The ancient Greeks loved to compile lists of the awe-inspiring structures in their world. Today we think of the seven wonders of the ancient world as a single list, but there were actually a number of lists made by different Greek writers. Many of the lists agreed on six of the seven items.
These were; The Great Pyramid of Egypt, which was located in Giza, Egypt and was built around 2560 BC. Its purpose was to serve as the tomb of Pharoah Khufu. It is 146m tall and is made of mostly limestone.
It was the tallest building in the world until 1311 AD and again from 1646 to 1874 and still stands today.The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, which some stories indicate the Hanging Gardens towered hundreds of feet into the air, but archaeological explorations indicate a more modest, but still impressive, height. The Statue of Zeus at Olympia, the Greeks held one of their most important festivals, The Olympic Games, in honour of the King of their gods, Zeus.
As the games because increasingly popular they decided that a monument to Zeus was needed. The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus was a shrine built to honor the Goddess Artemis. It stood in present day Turkey. It was built around 232 BC and destroyed in 262 AD by Goths.The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus built for Mausolus by his wife (and sister), after he died. She decided to build him the most splendid tomb in the known world. It became a structure so famous that Mausolus’s name is now associated with all stately tombs through, just like today’s mausoleum.
The Colossus of Rhodes this was basically an ancient Statue of Liberty. Just like the Statue of Liberty, this colossus was also built as a celebration of freedom. It is the same height as the statue of liberty, but the pedestal is a lot bigger on the statue of liberty.The last place on some of the lists was awarded to the Walls of Babylon. On others the Palace of Cyrus was the last thing on the list. Finally at the end of the 6th century AD the final item on the list became the Lighthouse at Alexandria. Since it was the Greeks who made the lists it is not unusual that many of the items on them were examples of Greek culture. Although there were other magnificent structures around the world, such as the Great Wall of China or Stonehenge they didn’t make the list because the writers didn’t know they existed, as they were beyond the limits of their world.
It is a surprise to ome people when they find out that not all the Seven Wonders existed at the same time. The Great Pyramid of Egypt was built centuries before the rest and is still around today (it is the only “wonder” still intact) most of the others only survived a few hundred years or less. The Colossus of Rhodes stood only a little more than half a century before an earthquake destroyed it. Great Pyramid of Giza Out of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the Great Pyramid of Giza is the oldest and probably the best preserved. It is believed that it was built for the Egyptian Pharaoh Khufu and took 20 years to build.Construction finished around 2560BC and it was the tallest mad made structure in the world for more than 3,800 years.
Initially the pyramid was actually white because it was covered in casting stones. But these stones were expensive and have been stripped away over the years by thieves, although some of the stones can still be seen around the base. There have been different theories and opinions on how the pyramid was built. The widely accepted theory is that it was made by moving huge stones from a quarry and dragging and lifting them into place.
There are three known chambers inside the Great Pyramid.The Queen’s Chamber and King’s Chamber are high up within the pyramid structure. The Great Pyramid of Giza is the only pyramid in Egypt known to contain both ascending and descending passages. The Great Pyramid was originally 146. 5 meters tall but with erosion and absence of its pyramidion (the highest piece or capstone) its height is now 138. 8 meters. The mass of the pyramid is estimated at 5.
9 million tonnes. The volume, including an internal hillock, is approximately 2,500,000 cubic meters. The accuracy of the pyramid’s workmanship is such that the four sides of the base have an average error of only 58 millimeters long.The sides of the square base are closely aligned to the four cardinal compass points (within 4 minutes of arc) based on true north, and not magnetic north.
The Great Pyramid consists of an estimated 2. 3 million limestone blocks with most believed to have been transported from nearby quarries Hanging Gardens of Babylon The Hanging Gardens of Babylon were built in the ancient city-state of Babylon, in Iraq. They are sometimes called the Hanging Gardens of Semiramis (in reference to the legendary Queen Semiramis). The gardens were built by the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar II around 600 BC.It is said that he constructed the gardens to please his homesick wife, Amytis of Media, who missed the gardens and landscape of her homeland Persia.
The gardens were destroyed by several earthquakes after the second century BC. The lush Hanging Gardens are extensively documented by Greek historians such as Strabo and Diodorus Siculus. Through the ages, the location may have been confused with gardens that existed at Nimrud, since tablets from there clearly show gardens. Writings on these tablets describe the possible use of something similar to an Archimedes screw as a process of raising the water to the required height.
Nebuchadnezzar II also used massive slabs of stone, which was unheard of in Babylon, to prevent the water from eroding the ground. The Hanging Gardens probably did not really “hang” in the sense of being suspended from cables or ropes. The name comes from an inexact translation of the Greek word kremastos or the Latin word pensilis, which mean not just “hanging”, but “overhanging” as in the case of a terrace or balcony.
