Seven Wonders of the Ancient World

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THE SEVEN WONDERS

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PYRAMIDS OF GIZA

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HANGING GARDENS

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TEMPLE OF ARTEMIS
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STATUE OF ZEUS

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COLOSSUS

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LIGHTHOUSE OF ALEXANDRIA
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THE MAUSOLEUM AT HALICARNASSUS

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The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus was the tomb of king Mausolus. Halicarnassus (Modern Bodrum, Turkey) was the capital of a small Mediterranean kingdom. In 377 B.C., Hecatomnus of Mylasa, the ruler of this land, died and left control of the kingdom to his son, Mausolus. Mausolus’ reign lasted for 24 years. He loved and adored the Greek culture and founded several cities of Greek design along the coast.

In 353 B.C., Mausolus died, leaving his queen Artemisia broken hearted. She decided to build the most splendid tomb in the known world as a tribute to him. The tomb became so famous that Mausolus’s name is now associated with all stately tombs throughout the world as Mausoleum. It became one of the seven wonders of the ancient world because of its rich statuary and carvings in relief.

Artemisia sent messengers to Greece to find the most talented sculptors; she decided that no expense was to be spared in building the tomb.

The tomb was errected on a hill overlooking the city. The entire structure sat in the center of an enclosed courtyard on a stone platform. A staircase, flanked with stone lions, led to the top of this platform. There were many statues of gods and godesses along the outer wall of the courtyard. The tomb was guarded by stone warriors mounted on horseback at each corner stone.

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The tomb itself was at the center of the platform. The marble structure rose as a square, tapering block to about one-third of the Mausoleum’s 1140 feet height. This section was covered wit relief sculptures showing action scenes from Greek mythology. Thirty-six slim columns rose on top of this section for another third of the height. Between each column were more statues. A solid block behind the columns carried the weight of the tomb’s massive roof.

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Map showing the layout of the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus

Artemisia died two years after Mausolus’s death. Both of them were buried in the yet unfinished tomb. The craftsmen took up the responsibility of completing the structure.

The Mausoleum overlooked the city for several centuaries before it was damaged and destroyed by attacks from pirates, invaders and series of earthquakes.

Very similar to this ancient wonder is the Taj mahal in India.

TAJ MAHAL

Like the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, the Taj was built in the memory of Shah Jahaan’s beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It was and still continues to be a symbol of eternal love.

The Taj also is a marble structure standing on the banks of River Yamuna. It rises ona high sandstone base topped by four tappering minarets. The jewel-inlaid cenotaph of the queen lies within the dome. The design on the stucture is said to be so exquisite that the Taj has been described as “ having been designed by giants and finished by jewellers”

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STATUE OF ZEUS

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The statue of Zeus is located in Peloponnesus. The statue stands 40 feet high and is made of ivory and gold. Zeus is depicted sitting with olive wreath on his head, a sceptre (with an eagle sitting on it) in his left hand, and his messenger Nike in his right hand.

The temple is built on a raised rectangular platform. Thirteen large columns support the roof along the sides and six support it on each end. A gently peaked roof the topped the building, which was filled with sculpture.

However, now the statue stands destroyed by numerous earthquakes and conquests.

SHIVA STATUE AT MURUDESHWARA

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The Shiva statue at Murudeshawara is very similar to the statue of Zeus. However, in this case, the statue is outside the temple. The statue of Shiva measures 123 feet in height. The statue is constructed in such a way that it gets sun light and thus...
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