Wonders of the Ancient
Since ancient times, people have put together many
lists. Examples include the Seven Wonders of the Natural
World, the Seven
Wonders of the Modern World and the Seven Natural
Wonders of the U.S. The
content of these lists tends to vary, and none is
definitive. The original
list of seven wonders is the Seven Wonders of the
Ancient World, which
is made up of a selection of ancient architectural and
The seven wonders that are most widely agreed upon as
being in the original
list are outlined below.
The Pyramids of Egypt
A group of three pyramids, Khufu, Khafra, and Menkaura
located at Giza,
Egypt, outside modern Cairo, is often called the first
wonder of the world.
The largest pyramid, built by Khufu (Cheops), a king of
the fourth dynasty,
had an original estimated height of 482 feet (now
approximately 450 feet).
The base has sides 755 feet long. It contains 2,300,000
blocks. The average
weight of each block is 2.5 tons. Estimated date of
construction is 2680
B.C. Of all the Ancient Wonders, the pyramids is the
only one still standing.
Hanging Gardens of Babylon
Often listed as the second wonder, these gardens, which
south of Baghdad, Iraq, were supposedly built by
600 B.C. to please his queen, Amuhia. They are also
associated with the
mythical Assyrian queen, Semiramis. Archeologists think
that the gardens
were laid out atop a vaulted building, with provisions
for raising water.
The terraces were said to rise from 75 to 300 feet.
Statue of Zeus (Jupiter) at Olympia
Phidias (fifth century B.C.) built this 40-foot high
statue in gold
and ivory. All trace of it is lost, except for
reproductions on coins.
It was located in Olympia, Greece.
Temple of Artemis (Diana) at Ephesus
The temple was a beautiful marble structure, begun about
in honor of the goddess Artemis. The temple, with Ionic
columns 60 feet
high, was destroyed by invading Goths in A.D. 262. It
was located in Ephesus,
Mausoleum at Halicarnassus
This famous monument was erected in Bodium, Turkey, by
in memory of her husband, King Mausolus of Caria in Asia
Minor, who died
in 353 B.C. Some remains of the structure are in the
British Museum. This
shrine is the source of the modern word “mausoleum,”
which is a large
Colossus at Rhodes
This bronze statue of Helios (Apollo), about 105 feet
high, was the
work of the sculptor Chares. He worked on the statue for
12 years, finishing
it in 280 B.C. It was destroyed during an earthquake in
224 B.C. Rhodes
is a Greek island in the Aegean Sea.
Pharos of Alexandria
The seventh wonder was the Pharos (lighthouse) of
of Cnidus built the Pharos during the third century B.C.
on the island
of Pharos off the coast of Egypt. It was destroyed by an
the thirteenth century.
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