Unearthed (2016–…): Season 6, Episode 9 - Secrets of the Seven Wonders - full transcript

The Seven Wonders are the engineering marvels built by great minds of long-lost civilizations, but we're not sure if some even existed; new discoveries and cutting-edge archaeological ...

Narrator: The seven wonders...
the most spectacular structures

Of the ancient world.

Higgs: The seven wonders of the
ancient world

Were amazing buildings
built by the best architects,

By the finest sculptors
of the day.

Narrator: These legendary
monuments are shrouded in mystery.

Today, only one survives.

What are the wonders?

Did they ever even exist?

What do we know about
the seven wonders of the world?

Well, for the most part,
they're just ruins.

Narrator: Today, investigators
hunt for the truth behind the wonders.

They use innovative underwater
scanning technology

And engineering experiments
to separate fact...

From fiction.

These were the einsteins
and the newtons of their day.

Narrator: What makes the wonders
the greatest structures ever built,

And who decides which buildings
make it on to the list?

To solve these mysteries,

We'll digitally deconstruct
vanished cities,

Piece together epic statues
of ancient gods,

And unearth lost technology
to rebuild the real

Seven wonders
of the ancient world.

EP - 9 - Secrets of the Seven Wonders

Alexandria in egypt... a vast
metropolis on the shores

Of the mediterranean sea.

Just over 2,000 years ago,

This port is the greatest
city on earth...

...A greek colony in the land
of the pharaohs.

In alexandria's famous library,

Scribes gather knowledge
from all over the known world.

Tens of thousands of papyrus
scrolls line its shelves.

They name the most astonishing
structures ever made,

The seven ancient wonders.

Higgs: For the greeks, the seven
wonders of the ancient world

Were a list of must-see
monuments, like a bucket list,

Something you must not miss
if you were lucky enough

To go traveling around
the mediterranean.

Narrator: Like the statue
of liberty today,

Each wonder is
a legendary landmark,

The ancient equivalent
of the eiffel tower.

They include a temple, tombs,
statues, and gardens.

For 30 short years,

All seven exist
at the same time.

From 280 to 250 b.C.,
so ancient sources claim,

An enthusiastic traveler
can visit every one.

Today, mystery and romance

Surrounds the existence
of the seven wonders.

Almost all are lost or in ruins.

Allen:: What do we know about
the seven wonders of the world?

Well, first, there's only one
that still stands,

That's the great pyramid
in egypt.

The rest of them,
for the most part,

If there is anything left,
they're just ruins.

Before archaeology began,

What we had to work with
were classical texts,

Legends, ancient stories,
and so for many archaeologists,

The job really was to go
and find the evidence

That these monuments
really existed.

Narrator: How much of what we
know about the wonders is true?

Why do the ancient greeks
consider them

The greatest buildings
of all time?

A clue lies in egypt
with the first of the wonders...

The great pyramid of giza.

The pyramid is the tomb

Of a powerful
egyptian pharaoh called khufu.

It rises more than 480 feet
into the sky.

Today, it's one of the most
visited sites in the world,

But its construction
remains a mystery.

Over the years, there have been
countless theories

About how the
great pyramid was built.

It's perhaps one of the most
scrutinized monuments

Anywhere in the ancient world,

And yet, we still don't know
exactly how the ancients did it.

Narrator: Blowing apart
the pyramid reveals

The hidden glory
of khufu's magnificent tomb...

...Made from over two million
solid stone blocks.

Deep inside, mysterious
narrow tunnels

Lead to two massive
burial chambers.

This vast structure is more
than 4,500 years old.

How did the egyptians create
such a mammoth monument?

Adel kelany is an egyptian
archaeologist and stonemason.

The precision of the
pyramid builders

Never fails to amaze him.

Narrator: The ancient egyptians

Don't have satellite-positioning

But they do have an intimate
knowledge of the night sky.

Their religion is based around
the movements of the heavens.

Rah, the sun god,
is their chief deity.

Adel thinks they used the stars

To position the base
of the mighty pyramid.

Narrator: The construction
of the pyramid's upper levels

Requires another
ingenious technique.

Today, engineers have
huge cranes

To help them build super tall,

But the pyramid builders
live in an age

Before the pulley or the winch.

How do they shift
massive blocks of stone?

Adel investigates a clue
at a nearby tomb,

The remains of a 5,000-year-old
construction ramp.

Narrator: Adel's own experiments
reveal how the workers can slide

The blocks along shallow ramps
like this one.

It's a complicated,
dangerous job.

Narrator: This ancient technique
reveals how workers drag the massive

Limestone blocks into position,
but it's just the first step.

A single ramp works well
for the lower levels,

But as the pyramid rises,
the slope gets too steep.

To keep the ramp shallow,

It would have to be around
1/2 mile long

And need as much building
material as the pyramid itself.

So one theory is that the
egyptians use a shallow ramp

Until 2/3 of all blocks
are in the base.

Then they build a narrow
perimeter ramp

Up around the edge
of the pyramid

To lift blocks
all the way to the top

Without making their ramp
too steep.

The genius of the
pyramid-building program

Is its simplicity...

Lots of men working hard doing
exactly what they're told to do.

The construction of a pyramid

Is the easiest way to build tall
in the ancient world,

But it also requires
vast resources and organization.

So how did the pharaohs find
the manpower

To build the first wonder
of the world?

The answer lies with the river

That brings life
to the desert...

The mighty nile.

Every July when the river nile
bursts its banks,

It drops silt on
to the nile delta,

Transforming it into
a fertile breadbasket,

But the floodwaters also prevent
farmers from working their land.

Narrator: The nile flood frees up
thousands of fit working-age men

Who form the construction gangs

That build
the mighty 481-foot pyramid.

The greek historian herodotus
is the first to describe

The great pyramid as a wonder.

It's already ancient
when he visits egypt

In the 5th century b.C.

Bennett: The history of the seven
wonders starts off with herodotus,

I mean,
the first great world traveler.

He saw things like
the egyptian pyramids.

He invented the term

And he wrote a descriptive
history of the ancient world

As he knew it at that time.

Narrator: The pyramid's sheer size
is as impressive to the ancient greeks

As it is to us today.

Naunton: It's no surprise
that the great pyramid of giza

Would be one of the seven
ancient wonders of the world.

It was well known throughout
the ancient world for being,

You know, a massive
awe-inspiring monument.

Bennett: The pyramids were
admired because they were big.

The concept behind the wonders
was very much an idea of,

"you've got to see this.
It's really big.

You can't see anything else
like it."

Narrator: The great pyramid is
the tallest building in the world

At the time of its construction,

A title it holds onto
for more than 3,500 years.

