Seven Wonders of the Ancient World

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  • Topic: Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, Colossus of Rhodes, Rhodes
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  • Published : December 9, 2010
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The Seven Wonder of the Ancient World
The ancient Greeks loved to compile lists of the awe-inspiring structures in their world. Today we think of the seven wonders of the ancient world as a single list, but there were actually a number of lists made by different Greek writers. Many of the lists agreed on six of the seven items. These were; The Great Pyramid of Egypt, which was located in Giza, Egypt and was built around 2560 BC. Its purpose was to serve as the tomb of Pharoah Khufu. It is 146m tall and is made of mostly limestone. It was the tallest building in the world until 1311 AD and again from 1646 to 1874 and still stands today. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, which some stories indicate the Hanging Gardens towered hundreds of feet into the air, but archaeological explorations indicate a more modest, but still impressive, height. The Statue of Zeus at Olympia, the Greeks held one of their most important festivals, The Olympic Games, in honour of the King of their gods, Zeus. As the games because increasingly popular they decided that a monument to Zeus was needed. The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus was a shrine built to honor the Goddess Artemis. It stood in present day Turkey. It was built around 232 BC and destroyed in 262 AD by Goths. The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus built for Mausolus by his wife (and sister), after he died. She decided to build him the most splendid tomb in the known world. It became a structure so famous that Mausolus's name is now associated with all stately tombs through, just like today’s mausoleum. The Colossus of Rhodes this was basically an ancient Statue of Liberty. Just like the Statue of Liberty, this colossus was also built as a celebration of freedom. It is the same height as the statue of liberty, but the pedestal is a lot bigger on the statue of liberty. The last place on some of the lists was awarded to the Walls of Babylon. On others the Palace of Cyrus was the last thing on the list. Finally at the end of the 6th century AD the final item on the list became the Lighthouse at Alexandria.

Since it was the Greeks who made the lists it is not unusual that many of the items on them were examples of Greek culture. Although there were other magnificent structures around the world, such as the Great Wall of China or Stonehenge they didn’t make the list because the writers didn’t know they existed, as they were beyond the limits of their world. It is a surprise to some people when they find out that not all the Seven Wonders existed at the same time. The Great Pyramid of Egypt was built centuries before the rest and is still around today (it is the only "wonder" still intact) most of the others only survived a few hundred years or less. The Colossus of Rhodes stood only a little more than half a century before an earthquake destroyed it.

Great Pyramid of Giza
Out of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the Great Pyramid of Giza is the oldest and probably the best preserved. It is believed that it was built for the Egyptian Pharaoh Khufu and took 20 years to build. Construction finished around 2560BC and it was the tallest mad made structure in the world for more than 3,800 years. Initially the pyramid was actually white because it was covered in casting stones. But these stones were expensive and have been stripped away over the years by thieves, although some of the stones can still be seen around the base. There have been different theories and opinions on how the pyramid was built. The widely accepted theory is that it was made by moving huge stones from a quarry and dragging and lifting them into place. There are three known chambers inside the Great Pyramid. The Queen's Chamber and King's Chamber are high up within the pyramid structure. The Great Pyramid of Giza is the only pyramid in Egypt known to contain both ascending and descending passages. The Great Pyramid was originally 146.5 meters tall but with erosion and absence of its pyramidion (the highest piece...
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