27 May 2024 The Future is the Product of the Past

Ancient stone grenades discovered at Badaling Great Wall in Beijing

Chinese archaeologists have unearthed 59 ancient stone grenades from the ruins of a building in the western section of the Badaling Great Wall, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Beijing’s Yanqing district.

Archaeologists believed that the building was a warehouse storing weapons along the Great Wall.

Ma Lüwei, an archaeologist specializing in ancient Chinese military history, told the Global Times that the stone bombs were major weapons used to “defend against enemy invasion” along the Great Wall during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).

“The bomb was often installed in medium-sized hollow bits of stone. Those weapons were easy to make and were also very handy for soldiers to throw them down at invaders while standing on the Great Wall,” told Ma.

Previously, archaeologists found more than 400 similar stone grenades, a primitive edition of ancient grenades, which are believed to be a common weapon for guards of the Great Wall during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).

“It is the first time that such weapon storehouse has been found along the Great Wall that converts our previous perceptions,” said Shang Heng, a researcher from the Beijing Institute of Archaeology.

“These seemingly unremarkable stones have a round hole in the center for gunpowder fillings. After filling, they can be sealed and thrown out, which can not only hit the enemy but also cause an explosion to defeat the enemy,” explained Shang.

Those 59 stone bombs were discovered inscribed with orders at one of the Great Wall’s station houses that were once used for standing guards watching out for the enemy. Prior to the new discovery, no similar “warehouses” had been found along the Beijing sections of the Great Wall.

Other ancient buildings along the Great Wall, such as a “horse face” wall, an ancient wall used on the Great Wall that allowed soldiers to climb up and shoot arrows, were discovered during the latest archaeological project, in addition to the weapon warehouse.

A stone fort that was once used to support cannons was also discovered along the Beijing Great Wall for the first time.

The Great Wall consists of many interconnected walls, some dating back 2,000 years. The existing sections have a total length of over 21,000 km. The new discoveries at the Badaling Great Wall reflect China’s continuous research and conservation efforts concerning the Great Wall.

Twenty-two years of conservation efforts have yielded significant results. In 2021, a project to save the Liugou section of the Great Wall in the Yanqing district assisted in determining how the Ming Dynasty Great Wall was built. A year later, plates, scissors, and bowls were discovered along the Jiankou section of the Great Wall, providing insight into the daily lives of soldiers stationed along the wall.

Cover Photo: Badaling Great Wall in Beijing. Viator

Related Articles

Papal bull discovered in a former cemetery dated to the 14th century

10 May 2023

10 May 2023

A medieval bull found in 2021 in Budzistów village (Kołobrzeg district), Poland has been restored and placed on display in...

12,000-Year-Old rock art may depict extinct giants of the ice age

13 March 2022

13 March 2022

South America was filled with ice age animals more than 12,000 years ago, including car-sized ground sloths, elephantine herbivores, and...

New Neolithic structure unearthed at Tas-Silġ in Malta

8 October 2021

8 October 2021

Archaeologists excavating at Tas-Silġ in Marsaxlokk have discovered the remains of another Neolithic structure, Heritage Malta said. The discovery substantially...

At Göbeklitepe, believed to be the earliest known Mesolithic temple complex, grinding stones were discovered

26 October 2022

26 October 2022

A recent discovery at Göbeklitepe, the oldest known Mesolithic temple complex, has revealed grinding stones, new finds expected to shed...

Roman influence period artifacts discovered by history enthusiasts in northern Poland

16 March 2024

16 March 2024

Local history enthusiasts from the Wendrusz Historical and Exploration Society have discovered four fibulae, a ring, and fragments of decorations...

Archaeologists 3D map Red Lily Lagoon, the hidden Northern Territory landscape where first Australians lived more than 60,000 years ago

10 May 2023

10 May 2023

Archaeologists map Red Lily Lagoon, a hidden landscape in the Northern Territory where the first Australians lived more than 60,000...

Researchers discover America’s oldest mine

23 May 2022

23 May 2022

Archaeological digs headed by Wyoming’s state archaeologist and including University of Wyoming experts have revealed that people began producing red...

Statue heads of “Aphrodite” and “Dionysus” were found in Aizanoi Ancient City in Turkey’s

30 October 2021

30 October 2021

The statue heads of Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty, and Dionysus, the god of wine, were unearthed in...

Egypt unearths 2,300-year-old remains of Greco-Roman town in Alexandria

28 August 2021

28 August 2021

An Egyptian archeological team discovered the ruins of a Greco-Roman residential and commercial town in the north coast city of...

A beautiful Medieval key discovered in Claverham village, UK

11 October 2023

11 October 2023

Earlier this year the Kemble fieldwork team from Cotswold Archaeology undertook a small excavation for Newland Homes on the edge...

New finds in ancient Rome’s Pompeii show ‘conditions of precarity and poor hygiene, in which people of lower status lived during that time

20 August 2023

20 August 2023

Archaeologists have discovered a small bedroom in Civita Giuliana villa near Pompeii that was almost certainly used by slaves, throwing...

Authorities in New York have been accused by leading academics of repatriating fake Roman artifacts to Lebanon

19 November 2023

19 November 2023

Leading academics from France and the United Kingdom have accused New York authorities of returning fake Roman artifacts to Lebanon....

2000-years-old Hercules Rock Relief is being Vandalized

17 February 2024

17 February 2024

The 2000-year-old Hercules Rock Relief, located in Deliktaş, approximately 2.5 kilometers northeast of the Iznik district center of Bursa, is...

A bronze seal matrix of St George slaying the dragon has been discovered at the royal Château of Villers-Cotterêts in northern France

21 March 2022

21 March 2022

A previously unpublished and unknown bronze seal matrix of Saint George slaying the dragon has been discovered at the royal...

Iron Age and Roman Skeletons Discovered on Alderney

19 May 2021

19 May 2021

Well-preserved skeletons from the late Iron Age and Roman periods were found in Alderney, one of the channel islands. The...