A large number of brick kilns for the construction of Great Wall during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) were recently discovered near the starting point of the Wall.
As of December 25, forty-eight brick kilns had been unearthed in Banchangyu village, 28 km from Qinhuangdao city in north China's Hebei Province. Experts believe that the kilns were used to make bricks for the Great Wall. They are the oldest kilns of this type ever to be discovered in China and will contribute greatly to the study of the Great Wall, said Dong Yaohui, secretary-general of China Great Wall Society.
Found beneath a corn field of 200 mu (about 13.3 hectares), the kilns contained bricks 36 cm in length, 17 cm wide and 9 cm thick, weighing about 10.5 kg each. Twenty-four of the kilns are packed with bricks, over 5,000 each.
They are believed to be the stock of bricks for the building of the Great Wall, said Hao Sanjin, an official with the Qinhuangdao Cultural Bureau and an expert on the Great Wall.
Banchangyu village is located near Shanhaiguan Pass, the first pass of the Great Wall built during the Ming Dynasty.
(People's Daily January 6, 2003)