Culture

The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, Digitally Reconstructed

The original 7 wonders of the world are mostly all rubble. But an amazing new video reconstructs the glory of what they once were.

The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World have captured the imagination for thousands of years. Long before there was electricity, computers and heavy machinery, mankind's ingenuity throughout Mesopotamia and the Mediterranean shone through via monumental, seemingly impossible structures. The list, meant as an ancient travel guide, was originally compiled by the second-century Greek poet Antipater of Sidon, with later contributions by the mathematician Philon of Byzantium. Today, only the Great Pyramid of Giza still stands. But with a lot of creativity and help from historical and architectural experts, NeoMam Studios has painstakingly re-created what the original feats of mankind looked like in their heyday.

Below is a synopsis of each site that originally appeared on Budget Direct.

1. The Colossus of Rhodes

The 108ft Colossus stood astride Mandraki Harbor, its feet firmly planted on 49-foot pedestals so that boats could pass between its legs. It was certainly one way to let outsiders know who was boss: In fact, this giant statue of the sun god Helios was sculpted from the melted-down weapons and shields of the Cypriot army, which Rhodes had recently vanquished. The Colossus itself was toppled by an earthquake just half a century later. It remained in recline for visitors to wonder about for an additionsl 800 years, until Muslim caliph Muawiyah I melted the statue down and sold it for scrap.

As it is now:

01_Seven-Wonders-Rhodes-BEFORE The Colossus of Rhodes today. NeoMam Studios

As it was:

01_Seven-Wonders-Rhodes The Colossus of Rhodes as it was circa 220 B.C. NeoMam Studios

2. The Great Pyramid of Giza

Built over 4,500 years ago from stones weighing 2.5 to 15 tons each, the Great Pyramid remained the world’s tallest man-made structure for nearly 4,000 years. Nearby excavations have revealed it’s likely that up to 100,000 skilled and well-fed workers came from all over the country to live in a temporary city as they built the otherworldly pyramids of this region.

As it is now:

02_Seven-Wonders-Giza-BEFORE The Great Pyramid of Giza today. NeoMam Studios

As it was:

02_Seven-Wonders-Giza The Great Pyramid of Giza as it was 4,500 years ago. NeoMam Studios

3. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon

Did the Hanging Gardens ever actually exist? They’re the only wonder on the list that may have been a figment of an ancient travel writer’s imagination. The native writers of Babylon—which was 50 miles south of what is now Baghdad in Iraq—made no mention of the garden. But if it did exist, it seems to have been a remarkable engineering feat, with complex machinery drawing water to built terraces up to 65 feet high.

As it is now:

03_Seven-Wonders-Babylon-BEFORE The hanging Gardens of Babylon today. NeoMam Studios

As it was:

03_Seven-Wonders-Babylon The Hanging Gardens of Babylon when they were originally built in 605 B.C.E. NeoMam Studios

4. The Lighthouse of Alexandria

The lighthouse by which all subsequent lighthouses would be judged, this structure by Sostratus of Cnidus featured a burning fire atop a cylindrical tower, atop an octagonal middle, atop a square base. A spiral staircase led to the business end, where there may also have been a statue of Helios. The building fell into disrepair sometime between the 12th century and late 15th century, when Mamlūk sultan Qāʾit Bāy built a fort on the lighthouse’s ruins.

As it is now:

04_Seven-Wonders-Alexandria-BEFORE The Lighthouse of Alexandria today. NeoMam Studios

As it was:

04_Seven-Wonders-Alexandria The Lighthouse of Alexandria as it originally stood in 280 B.C. NeoMam Studios

5. The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus

The tomb built for Mausolus, ruler of Caria, an ancient region of Asia Minor, was so impressive that the late king’s name became the generic word for large funeral monuments. Mausolus commissioned many great temples and civic buildings in his life, and planned the Mausoleum himself. The structure was a mixture of Greek, Near Eastern and Egyptian design principles set in Anatolian and Pentelic marble. When the tomb was excavated, sacrificial remains of oxen, sheep and birds were taken to be the leftovers of a “send-off” feast for the Mausoleum’s permanent tenant.

As it is now:

05_Seven-Wonders-Halicarnassus-BEFORE Halicarnassus today. NeoMam Studios

As it was:

05_Seven-Wonders-Halicarnassus The Mausoleum as it was in 350 B.C.E. NeoMam Studios

6. The Statue of Zeus at Olympia

This 40-foot gold and ivory-plated statue was erected at the Temple of Zeus by the Eleans in an attempt to outshine the Athenians. Unfortunately, the framework and throne were made of wood. Although it seems to have lasted a few hundred years, the statue likely perished either when the temple was destroyed in 426CE or a few years later in a fire at Constantinople.

As it is now:

06_Seven-Wonders-Olympia-BEFORE There is no statue now. NeoMam Studios

As it was:

06_Seven-Wonders-Olympia The statue as it was around the first millennium. NeoMam Studios

7. The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus

Ancient Greeks, 3rd century Goths, and early Christians alike seem to have been provoked by this enormous temple to the Greek goddess of chastity, hunting, wild animals, forests and fertility: The building was built and destroyed three times. The first to demolish it was Herostratus, who burned it down just to get famous. Next came the Goths, who wrecked the city while passing through on the run from the Romans. Finally, a Christian mob tore it apart in 401 CE, leaving just the foundations and a single column—which can still be seen today.

As it is now: 

07_Seven-Wonders-Ephesus-BEFORE The temple ruins today. NeoMam Studios

As it was:

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