Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
The Seven Wonders of the World were listed in some of the earliest guidebooks for travellers, a century or two BCE. These guides were written in Greek and covered only the region around the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea.
The list varied a bit from book to book; the best-known version had:
- The Great Pyramid at Giza in Egypt, the oldest of the wonders, and only wonder that survives today
- The Hanging Gardens of Babylon in what is now Iraq
- The Colossus, a great statue straddling the harbour entrance at Rhodes among the Greek Islands
- Temple of Artemis in Ephesus in what is now Turkey
- Mausoleum at Halikarnassus in what is now Turkey
- Lighthouse at Alexandria, Egypt
- Statue of Zeus at Olympia
The last five were all basically Greek cities at the time. The Hellenic culture once extended far beyond the current boundaries of Greece, even including ports on the Black Sea such as Sudak and Trabzon. None of these but the Pyramids - which ironically were the oldest at the time the list was made - have survived to the present day, and there is even debate whether the "Hanging Gardens" even existed and what exactly they were like if they did.
In subsequent eras, there have been various proposals for lists of "seven wonders" in various regions or worldwide; occasionally, a landmark is proposed as an "eighth wonder" of the world. With no universally-defined criteria for which venues to include, the selection of seven notable destinations for these lists tends to be arbitrary and widely-variable.
There is a proposal to build a new Colossus of Rhodes.