It sets the benchmark
for every wonder that follows.

But what do the other
six look like?

Do they ever exist?

The hunt for
the second wonder leads

To one of the oldest cities
of the ancient world...


Home to the most romantic
and elusive wonder of all,

The fabled hanging gardens.

Narrator: 2,500 years ago,

The greek historian herodotus
sets out on an epic voyage.

He travels to egypt
where he gazes

On the great pyramid of giza,

The first of the seven wonders
of the ancient world.

These iconic megastructures
are must-see sites

For the ancient greeks,

But how much of what they write
about them is true?

A clue lies with one of the
oldest cities in history...

Babylon, in mesopotamia,
modern iraq,

Home of the mysterious
hanging gardens.

The babylonian capital is a city
like no other on earth.

Some consider its mighty
ishtar gate

As an eighth wonder
of the world,

But legend says the fabled
hanging gardens

Are the city's star attraction,

A lofty green oasis
in the desert,

Multiple tiers supported
by hundreds of pillars

Densely planted with
exotic trees and shrubs.

Overlooking it all is
the mighty tower of babel,

A temple so tall it supposedly
reaches all the way to heaven.

The hanging gardens are
the most romantic

Of babylon's many sites.

Legend tells how

The ancient king
nebuchadnezzar the second

Builds them for his queen

To remind her of her
distant homeland,

But there's a mystery.

Herodotus never mentions
the hanging gardens.

They only appear on lists
written hundreds of years later.

So are the stories about
the second wonder true?

Allen: We don't know if the
hanging gardens of babylon existed.

It's uncertain because most of
the seven wonders of the world

Show remnants or remains
that there was something there,

But at babylon,
there are no clues.

Narrator: Jeff allen leads a team
from the world monuments fund

Trying to protect
babylon's unique remains.

Decades of war and turmoil mean

That most of the city
is unexplored.

In the 1980s, iraq's dictator,

Saddam hussein,
reconstructs this replica

And a private palace
on top of the ancient ruins,

But jeff finds traces
of a sophisticated metropolis.

Allen: The babylonians were
prolific builders.

You can tell that by babylon
itself and other cities,

And part of that was a quest
for irrigation,

Water management, control
through structures and buildings

That existed at no level similar
in the ancient world.

Narrator: The ancient
babylonians are sophisticated

Hydraulic engineers.

Carvings reveal that their kings
create aqueducts

And private pleasure gardens,
each one known as a paradise.

Allen: Many have debated
the actual locality

Of the hanging gardens
of babylon,

Whether it was at babylon
or another site.

The answer is inconclusive.

We don't know, but there is
enough documentation to suggest

That it could've been
at babylon.

The idea of a hanging garden

Suspended in midair
may sound outlandish,

But a grain of truth
might also lie behind

Another of babylon's
fabled buildings.

Jeff believes that
this mound of earth

Is the base of
a giant ziggurat pyramid,

The foundations
for the tower of babel.

Babylon has a long
and well attested description

Of its wonders through history.

If the tower really existed,
it would've been here.

Narrator: Babylon and its
wonders fascinate greek writers,

But many, like
the historian herodotus

Never visit the city.

They gather their information
from travelers

Who bring back tales
of huge towers and lush gardens.

Bennett: Gardens were an important
aspect of mesopotamian royalty,

A kind of pleasure garden,

But some of them could be
really quite large,

So you're creating a beautiful,

Fertile green space
by the side of the river.

Narrator: Is it possible that ziggurats,
like the tower of babel,

Inspire the stories
of the hanging gardens?

Bennett: The whole of mesopotamia,
all the major centers,

Had these ziggurat temples,

Which is basically
like a wedding cake,

A square wedding cake,

And so you've got a base tier,
another tier on top of that,

Another tier on top of that,
a temple on the top,

And then you've got
the stairways coming up to,

So those terraces kind of

Seem to be hanging
in that particular sense.

My own personal idea is
that somebody's confused

A report of a ziggurat temple,
possibly at babylon,

Possibly somewhere else,
with one of these formal gardens

That were laid out
by the persian rulers,

And somehow they,
you know, the story got mixed up

When it came back
to the greek-speaking world.

Narrator: The legend of the
hanging gardens

May be rooted in reality,

A story that grows
more elaborate

The further it travels.

For the greeks, babylon,
the largest city in the world,

Is a distant exotic legend.

So why does this remote
metropolis and egypt's pyramid

Appear on a greek list
of must-see wonders?

The answer lies with
a momentous event,

One that brings the marvels
of the east closer to greece

Than herodotus
could ever have imagined...

The greek conquest
of the ancient world.

The seven wonders of the world,

The most dazzling structures
known to the ancient greeks.

Egypt's great pyramid and
the hanging gardens of babylon

Are the two oldest wonders.

Why do these treasures
top a list of must-see

Greek monuments?

Historian andrew chug thinks
that a clue

Lies with alexandria in egypt.

This city owes its existence
to an event

That reshapes the ancient world.

Chugg: The three
centuries before christ,

Alexandria was the greatest city
in the world.

It rose to a population
of about half a million people.

Alexandria is a special city.

It stands on the egyptian coast,

But it is founded by the most
famous greek ruler of all time,

Alexander the great.

2,300 years ago, alexander,

The ruler of all greece, invades
the mighty persian empire.

The two sides are bitter enemies
with a history of rivalry

And conflict stretching back
hundreds of years.

A remarkable string of victories

Sees alexander's armies
conquer a vast empire

Stretching from egypt
to mesopotamia

And the indus valley.

As they conquer, the greeks
encounter civilizations

Thousands of years older
than their own.

The marvels of the ancient east
are beyond their imagination.

Chugg: Babylon was a
wondrous city to the greeks.

It was on a scale
10 times bigger

Than any equivalent
greek city at the time.

Narrator: These exotic wonders
are as mind-blowing

In the 4th century b.C.

As a visit to mars
would be today.

In egypt, the first wonder
is already more

Than 2,000 years old when
alexander and his men see it.

The conquering greeks
tread lightly,

But they still leave behind
a mark wherever they go.

In egypt, they build a dazzling
new metropolis, alexandria.

They intended it to be
their future capital.

It wasn't initially,
but gradually they built it up

Into the most magnificent city
in the world.

Narrator: The city's rulers
construct an enormous library

And instruct its scribes
to copy every book in existence.

The idea of a list of wonders
is born.

Chugg: Some of the men
who traveled with alexander

Wrote wondrous accounts
of the journey.

These got to be very popular
in the generation

After alexander's death,

And it's at that time
then we see other greek writers

Starting to compile lists
of wonders around the empire.

