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Construction Across the Ages| News by Matt Wood
We take a look the three longest construction projects of all time
In this day and age, with all our heavy machinery and equipment, it takes around 2-5 years from the start of a large construction project until it reaches completion.
A few thousand years ago, however, when man had little more than his bare hands to work with, it wasn’t unheard of for projects to span over hundreds of years with millions of man-hours going toward the final development.
Located in the middle of the Jordanian desert and carved into the rock itself stands one of these monumental, time-spanning projects, probably the most famous to have been built by the Nabataeans and the third-longest to construct in history.
With an estimated construction time of around 150 years shy of a century, Petra was once home to some 20,000 people and formed a vital part of the trade routes of the Near East.
The project is said to have begun around the sixth century and been completed in A.D. 250. Petra has since 1985 been a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England, is the second-longest construction project known to man, with nearly twice the amount of time spent on its construction than Petra.
Consisting of a number of stones (each weighing over four tonnes) Stonehenge is one of the most amazing construction projects found today, and despite no one really knowing its true purpose, the fact that it took an estimated 1,600 years to complete is testament to its greatness.
Each of the stones used was dragged over 240 miles (386 km) from Southern Wales to where it is today, and in their final resting place where perfectly aligned with solar and lunar movements, with particular emphasis on the summer and winter solstices.
Stonehenge has since 1986 been a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The longest construction project of all time though, born as a symbol of imperial power as well as a military tool, is, and may always be, the Great Wall of China.
The Great Wall was constructed over 2,000 years ago by countless men under the rule of various different dynasties.
At its peak it stretches over 4,160 miles (6,694 km) and part of its function was to protect the northern border of China from the nomadic raiders roaming the area during this period.
With a construction time of over two centuries the Great Wall of China has gone down in the history books as one of the greatest construction projects of all time, and is most likely to stay there for a long time to come.