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Birth Control

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Seven Wonders of the World, works of art and architecture regarded by ancient Greek and Roman observers as the most extraordinary structures of antiquity. The listing of ancient wonders probably began in ancient Greece in around the 2nd century BC, but the Seven Wonders that were most commonly referred to were listed some time after that.

All built in the ancient Mediterranean and Middle East area, some time from around 2600 BC up to about AD 476, the Wonders are: (1) The Pyramids of Egypt, at Giza, the oldest of the Seven Wonders and the only ones remaining intact today. (2) The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, near Baghdad, were a mountain-like series of planted terraces. (3) The Statue of Zeus was the central feature of the Temple of Zeus at Olympia, Greece. (4) The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus in Greece was a huge, elaborate temple to the goddess Artemis. (5) The Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, a monumental marble tomb in Asia Minor, exists only in fragmentary form today. (6) The Colossus of Rhodes was a bronze statue of the Greek sun god Helios erected at Rhodes harbour. (7) The Pharos of Alexandria, on an island off Alexandria, Egypt, was a famous ancient lighthouse.

THE PYRAMIDS

Pyramids of Egypt, pyramid complex at Giza, on the west bank of the Nile, Egypt, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The Great Pyramid of Khufu is said to be the only pyramid regarded as one of the Seven Wonders, although some historians class all three famous large pyramids (of the ten pyramids at Giza) as the Wonder. Built some time during the 26th century bc, the pyramids are the oldest and only remaining Wonders to have survived almost completely intact today.

Large Egyptian pyramids were built (on a king's instructions) to protect tombs, each holding the mummified body of a king (see Embalming). It was believed that entombment in a pyramid would ensure a person's soul would live forever. A chamber at the heart of the pyramid, or underneath it, acted as the tomb and the Egyptians would fill this with gold and other treasures. Smaller pyramids were built alongside the larger structures to house the bodies of Egyptian queens.

The Great Pyramid was originally about 147 m (482 ft) high while the base covers around 5 hectares (12 acres) of land. Each of its sides extends to about 230 m (755 ft) in length. Built from almost 2.5 million blocks of stone, each weighing over 2 tonnes, it was constructed over a period of up to 20 years for King Khufu, an Egyptian pharaoh. The sarcophagus and chamber for the king's body are made from red granite. The second pyramid, built by King Khafre, son of Khufu, to the south of his father's pyramid, appears larger than this pyramid as it lies on higher ground. However, it is slightly smaller than the Great Pyramid at 143.5 m (471 ft) high. Khafre's son and successor, King Menkaure, subsequently built the third and smallest pyramid, which originally stood at about 66 m (215 ft) high.

The exact layout inside the Great Pyramid continues to be a mystery, as does the purpose of the many shafts. Investigations using a miniature robot have helped to map out some of the shafts and led to the discovery of tiny doorways inside, bringing scientists closer to solving some of the mysteries of the Pharaohs.

STATUE OF ZEUS

Statue of Zeus, huge statue built to honour the king of all gods, Zeus, and one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It was located in the Temple of Zeus in Olympia, home of the Olympian Games (which were held every four years to worship Zeus), in Greece. In about 435 bc, Phidias, an Athenian sculptor, was asked to create a statue to make the temple even grander. The ivory and gold statue (supported by an internal wooden frame) depicted Zeus sitting on a decorative wooden throne, and was about 12 m (40 ft) high and 7 m (22 ft) wide, while the base was an additional 6.5 m (20 ft) in height. At these proportions, the statue took up all the available space at the western end of the temple, making it seem even more imposing than its already gigantic size.

The exact description of the statue is not known, but experts have gathered together information found on coins and in historical documents in order to describe its appearance. The throne was said to have been decorated with precious stones, ebony, ivory, and gold, and its legs were carved with sphinxes and other mythical creatures. Zeus held a sceptre with an eagle perched atop in his left hand, while in his right he clutched a statue of the goddess of victory, Nike. His flesh was made of ivory and his hair and clothes of gold, the latter of which were decorated with carvings of animals and flowers.

In ad 393 the Olympian Games were abolished by Theodosius I of Rome for religious reasons. The statue was moved to Constantinople by rich Greeks and remained there until it was destroyed, after almost 900 years of existence, in around ad 462 by a serious fire.

THE TEMPLE OF ARTEMIS

Temple of Artemis, ancient temple, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, located in the city of Ephesus, near modern SelÐ*uk, 50 km (31 mi) south of Эzmir on the west coast of Turkey. It was a temple dedicated to the Ephesian goddess Artemis (different to the Greek goddess Artemis), goddess of fertility. During its time the temple functioned both as a marketplace and as a place of worship. Many pilgrims came from miles around to worship, bearing gifts ranging from statues of the goddess to gold and ivory jewellery. Late 19th-century archaeological digs discovered the foundations of the temple as well as some of the artefacts left by the pilgrims.

Rebuilt several times after destruction through the years, the foundations of the original shrine (before the temple was first built) date from the 7th century bc. The architect of the first temple, in 600 bc, was a Greek called Chersiphron. In 550 bc, King Croesus of Lydia conquered the city and the temple was destroyed during the battle. The king then funded the reconstruction of the temple, thought to have been built by the architect Theodorus. This second temple was 91 m (300 ft) by 46 m (150 ft), four times the size of the former temple. However, in 356 bc it was razed to the ground by an Ephesian man named Herostratus, who set it on fire because he wanted his name to be immortalized (it was).

Over the next few decades, reconstruction began again, this time by Scopas of Pбros, a famous sculptor. The new temple was rebuilt bigger still, measuring 130 m (425 ft) by 69 m (225 ft), with 127 carved columns, each 18 m (60 ft) high. It was made of marble, with a decorated faÐ*ade overlooking a courtyard, and contained four bronze statues (among other decorative pieces),

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