The English word 'wall' is derived from the Latin, vallus meaning 'a stake' or 'post' and designated the wood-stake and earth palisade which formed the outer edge of a fortification. The palisades were in use early on and are mentioned by Homer in the 8th century BCE and later by the Greek historian Polybius (c 200-118 BCE) and the Chinese historian Sima Qian (145-86 BCE) among others. Walls have traditionally been built for defense, privacy, and to protect the people of a certain region from the influence or perceived danger posed by outsiders.

More about: Wall


  • c. 10000 BCE
    Temple walls of Gobekli Tepe built.
  • c. 5400 BCE
    The City of Eridu is founded.
  • c. 4800 BCE
    Neolithic village of Banpo in China built.
  • 4500 BCE
    First walled cities. Uruk in Mesopotamia first city.
  • 3100 BCE
    Neolithic Village of Skara Brae inhabited, stone walls built.
  • c. 2500 BCE
    Village of Skara Brae is abandoned for unknown reasons.
  • c. 2038 BCE
    King Shulgi of Ur builds his great wall in Sumer.
  • c. 1792 BCE
    King Hammurabi builds walls of Babylon.
  • 1180 BCE - 1178 BCE
    Ramesses III of the 20th Dynasty fortifies Xois against the threat of the invading Sea Peoples.
  • c. 575 BCE
    Nebuchadnezzar II builds the Ishtar Gate and great walls of Babylon.
  • 247 BCE - 224 CE
    The Parthian Empire builds The Great Wall of Gorgan.
  • 220 BCE - 210 BCE
    Emperor Shi Huangti initiates building the Great Wall of China and the Grand Canal.
  • c. 218 BCE
    Construction of the Great Wall of China is initiated.
  • 194 BCE
    The great walls of the city of Xi'an built.
  • 122 CE
    Construction begins on Hadrian's Wall.
  • 142 CE
    The Antonine Wall built under Antoninus Pius, north of Hadrian's Wall.
  • 265 CE
    Gallienus builds walls around Verona.
  • 410 CE
    Rome withdraws forces from Britain.
  • 410 CE - 413 CE
    The Theodosian Walls are built to better protect Constantinople.
  • 469 CE
    The Byzantine Empire builds the Anastasian Wall.
  • 628 CE
    The Goguryeo kingdom of northern Korea builds a 480-km defensive wall as protection against attack from China.