A Brief Look at Some of the Oldest Walls

8000 BC: The Wall of Jericho


Perhaps one of the most ancient and famous walls is the Wall of Jericho. The city appears to have started in 11,000 BCE and wall-like fortification started in 8000 BCE. There were actually two walls surrounding an inner and outer city. A trench dug in solid stone surrounded the walls. The Bible makes reference to the fall of the Wall of Jericho by the Israelites and subsequent destruction of the city. 

Wall of Jericho – Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wall_of_Jericho

Jericho the city – Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jericho

700 BC: Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China is a series of fortifications made of stone, brick, tamped earth, wood, and other materials, generally built along an east-to-west line across the historical northern borders of China to protect the Chinese states and empires against the raids and invasions of the various nomadic groups of the Eurasian Steppe. Several walls were being built as early as the 7th century BC; these, later joined together and made bigger and stronger, are now collectively referred to as the Great Wall. Especially famous is the wall built 220–206 BC by Qin Shihuang, the First Emperor of China. Little of that wall remains.

Since then, the Great Wall has been rebuilt, maintained, and enhanced off and on; the majority of the existing wall is from the Ming Dynasty. The main Great Wall line stretches from Shanhaiguan in the east, to Lop Lake in the west, along an arc that roughly delineates the southern edge of Inner Mongolia. A comprehensive archaeological survey, using advanced technologies, has concluded that the Ming walls measure 8,850 km (5,500 mi). This is made up of 6,259 km (3,889 mi) sections of actual wall, 359 km (223 mi) of trenches and 2,232 km (1,387 mi) of natural defensive barriers such as hills and rivers. Another archaeological survey found that the entire wall with all of its branches measure out to be 21,196 km (13,171 mi). (Wikipedia)

800 BC: The Broad Wall

The Broad Wall is an ancient defensive wall in the Old City of Jerusalem. The wall was unearthed in the 1970s by Israeli architect Nahman Avigad and dated to the reign of King Hezekiah (late eighth century BC). The Broad Wall is a massive defensive structure, seven meters thick. The unbroken length of wall uncovered by Avigad's dig runs 65 metres (71.1 yd) long and is preserved in places to a height of 3.3 metres (3.6 yd). The motivation for building the walls was the expected invasion of Judea by Sennacherib. The wall is referred to in Nehemiah 3:8 and Isaiah 22:9-10. (Wikipedia)

122 AD: Hadrian's Wall


Hadrian's Wall was a defensive fortification in Roman Britain, begun in AD 122 during the rule of Emperor Hadrian. In addition to its military role, gates through the wall served as customs posts. A significant portion of the wall still exists and can be followed on foot along the Hadrian's Wall Path. It is the most popular tourist attraction in Northern England and was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. (Wikipedia)


Amanda Verdery Young