The Seven Ancient Wonders of the World

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Seven Wonders of the World, works of art and architecture regarded by ancient Greek and Roman observers as the most extraordinary structures of antiquity. The listing of ancient wonders probably began in ancient Greece in around the 2nd century BC, but the Seven Wonders that were most commonly referred to were listed some time after that.

All built in the ancient Mediterranean and Middle East area, some time from around 2600 BC up to about AD 476, the Wonders are: (1) The Pyramids of Egypt, at Giza, the oldest of the Seven Wonders and the only ones remaining intact today. (2) The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, near Baghdad, were a mountain-like series of planted terraces. (3) The Statue of Zeus was the central feature of the Temple of Zeus at Olympia, Greece. (4) The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus in Greece was a huge, elaborate temple to the goddess Artemis. (5) The Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, a monumental marble tomb in Asia Minor, exists only in fragmentary form today. (6) The Colossus of Rhodes was a bronze statue of the Greek sun god Helios erected at Rhodes harbour. (7) The Pharos of Alexandria, on an island off Alexandria, Egypt, was a famous ancient lighthouse.

Pyramids of Egypt, pyramid complex at Giza, on the west bank of the Nile, Egypt, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The Great Pyramid of Khufu is said to be the only pyramid regarded as one of the Seven Wonders, although some historians class all three famous large pyramids (of the ten pyramids at Giza) as the Wonder. Built some time during the 26th century bc, the pyramids are the oldest and only remaining Wonders to have survived almost completely intact today.

Large Egyptian pyramids were built (on a king's instructions) to protect tombs, each holding the mummified body of a king (see Embalming). It was believed that entombment in a pyramid would ensure a person's soul would live forever. A chamber at the heart of the pyramid, or underneath it, acted as the tomb and the...
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