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Wonders of the Ancient World

The world is full of natural wonders. From the Northern Lights to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, there are sights to awe and inspire everyone from the ardent explorer to the casual traveler.

Lists of 7 wonders of the world have been compiled since antiquity. Philon’s selection acted as a sort of travel guide for Hellenic tourists. It included the following monuments: The Great Pyramid of Giza, The Colossus of Rhodes, The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, The Temple of Artemis, The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, and The Lighthouse of Alexandria.

The Great Pyramid of Giza

Secret 30-Foot Long Chamber In The Great Pyramid Discovered

The Great Pyramid of Giza is the largest and best-known of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It was built to bury pharaoh Khufu during Egypt’s Fourth Dynasty in the Old Kingdom era (2686–2181 BC). It is part of the Giza pyramid complex and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The other three pyramids at Giza were built for Khufu’s son, Khafre, and his successor, Menkaure (Mykerinus). Each of the pyramids was plundered in ancient times and later by medieval treasure hunters. As a result, the grave goods originally deposited in them have been lost. The pyramids no longer reach their original heights because the outer casing of smooth white limestone has been stripped away.

Visiting the pyramids is an incredible experience, and the Great Pyramid is especially breathtaking when you’re up close and can see its massive limestone blocks. It is also amazing to think that people were able to build such a colossal structure 5,000 years ago. How they did it remains a mystery, though scientists have speculated that workers used copper tools to cut the relatively soft limestone and granite blocks, which probably weighed up to 15 tons each. They likely also relied on knowledge of astronomy to orient the pyramids to cardinal points, and they may have used water-filled trenches to level the outer sides of the pyramid.

The Colossus of Rhodes

Colossus Of Rhodes Images – Browse 1,422 Stock Photos, Vectors, and Video | Adobe Stock

The Colossus of Rhodes was a gigantic statue of Helios, the sun god of the city of Rhodes, in ancient Greece. It stood over 33 meters (110 feet) tall on a pedestal at the entrance to the harbor and was considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It was designed and built by the sculptor Chares of Lindos over 12 years, from 292 to 280 BC.

The monument was intended to demonstrate the power and wealth of Rhodes. It also symbolized Rhodes’s determination to defend its territorial sovereignty. It is believed that the Colossus of Rhodes was the largest statue in the world at the time. Like the Statue of Liberty in the United States, the Colossus of Rhodes is a symbol of freedom and democracy, as well as the strength and resoluteness of the people.

The Colossus of Rhodes was constructed in 280 BCE to celebrate the city’s victory over Demetrius of Macedon, who had besieged it for a year with an army and navy. The exact details of the structure are unclear, but according to ancient accounts and depictions, the outer system was built from shaped bronze plates fixed to an iron frame. Stone blocks filled the interior of the statue as construction progressed. The figure snapped to its knees in a massive earthquake and fell over. The Rhodians feared a curse and never rebuilt it.

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon

Searching for the Hanging Gardens of Babylon | Ancient Origins

One of the ancient world’s most intriguing wonders was a set of hanging gardens that supposedly stood in Babylon. This city was a center of culture, architecture, and religion during its heyday in Mesopotamia.

Unfortunately, no trace of this world wonder has ever been found in the ruins of Babylon, now in Iraq. The earliest descriptions of the gardens came from Greek authors who were writing for a Hellenistic audience, and they might have exaggerated its magnitude just like previous generations of poets did when it comes to their tales of the mansion of Knossos on Crete.

According to these ancient accounts, King Nebuchadnezzar had the gardens built in 605 B.C. He was said to have constructed them to please his wife, who missed her homeland’s lush greenery and mountainous terrain in Persia. The gardens were allegedly built over a citadel to symbolize the king’s power and wealth. They were also supposed to have used a novel irrigation system, possibly incorporating the bronze water-raising screw Archimedes developed four centuries later.

The Temple of Artemis

Temple Of Artemis In Ephesus Digitally Brought Back To Life

The Temple of Artemis, also known as the Artemesium, was one of the 7 Wonders of the ancient world. The temple was built by Croesus, the king of Lydia, in 550 BCE and rebuilt several times before it was burned down by a madman in 356 BC. This magnificent temple was considered the most sacred shrine in Asia and was celebrated for its great size, beautiful art, and spectacular statues.

