Great Wall,nlnnet(flickr)

The Great Wall of China just got greater, after a survey uncovered 1,000 miles of additional wall.

The two-year survey by the Chinese government used infrared range finders and GPS equipment to map the course of the Great Wall.

Researchers found buried parts of the wall, and natural defences such
as rivers and trenches, in a section that stretches from Hu Shan
mountain in northern Liaoning province to Jiayu Pass in western Gansu

This find means the wall now spans around 8,850km (5,500 miles) in total.

The rediscovered sections were built during the Ming dynasty (1368-1644) to protect against invaders from the north.

They were subsequently covered by the frequent sandstorms that sweep across the region.

The preservation of the Great Wall has become an increasing concern for
the Chinese government. It estimates that less than 10% is ‘good

Over the years, sections have been torn down to build roads, people
have used the stones to build houses and mining operations have damaged
or destroyed parts.

Portions of the wall in Gansu are rapidly eroding as they are made of packed earth, rather than brick and stone.

Increased visitor numbers have also damaged sections.