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Methods for transporting

of building the Great Wall

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According to records and legends there are three kinds of methods for transporting building materials:

1. Transport by manual labor
Bricks, mortars and stones were carried on the back of man, by means of baskets, on a piece of long Pole, etc. Men stood in a line to pass the material from hand to hand. This was done in narrow pathway to avoid people bumping into each other and to raise efficiency.

2. Transport by simple mechanical means
Handcarts, rolling logs, prizing, etc. were used even in those days. On mountain tops windlasses were installed, hoisting huge stones up from below. Cableways were another device, through which bricks, mortars, etc. were sent in basket. The cableway was made by 'fixing cables on two sides of the valley or gully.

3. Draft animals
Sheep and donkeys, which are good mountain climbers, were used to transport goods. Bricks and mortars were carried in baskets by donkeys. Bricks were sometimes tied to horns of sheep, which were driven up the mountains.
The techniques of building bricks, stones, arched doorways, mortars, using a string with a brass knob on end to find level line -- these proved to be excellent devices. Judging from the fact the Great Wall still stands today-- 500 years after the Ming Dynasty, as a massive and magnificent structure it is a reflection of the excellent work of earlier builders, who commands our admiration.

We may therefore say that every brick, every tile, every piece of earth, every stone had been built with the labor of the people. The massive construction project represents the ingenuity, wisdom and perseverance of the Chinese people in conquering difficulties.

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