Методическая разработка "The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World"

Тихомирова Любовь Ивановна, учитель
английского языка МАОУ «Гимназия»
г.Старая Русса Новгородской области
Методическая разработка
на тему:
«The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World»
Старая Русса
1. The main aim.
2. The tasks.
3. The actuality.
4. The theoretical part.
5. The conclusion.
6. The list of literature.
1. The main aim:
To gather the information about the seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
2. The tasks:
To tell to the classmates about the Seven Wonders of the Ancient
World, which are connected with history.
3. The actuality:
I consider that the intelligent and educated person should know the
history of the Ancient World. Students and teachers can use it for the
lessons as a guite ready material.
4. The theoretical part.
Although most people know that a list exists of the Seven World Wonders,
only a few can name them. According to popular tradition the Seven Wonders of
the Ancient World are:
The Great Pyramid of Cheops
The Hanging Gardens of Babylon
The Statue of Zeus at Olympia
The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus
The Colossus of Rhodes
The Lighthouse of Alexandria
The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus
The notion of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World can be traced back
to the fifth century B.C. The first reference to the Seven Wonders is found in the
History of Herodotus as long ago as the 5th century B.C. The Greek author,
Antipater of Sidon, who lived in the 2nd century B.C., was one of several writers
to list the greatest monuments and buildings known to the classical world. He
settled on seven as it was considered a magic number by the Greeks.
The final list of the Seven Wonders was compiled during the Middle Ages.
The list comprised the seven most impressive monuments of the Ancient World,
some of which barely survived to the Middle Ages. Six of seven wonders have not
survived to the present day having been destroyed by natural disaster or by
The Great Pyramid of Cheops
Man fears Time, yet Time fears the Pyramids
(Arab proverb)
The Pyramids of Egypt built at Giza during the 4th Dynasty (2680-2544 BC)
are the oldest of the seven wonders and the only ones remaining intact today. The
Pyramids were started by Khufu (Cheops) around 2700 B.C. as tombs for the
ancient kings. The three largest and finest were erected at Giza, near Cairo.
The largest and the oldest of the group is the Khufu Pyramid, built of
limestone blocks on a base about 252 m wide on each side and covering an area of
13 acres. When it was built, the Great pyramid was about 145 m high. Over the
years, it lost 10 m off its top. It ranked as the tallest structure on Earth for more
then 43 centuries, only to be surpassed in height in the 19th century AD. The
sloping angle of its sides is 51 degrees and 51 minutes. Each side is carefully
oriented with one of the cardinal points of the compass, that is, north, south, east,
and west.
This pyramid is thought to have been built between 2589-2566 BC. It would
have taken over 2300000 blocks of stone with an average weight of 2.5 tons each.
The total weight would have been 6000000 tons.
The pyramid entrance is on the north face. A number of corridors, galleries,
and escape shafts lead either to the King’s Burial chamber, or were intended to
serve other functions. The King’s chamber is located at the heart of the pyramid,
only accessible through the Great Gallery and an ascending corridor. The King’s
sarcophagus is made of red granite, as are the interior walls of the King’s
Chamber. The sarcophagus is oriented in accordance with the compass directions,
and is only about 1 cm smaller in dimensions then the chamber entrance.
Not much is known about Cheops (Khufu). The tomb had been robbed long
before archeologists came upon it. Any information about him was taken along
with the objects inside the tomb. He is thought to have been the rule of a highly
structured society and he must have been very wealthy. He was buried alone in this
massive tomb. His wives may have been buried nearby in smaller mastabas.
New theories concerning the origin and purpose of the Pyramids of Giza
have been proposed: astronomic observatories, places of cult worship, geometric
structures constructed by a long-gone civilization etc.
The Hanging Gardens of Babylon
The Babylonian kingdom flourished under the rule of the famous King,
Hammurabi (1792-1750 BC). During the reign of Naboplahar (625-605 BC) of the
Neo-Babylonian dynasty the Mesopotamian civilization reached its ultimate glory.
His son, Nebuchadnezzar II, who ruled Babylon for 43 years, starting in 605 BC, is
credited with building the legendary Hanging Gardens.
