Pharos of Alexandria
Time Machine 7 has landed you and Ms. Bamboo on
a Mediterranean ship in the harbor of the Pharos of Alexandria. Before you
stands a huge lighthouse blazing with fiery lights and on the top of the beacon
a huge fire is burning with smoke coming out from the top. With the golden light
cast upon the harbor, your ship dodges dangerous, sharp rocks that jut out of
Ms. Bamboo is having a difficult time on the ship. She
declares that she is “officially sea sick” and therefore will need to rest for a
while. She apologizes for not being able to accompany you on the tour…yet again.
At last your ship reaches the safe haven of the docks
and the captain asks that all passengers must depart. You climb onto a wooden
plank that leads to the dock and continue your journey from there.
In 280 B.C., the building
of the Pharos of Alexandria was finally finished after Ptolemy Soter
(305-282 B.C.) worked 20 years on it. The lighthouse was built to
prevent more shipwrecks, since the shores of the island, Pharos, had
dangerous sharp rocks that could easily sink ships. Pharos Island was
linked to Alexandria by the causeway, Hepstadion.
The Pharos of Alexandria
had three towers, one on top of another. The entire structure stood on a
great rock platform by the Mediterranean Sea. The lower tower was where
workers and soldiers resided, while the second tower had a ramp that led
to the top. The second tower was used to carry up wood by the help of
mules and horses to keep the fire, located on the top tower, ablaze. To
make the fire stand out and show the way, bronze sheets were used to
reflect the fire’s light onto the sea. The light could reach 31 miles
away. This way, the light would illuminate the black waters easier and
help the ships navigate through the sharp rocks.
On the roof of the
lighthouse was a beautiful statue of Zeus, a Greek god. He would protect
the lighthouse and ships from any harm.
In 1100 A.D., the harbor
of Alexandria was drenched in mud due to pollution. There were too many
spills and loads of dirt went into the water. Ships did not travel there
anymore and the lighthouse slowly became abandoned. Then around 1300
A.D., a devastating earthquake ravaged the Pharos of Alexandria.
Today, it is thought that
Qait Bey, a fort, stands on the site of this marvelous ancient wonder.
Author: Scarre, Chris
Title: Seventy Wonders of the Ancient World
Place of publication: London, England
Publishing company: Thames & Hudson
Copyright date: © 1999
Author: Ash, Russell
Title: Great Wonders of the World
Place of publication: New York
Publishing company: Dorling Kindersley Publishing Inc.
Copyright date: © 2000
Author: Perrottet, Tony
Date of publication: June 2004
Title of article: Journey to the Seven Wonders
Title of periodical: Smithsonian
Date retrieved: 2/8/08