7 Wonders of the Ancient World?
Antipater put together the first list of wonders as a guidebook poem for ancient "tourists" traveling to see the great sites in the second century B.C. The list used today was created in the Middle Ages of the seven most impressive man-made monuments from the ancient world:
1. The great Pyramid at Giza (2560 B.C.), is the only wonder that remains. This tomb for Pharoah Khufu was made from about 2 million blocks of stone over 20 years using 20,000 men. The perfect square base covers 13 acres and each corner is aligned almost exactly with the four compass points.
2. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon (abt. 515 B.C.) were created about 50 miles south of Baghdad by King Nebudchadnezzar II to reproduce the mountain scenery that his wife enjoyed in Medina.
3. The Statue of Zeus (435 B.C.) was in the temple of Olympia, Greece. Made of ivory and gold, standing about 40 feet tall, it overlooked the grounds where the Olympic games were held. About 800 years later, it was likely destroyed in a fire.
4. The marble Temple of Artemis (550 B.C.) at Ephesus (Turkey) was built in honor of Artemis, the Greek goddess of hunting and fertility. It was surrounded by 127 Ionic columns 60 feet tall. Its front face had bronze statues and it overlooked the marketplace. In 256 B.C., the temple burnt down.
4. The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus (35 B.C.) in Bodrum, Turkey was built as the tomb for the Persian King Mausollos of Caria. The base was 1,200 square feet, with a total height of 140 feet. The burial chamber and sarcophagus -- built of white alabaster and adorned with gold -- sat atop a podium surrounded by Ionic columns. 1,600 years later, it was damaged by an earthquake and later crusaders used the bricks to build a castle.
5. The Colossus of Rhodes (294 B.C.): The giant bronze statue of Helios the Sun God stood 110 feet high and overlooked the ancient harbor of the Greek Island of Rhodes. In 238 B.C., Rhodes was hit by an earthquake and the statue fell.
6. The Lighthouse (Pharos) of Alexandria, Egypt (305 B.C.), was built of large blocks of stones. It was one of the tallest man-made structures for many centuries at 400 feet. Initially it was a landmark for ships navigating into the harbor. Later, Romans transformed it into an actual lighthouse. After 1,600 years, two earthquakes damaged it beyond use.