The ancient city of Babylon, under King Nebuchadnezzar II, must have been
a wonder to the traveler’s eyes. «In addition to its size», wrote Herodotus, a
historian in 450 BC, «Babylon surpasses in splendor any city in the known world».
Herodotus claimed the outer walls were wide enough to allow a four-horse chariot
to turn. The inner walls were «not so thick as the first, but hardly less strong».
Inside the walls were fortresses and temples containing immense statues of solid
gold. Rising above the city was the famous Tower of Babel, a temple to the god
Marduk that seemed to reach to the heavens.
According to accounts, the gardens were built to cheer up Nebuchadnezzar’s
homesick wife, Amyitis. Amyitis, daughter of the king of the Medes, was married
to Nebuchadnezzar to create an alliance between Media and Babylon. The land she
came from, though, was green, rugged and mountainous, and she found the flat,
sun baked terrain of Mesopotamia depressing. The king decided to recreate her
homeland by building an artificial mountain with rooftop gardens.
There is an alternative story that the gardens were built by the Assyrian
Queen Semiramis during her five year reign starting in 810 BC.
The Hanging Gardens probably did not really “hang” in the sense of being
suspended from cables or ropes. The name comes from an inexact translation of
the Greek word kremastos or the Latin word pensilis, which mean not just
“hanging”, but “overhanging” as in the case of a terrace or balcony.
The gardens were a series of five terraces of glazed bricks, each 15 metres
above the next. The terraces were built on top of stone arches and they were
connected by a winding stairway. The terraces were filled with dare and exotic
plants. A pumping device supplied water from Euphrates so the gardens could be
irrigated by fountains. Excavations have found an elaborate tunnel and pulley
system that apparently brought water from the ground level to the top terrace.
While the most descriptive accounts of the Gardens come from Greek
historians, Babylonian records stay silent on the matter. Tablets from the time of
Nebuchadnezzar do not have a single reference to the Hanging Gardens, although
descriptions of his palace, the city of Babylon, and the walls are found.
It was not until the twentieth century that some of the mysteries surrounding
the Hanging Gardens were revealed. Archaeologists are still struggling to gather
enough evidence before reaching final conclusions about the location of the
Gardens, their irrigation system, and their true appearance.
The greatness of this achieventment serves as an indication of the level of
ancient Babylonian art and architecture.
The statue of Zeus
In ancient times the Greeks held one of their most important festivals, The
Olympic Games, in honor of the King of their gods, Zeus. Like our modern
Olympics, athletes traveled from distant lands, including Asia Mino, Syria, Egypt
and Sicily, to compete in the games. The Olympics were first started in 776 B.C.
and held at a shrine to Zeus located on the western coast of Greece in a region
called Peloponnesus. The games, held every four years, helped to unify the Greek
city-states. Sacred truce was declared during the games and wars were stopped.
Safe passage was given to all traveling to the site, called Olympia, for the season of
the games. The site consisted of a stadium (for the games) and a sacred grove, or
Altis, where temples were located.
According to accounts the 12 m Statue of Zeus (mid-5th century BC) by the
Greek sculptor Phidias was the central feature of the Temple of Zeus at Olympia.
The figure of the seated Zeus was 9 m tall and rested on a base that was 3 m high.
The statue of the Greek god was made of wood and covered with gold and ivory.
Golden lions rested near his feet. In its right hand the statue held the figure of Nike
(the goddess of victory) and in its left was a scepter with an eagle on the top. The
throne was made of gold, ebony, ivory and inlaid with precious stones. Carved into
the chair were figures of Greek gods and mystical animals, like the sphinx.
Besides the statue, there was little inside the temple. The Greeks preferred
the interior of their shrines to be simple.
Today the stadium at the site has been restored. Little is left of the temple,
though, except a few columns. Of the statue, which was perhaps the most
wonderful work at Olympia, all is now gone.
The Lighthouse of Alexandria
Of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, only one had a practical use in
addition to its architectural elegance: The Lighthouse of Alexandria. For sailors it
ensured a safe return to the Great Harbor. For architects, it meant even more: it was
the tallest building on Earth. It was 122m high with a ramp leading to the top.
