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Curious George and the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
Transcript of Curious George and the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
Curious George and Archie's Adventure
Curious George and the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
By Sophia Cohen
One quiet day, Curious George found
himself at the Library trying to find an
interesting book. Looking for an adventure, he closed his eyes, jumped into the elevator and picked a random floor. Without looking at the name on the wall, he takes out a couple books and begins to read...
After he had read a few books, Curious George started to learn so many things about something called archaeology! There were words like field survey, excavations, and artifacts. After he started to fully grasp what this subject was all about, one of the books came to life!
Hello there Curious George! my name is Archie and I have a wonderful idea. How would you like to go back in time and explore the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World? There was a brief period when they all existed and I need more information. So hop in my book and lets go all the way back to 230 BC. Are you in??
hmm...thought Curious George. I would love to learn more and explore but I know nothing about these wonders. Let see what I know already from these other books...well there was 7 but only one still remains standing... I am very curious to understand what happened...
Okay Archie, lets do it!
Hooray! Let our adventure begin.
Hold on tight!
Note from the Author
Through this story, Curious and Archie will be using infromation that has not been completely confirmed. With classical written works and archaeological evidence, we are able to make educated guesses and form opinions as to what these wonders may have looked like when they existed.
The Great Pyramid of Giza
Curious George could not believe his eyes. The amount of technology and thought that was put into this monument is incredible! More specifically, Curious George was fascinated by the culture surrounding the Pyramid and the concept of the afterlife. The coolest part to learn about was the mummification of the body.
This is what we have discovered through intensive archaeological research on the interior. It is clear that there was a place for the Pharaoh, and his qeen for when they died as well as traps and passage ways to confuse looters.
Can we check out the inside?
No Curious George! Once the Pharaoh is placed inside with his belongings, the door is shut to prevent theives! Unfortuately they did get in, so we just have to imagine the treasures
that were once there.
The Hanging Gardens of Babylon
Martin Van Heemskerk's Interpretation
Wonder number two! This one still puzzles archaeologists today with its location and questionable existence. With no exact date either, it is clear that little is known about this wonder with only a small portion of ancient textual references and no physical archaeological evidence. Nebuchadnezzar II is thought to have built this garden for his wife Queen Amytis in Babylon: modern day Iraq. With its beautiful plant life and waterfalls, this will forever be remembered as the most amazing man made garden.
Curious George could not believe that the King made this for his wife so she wouldn't miss home! It is a bit strange that the Babylonians did not write anything about it...but maybe they did and the texts were lost. The coolest fact he learned was how intricate the irrigation was and how it pumped water from the River Euphrates. It was also interesting to see how the "garden" actually hung over terraces on different floors of an existing 80 ft structure. Did its downfall happen because
of erosion? Earthquake? Who knows!
All he noticed in that moment
was the beauty.
Temple of Artemis at Ephesus
Wonder number three! This temple, also known to some as the Temple of Diana, is dedicated to the goddess Artemis, Ephesus's god for fertility, and is located in modern Turkey. After being destroyed by natural causes, being rebuilt, and then getting destroyed again by Herostratus who set it on fire to get fame, the temple considered on the canonical seven wonder list was finally made in 323 BC. Being completely constructed by marble (other than the roof), this 425 ft long, 225 ft wide, an 60 ft tall temple is colossal and has about 127 Ionic columns. On these massive columns there are reliefs on the base, also known as the drum that depict various scenes. Images of the Amazons, the large female warriors, are featured in the art within the temple because they were considered to be the founders of Ephesus. The temple was later destroyed in 262 AD by the Goths
This Ephesian goddess Artemis was not only their protector but also a goddess of economic matters. That being said, the people rebuilt the temple multiple times because they believed their fate was intertwined with hers. She is related to an Phrygian mother Goddess Cybele and is also compared to the Roman goddess Diana. Although the original was probably destroyed by the fire because it was made out of wood, there are many replicas that would most likely resemble the original. In the newer versions we see the multiple breast-like mounds that are most likely bull testicles, the zodiac symbols on her chest, and a robe decorated with lions, goats, griffins, bulls, etc. that represent her as a goddess of the animals. Lastly she wears a mural crown like Cybele did.
Curious George for sure felt small in this place. The column drum alone must be twice his size! He was mesmerized by the beautiful and lavish marble... and couldn't keep his eyes off the reliefs. Curious George particularly enjoyed the idea that the people rebuilt it so many times for their goddess - she must really mean alot to them. He also learned a fun fact! The year the temple was destroyed was the year Alexander the Great was born. Wanting to help them rebuilt, Alexander offered to pay for the new temple but the Ephesians refused because one god should not pay for another god's temple. The final temple was built the year Alexander the Great died - strange right?
