Great Pyramid of Giza Emerges as the Only Intact Wonder of Antiquity

Great Pyramid of Giza Emerges as the Only Intact Wonder of Antiquity

New Book Chronicles the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and Their Fates

In a fascinating exploration of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, historian Bettany Hughes sheds light on their stories, revealing that only one marvel remains standing – the Great Pyramid of Giza.

As Hughes recounts the engineering marvels of antiquity, the fate of each wonder comes to life, highlighting the enduring legacy of the Great Pyramid.

The Last Survivor: The Great Pyramid of Giza

Built over 4,500 years ago for King Khufu, the Great Pyramid of Giza stands as the sole survivor among the Seven Wonders.

Comprising 2.4 million limestone blocks and standing at 480 feet, it served as a sacred tomb for Khufu, weathering earthquakes, wars, and even dynamite explosions by explorer Major General Howard Vyse in 1837.

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon: Myth or Reality?

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, commissioned by Nebuchadnezzar II around 600 BC, remain shrouded in mystery.

Despite conflicting historical accounts and the absence of archaeological evidence, Hughes suggests that the gardens probably existed and evolved into a symbol for both fact and fabrication.

Temple of Artemis: A Tale of Destruction

Located in Ephesus, the Temple of Artemis, constructed in the Bronze Age and later rebuilt in 550 BC, was accessible to commoners and kings alike.

Destroyed twice, first by a flood and later by arson, it was dedicated to the Greek goddess Artemis. Hughes emphasizes Artemis’s significance as a powerful and vengeful goddess who demanded offerings and punished the hubris of men.

Statue of Zeus at Olympia: Gold and Ivory Marvel

The gold Statue of Zeus at Olympia, standing at 41 feet, celebrated the supreme Greek god Zeus.

Adorned with gold, ivory, and precious stones, the statue attracted pilgrims from around 430 BC.

However, earthquakes, tsunamis, and the ban on the Olympic Games in 393 CE led to the statue’s eventual destruction and transfer to Constantinople.

Mausoleum at Halikarnassos: Mausolus’s Legacy

Built for Mausolus, ruler of Caria, the Mausoleum at Halikarnassos became the archetype for large funeral monuments.

Constructed in 350 BC, it blended Greek, Near Eastern, and Egyptian design principles.

Despite succumbing to earthquakes in the 13th century, the Mausoleum left a lasting legacy, with the term “mausoleum” originating from Mausolus’s name.

Colossus of Rhodes: Helios in Bronze

Standing 108 feet above the harbor in Rhodes, the Colossus of Rhodes depicted the Greek god of the sun, Helios.

An engineering marvel with an iron skeleton and bronze plates, it succumbed to an earthquake less than a century after completion.

While its remains were eventually melted down, the Colossus inspired the iconic Statue of Liberty.

Lighthouse of Alexandria: Beacon of Ancient Navigation

Built in the third century BC, the Lighthouse of Alexandria, standing at 400 feet, served as a navigational beacon for ships entering Alexandria.

Surviving for over 1,400 years, it was gradually destroyed by earthquakes between the 10th and 14th centuries.

Hughes reflects on the enduring human quest for immortal fame and the role played by structures like the Lighthouse in communicating across vast distances.

Bettany Hughes’s book, “The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World,” offers a captivating journey through the legacies of these marvels and the mysteries that surround them.

TDPel Media

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