Narrator: Archaeologist
penny wilson thinks

That alexandria reveals
how conquest changes the greeks.

A clue lies beneath
the city's busy streets.

There's something amazing
down here.

Narrator: Penny investigates a
tomb built during alexandria's heyday.

Fire destroys much of
the old greek city in 47 b.C.,

But it leaves these
extraordinary catacombs in tact.

This burial chamber is
the final resting place

Of one of alexandria's
wealthiest couples.

Their statues are a strange
hybrid of both egyptian

And classical sculpture.

This is probably a statue
of the owner of the tomb.

His body, with his left leg
starting forward

Wearing a short kilt,
is very egyptian in style

Whereas his head
is much more classical,

Its curly hair,
the wrinkles on his forehead

And those
emaciated-looking cheeks.

These signs of realism
are things which very much

Come from classical sculpture.

Narrator: The protective
gods that line the tomb's walls

Also reveal alexandria's
cultural mix.

So the snake himself is wearing

A double crown
of the king of egypt

To give him extra power
from the egyptian perspective.

He's holding two symbols of
greek protection and well-being,

And his body
is actually in a knot,

Which is a powerful egyptian
magical symbol for protection.

So in this one scene, they're
pulling everything together

To give maximum protection
to the tomb.

It's like the ultimate
in life assurance.

Narrator: Alexandria
is a cultural melting pot.

Two mighty civilizations fuse
together here

And create a new hybrid culture.

Wilson: The kinds of fusion
that we see in this tomb

And the linking together
of different ideas

Was probably what you could see
across alexandria

In its buildings,
its architecture.

Narrator: In the greek imagination,
the wonders of egypt and babylon

Now combine with their own.

Wilson: Alexander the great
kicked off a period

When people saw
what was possible.

That seems to be in the spirit
of alexandria in that

There were no bounds
to what people could do.

Narrator: Conquest fuses the
civilizations of greece and the east.

In egypt,
the rulers of alexandria

Become the new pharaohs.

In babylon,
alexander's successors

Live like persian kings.

The greeks see themselves
as the new rulers of the world.

The greeks were confronted
with technical wonders

And buildings
they had never seen,

And they were sort of looking
also to their achievements.

It became competitive with all
the exotic wonders of the world,

Which the greeks had seen
in other countries

Like egypt and mesopotamia.

The greeks are determined
to prove

That their existing wonders
match those of the east,

But which ones should
they choose and why?

The list continues with
the third ancient wonder,

An enormous temple said to be
the most beautiful

The world has ever seen.

Narrator: The seven
wonders... the must-see sites

Of the ancient greek world.

The great pyramid in egypt and
the hanging gardens of babylon

Captivate greek travelers,

But some claim the third wonder
is the greatest of all,

The temple of artemis
at ephesus in turkey.

Archaeologist julian bennett
tracks down this lost wonder.

We're standing in an area is
the main street to the harbor,

So anybody arriving in ephesus
by ship

Would have to come walking
all the way up here.

Narrator: In ancient times,
ephesus is one of many greek colonies

On the coast of asia minor.

The city straddles a crossroads
between east and west.

Bennett: It was very
much a bustling metropolis,

A major trading port.

You've got people coming
from all parts

Of the greek-speaking world.

Narrator: Ephesus is
an ancient tourist trap,

The new york city of its day,

And there's one site every
greek traveler wants to see.

Today, just one pillar
is all that remains

Of the third wonder
of the world,

But legend says
the temple of artemis

Touches on architectural

From an ornate base,
more than 100 slender columns

Rise into the sky fluted
like the folds of a robe,

Each one topped
with pearled capitals.

They support a solid roof that
towers 59 feet above the ground.

Is this temple really the
greatest in the ancient world?

How does it measure up
to the wonders of the east?

The greek historian herodotus
says that a local ruler

Called croesus builds the temple
in the 6th century b.C.

The ancient greeks are
immensely proud of his creation,

But today,
almost nothing remains.

This is all that we see today,

But we're walking just inside
a colonnade.

There would've been a row
of 21 columns,

But inside it,

You have the remains
of the earlier cult center.

Now as a visitor,
we would be coming here.

We'd walk around and admire
the height of this structure.

I mean, it's absolutely

Just look at the size
of this column.

The temple appears big,

But do ancient writers
exaggerate its size?

Julian's first step is to
compare the ruins

With surviving accounts.

Well, after measuring it,

We can see that what pliny says
about the size of the temple

Is, more or less, correct,

And we can see just how large
a structure this was.

How large?

Well, everybody knows
what the parthenon in athens

Looks like, the parthenon,
a classic greek temple.

Well, the parthenon could fit
inside here with room to spare,

And the columns of the parthenon

Wouldn't even reach the lower
part of the columns of this one,

This is a massive temple.

Narrator: Next, julian examines
the building material.

Here we have the footings,
a local blue limestone,

And then on top
of these footings,

What you've got is temple
built of solid marble,

Not just the biggest blocks,
entirely of marble.

It's not marble on the facade
of the structure.

This is marble
all the way through.

Narrator: The temple is an
incredible feat of technology.

It confirms the sophistication
of greek architecture.

Robert hahn is an expert
on greece's classical temples.

He explores a full-size replica
of one in nashville, tennessee.

The construction of these
ancient buildings

Is a monumental challenge.

Architects had to deal
with enormously heavy objects,

Both to be transported
and installed.

It produced a host
of technical problems.

How in the world were they able
to get the stones

To reach more
than 60 feet off the ground?

Narrator: The builders at
ephesus are a father-and-son team,

Chersiphron and metagenes.

The sacred ground
is soft and marshy,

So they lay a base
of sheepskins and charcoal

To keep the foundation stable.

To transport massive
marble blocks,

They design
ancient monster trucks

With stone lintels as axles.

And to lift these
huge stone blocks,

They use a new greek
invention... the crane.

We know that when you erect
a column out of column drums,

They have to be lifted
to a great height,

And they have to be lowered
into place very carefully.

We have surviving examples,

Which shows the existence
of bosses,

And thereby shows
that there were lifting devices

That enabled the drums
to be put in place.

Narrator: The greeks invent
big wooden cranes

That can winch
10-ton marble pieces

Over three stories high.

They leave the drums uncarved

Except for the protrusions
called bosses.

The lifting ropes grip the
bosses and release with ease.

Afterwards, sculptors
chisel them away.

The construction site at ephesus
is like an ancient tech hub,

A hothouse of innovation.

Robert believes that the greeks
continually develop smart,

New engineering techniques.

He thinks the temple builders
are more than just architects.

They are the world's
first scientists.

The monuments were monuments
to their own ability,

Their own ingenuity,
and their own command of nature.

It's a vision that nature's
principles could be discovered

And could be controlled.

Narrator: The temple of
artemis is a worthy addition

To the list of wonders.

It heralds the dawn
of a new greek age

Bursting with self-confidence.

The ancient greeks admire beauty
as well as size.

The fourth wonder supposedly
combines both...

The giant statue of zeus
at olympia.

But today, it's nowhere
to be seen.

Does it really ever exist?

Narrator: Ancient descriptions
of the lost seven wonders

Could be far more accurate
than we realize.

In iraq, archaeologists are
discovering that babylon

And its treasures
are more than myth and legend.

At ephesus, the greeks
build a temple

That rivals
the great monuments of egypt.

But size is not
the only criteria for a wonder.

The fourth wonder of the world

Is the supreme example
of greek artistic genius.

It stands at olympia in greece,

Birthplace of the famous
olympic games.

Legend says the statue
of zeus at olympia

Is nearly 42 feet tall with skin

Made from ivory plates
and gold panels.

It sits inside a huge temple

That appears almost too small
to house it.

Is there any evidence
that the statue ever exists?

This is the stadium where
the olympic games originated,

And it had a capacity
for 40,000 visitors.

Narrator: Archaeologist reinhard
senff has excavated the sanctuary

At olympia for over a decade.

We are now walking through
the southern colonnade

Of the temple of zeus.

Of course, when the building
was still complete,

There would be a high wall.

Narrator: Today, little remains
at olympia,

But the ruins reveal the outline
of a huge temple

Altered to accommodate
a massive seated figure.

This is exactly the place

Where the giant seated
figure of zeus was set up.

The smaller inner rows
of columns

Were further moved to the walls

In order to enlarge the room
for the giant figure.

One has to imagine
that it stood something

Like 12-meter-50 height,

So the figure itself was even
larger than the columns outside,

And in antiquity,
this led to the remark

That the figure was so big
that he,

Had he risen from his throne,

He would definitely have crushed
the ceiling with his head.

Narrator: Reinhard is
also able to reconstruct

The appearance of the statue.

He examines fragments found
at the workshop

Where the statue was made.

They match the ancient

They are pieces of ornaments
which were meant to be

Inserted into
the throne of zeus.

For some reason, they were
broken and discarded.

With this material, we can get
as close as possible

To the statue of zeus,

Which was made of the precious
materials gold and ivory.

Narrator: Legend says that
the golden statue of zeus dazzles

All who see it.

Herodotus says its sculptor
is a man called phidias,

The same artist responsible
for creating the great statue

At the parthenon in athens.

The fragments here
come from his workshop.

But there's a mystery...
The sanctuary inside

A greek temple has no windows.

How does phidias make his
wonder of the world shimmer?

Reinhard uses a piece of marble

To reveal phidias'
lighting masterstroke.

What I have here is a thin
piece of marble,

The same type of marble that
made up the tiles of the roof

Exactly above the statues.

Narrator: This marble is found in
just a few quarries in all of greece.

Phidias makes use of its special
ability to transmit light

To illuminate
the statue of zeus.

Senff: You can see how the light
virtually pass

Through the marble

And therefore gives this
very special lighting effect,

Also, on the statue of zeus.

Narrator: Thousands of these
marble tiles formed the temple ceiling.

Each one shines as bright
as a 200-lumens bulb,

Bathing zeus in sunlight.

The incredible effort
with which greek artists

Executed their pieces of work,

The precision of
the architecture

And the beauty of the sculptures
led to completely new horizons

In the art history
of the ancient world.

Narrator: The statue of zeus at
olympia is the zenith of greek artistry.

The custodians of olympia
build their wonder

To outdo their rivals in athens,

Who have a giant statue
dedicated to the goddess athena.

The whole statue,
a vision of divine majesty,

Shimmers in the bright
greek sunlight.

The statue of zeus is the last
wonder built

In the lifetime of herodotus,

The historian whose work
inspires the list.

He never gets to see
the next wonder

That rises in his home city...

The mausoleum of halicarnassus.

Narrator: In greece,
the historian herodotus

Creates the ultimate travel
guide to the ancient world.

He describes the marvels
of egypt, babylon, and greece,

Must-see sights that become
the seven ancient wonders.

The fifth wonder is
in herodotus' home city.

It lies on the coast of asia

Now turkey, a gigantic tomb...

The mausoleum of halicarnassus.

Legend says this towering tomb
is a labor of love

Built by a queen
to remember her dead husband,

A king called mausolus.

36 towering pillars stand on top
of a huge plinth crowned

By a horse-drawn chariot
carrying mausolus himself.

It's a wonderful romantic story,
but how much of it is true?

Archaeologist julian bennett
is on a mission

To distinguish fact
from fiction.

He begins by trying to piece

The mausoleum's appearance.

Well, here we are,
at the mausoleum,

I mean, one of the wonders,

And what a wonderful
pile of stones

And some beautifully
half-complete columns.

Narrator: The mausoleum originally
stands in the center of the old city.

Today, only fragments remain,

But a clue to what it looks like
lies in this nearby castle.

In the 15th century,

Crusader knights build a mighty
citadel overlooking the harbor.

The castle appears just as the
mausoleum vanishes from history.

Bennett: If you look closely
at the castle,

There are blocks
of greenstone like this,

Which are cut to uniform
sort of standard

Based on an ionian foot
of 30 centimeters.

Just over there, 90 centimeters,

And then we look
at the height of it...

30 centimeters, also.

Narrator: A standard ionian foot
is just over 11 1/2 inches.

So we can recognize blocks

That could've come
from the mausoleum,

But they aren't cut
to the same standard,

The same measurement
that was used in the mausoleum.

Why wouldn't the knights
who built the castle

Use the mausoleum?

Narrator: Ancient marble and
stone blocks stud the castle walls.

More pieces lie inside.

What we have here is actually
one of the most important pieces

Of the mausoleum
that's built into the castle.

It's a block of marble,

And it gives us
the spacing of the columns,

And it's exactly
2.99 meters long,

And from that, we can calculate
everything else.

This is a good piece
of clear evidence

That the builders of the castle
in 1522 onward

Were using parts
of the mausoleum.

It's marble, but the dimensions
of this and the size of it

Fit in with what we know
would come from the mausoleum.

Narrator: The stones from the
castle reveal beyond a doubt

That the mausoleum
is a huge structure,

But it is supposedly
the tomb's marble statues

That make it
a wonder of the world.

Most are now missing...
The medieval knights

Who build the castle
crush them up to make lime.

Could they be the key to solving
the mysterious origins

Of the mausoleum?

Many pieces of the statues
are now here

At the british museum in london.

Curator peter higgs tries
to reconstruct

This lost monument.

He detects the hand
of mausolus himself

Behind his own final
resting place.

I think most people know
the word mausoleum

Is a great, grand tomb
but forget that it was named

After the great
king mausolus from caria.

Some of the statues are huge.

This fragment
of a galloping horse

Is more than 6 1/2 feet high.

One statue may even
represent the king himself.

The statue that we call mausolus
is around 3 meters high,

Which is usually a scale
reserved for the gods,

Not for mortals,

So that just shows
how he thought of himself

In terms of scale and magnitude.

He wanted to be seen like a god.

Narrator: Everything about
this tomb is larger than life,

But mausolus himself
is a minor ruler.

Why did he need
such a magnificent tomb?

Peter hunts for clues
in the basement of the museum.

Here he keeps the majority
of the fragments.

To his trained eye, these are
works of exquisite beauty.

Mausolus spared no expense

In employing
the best sculptors of the day.

They're extremely fine quality.

As fragments, they are great,
but joined together,

They become much more
of the original sculptural form.

Narrator: Peter spends hours
examining the broken fragments

Trying to join
the pieces back together.

This piece here from
a human cheek

And left eye
may belong to this head.

It's around the right scale.

The weathering pattern
looks very similar,

And we can't prove
that they belong together,

But they would make
a tangible composition.

It's clear that mausolus' tomb

Is a monumental act
of self-promotion.

He obviously built up
great wealth

And was a megalomaniac,
and he wanted to be remembered.

Narrator: The tomb is also
the star attraction

Of a new capital city...

Higgs: Sailors coming into the
port would've seen the mausoleum

Before any other building as it
rose up 40 meters into the sky.

It was a huge spectacle, and the
best way to be remembered

Was by moving his whole
capital into halicarnassus,

A wonderful natural harbor,
and planning from the very start

This huge memorial
to himself and his family.

Narrator: The ancient stories
claim that the mausoleum

Is the work of a grieving widow,

But all the evidence
points to the king.

When we look closely at
the plan of halicarnassus,

It's there in the plan
to start off with.

All ancient greek cities
would have a big monument

Known as a heroon,

Which was the monument
to the founder of the city.

Where mausolus went
one step different

Was to have this
enormous structure

Rising up almost
in the center of the town.

You couldn't miss it.

He wants everybody to know,
"I am mausolus."

Narrator: The mausoleum is
a worthy wonder.

It also has an enticing story
that ensures its lasting fame.

It's so impressive that its name

Becomes a byword
for an aboveground tomb.

But the sixth wonder
of the world

Takes architectural ambition
to even greater heights...

The astonishing
colossus of rhodes.

Why do the people of this tiny
greek island

Build the biggest statue
in the world?

Narrator: By the reign
of alexander the great,

Five huge monuments dominate
the ancient world...

In egypt, the great pyramid;

Babylon's romantic
hanging gardens;

The temple of artemis
at bustling ephesus;

The statue of zeus in olympia,
home of the famous games;

And the soaring mausoleum
of halicarnassus.

But the sixth wonder is so tall,

It redefines what it means
to build big...

A gigantic statue
on a tiny greek island,

The awe-inspiring
colossus of rhodes.

Legend describes the colossus
as over 100 feet tall.

It towers over the island's
main harbor.

Sheets of bronze made
from melted-down weapons

Create the giant's
shimmering skin.

With a crown of rays
and windswept hair,

His eyes gaze skywards
towards the sun.

The statue is said to represent
helios, the greek sun god.

Why do the citizens of rhodes
build such a remarkable statue?

Ancient writers say it's built
to celebrate a great victory.

In 304 b.C., rhodes becomes
swept up in the civil wars

That tear apart the greek world

After the death
of alexander the great.

Ptolemy, the ruler of alexandria
in egypt,

Rescues the island
from a terrible siege.

In return, the islanders melt
down their enemies' weapons

And build the colossus
to their patron god, helios.

Today, nothing remains
of this mighty bronze statue,

But the popular image of it
straddling rhodes' harbor

Is almost certainly wrong,

A romantic idea
invented centuries later

During the renaissance.

One theory is that the colossus
actually stands above the city,

Perhaps where
the castle is today.

So how much do we really know
about its origins?

Historian andrew chugg thinks
that there

Is a forgotten side
to the colossus.

He believes it's really built
to honor someone else.

The statue hides
a secret identity.

He finds a clue among
the ancient greek statues

At cambridge university
in England.

Chugg: This statue is
particularly interesting

Because if I look up behind
and look at the band

Around the hair,
I can see holes in there,

And it looks as though they are
the sockets for some rays

That fixed into those sockets

So surrounding the head
like the rays of a sun disk.

Narrator: The sun crown is
a classic representation

Of the god helios.

Ancient writers say
that the colossus

Has a similar headdress,

But the cambridge statue
portrays a human being...

Alexander the great.

Chugg: When we see rays emerging
from the head

Of a male statue like this,

It's a well-known type
in ancient sculpture,

And it refers to the sun god,

And that means that alexander
is being represented

In the guise of the sun god,

Helios, here as a kind of act
of flattery towards him.

Narrator: Alexander, the greatest
conqueror of the ancient world,

Is obsessed with his image.

Chugg: There was no photography,

There were no movies,

And so if you wanted to project
your presence

Amongst your people
across the great empire

Then some kind of

To make the portraits

Was an urgent necessity.

Narrator: Andrew believes that
alexander uses his court sculptor

To create an image that
everybody in the ancient world

Can recognize...

A vision of alexander as a god.

Chugg: His family told him
he was descended from zeus

On both his mother's
and father's side.

It was their family tradition.

The most famous helios statue
of all time

Was the colossus of rhodes,
and we know it was sculpted

By a pupil
of alexander's court sculptor.

I believe that the colossus
of rhodes

Was a portrait of alexander
in the guise of the god helios.

But there's a mystery...

Alexander the great is long dead

When the people of rhodes
build their colossus.

Why do they immortalize him
with a supersize statue?

Andrew believes that the answer
lies across the sea

With their allies in egypt.

At the same time as the colossus
is being built at rhodes,

The greeks here embark
on their own wonder,

The lighthouse of alexandria.

This new greek powerhouse honors
alexander the great.

Andrew believes that
a statue of the dead king

Even crowns
the city's new lighthouse.

Any image that shows the statue
on top of the lighthouse

With any definition,
that's extremely rare.

This is my favorite one here,

And this time, we can see
the statue in great definition.

We can see that he's holding in
his hand a great sphere or orb,

And on his head, he has a crown

That represents
the rays of the sun.

These are unmistakable.

This is the god
alexander helios.

It is a statue
of alexander helios

That we have at the summit
of the lighthouse.

Narrator: The people of rhodes
build the colossus to grab

A little piece of alexander's
legacy for themselves.

Chugg: At the same time as the
lighthouse is being erected,

The citizens of rhodes
are celebrating

Having withstood a great siege
with the help of their allies,

The ptolemies, in alexandria,

And they're building an enormous
colossus of alexander helios

On an even larger scale,

Another wonder
of the ancient world.

Narrator: The wonders reach new
heights with the colossus of rhodes

And the lighthouse
of alexandria.

Both are built to herald a new

The greeks of alexandria.

The scribes who write the list

They are living
in a new golden age.

What is it about this remarkable

That reshapes the ancient world
and inspires its citizens

To create the final
ultimate wonder...

The lighthouse of alexandria?

Narrator: In 280 b.C.,
the city of alexandria in egypt

Is at its glorious peak,

A greek metropolis
in the land of the pharaohs.

In its enormous library,

Writers record the ancient
world's greatest wonders.

They catalog the marvels
of greece and persia,

But the final
magnificent monument

Emerges in their own city.

Legend has it that alexandria
is home

To the ultimate wonder...

...A mighty megastructure

That no other ancient city
could build.

At the entrance to alexandria's

Stands the tallest tower
in the world,

The famous lighthouse.

Immense bronze tritons,
greek gods,

Keep watch over the harbor below

While mirrors that beam
a blazing light across the sea

Supposedly make
alexandria visible to ships

Still a day's sail away.

The lighthouse builders top off
the tower

With a statue of alexander
as the god helios,

And rumors even tell of
a deadly death ray weapon

At the tower's summit.

Modern high-rise buildings now
dominate alexandria's skyline,

But the lost lighthouse
is one of the most written

About of all the wonders.

Its reputation casts a spell
over those who hunt for it.

Em ad hall is a marine

Archaeologist at
alexandria university.

He's spent the last 25 years
tracking down

This city's lost wonder.

In the 1990s,
emad is part of a team

That investigates
mysterious ruins on the seabed.

What they discover stuns the

Thousands of ancient
stone blocks.

Khalil: We didn't really know
what we're going to find there.

We knew that there are artifacts

But what exactly is going on,
we didn't really know.

Seeing sphinxes underwater
was something

That none of us
have ever seen before.

Seeing pieces of obelisks
underwater with hieroglyphics

Written on it,
huge blocks like this one,

This is something that none
of us have experienced before.

Narrator: Archaeologists
think these sunken stone blocks

Could be the remains
of the fallen lighthouse,

But they can't be sure.

Only a few precious images
of the lighthouse survive.

It's a huge puzzle, basically,
and you want to put it back

Together without a picture
to base your reconstruction on,

And this is where digital

And computer simulation came in,

And this is being done
until the present.

Today, emad continues his hunt

For the lost lighthouse
above water.

This is the ideal place to start
hunting for the lighthouse

Mainly because
of the material we have here.

Narrator: Emad explores
the citadel of qaitbay

On alexandria's waterfront.

Narrator: Emad believes
these ancient stones

Match the blocks
found underwater.

Parts of alexandria's
fabled lighthouse still survive,

Standing on the spot
where legends say

The ancient structure
once stands.

The fortress of qaitbay
was built using

Some of the blocks
that existed in the lighthouse.

Narrator: So what does
the lighthouse look like?

Beneath the blocks lies a clue.

Inside the fort stands
a sacred mosque.

It should be facing mecca
to the southeast,

But this mosque faces north
towards the sea,

More proof that it stands on
the old lighthouse foundations.

On the roof of the mosque
is a strange octagonal opening.

Could this help emad work out

What the ancient lighthouse
looks like?

The structure of this mosque
is quite typical

Until you start looking up,
and this is very unusual.

It's very unusual to have
a square minaret, basically,

And part of it is octagonal,

And then another part
is cylindrical.

That doesn't happen in
islamic architecture.

Narrator: Emad is convinced
the mosque's distinctive design,

A square base topped
with an octagon and a circle,

Copies the shape
of the original lighthouse.

That's because 30 miles
west of alexandria,

There's an ancient structure
that follows this blueprint,

Abusir lighthouse.

It stands guard over
an ancient necropolis.

What we have here, basically,
is a typical hellenistic tomb,

An altar in the middle
and couches,

Two couches, one on each side
to be used by the visitors,

And then we have
the burial chamber.

You can still see the remains
and the bones

And the remains of the deceased.

Narrator: On some of the walls,
snake carvings offer protection

To the spirits of the dead,
typical of a greek-style burial.

Khalil: All around us,
there are plenty of them.

There are, I think, over 13 of
them, very much the same design,

Greek tombs,
and this is a building

Which was built
during the same period,

During the same era,
in the shape of a lighthouse.

Narrator: Emad thinks the
builders of this tomb take inspiration

From the lighthouse
of alexandria.

Khalil: It's an evidence.

It gives us indication
that this is the shape

Of the original lighthouse
of alexandria.

Narrator: Abusir lighthouse is a
miniature copy of the lighthouse

At alexandria.

It confirms that ancient images

Offer a true glimpse
of the lost wonder.

So the builders of this
were actually able to see

The original
lighthouse of alexandria

And copy the design
into this structure.

The ancient alexandria
lighthouse had three levels...

A square one, an octagonal one,
and a cylindrical one very much

Similar to this monument
we have here.

The lighthouse of abusir
is a crucial piece of evidence.

It shines new light

On the lighthouse
of alexandria's appearance.

It affirms that the lighthouse
is an immense building

With a distinctive
three-level design...

A square base with
an octagonal central section

And a cylindrical turret.

The final wonder is perhaps
the greatest of them all,

An ancient skyscraper not
matched until the modern age,

But the lighthouse
is a curiosity.

Why does this city need
such an elaborate

And oversized warning beacon,

And why is it the last wonder
of the ancient world?

The lighthouse of alexandria

Is the last of the seven wonders
of the ancient world.

Why do the people of this city
build a stone skyscraper taller

Than any in history?

A lighthouse is supposed
to guide ships

And warn them
of approaching danger,

But the most perilous waters
in ancient alexandria

Lie inside the harbor.

A clue lies nearly 125 miles

Along the alexandrian coastline
at marsa bagoush.

Beneath the calm surface
lurk deadly rocks

And shifting sand bars.

Half buried in the sand
lie the shattered remains

Of countless amphorae,

Ancient clay pots
for carrying wine and oil.

These shards span
900 years of history

And hint that this bay
is a ship's graveyard.

How treacherous
is the egyptian coast?

Is the purpose of this
colossal lighthouse

Simply to prevent
endless shipwrecks?

Archaeologist emad khalil
and his team dive the site.

They find undisturbed jars
on each descent to the seafloor.

During diving, we just came
across some shards of pottery

Inside the bay,
and the further we look,

We discover more pottery,
more ceramic,

And then we started discovering
single amphora, intact amphora.

Narrator: The sheer number of
amphorae on the seabed is a surprise.

Are they all from wrecked ships?

Khalil: Finding an amphora
or a few amphoras

Does not definitely indicate
an existence of a shipwreck

Because amphoras
could have fallen off a ship,

Thrown over the ship.

Emad must investigate further.

The team takes thousands
of high-resolution photos

To build a digital model
of the seabed.

The scan reveals a surprising

The distinct forms
of anchors from ancient ships.

The team discovers a total
of 14 in the bay.

Khalil: Finding more than
one anchor in the same place

Means that this had been
used frequently by ships.

Narrator: This coastline is not
without danger,

But the concentration
of anchors here suggests

That ancient ships traveled
to marsa bagoush on purpose.

Marsa bagoush is an ideal
example for a safe haven

Or a safe natural anchor.

First of all, it's deep enough
for ships to come in.

Secondly, the entire bay
is protected from both sides

By reefs,

So wherever the wind comes from,
it's still protected.

Narrator: Marsa bagoush is not
a ship's graveyard

But a refueling stop
on the way to alexandria.

This discovery transforms emad's
view of the lighthouse.

Ancient sailors do not need
a megatower

To warn them of hidden dangers.

The alexandrians build
the lighthouse

To capture lucrative trade.

The seventh wonder exists
to draw sailors into a new city.

It's visible
from many miles away.

It would be a banner basically
to draw the attention of ships

And sailors coming into egypt.

They would head
for this new town,

The new town with this big,
huge monument, alexandria.

Narrator: Historian andrew
chugg thinks the lighthouse is really

A deliberate attempt to promote
a new city and a new ruler,

A greek general called ptolemy.

Ptolemy is one of alexander
the great's

Most trusted companions.

He emerges victorious
in the civil wars

That follow alexander's death.

Ptolemy declares himself
to be king of egypt

And founds
a new dynasty of pharaohs,

And they last for 300 years.

Narrator: Ptolemy has big
plans for his new metropolis.

He builds a city larger
than any in greece.

So here's a massive
ancient fragment of wall.

It's made out of immense blocks.

They're 1 1/2 meters
long and 3/4 of a meter tall.

They have drafted margins
where the edges of the block

Are cut smoother
all the way around.

This is highly characteristic
of masonry from the period

Just after the death
of alexander the great.

Narrator: Ptolemy even steals
alexander's body and brings it here.

About 30 years after
alexander's death,

Ptolemy's son moves the tomb
of alexander himself

To lie
at the heart of alexandria.

The ancient sources place
an enclosure

In which alexander's tomb lay in
exactly this part of the city.

Narrator: Alexandria is meant
to be an entire city of wonders.

Chugg: It's clear that the
ptolemies had similar aspirations

For alexandria as alexander
had had for babylon.

He builds immense buildings
like the lighthouse,

And he builds the walls
of alexandria

On a scale comparable
with the walls of babylon.

Narrator: But ptolemy's ambitions
go beyond stone and mortar.

He wants his city to be
the intellectual capital

Of the known world.

So here we are in one of the
classrooms of what

Was effectively a university
in 4th century a.D. Alexandria.

Alexandria has been a place
of learning,

A center of scholarship
in the world

For nearly 7 centuries
at this point.

It's a really embedded part
of the culture of the place.

Narrator: The center of alexandria's
learning is the great library

Where scholars make copies
of every manuscript

Entering the city's port.

This vast store of ancient

Attracts the greatest minds
from across the ancient world.

It's here that the philosopher

First calculates the
circumference of the earth...

...And the celebrated

Euclid first sets out

The fundamental principles
of geometry.

Chugg: The scholars from
the library were the einsteins

And the newtons of their day.

They were making dramatic

Which are remembered now

As the foundations
of much of the scholarship

And the way
that we approach science,

Technology in the modern world.

Narrator: 2,300 years ago,

Alexandria is the most
sophisticated city

In the mediterranean.

Andrew believes its scholars
are responsible

For the incredible feats of
engineering at the lighthouse.

There's a link, I think, between
the magnificent buildings

And the spirit of alexandria as
a place of study and learning.

Many of the principles that
were being explored and advanced

At the library
were feeding the architecture

And the engineering principles

On which great buildings
like the lighthouse were based.

Narrator: The scholars of
alexandria have access to vast

Swaths of ancient knowledge
from egypt,

Greece, and every other corner
of the known world.

The greeks of egypt build
the lighthouse so high

Simply because they now
have the technical expertise.

Alexandria's lighthouse
proclaims it

As the greatest city on earth.

It's an extraordinary
statement of power.

Each one of the wonders
glorifies its creator...

The pharaoh khufu of egypt,

The mighty king nebuchadnezzar,

And the megalomaniacal
king mausolus

With ideas above his station,
but there's a surprise.

Alexandria's own wonder,
the lighthouse,

Is not on
the original list of seven.

Why does it join them
only centuries later,

And is there a forgotten
eighth wonder of the world?

Narrator: The lighthouse of alexandria
is the last of the seven wonders,

But it only receives this title
more than 900 years

After its construction.

So what else do the ancients

Consider to be
a wonder of the world?

The notion of a wonder
as a must-see site

Stretches back
to the days of herodotus.

The scholars of alexandria's
great library continue his work,

But the oldest list
that survives dates

To the 2nd century b.C.
When the city is past its prime.

A greek poet called antipater
of sidon writes it.

He selects the walls of babylon
as his seventh wonder.

Babylon was an immense city.

It had huge walls made out
of baked brick,

Which were glazed with brightly
colored images of animals,

Animals that the babylonians
regarded as gods.

Narrator: Today,
the only walls that survive at babylon

Are modern replicas,

But the most impressive section
of the city's defenses

Is the ishtar gate,
now kept at a berlin museum.

Chugg: We have its walls.

They're accounted a wonder
in themselves sometimes.

They are on a huge scale,
tens of kilometers of circuit

And 100 feet tall
or of that order.

They were covered with colored,
glazed tiles

And decorated with images
of animals and gods.

Narrator: The list of wonders
changes many times over the centuries.

The greek historian herodotus

Originally includes
the lost maze at hawara

As one of his must-see sites.

He visits
this remarkable structure

In egypt 2,500 years ago.

The maze is actually
an elaborate temple

Next to a pyramid.

Today, almost nothing remains,
but herodotus says

That it contains
3,000 interconnected rooms

And courtyards giving it
the appearance of a labyrinth.

Later writers select other
ancient monuments

As their wonders.

They include the colosseum,
rome's huge amphitheater

Where gladiators fight
to the death,

And the ancient egyptian
city of thebes,

Home to the mighty
karnak temple.

At olympia,

The temple that houses
the statue of zeus,

Is itself seen as a wonder.

I personally think that
this idea of seven wonders

Fitted in with the idea
of the universe at that time,

You've got the seven planets
including the sun and the moon.

Seven has always been
a mystical number.

Narrator: Surprisingly,
the list of wonders that we know today

Isn't fixed
until the middle ages.

A french bishop called
gregory of tours

Is the first to name
the lighthouse as a wonder.

When we look at the history of
the seven wonders of the world,

We see different ones included.

It's sort of like
they're the seven hills of rome,

And romans couldn't agree which
were the seven hills of rome.

In the ancient world,
they couldn't agree

Which were the seven
main wonders.

We've inherited the tradition
that the monks

Of the medieval period,

That's what they thought
from their reading

Were the seven main wonders.

Narrator: So why do later
generations choose the lighthouse

As the seventh wonder?

The tower's remarkable
construction holds a clue.

The lighthouse builders
lock thousands of stone

Blocks together.

They carefully shape the stones
for a perfect fit,

Chiseling holes
into neighboring blocks

And connecting them with dowels.

Metal clamps lock the blocks

And a special lead mortar fills
any remaining gaps to seal

The walls against the pounding
waves of alexandria's harbor.

Could this clever engineering
explain why the lighthouse

Claims the final spot
on the list of wonders?

At the university of memphis,

Structural engineer
adel abdelnaby

its unique construction.

He wants to know how a stone
tower is able to survive

For nearly 1,500 years.

If you ask an engineer if he
or she can build a skyscraper

From stone,
they would think you're crazy.

You know, we don't do that.

Narrator: Stone is heavy,
expensive, and hard to work...

...And the higher you build,
the greater the risk

The building will collapse
under its own weight.

Adel uses a powerful vice
in his lab

To test which type
of egyptian stone

Is tough enough to support
a 330-foot-tall lighthouse.

So what this does, it applies
a compression force

Until it crushes the sandstone.

Narrator: At first,
sandstone holds strong...

...Only to shatter
at 57,000 pounds.

We're going to do a crush test
for the limestone.

- Limestone is stronger.
- And we're good to go...

Narrator: But it still fails
at 134,000 pounds.

The only material that's up
to the job is pink granite.

This is the stone that
egyptian masons

Used to carve out huge obelisks.

The vice maxes out at over
a 1/4 of a million pounds...

...And the granite
is still going strong.

So you don't have a choice.

The best material to use
is granite.

That's the only type of masonry
or blocks

That can survive
these conditions.

Narrator: Superhard granite
allows the lighthouse of alexandria

To survive for centuries.

It is still going strong
more than 1,000 years

After its construction.

Medieval writers who finalized
the list are in no doubt

That the lighthouse should be
judged a wonder of the world.

They can see the proof
with their own eyes.

The fame of the lighthouse rests

With its extraordinary

So why does this golden age
of the seven wonders

Of the world come to an end,

And what are the wonders
of the modern era?

Narrator: The seven
wonders are the greatest sites

Of the ancient greek world,

A group
of extraordinary monuments,

Each one huge and unique.

Today, our list of ancient
wonders is far broader

Than that of the greeks.

In the 15th century,

European explorers
head out across the globe.

They reach the americas, where
they encounter civilizations

That are the equal of ancient
egypt and babylon...

The maya, the incas,
and the aztecs.

They admire the stepped
pyramid of cichen itza

And the mountainous
machu picchu,

And on the other side
of the planet,

Later travelers gaze in awe
at the great wall of china.

But the original seven continue
to cast a spell

Over archaeologists
and historians.

Only one remains...

The great pyramid at giza.

How do the other six
come to an end?

In the 5th century a.D.,

Christians move the statue
of zeus to constantinople

Where it's consumed by fire
in the year 462.

Babylon falls into ruin
following alexander's death,

Its hanging gardens left
to rot and disappear,

While christians shut down
the temple of artemis.

Earthquakes claim the colossus
of rhodes 56 years

After its completion,

And the mausoleum is lost
to tremors centuries later.

Engineering brilliance keeps
the lighthouse of alexandria

Standing for more than 15

But it can't stand forever.

A series of earthquakes
hits the ancient wonder

During the middle ages.

In 1303, the stone skyscraper
finally topples over.

The great blocks of granite
plunge into the harbor,

Sinking to the seabed
where most still lie today.

Egypt's rulers reuse
the foundations

To build qaitbay fort
and mosque.

The destruction of the
lighthouse of alexandria

Is the final chapter
of a lost age,

The age of the seven wonders
of the ancient world,

An astonishing era
of new discoveries

That flourishes in the great
metropolis of alexandria.

I think there's little doubt
that alexandria at its peak

Was probably the greatest city
in the world.

Each wonder of the world

Expresses humankind's urge
to greatness...

...A quest to control the world
through artistry and stone.

All of the seven wonders could
be seen as attempts by mankind,

By groups of men and women,

To go a bit further
than anyone has gone before.

Narrator: The construction
of the seven wonders is

The start
of a 2,000-year journey

That begins with
the great pyramid of giza...

...And the hanging gardens
of babylon.

The ancient greeks take on the
baton with the temple of artemis

And the statue of zeus
at olympia.

The massive mausoleum
at halicarnassus

And the colossus of rhodes

Take ancient engineering
and sculpture

To even greater heights.

Finally, the wonders are
complete with the construction

Of the astonishing lighthouse
of alexandria.

The great pyramid of giza
might be the only survivor

Of the original seven wonders,

But each one casts
a long shadow.

They inspire the architects
and engineers

Who build the modern world.

The great cathedrals of europe
surpassed the pyramid

In the middle ages,

But the race to build the
tallest structure on the planet

Continues with the eiffel tower,

The empire state building,
and the burj khalifa.

The mausoleum of halicarnassus

The design of landmark
buildings across america...

...And the designer of the
statue of liberty in new york

Takes inspiration from the lost
colossus of rhodes.

He even gives lady liberty
a sun crown just like the one

Worn by the awe-inspiring
statue in greece.

The idea of the seven wonders

As a vision of the heights
humankind can reach.

Today, we continue to compile
our own new lists

Just like the alexandrians,
convinced that our own age

Will outlive that age of wonders
as the greatest of them all.