Statue Of Zeus At Olympia
On to the forth wonder! Olympia was home to the Olympic games held every four years in honor of their god Zeus "father of gods and men". To honor him, the people of Olympia commissioned a 42 ft chryselephantine (gold and ivory) statue made by the Greek sculptor Phidias in 435 BC. Zeus is seated on an elaborate wooden throne decorated with precious stones, gold, and other expensive material. The project was so massive that a workshop was made next to the Temple of Zeus so Phidias could work efficiently. There are no replications of the statue in our time and age, but we are able to get an idea with various coin representations. Although we see it here now Curious George, it was later thought to have been moved to
Constantinople where it was most likely
destroyed in a fire in 475 AD.
Curious George was interested in why the room was so dark! He is told by the locals that because Zeus is so powerful in Greek mythology, his image should be somewhat of a mystery to mere mortals. Since there are no windows, the only light on Zeus is provided by the candles at the base. We are also told that in his right hand he carries Nike, the goddess of victory, and in his left hand, a sceptre holding up an eagle (his popular animal representation). Curious George also thought it was funny that if the statue could stand up, it would take the roof off!
Mausoleum at Halicarnassus
Fifth stop! This burial monument was commissioned by Queen Artemisia after her husband, and brother, Mausolus died. It was built around 350 BC and was made of white marble. She wanted to commemorate him and build the most splendid tomb making him somewhat immortal. Greek architects Satyros and Pythius of Priene designed the overall 148 ft structure with the help of other Greek sculptors Bryaxis, Scopas, Leochares, and Timotheus to decorate the facade. The final product was a combination of three different cultures: Egyptian, Greek, and Lycian. After
a series of earthquakes, the
monument was unrecognizable
and was later dismantled by
crusaders in 1522 AD
Curious George could not stop staring at the sculptures and reliefs. The tomb at the center of the structure was decorated with stories of Greek mythology and history. Curious George particularly loved the one of the battle of the Centaurs with the Lapiths. He also recognized a reference to the Amazon women just like the Temple of Artemis! Lastly Curious George asked if he could climb the step pyramid and sit on the sculptor Pytheos's four horse chariot that sat on top of the mausoleum.
No Curious George! We have two more left and we are running out of time!
Colossus of Rhodes
Second to last wonder Curious George! Located on the Greek island Rhodes, this 98 ft statue of the Greek Titan Helios, Rhodians patron god, stands proud at the harbor welcoming the incoming ships. Chares of Lindos, the architect, built this monumental statue to celebrate the victory over the Antigonus I who tried to seige Rhodes but failed. The monument was made with bronze plates and iron framework and had stones on the interior to keep it grounded. Because each sheet of bronze had to be hammered into place on the spot, the entire project took 12 years to complete and due to miscalculations, it cost more then Chares expected: ultimately leading to his suicide. In 226 BC a massive earthquake hit
the Island of Rhodes and due to the
heavy weight, the statue fell and
was later carted off as scrap
Curious George could not believe that this statue that took 12 years to make only lasted about 60 years! He also mentioned that the statue reminded him of the Statue of Liberty. Although inherently different, they share the same spiked crown, the same concept of Liberty, and this monumental gesture of welcoming people by sea. Curious George also wondered why artists were fixated on this wide-leg stance when there was no indication or imagery that displayed the Colossus like that. I explained that when we know little about something as grand as this, we tend to have a vivid imagination as to what we would like the wonder to have looked like. Unfortunately modern architects have confirmed that the Colossus would not have been able to support itself if it was actually bestriding the harbor.
Lighthouse (Pharos) of Alexandria
Our journey is almost over! We have reached our last wonder Curious George. Constructed in 280 BC, this massive 450 ft stone and marble tower stood proudly on Egyptian soil. Largely connected to Alexander the Great, this city thrived economically and consistently was out at sea. This wonder proved to have a practical application for everyday use by guiding trade ships to its busy harbor. Ptolemy was the one who commissioned the first lighthouse in known history. In the interior you can see how the wood that fuels the fire creates light which is then projected by a mirror to create a beam that could reach far out into the sea. After a massive earthquake in 1303, the lighthouse
For a second I lost Curious George! I looked everywhere! Finally I go inside the lighthouse to find him helping the workmen fuel the fire. He really enjoyed that this wonder could actually be interacted with. Curious George also was facinated by the look of the whole structure. He at first did not recognize that it was a lighthouse due to its three layered build that we do not see in modern lighthouses.
After a giant yawn I knew it was time to take Curious George home. Before we left he thanked me, cleaned off the dust on my cover, and went on his way with a new appreciation of these ancient wonders.
A week later, Curious came back with a letter he had written for Archie
After much thought, I realized what the 7 have in common; they not only inspire wonder in their respective times but also in modern ages with their memory. These man-made colossal wonders will be immortal through their contribution in the world of architecture, scupltures, and rich history embedded in their foundations. Thank you for a trip of
- The always Curious,
though it may be completely fictional