Artemis was the goddess of hunting, wilderness, wild animals, childbirth, and purity. She was the daughter of Zeus and Leto (or Latona) and was worshipped by the Greeks and the Romans.

The temple was a massive building with 127 marble columns. It was nearly double the size of the Parthenon in Athens and was awe-inspiring. However, like many other wonders of antiquity, the Temple of Artemis was destroyed by a Christian mob in 401 AD.

The temple is located in what is now western Turkey, and there are still some ruins of the foundation and sculptured portions of the structure that can be seen today. The surviving sculptures of Artemis are currently in the British Museum in London, England.

The Statue of Zeus at Olympia

Wonder of the Ancient World: The Grand and Powerful Statue of Zeus | Ancient Origins

The Greek sculptor Phidias created the Statue of Zeus at Olympia and completed it around 430 BC. It is considered one of the greatest masterpieces of ancient Greece and was regarded as the incarnate form of Zeus. The statue occupied a place of prominence in the Temple of Zeus and was seen as the symbol of strength and power.

The construction of the temple and the statue took several years to complete. The statue’s frame was cedar wood and covered with gold plating. A layer of ivory was also used for the figure’s skin. The statue’s throne was also decorated with ebony, gold, and precious stones.

A second-century traveler named Pausanias wrote a detailed description of the statue. He noted that the figure was crowned with shoots of olive and that it rested on an elaborate throne. In his right hand, the figure held a statue of Nike, the goddess of victory, and in his left, a wand inlaid with many metals.

The scepter symbolizes Zeus’s supremacy over the other gods. In addition, the throne represented his power over the people. Combining these elements made the statue a powerful symbol meant to inspire the people of Greece to greatness.

The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus

Mausoleum at Halicarnassus | Wonders of The World - Wilstar.com

The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus is a tomb once considered one of the wonders of the ancient world. It was built in honor of the Persian king Mausolus and his wife Artemisia, who were both important figures in the history of the ancient world.

The building was a sight to behold and was adorned with many magnificent sculptures. Unfortunately, most statues have either been lost or only partially preserved. However, the remains of several colossal free-standing statues can still be seen today.

In addition to the great statues, the Mausoleum was adorned with beautiful bas-reliefs. These depicted various subjects, including mythological scenes such as the Centauromachy and the Amazonomachy. These themes were appropriate for a monument to celebrate the Persian Empire’s power and its connections with Greece and Asia.

The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus was a great architectural achievement and was admired for centuries. It even survived the city’s sacking by Alexander the Great in 334 B.C. and attacks by pirates in 62 and 58 B.C. Eventually, though, it was destroyed in 1404 A.D. by a series of earthquakes.

The Lighthouse of Alexandria

A Monument Lost to Time: The Pharos of Alexandria | Egyptian Streets

The Lighthouse of Alexandria was a tower that guided ships into the port of Alexandria in antiquity. It is believed to have been one of the world’s seven wonders.

The colossal monument was built around 300 BCE by the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Ancient Egypt. It was commissioned by the Greek general Ptolemy I Soter, the first ruler of the Ptolemaic dynasty that succeeded Alexander the Great. It was later completed by his son and successor, Ptolemy II Philadelphus.

It comprised three basic structural elements: a rectangular base, an octagonal midsection, and a cylindrical upper section containing the beacons. The beacons were lit at night by a bonfire and in the daytime by a mirror that reflected and directed sun rays to illuminate the sea.

The monument has been depicted in numerous ancient documents. Among them are the works of Julius Caesar, Chinese historian Zhao Rukuo, and Muslim scholar Ibn Battuta. Today, the Lighthouse of Alexandria is a symbol of the city of Alexandria and appears on their flag and seal. It is also featured on the obverse of the Egyptian 100-pound banknote. In 1994, French archaeologist Jean-Yves Empereur and his team filmed the physical ruins of the Lighthouse on the seabed of Alexandria’s Eastern Harbour.

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