Great Wall of Wei Dynasty

Wei was a warring state of the Period (476 BC - 221 BC). Its territory spanned the south of Shanxi Province, the north of Henan Province and some areas of Shaanxi and Hebei provinces.

Wei State adjoined the strong Qin State on the west, against which it had to build the Great Wall in Weinan, Shaanxi. This portion, known as the Wei Great Wall, is the oldest defense structure in China, and predates the current wall by 140 years.

The state built the wall in two places. One, called West Wei Great Wall, is mainly in Shaanxi Province, in the northwest of China. The other, in today's Henan Province,is called South Wei Great Wall.

The famed historian Sima Qian (145BC-90BC) wrote in Historical Records – the Chapter of Qin State, that the West Wei Great Wall spans from the east of today's Huaxian County (in Weinan City, Shaanxi) in the south, across the Weihe River, turns northwest along the Luohe River and then north to reach today's Yan'an (north of Shaanxi). In the Chapter of Wei State, Sima Qian again mentioned it. He wrote that prompted by incessant attacks by the Qin State, Wei further extended the wall into Inner Mongolia. 

First-hand investigations based on historical data have finally determined thedirection and scope of the West Wei Great Wall. It starts from the north foot hills of the Mt. Huashan, crosses Hancheng City (in Weinan) and runs northwest along the river. It reaches Suide, Mizhi, , Shenmu and Fugu in northern Shaanxi,and then it enters Inner Mongolia to terminate at City (in Inner Mongolia).

The grandest segment of the West Wei Great Wall is situated in Longting Village, about six miles south of Hancheng in Shaanxi Province. Here the wall is over twelve miles long with the tallest section nearly thirty-three feet high and continue for a distance of 470 yards.

In Huayin City, located between Hancheng and Xian, there are over three miles of Great Wall ruins. The largest sector measures 400 yards long and twenty-three feet high. The wall was built by using rammed sandy earth. The former fortress and beacon tower can be vaguely seen. These ruins have helped scholars in their explorations of that era.

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