Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
There are Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. However, the list we have today was not established until the end of The Middle Ages. This list includes: the Great Pyramid, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Statue of Zeus at Olympia, the Temple of Diana at Ephesus, the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, the Colossus of Rhodes, and the Pharos of Alexandria. There have been several different lists over the years that have included different wonders. The Great Pyramid is the only wonder that has been included on all of these lists. Most of the seven wonders were located in three of the greatest empires of the ancient times; Egypt, Greece, and Rome. These monuments are some of the largest and greatest monuments every constructed in history.
The Great Pyramid at Giza in Egypt is the only one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World that is still remaining today. It is the largest stone structure that has ever been constructed. “For almost 4,000 years it was the world’s tallest building – on completion it was a staggering 481 ft in height” (Ash p6) It covers a square area of 755 feet on each side. The pyramid was built with over two million blocks of stone. Some of these blocks weighed up to fifteen tons. (Tagliapieta p7-8) The pyramid is considered one of the most complex structures in the world. “The accuracy of the right angles at the corner still surprises modern engineers.” (Tagliapietra p7) According to Egyptian history, the pyramid was built around 2600 BC. This makes it the oldest man made structure in the world.
The process of constructing the Great Pyramid took much time and effort. The Great Pyramid was constructed as a tomb for Pharaoh Khufu. “During the thirty to forty years that preceded Khufu’s reign, the stage was set for the construction of the Great Pyramid.” (Smith p51) The project of building the pyramid was overseen by Khufu’s cousin Hemiunu. The people who designed the Great Pyramid obviously studied other pyramids. One of the pyramids that they studied was the Red Pyramid. They learned a lot from studying this pyramid. For instance, the site of the pyramid must be solid rock: no shifting sands, no possibility of settlement. (Smith p67) This is just one of the many things they learned from studying other pyramids. The construction of the pyramid took great detailed planning. In order to build the pyramid, someone had to analyze how it was going to be built. They also had to decide the measurements of the pyramid and where it was going to be built. Once the measurements and designs were completed, the materials had to be gathered. The Great Pyramid was built from limestone and granite. The materials were transported down the Nile by boat and then carried by donkeys to the building site. As soon as the materials were at the location, about twenty thousand labors went to work building the Great Pyramid. These labors included: quarrymen, bricklayers, plasterers, and stonemasons. (Hawass p145) It took them about twenty years to finish the construction of the pyramid. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon are unique to the other seven wonders because some believe they have never actually been proven to exist. However, we do have a lot of evidence that suggests that they did indeed exist. One German archeologist by the name of Robert Koldewey excavated Babylon and supposedly found remains of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. “Koldeway read all the ancient writers and knew that the only structure with stone foundations was the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. In 1903, near the palace, he found a stone ruin of fourteen rooms with arches for ceilings. He immediately thought of the Hanging Gardens and soon uncovered a well with tree shafts for hoisting buckets of water.” (Tagliapietra p14) Modern archaeologists have also found extensive systems for conducting water which they believe to be the irrigation system for the Hanging Gardens. (Thomas...
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