Light was produced with a fire and reflectors, and could be seen from a distance of
42 miles
The Lighthouse of Alexandria was located on the ancient island of Pharos,
now a promontory witin the Egyptian city of Alexandria. The project was
conceived and initiated by Ptolemy Soter around 290 BC, but was completed after
his death.
For centuries, the Lighthouse of Alexandria was used to mark the harbor,
using fire at night and reflecting sun rays during the day. It was even shown on
Roman coins, just as famous monuments are depicted on currency today.
When the Arabs conquered Egypt, they admired Alexandria and its wealth.
The Lighthouse continued to be mentioned in their writings and travelers accounts.
But the new rules moved their capital to Cairo since they had no ties with the
Mediterranean. When the mirror was brought down mistakenly, they did not
restore it back into place. In 956 AD an earthquake shook Alexandria but cased
little damage to the Lighthouse. It was later in 1323 that two stronger earthquakes
left a significant impression on the structure.
The final chapter in the history of the Lighthouse came in 1480 AD when the
Egyptian, Mamelouk Sultan Qaitbay, decided to fortify Alexandria’s defenses. He
built a medival fort on the same spot where the Lighthouse once stood, using the
fallen stone and marble.
Of the six vanished Wonders, the Lighthouse of Alexandria was the last to
The Colossus of Rhodes
The Colossus of Rhodes, a tall bronze statue of Helios, the Greek god of the
sun, was erected in about 280 BC to guard the entrance to the harbor of the
Mediterranean island of Rhodes in Greece. The Colossus of Rhodes was not only a
gigantic statue. It was rather a symbol of unity of the people who inhabited that
beautiful Mediterranean island: Rhodes.
The island of Rhodes was an important economic center in the ancient
world. It is located off the southwestern tip of Asia Minor where the Aegean Sea
meets the Mediterranean. The capital city, also named Rhodes, was built in 408
B.C. In 357 B.C. the island was conquered by Mausolus of Halicarnassus (whose
tomb is one of the other Seven Wonders of the Ancient World), then it fell into
Persian hands in 340 B.C., and was finally captured by Alexander the Great in 332
When Alexander died, his generals fought bitterly among themselves for
control of Alexander’s vast kingdom. Three of them, Ptolemy, Seleucus and
Antigous, succeededin dividing the kingdom among themselves. The Rhodians
supported Ptolemy in this struggle. This angered Antigous who sent his son
Demetrius to capture and punish the city of Rhodes. Demetrius brought an army of
40000 men. This was more than the entire population of Rhodes. When Demetrius
attacked the city, the defenders stopped the attackers by flooding a ditch outside
the walls. By then a fleet of ships from Egypt arrived to assist the city and
Demetrius withdrew quickly. To celebrate their victory the Rhodians decided to
built a giant statue of their patron god Helios.
The statue was 30m tall and stood upon a 17m pedestal. Although the statue
has been popularly depicted with its legs spanning the harbour entrance so that
ships cold pass beneath, it was actually posed in a more traditional Greek manner:
nude, wearing a spicked crown, shading its eyes from the rising sun with its right
hand, while holding a cloak over its left.
For years, the statue stood at the harbor entrance, until a strong earthquake
hit Rhodes about 226 BC. The city was badly damaged, and the Colossus was
broken at its weakest point-the knee.
From the time of its construction to its destruction was merely 56 years. Yet
the colossus earned a place in the famous list of Wonders.
For almost a millennium, the statue laid broken in ruins. In AD 654, the
Arabs invaded Rhodes. They disassembled the remains of the broken Colossus and
sold it as scrap metal.
The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus
The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, a 45 m high white marble structure, was
built in 352 B.C. at Halicarnassus (now a site in Turkey) in memory of King
Mausolus of Caria.
When the Persians expanded their kingdom to include Mesopotamia,
Northern India, Syria, Egypt, and Asia Minor, the king could not control his vast
empire without the help of local governors or rules: the Satraps. Like many other
provinces, the kingdom of Caria in the western part of Asia Minor (Turkey) was
so far from the Persian capital that it was practically autonomous. From 377 to 353
B.C., king Mausollus of Caria reigned and moved his capital to Halicarnassus.
