Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Raina. Raina Wonders, “What are the seven wonders of the world and how did they become one of the seven wonders?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Raina!

If aliens came to Earth, what human art and architecture do you think would most impress them? Would it be the Empire State Building? The Eiffel Tower? How about the Leaning Tower of Pisa?

Modern humans certainly build many great structures. We‘ve been practicing for a long time. Even ancient humans built incredible structures. Long ago, seven ancient structures came to be known as the Seven Wonders of the World. Today, we call them the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World to set them apart from modern marvels. Let’s learn a bit about each of these ancient wonders.

Only one of the ancient wonders is still standing. It’s the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt. It was built between 2,700 BCE and 2,500 BCE without the help of today’s machines or tools. The Great Pyramid, also known as the Pyramid of Khufu, is the largest of three pyramids at Giza. It was the tallest building in the world for over 4,000 years.

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon were supposedly built by a Babylonian king around 600 BCE. The gardens were near the Euphrates River in Iraq. Planted more than 75 feet in the air, the gardens covered a large square terrace. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon were in many Greek and Roman texts. However,  experts today say they never existed.

The Statue of Zeus at Olympia was about 40 feet tall. It stood at the first site of the Olympics. Covered in gold and ivory, this statue stayed in the Temple of Zeus for over 800 years. It was later destroyed by a fire in Constantinople in 462 CE.

The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus was destroyed and rebuilt many times. It was always on the same site in what is now Turkey. Many talented ancient artists worked on the marble temple. In 262 CE, it was destroyed for the last time. Archeologists found some of the temple’s columns in the 1860s.

The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus stood in what is now Turkey. Built in 353 BCE, the tomb was 135 feet tall and made of white marble. It had a base of steps topped by columns that supported a pyramid-shaped roof. The mausoleum was destroyed by an earthquake in the 13th century. Its remains were later used to fortify a castle.

The Colossus of Rhodes was the tallest statue of the ancient world. It was a huge bronze sculpture of the sun god Helios. The statue stood over 100 feet tall and was completed in 280 BCE. It was destroyed by an earthquake 60 years later.  Invaders later allegedly sold the remains of the statue as scrap metal.

The Lighthouse of Alexandria was completed around 270 BCE. It sat on the island of Pharos near Alexandria. The lighthouse reflected sunlight with its mirrors to guide ships. It once stood nearly 400 feet tall. Between 956 and 1323 CE, the lighthouse was destroyed by a series of earthquakes. Archeologists have found some of its remains at the bottom of the Nile.

If you had to name a modern Seven Wonders of the World, what would you choose? What would guide your choice? There are so many amazing buildings and structures in the world. It‘s hard to choose just seven!

Standards: CCRA.L.3, CCRA.L.6, CCRA.R.1, CCRA.R.2, CCRA.R.4, CCRA.R.10, CCRA.SL.1

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