The History Channel


The Great Wall of China.

China stands as the longest reigning empire that the world has ever seen. The empire got its start after the unification of China by the Qin dynasty in 221. During the next few centuries, the empire grew to what is modern day China. There were many peasant rebellions during the reign of the empire, resulting in the quick end of many dynasties. Many of these rebellions were sparked by the deaths of peasants, working the grand structures of China. These structures include the Great Wall of China and the Grand Canal, Chinas most famous architectural feats.

The famous terracotta army.

Chinas most famous structures are the Great Wall and the terracotta army of Emperor Qin Shi Huang. The Great Wall of China was built over the centuries in sections by each emperor. The wall spans 5,500 miles, which includes all of the offshoots that were built connecting to the wall. The purpose of the wall was to keep Mongolians invaders out, but was rarely effective. The terracotta army was created by Emperor Qin Shi Huang, as guardians of his underground tomb. The army and the emperors tomb site was discovered 1974, being buried under a mountain for almost two mileniums. Each terracotta soldier has individual facial features, and are thought to have been made in the likeness of an individual soldier.

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View video clips from Engineering an Empire.

The Host

Learn more about the host Peter Weller.

The Empires

Learn more about each empire
and their achivements.

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