There is some controversy as to whether the Hanging Gardens were an actual creation or a poetic creation due to the lack of documentation of them in the records of Babylonian history.In ancient writings the Hanging Gardens of Babylon were first described by Berossus, a Babylonian priest who lived in the late 4th century BC. These accounts were later elaborated on by Greek historians. A more recent theory proposes that the gardens were actually constructed under the orders of Sennacherib, who took the throne of Assyria in 705 BC, reigning until 681 BC. During new studies of the location of his gardens were placed close to the entrance of his palace, on the bank of the river Tigris. It is possible that in the intervening centuries, the two sites became confused, and the hanging gardens were attributed to Babylon.Statue of Zeus at Olympia The Statue of Zeus at Olympia was made by the Greek sculptor Phidias, circa 432 BC on the site where it was erected in the Temple of Zeus, Olympia, Greece.
The statue was built to honor the God Zeus and also for the Olympic games that was held there. The statue depicts Zeus sitting down. The seated statue is about 12 meters tall, and it filled the whole width of the aisle of the temple built to house it. It was so tall that the geographer Strabo said early in the first century BC, that he would touch the roof if he stood up.The statue was made of ivory and gold-plated bronze.
No copy in marble or bronze has survived; there are recognizable but approximate versions on coins of nearby Elis and on Roman coins and engraved gems that have been found. In its right hand the statue held the figure of Nike (the goddess of victory) and in its left was a scepter which was topped with an eagle. The throne made out of gold, ebony, and ivory and inlaid with precious stones. Carved into the chair were figures of Greek gods and mystical animals, like the sphinx.According to Suetonius, the Roman Emperor Caligula wanted famous statues of the Gods that were famous, including Zeus to be brought from Greece so that he could remove their heads and replace them with his own.
The conditions of its eventual destruction are under debate: Georgios Kedrenos (an eleventh-century Byzantine historian) recorded the tradition that it was taken to Constantinople, where it was destroyed in the great fire of the Lauseion, in AD 475. Other people say that it perished with the temple when it burned in 425 AD. Temple of ArtemisThe Temple of Artemis, sometimes known as the Temple of Diana, was a Greek temple made for the Goddess the Greeks called Artemis. It was completed around about 550 BC in present day Turkey. Today only foundations of the temple remain. On its site there had been evidence of other temples built before it, including a sanctuary which has been dated to as early as the Bronze Age. The whole temple was mad of marble except for the roof. In the seventh century, a flood destroyed the temple covering it in over half a meter of sand and mud.
In the flood debris were the remains of an ivory plaque of a griffin and the Tree of Life.In the seventh century the old temple was destroyed by a flood. The construction of the “new” temple, which was to become known as one of the wonders of the ancient world, began around 550 BC. It was a 120-year project, initially designed and built by the Cretan architect Chersiphron and his son Metagenes, at the expense of Croesus of Lydia. The Temple of Artemis was destroyed on the 21st of July, in a fire started by Herostratus.
According to the story, he wanted fame at any cost so he burnt down the temple to become famous. This is also where the term herostratic fame came from. The Ephesians were furious so they executed him.They also made it a crime to mention his name, the penalty for doing so was also death. Theopompus, a Greek historian, later recorded the name, which is how it is known today. After sixty years of searching, the site of the temple was rediscovered in 1869 by an expedition sponsored by the British Museum led by John Turtle Wood excavations continued until 1874. Mausoleum of Halicarnassus In 623 BC, Halicarnassus was the capital of a small kingdom on the coast of Asia Minor.
In 377 BC Hecatomnus of Milas, the ruler of the region died and left the control of the kingdom to his son, Mausolus.Mausolus decided to build a new capital. He wanted this capital to be both safe and beautiful. He chose the city of Halicarnassus because he could block a small channel with his ships and prevent enemy warships from getting in. He began to make Halicarnassus a capital fit for a warrior prince.
He had his workman deepen the harbor and used the sand to make breakwaters to protect it. They paved streets and squares, built houses for ordinary citizens and they also built a huge fortified palace for Mausolus – where he had views of the sea and the hills inland, places where enemies could attack from.Artemisia and Mausolus used huge amounts of tax money to decorate the city. They had statues, temples and buildings made of marble built for the city.
Artemisia planned that a resting place for her and her husbane would be made in the center of the city, in a tomb that would show how rich they were. In 353 BC Mausolus died. Artemisia was heartbroken. As a tribute to him, she decided to build him the most impressive tomb she could. She spared no expense in building the tomb. She sent messengers to Greece to find the most talented artists of the time.
These included Scopas, the man who had supervised the rebuilding of the temple of Artemis.Soon after construction on the tomb had started Artemisia found herself in trouble. Rhodes, a Greek island that had been conquered by her and Mausolus heard about Mausolus’s death and sent a fleet of ships to capture the city.
