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The Seven Ancient Wonders

Written by Tamara Mouchette

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As time weaves its neverending road,
Myths and legends forever abode.
The wonders created from our histories,
All around us for the world to see.

The world surrounding us is filled with wonders that man has created throughout the centuries. Whether it be for science, religious, or purposeful reasons; humans shall always create from nothing that which is in their hearts and minds. A number of wonders that have fascinated humankind with their majesty and amazed the imagination; shall forever live on in our histories. These wonders are known as the Seven Ancient Wonders. These include: The Great Pyramid of Khufu, The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, The Statue of Zues at Olympia, The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, The Colossus of Rhodes, and The Lighthouse of Alexandria.

The only wonder that has actually survived the ravages of time, happens to be the oldest one of them all. The Great Pyramid of Khufu, or Cheops by it’s Greek name, was erected between the years 2589 BC and 2566 BC. This enormous stone structure was built out of granite and limestone to encase the last resting place of the Egyptian Pharoah Khufu. The structure contains approximately 2,300,000 stones and covers 13 acres. If that is hard to imagine, try picturing a seven block area of nothing but stone, reaching up into the sky for 481 feet. How the ancient Egyptians accomplished this great work has repeatedly been discussed throughout the years; unfortunately since it is so ancient, we can only surmise that which we do not know.

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon is the second wonder of the Seven Ancient Wonders. The question of whether or not these famed gardens ever did exist, except in the writings of ancient Greek poets and historians, has been debated by present day historians. Presently, archeologists have found evidence that it did exist and are working to undeniably prove it.

Nebuchadnezzar II built the Hanging Gardens to placate his wife or concubine who was homesick for her childhood home which was located in the mountains of Media. It was created during his reign, 604-562 BC, and was located on the banks of the Euphrates River. The best description of the Hanging Gardens was written by an Ancient Greek writer, Philo of Byzantium, and is as follows:

“The Hanging Garden has plants cultivated above ground level, and the roots of the trees are embedded in an upper terrace rather than the earth. The whole mass is supported on stone columns... streams of water emerging from elevated sources flow down sloping channels...These waters irrigate the whole garden, saturating the roots of plants and keeping the whole area moist. Hence the grass is permanently green and the leaves of the trees grow firmly attached to supple branches...This is a work of art of royal luxury and it's most striking feature is that the labor of cultivation is suspended above the heads of the spectators.”

Did this legendary work of nature ever exist? Well, one can hope; and if nothing else, it's beauty and the possibility that it did shall live on in our imaginations!

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