The Grand Canal of China

whitewave

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#1
The Grand Canal, divided into 7 sections, was built in the 5th century B.C. although an earlier section of the canal, the "old" shenzin canal was around in 771-476 B.C. Ignoring the Shenzin canal, the Grand Canal is listed as the oldest canal (artificial river) in the world. It is 1,115 miles long (20x longer than the Panama Canal) and reaches 138 ft. high through the Shandong Mountains although the pound lock allowing ease of passage through the higher elevations was not invented until the 10th century AD. It is 109-327 ft. wide depending on which section is measured.

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The Grand Canal has occasionally been used as a weapon of war by breaking the dykes to flood invading armies which proved as much of a disaster for the Chinese as for any invaders due to the financial hardship from loss of trade routes. It connects various parts of existing lakes and marshes and only took 6 years to complete using 5 million men and women workers and thousands of soldiers to supervise the workers. One half of the workers (and one assumes some soldiers as well) died during the construction of this canal.

Canal locks regulated water levels and complemented flash locks and double shipways were used when flash locks were inadequate for hauling ships over differences in water levels.

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To celebrate completion of the canal, Emperor Yang led a flotilla of boats 65 miles long down to the capitol. For comparison of how long that might have taken, over 11 hours are required to pass through the Panama Canal and they don't have to wench their boats across low water levels using the above capstan wheel which wasn't invented anyway until the 14th century by the Spanish (or Portuguese) . Not sure how Emperor Yang managed.

The Qianlong Emperors Southern Inspection Tour
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Scroll Six: Entering Suzhou along the Grand Canal.

The Yellow River floods often but in 858 A.D. it "flooded thousands of acres of farmland and killed tens of thousands of people in the North China Plain." (Wiki)
Emperors kept breaking dykes to flood invading armies which, at one point, remained broken (1128 A.D.) until the Mongols invaded 100 years later in the 13th century A.D. The "savage" Mongols ordered repairs but after moving the capitol to Beijing, the canal fell into disuse. Completely renovated in 4 years time in the 15th century using 165 thousand workers to dredge the canal bed, building new "channels, embankments, and canal locks." (Wiki)

In the 15th century A.D., 47 thousand slaves and over 120 thousand soldiers were used to operate and maintain the 11, 775 government grain barges.

A major flood in 1835 which changed the course of the Yellow River along with the opening of railways once again caused the Grand Canal to fall into disrepair and disuse from which it has still not fully recovered. (wiki)

The communist takeover in 1949 saw a need to repair the canal and to increase economic development so reconstruction began again.

The Grand Canal goes from 1 meter BELOW sea level to over 38 meters above sea level fed by natural springs in various places. It is now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

First mention of the canal is in 1169 A.D. by some visiting ambassador and Marco Polo mentions it in 1254 expressing how impressed he was by the canals arched bridges and warehouses along the watery trade route. Pumping stations were not built until 1980's. The engineer of this massive hand-dug project is Liang Rui who also happened to invent lock gates for raising and lowering water levels where needed although google sources say that lock gates were invented in 587 A.D. and the Grand Canal is 5th century B.C. Information about the engineer is: Liang Rui lived during Sui dynasty, was the engineer of the grand canal and invented lock gates. There, now you know all there is to know about him.

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BTW, portland cement wasn't invented until 1824.

Now, on to the Panama Canal. France in 1881 didn't have 5 million slaves and thousands of soldiers to spare so they had to use $287 million dollars to build this canal. After 3 years they quit due to engineering problems and 27 thousand workers dying (malaria, yellow fever, accidents, etc.) The Panama Canal is considered "one of the largest and most difficult engineering projects ever undertaken." (wiki) Considered to be one of the 7 wonders of the modern world. They wisely decided not to hand dig this canal and instead used steam shovels, steel and electrical equipment, excavators, pneumatic power drills, steam powered cranes, concrete mixers, dredges and hydraulic rock crushers. They went bankrupt in 1889. Two different engineers quit the project before it was finished. The last engineer had to build infrastructure that was needed for the thousands of workers (hotels, water sanitation, housing, warehouses, etc.). There was a railway running parallel to the proposed canal and he enlarged it to transport the millions of tons of soil cut through the mountains (160 million cubic yards). He basically built what is now Panama after the U.S. decided Panama needed to separate from Columbia. The canal was finished in 1914. It requires maintenance.