When Artemisia heard about this attack she hid her ships in a secret location. After the Rhodian soldiers got off their ships to attack Artemisia’s fleet made a surprise attack and defeated the Rhodians. Artemisia’s troops then got into the Rhodian’s ships and sailed to Rhodes, they weren’t stopped because the Rhodians were fooled into thinking it was their troops so let the ships sail in.The troops captured them and the rebellion was stopped. Artemisia lived for only two years after the death of her husband.
The urns with their ashes were put in the unfinished tomb. As a form of sacrifice ritual the bodies of a large number of dead animals were placed on the stairs leading to the tomb, then the stairs were filled with stones and rubble, sealing the access. According to the historian Pliny the Elder, the craftsmen decided to stay and finish the work after the death of their client “considering that it was at once a memorial of his own fame and of the sculptor’s art. ” Colossus of RhodesThe Colossus of Rhodes was a statue of the Greek god Helios; it was made in the city of Rhodes on the Greek island of Rhodes by Charles of Lindos between 292 and 280 BC. And was an ancient statue of Liberty. Before its destruction it was over 30 meters tall, making it one of the tallest statues of the ancient world. Different ancient accounts describe the structure as being built with iron bars with brass plates attached to them to form a skin. The statue stood on top of a 15 meter high white marble pedestal near the Mandraki harbor.
The interior of the structure was filled with stone blocks while they building it.To build the higher parts of it they piled dirt around the statue to make a ramp that they could climb up and make it taller to reach the even higher parts. Once the statue was finished they removed the dirt and left the statue to stand alone.
“To you, o Sun, the people of Dorian Rhodes set up this bronze statue reaching to Olympus, when they had pacified the waves of war and crowned their city with the spoils taken from the enemy. Not only over the seas but also on land did they kindle the lovely torch of freedom and independence. For to the descendants of Herakles belongs dominion over sea and land. The statue stood for only 56 years until Rhodes was hit by the 226 BC Rhodes earthquake, when lots of damage was also done to large portions of the city. The harbor and many commercial buildings were destroyed.
The statue snapped at the knees and fell over. Ptolemy III, the third ruler of the Ptolemaic dynasty in Egypt, offered to pay to rebuild the statue but the oracle of Delphi made the Rhodians afraid that they had offended Helios and they decided not to rebuild it. The design, posture and dimensions of the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor are based on what engineers in the late 19th century thought the Colossus would look like.
There is a famous reference to the Colossus in the sonnet “The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus “…the brazen giant of Greek fame, With conquering limbs astride from land to land…”, which is on a bronze plaque inside the Statue of Liberty. In November 2008, it was announced that the Colossus of Rhodes was to be rebuilt. According to Dr.
Dimitris Koutoulas, rather than recreating the original Colossus, the new structure will be a, “highly, highly innovative light sculpture, one that will stand between 60 and 100 meters tall so that people can physically enter it. The project is expected to cost up to €200m which will be provided by international donors and the German artist Gert Hof. The new Colossus will adorn an outer pier in the harbor area of Rhodes, where it will be visible to passing ships. Koutoulas said, “Although we are still at the drawing board stage, Gert Hof’s plan is to make it the world’s largest light installation, a structure that has never before been seen in any place of the world. ” Lighthouse of AlexandriaThe Lighthouse of Alexandria, also known as the Pharos of Alexandria, was a tower built between 280 and 247 BC on the island of Pharos at Alexandria, Egypt to help sailors into the harbor at night. Its height is estimated to be somewhere between 120 and 140 meters and for centuries was among the tallest manmade structures in the world.
Pharos was a small island off the coast of Alexandria. It was connected to the mainland by a man made causeway, which formed one side of the city’s harbor. The tower guided mariners at night using fire and reflective surfaces and was a landmark by day.It was said that the light could be seen from up to 47 km away, legends claim that te light form it could burn enemy ships before they got to shore. Legend also says that Ptolemy I Soter would not allow Sostratus to put his name on the tower, but the architect left his name anyway. These words were hidden under a layer of plaster, and on top of that Sosratus chiseled another inscription honoring Ptolemy the king as builder of the Pharos.
After centuries the plaster wore away, revealing the name of Sostratus.The lighthouse constructed from large blocks of light-coloured stone, the tower was made up of three stages: a lower square section with a central core, a middle octagonal section, and, at the top, a circular section. At its apex was positioned a mirror which reflected sunlight during the day; a fire was lit at night. A statue of Poseidon stood atop the tower during the Roman period. The lighthouse was badly damaged in the earthquake of 956, and in the earthquakes of 1303 and 1323 was damaged so badly that the Arab traveler Ibn Battista reported no longer being able to enter the ruin.
In autumn of 1994 divers discovered remains of the lighthouse on the floor of Alexandria’s Eastern Harbour. Some of these remains were brought up and were lying at the harbour on public view at the end of 1995. Subsequent satellite imaging has revealed further remains. It is also possible to go diving and see the ruins. http://en. wikipedia.
org/wiki/Seven_Wonders_of_the_Ancient_World http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Great_Pyramid_of_Giza http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Hanging_Gardens_of_Babylon