A forgotten section of the Great Wall of China has been discovered deep in the Gobi Desert—and outside of China—researchers say.
With the help of Google Earth, an international expedition documented the ancient wall for roughly 100 kilometers (62 miles) in a restricted border zone in southern Mongolia in August 2011. The defensive barrier formed part of the Great Wall system built by successive Chinese dynasties to repel Mongol invaders from the north, according to findings published in the March issue of the Chinese edition of National Geographic magazine.
Preserved to a height of 9 feet (2.75 meters) in places, the desert discovery belongs to a sequence of remnant walls in Mongolia collectively known as the Wall of Genghis Khan, said expedition leader and Great Wall researcher William Lindesay.
Named after the founder of the Mongol Empire, the Wall of Genghis Khan usually survives only as "a faint trace," Lindesay said in an email.
But "we found a 'real wall', standing high and existing as a dominant landscape feature," he said.
What's more, it wasn't the work of Genghis Khan or his heirs but actually a long-lost segment of the Great Wall of China network, the team's findings suggest.
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