Great Wall of Qi State

The Qi State was huge in size as well as powerful in the chaotic Spring and Autumn Period (770BC-476BC) of the Zhou Dynasty (1046BC-256BC). It continued to expand its territories during the Warring States Period (475BC-221BC). As defense against aggression, the Great Wall was constructed along its southern border. 

Qi State Great Wall
Qi State Great Wall Relics in Qingdao

Qi State Great Wall Facts

 It was constructed in the 6th century BC, some 2,500 years ago.

 It ranged over the mountain ridges of central Shandong Province, starting from Guangli Village, Xiaoli Town, Changqing District, Jinan City, and reaching the Yellow Sea at Dazhu Mountain in Huangdao District, Qingdao City.

 It spanned over 398.5 miles (641.32 km).

 There were 12 passes, 9 gates, 12 beacon towers, and over 50 fortresses and barracks along the wall, constituting a cohensive military defense.


Where and Why Was the Great Wall of Qi State Built?

The Qi State was bound by water on three sides: Yellow Sea and Bohai Sea in the east, Jishui River in the west, and Yellow River in the north. The rolling mountains hug its back. Jizuo Land Bridge is a traffic artery of the isolated state. Pingyin at the end of the land bridge marks its southwestern border. However, both the land bridge and Pingyin were prone to floods from the nearby Meihu Lake. Therefore, a dam was built to the west and south of Pingyin. And special gateways, or "Fangmen" along the dam, allowed traffic through.

In 555BC, the allied forces led by Jin State launched an attack at Pingyin against Qi State. Duke Ling of Qi ordered the dam be raised, widened, and extended to block the allied forces. A moat was also dug outside the dam, and filled with water from Jishui River and Meihe River. Therefore, the dam became a rammed earth Great Wall, known as "Jufang". This was the earliest Qi State Great Wall.

In late Spring and Autumn Period, the Qi State reinforced the defensive system along the southern mountains in order to defend itself against Jin State, Wu State, and Yue State. The rammed earth wall, modeled after the previous waterworks and dams, was constructed over the valleys and passes, .

In early Warring States Period, the King Wei of Qi continued building the wall to defend against Chu State. During the construction, saline water was sprayed onto the porous earth to make the wall solid. For example, the wall to the west of Muling Pass was made of sandy soil, gravel and saline water, and white salty marks can still be found on the wall today. Additionally, wooden sticks and rattan were also found inside the wall. They were used to shore up the wall, just like the reinforcing bars inside concrete people use nowadays.

In middle Warring States Period, the increasing conflicts among states gave rise to fighting refinement. Swift cavalries made their appearance on the battlefields. Single forts cannot stem their attacks anymore. At the same time, the Chu State to the south of Qi kept expanding its border northward. This called for a whole defensive system. The King Xuan of Qi, the son of King Wei of Qi, ordered the wall be built from Jinshui River to the sea. On the mountain ridges, earth was scare, but stones abound. So, the wall used solid blocks of stones, with no fillings among stones. No wall was needed along the precipitous sections. It was until then that the Great Wall of the Qi State was completed.

Qi State Great Wall Map
Qi State Great Wall Map

Great Wall of Qi State Relics

The ruins distribute in Changqing, Feicheng, Tai'an, Laiwu, Linqu, Wulian and Huangdao in central Shandong Province.

 Changqing: There are two sections in Changqing County, Jinan City. The western section is located 0.3 mile (0.5 km) to the northeast of Guangli Village. The wall is 219 yards (200 meters) long, 6.6 feet (2 meters) high, 8.7 yards (8 meters) wide at the bottom, and 2.2 yards (2 meters) wide at the top. The eastern section is located to the south of Changcheng Village, Wande Town. The ruin is 219 yards (200 meters) in length, 6.6 feet (2 meters) in height, and 6.6 yards (6 meters) to 8.7 yards (8 meters) in width. Both sections are made of rammed earth.

 Feicheng: The wall starts from Xiangyubei Mountain, about 3 miles (5 km) to the north of Laocheng Town, and ends at Chuanghuling. It is made of stones, and has a total length of 24 miles (38 km). Some of the ruins are 13 feet (4 meters) to 20 feet (6 meters) high, and 6.6 yards (6 meters) to 8.7 yards (8 meters) wide.

 Tai'an: The remains can be found on the Taishan Mountain in Taishan District, with a total length of 51 miles (82 kilometers). The wall is made of stones and rammed earth.

 Laiwu: The wall runs from Bamayu to Qingshi Pass along the ridges of the rolling Taishan Mountain. It is made of stones, and has a total length of 32 miles (52 kilometers). It is about 6.6 feet (2 meters) to 10 feet (3 meters) high at the precipitous section, and about 16 feet (5 meters) to 23 feet (7 meters) high on flat areas. Also, you can find crenels along the wall. There are three passes along the wall, Tianmen Pass in the west, Jinyang Pass in the middle, and Qingshi Pass in the east.

 Linqu: Ruins can also be spotted in south Linqu County, Weifang. It has a total length of 47 miles (75 kilometers). The most obtrusive section lies between Miaojiawang Village of Daguan Town and Shaojiayu Village. It is made of sandy soil and stones.

 Wulian: The Wulian County of Rizhao takes up 31 miles (50 kilometers) of Great Wall relics. The section in Yuanxi Town has a height of 8 feet (2.5 meters), and is made of sandy soil. You can still find the pedestals of beacon towers there.

 Huangdao: The 34 miles (55 kilometers) relics are scattered in north Huangdao District, Qingdao. The eastern end, about 10 feet (3 meters) high, leads to the sea. The ancient Great Wall contrasts finely with the choppy sea, which is very astonishing.

Proper Protection is Needed

The Qi State Great Wall was meant to be a strong military defense in ancient times. But one third has disappeared due to natural erosion and human destruction. The stones were pillaged to build houses and pens for livestock. The walls were torn down for building roads. In addition, it is suffering from improper renewal attempts. In places, the stone wall relics were tore down and replaced by brick wall, with the joints filled by cement, which was against its origins. Also, an ancient beacon tower at the estuary in Qingdao was demolished in 1960s, and a brand new one was built. Just imagine the dismay of later generations when they see a totally changed building. So, we need to take proper measures to preserve our heritage. 

 More Zhou Dynasty Great Wall:

- Last updated on Aug. 08, 2019 -
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