A recent study that was carried out by researchers from China, Spain, and the US has the potential to assist in resolving the debate that has been going on in the environmentalist world over the hazards and advantages that are associated with living material evolving into ancient structures. Their objective was to examine the Great Wall of China, and the results of their investigation are quite fascinating. There is no coincidence that the Wall is in such an incredible state of preservation. Have you ever wondered why? Conservation and restoration operations are working hard to ensure that academics and tourists alike will be able to continue to admire the archeological wonder for many decades to come. But there’s more than meets the eye!
Find all the details below.
Long lengths of earthworks and stone defenses that are generally referred to as the Great Wall have endured as a tribute to the inventiveness and power of China’s reigning dynasties for thousands of years. What exactly is the secret to it? What was it that made it so powerful that it was able to maintain its position of peace?
With the goal of gaining a better understanding of the exact circumstances in which biocrusts may be beneficial to the preservation of archeology, the team of researchers carried out a comprehensive survey on around 600 kilometers of the Great Wall, with a particular emphasis on sections that were located in drier climates. In addition to the biocrust that they were successful in discovering, they discovered that fungus, moss, lichen, bacteria, and other minute plants may be found growing on virtually any mineral surface that is exposed to the elements. These entities are able to produce layers that are extremely thin, with a depth that can range from a few millimeters up to several centimeters. So, this is where all the Great Wall of China’s magic happens!
Thus, the protective function of biocrusts produced by their reduction of erodibility is much greater than the potential biodeterioration caused by their biological weathering, making the former a more noteworthy and important aspect in the protection of earthen heritages, the researchers explained.
The good news is that although changes in the global environment threaten to strip us of many thousands of years of history, it is possible that future generations may be content to see through a green patina if it means they will be able to keep one of the world’s greatest architectural monuments for a little bit longer. Long live the biocrust that shields the Great Wall of China!