Review of Four of the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World

Topics: Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, Alexander the Great, Wonders of the World Pages: 6 (2106 words) Published: September 25, 2012
Review of Four of the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World

There have been many lists assembled from ancient times to present day noting the spectacular natural wonders and manmade structures in the World. The first known list of remarkable structures is referred to as the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Ancient Greek and Roman scholars wrote about these wonders of architecture beauty. Located around the Mediterranean and Middle East, the seven wonders were: Great Pyramid of Giza, Hanging Gardens of Babylon, Statue of Zeus at Olympia, Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, Colossus of Rhodes, and the Lighthouse of Alexandria. This paper will review four of these wonders.

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon are thought to be series huge and magnificent gardens, towering over the city of Babylon. According to legend, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon were created by King Nebuchadnezzar II around 600 B.C. ("12 Key Facts”). The king built these beautiful gardens to cheer up his wife, Amytis who was homesick for her homeland. There is no physical evidence these gardens actually existed, only the descriptions provided through ancient writings.

The Greek geographer Strabo, who described the gardens in first century B.C., wrote, “It consists of vaulted terraces raised one above another, and resting upon cube-shaped pillars. These are hollow and filled with earth to allow trees of the largest size to be planted. The pillars, the vaults, and terraces are constructed of baked brick and asphalt” ("12 Key Facts”).

King Nebuchadnezzar II had the gardens placed all over the city. Although there is not a clear consensus on the actual design of the city’s famous gardens, they are reported to have been about 400 feet wide by 400 feet long and more than 80 feet high (Krystek, "Hanging Gardens"). The gardens were likely built on elevated terraces or stone columns. They were believed to be built in ziggurats, a type of tower in the form of a terraced pyramid. It has been theorized, an irrigation system was used to provide water from the nearby river Euphrates River to deliver water to the ziggurats and the elevated levels. An ancient hydraulic system like pump drawing water from a river was uncovered by a German architect and archaeologist, Robert Koldewey, which may have been used to support the irrigation theory (“12 Key Facts”). However, some modern archaeologists call his discovery into question, arguing that this location is too far from the river to have been irrigated with the amount of water that would have been required (Krystek, "Hanging Gardens").

The Hanging Gardens are believed to have survived 600-700 years. One theory reported an earthquake destroyed the gardens. However, archeologists and some historians believe that this may not be the case. The gardens may have been destroyed by natural causes and damages during war. Over the years, weather would have deteriorated and eroded the gardens, as well as mass destruction caused by wars on the city. With the exception of the accounts written in Greek literature, there is little physical evidence to prove the gardens actual existence. However the Hanging Gardens are still considered one of the ancient wonders of the world.

The temple of Artemis at Ephesus in Greece served as both a marketplace and a religious institution. It was also completely rebuilt several times before its eventual destruction in 401AD. The two most referenced temples were built in 550 B.C. and 350 B.C. (Krystek, "Temple of Artemis").

The city of Ephesus, located on the western coast of modern-day Turkey, was one of the richest city-states in the Greek Empire. It was an important religious and trade center because it was near the Mediterranean Sea. In 560 B.C. Ephesus was conquered by King Croesus of Lydia. Croesus admired Greek art, and decided to build the new temple in the world for the Greek goddess Artemis...
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