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The Seven Wonders Of The Ancient World

By Edited Aug 25, 2016 5 10

Introduction

The Seven Wonders Of The Ancient World is a compiled list from many ancient guidebooks referring to incredible man-made structures. Due to the time this list was compiled, the Seven Wonders Of The Ancient World is solely focussed on structures located around the eastern Mediterranean rim, and is dominated by the works of the Ancient Greeks. Only one of the wonders remains relatively intact, the Great Pyramid of Giza. The rest have been destroyed by various natural and anthropogenic means, meaning the details on their appearance is based on archaeological studies and ancient history books.

The Great Pyramid Of Giza

The Great Pyramid of Giza is the oldest of the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World, and the only one that remains in fairly good condition, which demonstrates the excellent construction abilities of the Ancient Egyptians. The dating on the Great Pyramid of Giza shows that it was constructed as early as 2584 BC for the housing of Pharaoh Khufu, alongside two smaller pyramids for his wives.

Located in the Giza Necropolis in Egypt, the Great Pyramid of Giza stood at a height of 146 metres (481 feet) and was the tallest man-made structure on Earth for 3,800 years. Due to it's enormity and uniqueness, the Great Pyramid of Giza remains one of the the most iconic landmarks in the world to this very day.

Wonders of the Ancient World
Credit: wikipedia.org

Hanging Gardens of Babylon

Here we go from the only one of the wonders still intact to the only one of the wonders who's existence is argued. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon is the only one of the Seven Ancient Wonders that does not have a definitive location established and, due to this lack of evidence, some believe that the Hanging Gardens are completely fictional.

If The Hanging Gardens of Babylon did exist, they were either built by the Babylonians in the ancient city of Babylon (now Hillah in Iraq) by King Nebuchadnezzar II, or by the Assyrians in the capital city Nineveh (near Iraqi city of Mosul). If they did exist, the gardens were built around 600 BC and destroyed in the 1st Century AD by earthquakes.

According to legend, King Nebuchadnezzar II built the gardens in order to satisfy his Persian wife, as she missed the greenery of her homeland.

Seven Ancient Wonders
Credit: wikipedia.org

Temple of Artemis at Ephesus

The Temple of Artemis was a Greek temple that was constructed in dedication to the goddess Artemis. The temple was located in the Ancient Greek city of Ephesus, near the modern day Selcuk in Turkey.

The Temple of Artemis was originally built around 550 BC, and completely rebuilt again before being destroyed by the Ancient Greek arsonist Herostratus, who committed the crime so his name would become immortalised. Despite the Greek's best efforts (in the aftermath of the arson attack, the mentioning of Herostratus' name was punishable by death), it seems Herostratus was successful. After the destruction of the temple, it was rebuilt again, bigger and stronger, in 323 BC. This time the Temple of Artemis lasted until 268 AD, when an east Germanic tribe known as the Goths plundered Ephesus and destroyed the temple for a final time.

Seven Ancient Wonders of the World
Credit: wikipedia.org

Statue of Zeus at Olympia

Built around 435 BC by the Greek sculptor Phidias, the Statue of Zeus stood about 13 metres (43 feet) tall and was made out of wood, ivory and gold. The Statue of Zeus was located in the city of Olympia, Greece. Such was the magnificence of this wonder, the Greeks built a temple to house the great statue. In this temple, the Statue of Zeus was half the width of the aisle and, according to one account, would have lifted the roof off the temple had Zeus stood up.

It is not known precisely what destroyed the statue, one version of events is that it was destroyed by the fire that burned down the temple in 425 AD. Another account suggests the statue was disassembled and taken to Constantinople, where it was lost to fire.

Seven Ancient Wonders
Credit: giganticstatues.com

Mausoleum at Halicarnassus

The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus was a tomb built for the great and powerful Persian Satrap Mausolus, and his wife/sister Artemisia II. The Mausoleum was built around 350 BC by Greek architects, before being destroyed by a series of earthquakes between the 12th Century AD and the 15th Century AD. It was located in Halicarnassus, an Ancient Greek City, that is now near Bodrum in Turkey.

Whilst the original name 'Mausoleum' was using the name of it's owner, Mausolus, the term is now used to describe any tomb that is above ground.

Ancient Wonders of the World
Credit: dewereldwonderen.nl

Colossus at Rhodes

The Colossus at Rhodes was a statue of the Greek god of Sun, Helios, located at the Greek City of Rhodes. It was built in 280 BC to celebrate Rhodes' victory over an unsuccessful Cypriot siege on the city in 305 BC. 

The Colossus stood over 30 metres (98 feet) tall and, due to it's massive height, lasted under 60 years before being toppled by the great earthquake of 226 BC. Despite it's ruin, the Colossus at Rhodes lay on the ground for over 800 years, with travellers flocking to see the great wonder even after it's destruction.

Seven Ancient Wonders of the World
Credit: wikipedia.org

Lighthouse of Alexandria

Built around 280 BC by the Pholemaic Kingdom, the Lighthouse of Alexandria was one of the tallest man-made structures on Earth, standing at an impressive 137 metres (437 feet) tall at the time of building. The Lighthouse of Alexandria was a 3-tiered tapered tower used to guide ships into the narrow bay of Alexandria. However, three major earthquakes between 956 AD and 1323 AD caused the lighthouse to become abandoned and eventually destroyed completely by natural disasters and the using of the Lighthouse of Alexandria's stones for construction. 

Wonders of the Ancient World
Credit: wikipedia.org

Conclusion

Unfortunately, six out of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World have been destroyed, mainly by earthquakes and fires, so we will never be able to cast our own eyes upon these. It would certainly be interesting to see how these wonders fared up against our modern day constructions. But, with the remaining one wonder at Giza, we can see that despite their great age and lack of modern technology, the people of past eras were incredibly resourceful when it came to construction, not to mention ambitious!

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Comments

May 27, 2014 12:18pm
articles4us
Another great article. Thank you.
May 28, 2014 7:24am
Wrig90
Thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed it. If only all of these wonders were around for us to see today...
Jun 10, 2014 4:05am
DrewMasters
Yes, I would probably try to live in or near the hanging gardens. Epic proportions get me daydreaming. I need to travel more.
Jun 10, 2014 10:50am
egdcltd
I went to the Pyramids some time back. They're impressive.
Jun 10, 2014 4:12pm
spotila
Fantastic - I wish our ancestors were better at preservation...
Jun 11, 2014 6:18am
Wrig90
This comment has been deleted.
Jun 11, 2014 6:18am
Wrig90
This comment has been deleted.
Jun 11, 2014 6:18am
Wrig90
Yes that is one area that certainly needed some work!
Aug 7, 2014 8:15am
kellapat
This is an excellent article on an interesting topic. Required a lot of research. Plaudits!
Nov 9, 2014 5:32am
Wrig90
Thanks kellapat. Yes it did require a lot of research, but when you are writing about something you find interesting, the research is one of the most enjoyable parts!
Mar 2, 2015 11:22am
javrsmith
These are amazing structures. No wonder they are wonders!
Aug 19, 2015 5:23pm
goodykdg1984
A very informative article especially about the Hanging Gardens, most people just assume it truly does exist.
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