The Great Wall



land length century
unite cavalry force (3)
battle conflict emperor
raid skillful devastation
mud exploit tear apart
fight civil war tear/tore/torn
war conquer supremacy
vast live (3) build/built/built
tomb empire terracotta
guard rule (2) around (2)
rival order (2) foundation
series defense build/built/built
brick immense grow/grew/grown
bake warrior stretch (2)
piece section hardware (2)
arid edifice master (2)
forge create tremendous
entire gather hunt down
sight global see/saw/seen
mile symbol appear (2)
map stand on know/knew/known
height decade Taj Mahal
blood gather structure
Mars literally recognize
term translate meaningful
stand endless Coliseum
desert mystery misunderstood
solve ancient manage (2)
set off measure mythologize
peace astound






Many centuries ago, in the days before the Great Wall, horsemen began to gather in the lands north of China. They united to become a deadly cavalry force. And would battle with China, in bloody conflict.

The raiders were skillful warriors. They exploited a Chinese civil war — and caused devastation.

For around two-hundred (200) years, China had been torn apart by warring states fighting for supremacy.

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Then, one state conquered all the others.

The first emperor united all of China. And built a vast tomb, guarded by the terracotta warriors. Two centuries before Christ, he ruled around sixty (60) million people in an empire that rivaled Rome’s.

To stop the northern raiders, he ordered a new series of defenses. Building upon earlier foundations, they would grow for centuries to become the greatest structure ever created.

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They stretch from the ocean, using sun baked mud, to master the most arid deserts, stone to forge rivers. And bricks to conquer mountains.

William Lindesay, Author, “The Great Wall”: “The wall is a tremendous piece of hardware, because unlike the pyramids, or the Coliseum, or the Taj Mahal, this is not just history, it’s part of the world’s geography, it’s so immense.”

The Great Wall is a must see sight for millions of visitors every year. A globally recognized symbol of China’s strength and independence.

William Lindesay, Author, “The Great Wall”: “This wall that I am sitting on here, is the only individual building that appears on world maps and globes.”

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Few people know the wall as well as William Lindesay. In 1987, he walked its entire length, the first Westerner to do so for decades.

William Lindesay, Author, “The Great Wall”: “Those were the days when you were in central Beijing, and hundreds of people would gather around you, because most of them had never seen a live foreigner before.

They were astounded at my height: I’m six foot three (190 cm). I just looked like a man from Mars.

In China, the wall is known as Wànlǐ Chángchéng. Literally that’s the ten-thousand li wall. That’s about three thousand miles (3,828 km).

William Lindesay, Author, “The Great Wall”: Wànlǐ Chángchéng is the Chinese term for this; it doesn’t translate to “Great Wall of China”. It is more meaningful.

If you really want to be on the mark, what we are standing on in Chinese is the Endless Wall.

Endlessly mythologized and misunderstood: many think it’s all made of bricks, and it’s an ancient edifice. And build by just one emperor.

But much of this is wrong.

No one has even managed to measure its true length.

Now the Chinese have set off to solve this mystery — by hunting down every section of the wall.

This wall is so long that when it was being operated four hundred years ago, guards in towers at the east end of the wall would see the sun rise, one hour and twenty minutes before guards at the western end of the same wall would witness the same event.

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1. In the beginning of the video, there was peace and stability in northern China. True or false?

2. Had China always been a single, united country?

3. Did the horsemen from the north simply invade China? Did they randomly attack China?

4. What did the first emperor of China do? Why did he build the Great Wall?

5. At around 200 BC, China’s population was about one billion. Is this right or wrong?

6. William Lindesay is a British tourist who visited the Great Wall in 1987. Is this correct or incorrect?

7. Is the Great Wall about three hundred (300) kilometers long?
A. I have visited the Great Wall of China. Yes or no? Have your friends visited the Great Wall?

B. Are there walls in your town, city or country? Where are they?

C. What are some other famous walls? Do people still build walls? Can you give examples?

D. What might happen in the future?

E. Should more walls be built or should walls be torn down?

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