The Pharos Lighthouse of Alexandria
Thesis Statement: The Pharos Lighthouse of Alexandria earns its place among the Seven Wonders of the World because of the engineering and building expertise required to make the tallest lighthouse, ever, in the world.
Honors World History
14 September 2012
Alexandria was a major city of trade during the 2nd to 4th centuries B.C. Named after the famed military leader, Alexander the Great, it was situated on the western end of the Nile delta, next to the Mediterranean Sea. Following Alexander the Great’s death, Ptolemy, who took control of Egypt, decided to build a lighthouse like no other. The end result earns its place among the 7 Wonders of the World. The Pharos Lighthouse of Alexandria earns its place among the Seven Wonders of the World because of the engineering and building expertise required to make the tallest lighthouse, ever, in the world. The debate still rages on the actual height of the Lighthouse of Alexandria. One of the lowest estimates is 384 feet. Even this low figure puts it at the second tallest of all time. Two of the most credible accounts comes from Moorish travelers Idrisi and Yusuf Ibn al-Shaikh that states the lighthouse is 300 cubits high. This puts the range anywhere from 450 ft to 600 ft. This is due to the inconsistency in the actual measure of a cubit, which can range from 17” to 24”. Because of its geographical location and the time of the observation, it is logical to assume they were using the Egyptian Royal cubit, which has been preserved on ancient rulers measured in cubits. This cubit is approximately 20.6 inches long, so that would make it 515 feet high, over 55 stories high. The only other lighthouse jockeying for the top spot is the Jeddah Light, in Saudi Arabia, at 438 feet. The fact that over two millennia ago these engineers and builders were able to beat modern technology shows the Lighthouse at Alexandria deserves to be included in the Seven...
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