Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Famous Walls..

The longest wall is the Great Wall of China. It is a little over 4000 miles in length, and is the largest construction project undertaken by man. A survey was carried out a few years ago, and it was determined that only 30% of the wall still remains intact. Many of the current pictures seen of the wall show the parts made of stone, but some was built of earth and timber, essentially whatever materials were handy to the site, and have fared less well. The entire structure was built to keep the Huns at bay, and had forts and towers along its length. It is has been in existence for over 2000 years.

Across the other side of the world is another defensive wall. Hadrians Wall is 78 miles in length, and was constructed to keep the tribes at bay of what is now Scotland. Like the China Wall, large sections of it are missing, mostly due to the stone being used for local building projects. After the evacuation of all things Roman, the locals had no thoughts about preserving it, seeing the entire length as a material store. This wall is a little under 2000 years old.

The two walls are unique in their way, yet share a common raison d'ĂȘtre, and even common construction methods. There are, however, walls that are truly something else. They are not defensive walls, just walls as you might find in any room.

The picture to the right is one of many decorated walls to be found in the Valley of the Kings, Luxor, Egypt. These tombs date from as early as 1539 BC, almost 3,500 years old. The effort that had been put into not only the general construction of the tombs, but the decoration too, is awe inspiring.

There is one wall for which we do not have a picture. It could actually be any wall in a castle or Manor House. The kind of wall I describe here is not to keep people out. It is specifically constructed to keep people, or a person, in. The type of person who may be contained by this wall would invariably have been female, and relatively young, in her teens or early twenties perhaps.

She would have made the mistake of getting romantically involved with a man deemed to be an enemy of her family, or maybe a man born below her position in life. The unfortunate female would be given a chair, and a small quantity of food and water. The wall would be constructed around her very quickly and very well. She would also have known the men who constructed the wall, as they would have been workers employed by her parents on the family estate.

From behind this wall, no cries or screaming would be heard. The building of this wall would preserve the integrity of her family forever. One doubts that any female would willingly agree to an end such as this. The wall that I describe is the 'Wall of Silence'.

And believe me, walls of this type were no myth.

No comments: