Great Pyramid of Giza

The SEVEN WONDERS OF THE ANCIENT WORLD

Great Pyramid of Giza

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/e3/Kheops-Pyramid.jpg/300px-Kheops-Pyramid.jpg

The Great Pyramid of Giza (also called the Pyramid of Khufu and the Pyramid of Cheops) is the oldest and largest of the three pyramids in the Giza Necropolis bordering what is now El Giza, Egypt. It is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and the only one to remain largely intact. It is believed the pyramid was built as a tomb for fourth dynasty Egyptian Pharaoh Khufu (Cheops in Greek) and constructed over a 20-year period concluding around 2560 BC. The Great Pyramid was the tallest man-made structure in the world for over 3,800 years. Originally the Great Pyramid was covered by casing stones that formed a smooth outer surface; what is seen today is the underlying core structure. Some of the casing stones that once covered the structure can still be seen around the base. There have been varying scientific and alternative theories about the Great Pyramid's construction techniques. Most accepted construction hypotheses are based on the idea that it was built by moving huge stones from a quarry and dragging and lifting them into place.

There are three known chambers inside the Great Pyramid. The lowest chamber is cut into the bedrock upon which the pyramid was built and was unfinished. The so-called Queen's Chamber and King's Chamber are higher up within the pyramid structure. The Great Pyramid of Giza is the main part of a complex setting of buildings that included two mortuary temples in honor of Khufu (one close to the pyramid and one near the Nile), three smaller pyramids for Khufu's wives, an even smaller "satellite" pyramid, a raised causeway connecting the two temples, and small mastaba tombs surrounding the pyramid for nobles.

MATERIALS

The Great Pyramid consists of an estimated 2.3 million limestone blocks with most believed to have been transported from nearby quarries. The Tura limestone used for the casing was quarried across the river. The largest granite stones in the pyramid, found in the "King's" chamber, weigh 25 to 80 tonnes and were transported more than 500 miles away from Aswan. Traditionally, ancient Egyptians cut stone blocks by hammering wooden wedges into the stone which were then soaked with water. As the water was absorbed, the wedges expanded, causing the rock to crack. Once they were cut, they were carried by boat either up or down the Nile River to the pyramid.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c2/KhufuPyramidCasingStone-BritishMuseum-August19-08.jpg/220px-KhufuPyramidCasingStone-BritishMuseum-August19-08.jpg
CASING STONE

Hanging Gardens of Babylon

The SEVEN WONDERS OF THE ANCIENT WORLD

Hanging Gardens of Babylon

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, near present-day Al Hillah, Babil in Iraq, are considered to be one of the original Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. They are sometimes referred to as the Hanging Gardens of Semiramis. They were built by the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar II around 600 BC. He is reported to have constructed the gardens to please his homesick wife, Amytis of Media, who longed for the trees and fragrant plants of her homeland Persia.[1] The gardens were destroyed by several earthquakes after the 2nd century BC.

The lush Hanging Gardens are extensively documented by Greek historians such as Strabo and Diodorus Siculus. Through the ages, the location may have been confused with gardens that existed at Nimrud, since tablets from there clearly show gardens. Writings on these tablets describe the possible use of something similar to an Archimedes screw as a process of raising the water to the required height.[citation needed] Nebuchadnezzar II also used massive slabs of stone, which was unheard of in Babylon, to prevent the water from eroding the ground.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/ae/Hanging_Gardens_of_Babylon.jpg/350px-Hanging_Gardens_of_Babylon.jpg
A 16th-century hand-coloured engraving of the "Hanging Gardens of Babylon" by Dutch artist Martin Heemskerck, with the Tower of Babel in the background.



Statue of Zeus at Olympia

The SEVEN WONDERS OF THE ANCIENT WORLD

STATUE OF ZEUS AT OLYMPIA

The Statue of Zeus at Olympia was made by the Greek sculptor Phidias, circa 432 BC on the site where it was erected in the Temple of Zeus, Olympia, Greece. It was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c6/Statue_of_Zeus.jpg/440px-Statue_of_Zeus.jpg
A fanciful reconstruction of Phidias' statue of Zeus, in an engraving made by Philippe Galle in 1572, from a drawing by Maarten van Heemskerck.


The seated statue, some 12 meters (39 feet) tall, occupied the whole width of the aisle of the temple built to house it. "It seems that if Zeus were to stand up," the geographer Strabo noted early in the first century BC, "he would unroof the temple." The Zeus was a chryselephantine sculpture, made of ivory and gold-plated bronze. No copy in marble or bronze has survived, though there are recognizable but approximate versions on coins of nearby Elis and on Roman coins and engraved gems. A very detailed description of the sculpture and its throne was recorded by the traveler Pausanias, in the second century AD. The sculpture was wreathed with shoots of olive worked in gold and seated on a magnificent throne of cedarwood, inlaid with ivory, gold, ebony and precious stones. In Zeus' right hand there was a small statue of crowned Nike, goddess of victory, also chryselephantine, and in his left hand, a sceptre inlaid with gold, on which an eagle perched. Plutarch, in his Life of the Roman general Aemilius Paulus, records that the victor over Macedon, when he beheld the statue, “was moved to his soul, as if he had seen the god in person,” while the first century AD Greek orator Dio Chrysostom declared that a single glimpse of the statue would make a man forget all his earthly troubles.

The date of the statue, in the third quarter of the fifth century BC, long a subject of debate, was confirmed archaeologically by the rediscovery and excavation of Phidias' workshop.

According to a legend, when Phidias was asked what inspired him—whether he climbed Mount Olympus to see Zeus, or whether Zeus came down from Olympus so that Pheidias could see him—the artist answered that he portrayed Zeus according to Book One, verses 528 – 530 of Homer's Iliad :

Coin of Elis illustrating the Olympian Zeus (Nordisk familjebok)
ἦ καὶ κυανέῃσιν ἐπ' ὀφρύσι νεῦσε Κρονίων
ἀμβρόσιαι δ' ἄρα χαῖται ἐπερρώσαντο ἄνακτος
κρατὸς ἀπ' ἀθανάτοιο μέγαν δ' ἐλέλιξεν Ὄλυμπον.
He spoke, the son of Kronos, and nodded his head with the dark brows,
and the immortally anointed hair of the great god
swept from his divine head, and all Olympos was shaken.
The sculptor also was reputed to have immortalised his eromenos, Pantarkes, by carving "Pantarkes kalos" into the god's little finger, and placing a relief of the boy crowning himself at the feet of the statue.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/65/Workshop_of_Phidias.jpg/220px-Workshop_of_Phidias.jpg
The workshop of Phidias at Olympia.


http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/17/Zeus_Hermitage_St._Petersburg_20021009.jpg/220px-Zeus_Hermitage_St._Petersburg_20021009.jpg
Roman Seated Zeus, marble and bronze (restored), following the type established by Phidias (Hermitage Museum)

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