The construction of the Mausoleum might have started during the king’s
lifetime. It was completed around 350 B.C., three years after Mausollus death. The
structure was rectangular in design, with base dimensions of about 40 m by 30 m.
overlying the foundation was a stepped podium decorated with statues. The burial
chamber and the sarcophagus of white alabaster decorate with gold were located
on the podium and surrounded by 36 ionic columns. The colonnade supported a
pyramid roof, which was also decorated with statues. A statue of a chariot pulled
by four horses adorned the top of the tomb.
The beauty of the Mausoleum is not only in the structure itself, but in the
decorations and statues that adorned the outside at different levels on the podium
and the roof. Because the statues were of people and animals, the Mausoleum
holds a special place in history, as it was not dedicated to the gods of Ancient
For 16 centuries, the Mausoleum remained in good condition until an
earthquake caused some damage to the roof and colonnade. In the early fifteenth
century, the Knights of St. John of Malta invaded the region and built a massive
crusader castle. When they decided to fortify it in 1494, they used the stones from
the Mausoleum had been disassembled and used for construction.
Some of the sculptures survived and today they are on display at the British
Museum in London.
The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus
The first shrine to the Goddess Artemis was probably built around 800 B.C.
on a marshy strip near the river at Ephesus (now a site in Turkey). The Ephesus
Goddess Artemis, sometimes called Diana, is not the same figure as the Artemis
worshiped in Greece. The Greek Artemis is the goddess of the hunt. The Ephesus
Artemis was a goddess of fertility. That earliest temple was destroyed and rebuilt
several times over the next few hundred years.
By 600 B.C., the city of Ephesus had become a major port of trade and an
architect named Chersiphrom was engaged to built a new large temple. He
designed it with high stone columns. It was decorated with bronze statues sculpted
by the most skillet artists of their time. The temple served as both a marketplace
and a religious institution. For years, the sanctuary was visited by merchants,
tourists, artisans and kings who paid homage to the goddess by sharing their profits
with her.
This temple did not last long. In 550 B.C. King Croesus of Lydia conquered
Ephesus and the other Greek cities of Asia Minor. During the fighting, the temple
was destroyed.
The second last of the great temples to Artemis in Ephesus was four times
the size of the temple before it. More than one hundred stone columns supported a
massive roof. The new temple was the pride of Ephesus until 356 B.C. when a
tragedy struck. On the night of 21 July 356 B.C. a young Ephesus named
Herostratus burned the temple to the ground in an attempt to have his name go
down in history. The citizens of Ephesus were so appalled at this act they issued a
decree that anyone who spoke of Herostartus would be put to death.
Shortly after this horrible deed a new temple was commissioned. The temple
was built in the same marshy place as before by one of the most famous architect
of those days.
The new temple combined great size with elaborate ornamentation. It was
130 m long and 80 m wide with 127 marble columns, each 20m tall. The gates of
the temple of Artemis were made of cypress and the ceiling of cedar. The temple
also housed many works of art.
According to Piny the Elder, a Roman historian, the temple was a
“wonderful monument of Grecian magnificence, and one that merits our genuine
The temple of Artemis was destroyed during a raid by the Goths in 262 A.D.
Today the site of the temple is a marshy field. A single column was erected to
remind visitors that once there stood in that place one of the wonders of the ancient
5. Conclusion
Today, archaeological evidence reveals some of the mysteries that
surrounded the history of the Wonders for centuries. For their builders,
the Seven Wonders were a celebration of religion, mythology, art,
power, and science. For us, they reflect the ability of humans to change
the surrounding landscape by building massive yet beautiful structures,
one of which has stood the test of time to this day.
6. The list of literature:
Журнал «ИЯШ» №6. Методическая мозаика № 6 2005 г.
Журнал «ИЯШ» №7. Методическая мозаика № 7 2005 г.
«Сто чудес света» издательство «Дрофа», 2003г.