WW summary:
  • Grand Canal built 1300 years ago (conservative estimate) ***Panama Canal built 100 years ago.
  • Grand Canal dug by hand ***Panama Canal dug with modern equipment.
  • China had 5 million slaves and thousands of soldiers to spare for the project. People who weren't needed to grow all the grain for which they were building the canal to transport. ***Panama canal had 27 thousand expendable peasants and, in order to not affect recruitment, kept the high death rate a secret. Plus we had to support an internal conflict and play gunboat diplomacy separating Panama from Columbia.
  • China had a spare genius lying around to invent exactly what was needed in order to make canals work. ***Panama had 2 skilled, experienced, educated engineers quit in frustration and the third one had to build an entire infrastructure in order to keep the project going to completion.
  • China's canal is 1,115 miles long ****Panama canal is 85 miles long.
  • Grand Canal is 109-327 ft. wide ****Panama canal is 124.6 ft. wide.
  • Lock gates were invented in 587 A.D, pound locks (new and improved lock gates) were invented in 984 A.D., Portland Cement invented in 1824.
Sources: wiki pages for panama canal, grand canal, canal locks and we're stupid, we'll believe anything.
 
Last edited:

KorbenDallas

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#2
Well, anything and everything qualifying for UNESCO World Heritage Site has questionable history, doesn't it?

The title of the article sure put a smile on my face: The 1,800-Km-Long Hand-Dug Grand Canal of China. We are gullible, aren't we?

Considering that China was most likely lacking any Chinese individuals 600-800 years ago, this is a very bold achievement for China which was situated on the Tartarian territory.

great_tartarie_2.jpg

Really makes you wonder who, when and how built this canal...
 
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#6
Well, anything and everything qualifying for UNESCO World Heritage Site has questionable history, doesn't it?

The title of the article sure put a smile on my face: The 1,800-Km-Long Hand-Dug Grand Canal of China. We are gullible, aren't we?

Considering that China was most likely lacking any Chinese individuals 600-800 years ago, this is a very bold achievement for China which was situated on the Tartarian territory.

Really makes you wonder who, when and how built this canal...
Korben, what is the date of the map? Africa looks extremely interesting with massive rivers running through the mighty Saharan desert. Why is the northern part of Tartaria/Terra Asia not detailed, like the southern parts of it?
 
OP
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whitewave

whitewave

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#7
The infrastructure needed to accommodate 5 MILLION workers and over 100k soldiers would have had to be enormous. Did the Chinese build entire cities all along the route as they went? Who made all the shovels for their hand digging operation? What did they feed 5 million people? Even if they only ate once a day, who cooked for all of them? How many pots and pans were schlepped up and down this canal route? How did they carry out all the soil and rock being dug out and where did they transport it to? How did the engineer become an expert able to direct 5 million+ people to build this grand canal if he'd never built one before?
Soooo many questions and only that weak official story for an answer.
 
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#8
Interesting that they use the same style as Amsterdam.

I may say that I am well traveled with 50+ countries and hundreds of cities. The style is all over the earth, from my little hometown to well known places, and I mean everywhere the same architectural style, question here is who/when/where was this style invented before freemasonry-symbolism-plaster-architecture became the norm.
The infrastructure needed to accommodate 5 MILLION workers and over 100k soldiers would have had to be enormous. Did the Chinese build entire cities all along the route as they went? Who made all the shovels for their hand digging operation? What did they feed 5 million people? Even if they only ate once a day, who cooked for all of them? How many pots and pans were schlepped up and down this canal route? How did they carry out all the soil and rock being dug out and where did they transport it to? How did the engineer become an expert able to direct 5 million+ people to build this grand canal if he'd never built one before?
Soooo many questions and only that weak official story for an answer.
Maybe we should take Giants into consideration?
 
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#10
The infrastructure needed to accommodate 5 MILLION workers and over 100k soldiers would have had to be enormous. Did the Chinese build entire cities all along the route as they went? Who made all the shovels for their hand digging operation? What did they feed 5 million people? Even if they only ate once a day, who cooked for all of them? How many pots and pans were schlepped up and down this canal route? How did they carry out all the soil and rock being dug out and where did they transport it to? How did the engineer become an expert able to direct 5 million+ people to build this grand canal if he'd never built one before?
Soooo many questions and only that weak official story for an answer.
Yes when you dig into everything involved in making the canal it is much greater than the seven wonders of the world.
 
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#11
Why would you dig such a massive canal when you got the ocean nearby to ship goods? Was the ocean frozen? What is the purpose of this canal? There is ocean nearby for shipping goods.

Take a look at google map, there are hundreds of large scale canals in China, not all what is tagged as "river" is a natural river.
 

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