall was discovered in Yanqing County in Beijing, the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Cultural Heritage announced yesterday.

The bureau is carrying out the fourth stage of their Great Wall survey in the Beijing region. The survey will end next year.

Beginning in April 2006, this first of its kind survey was co-launched by cultural heritage protection and mapping authorities. Half of the operation has already been completed. They have field surveyed a total of 231.47 kilometers of walls, 577 watch towers, 108 beacon towers and 42 fortresses.

According to Fan Xuexin, head of Yanqing Cultural Heritage Office, the stone Great Wall spanning five-kilometers was discovered during a survey of the Luojiatai Village in Yanqing County. A part of the survey covering 100-kilometers of earth based Great Wall, stretching from Chadao to Sihai Township and from Sihai Township to Baihe Valley [an area recorded in the local chronicles of Ming Dynasty (1368-1644)] has also been completed. The survey confirmed a span of 80-kilometer Great Wall inside Yanqing County.

The whole survey carried out in the Beijing region comprises five stages. The fourth stage focuses on five counties and districts: Huairou, Pinggu and Mentougou - where fieldwork has now been completed, and Yanqing and Miyun, where fieldwork will begin next year.

Official statistics indicate that Beijing houses a 629-kilometer span of the Great Wall, with 537 kilometers well-preserved and containing historical relics. The number of "629" was verified in 1984, when the mapping was primarily conducted by visual estimates instead of precise instruments. According to Wang Yuwei, director of Department of Cultural Heritage Preservation under the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Cultural Heritage, the fourth stage of the survey may add to the current total length of Great Wall in the Beijing region.

( by Huang Shan November 1, 2007)

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