Searching for the Lost Great Wall

12/14/2015 Donna Sights Inner Mongolia 2542

In the autumn of 2012 the famous Great Wall explorer Robert Lindesay uncovered what is believed to be an undiscovered part of the Great Wall in the Gobi Desert. The wall which runs for 62 miles is believed to be the first section of the Great Wall to be found out of China. Parts of the Wall which remain reach a height of 9 feet and these remains are collectively known as the “Wall of Genghis Khan”. 


As the first team to explore the lost great wall, Robert Lindesay discovered that prior to their discovery not many local Mongolians had taken interest or had visited the ruins. The remains of the wall that were investigated were made of earth and a local shrub known as Saxaul. With the help of Mongolian geographer Professor Baasan Tudevin, Robert Lindesay and his team set out on a journey that would take them on an adventure of new discovery. 

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Robert Lindesay and his team spotted a “black pen line” using Google Earth and after confirming the location the team set out on an expedition with Mongolian government granting them permits to explore the region. The exact location of the wall lies in a sensitive border area. Reaching the region was not easy, Robert Lindesay and his team had two Landcruisers and 60 litres of extra petrol and 200 litres of water for the journey through the Gobi Desert. 


Mr Lindesay believed that this section of the wall was originally built in the Han dynasty, around 120BC to defend the area against the Xiongnu, nomad warriors that China had been battling.  However, carbon testing on the samples that the team carried out testing on dated the wall to the 11th or 12th centuries. Mr Lindesay suggests that the wall may have been rebuilt by Genghis Khan’s third son, Ogedei Khan, to stop gazelles migrating into China. Another theory is that is was built in the Western Xia dynasty, which was obliterated by Genghis Khan’s armies.  

Near the wall there have been several articles that have been found such as bronze Xiongnu accessories, seals and a knife. Through further research is still to be carried out by Robert Lindesay and his team to determine whether this section is what is known to be as the “Lost Great Wall”. 

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