7 Wonders of the Ancient World: Pyramid & Temple

In history, the ancient world has produced a great deal of wondrous landmarks and evidence of greatness in the past that includes the Great Pyramid of Giza, which is still standing to this day. In this article, you will encounter a collection of ancient greats that once thrived in locations about the world, from Greece to Egypt to Babylon.

Great Pyramid of Giza (2584 – 2561BC)

You don’t need a rocket scientist to tell you that the Great Pyramid of Giza was built by the Egyptians, who fashioned this notable landmark as a tomb for the fourth dynasty Egyptian pharaoh named Khufu. To date, this is the only one of the seven wonders of the ancient world to still stand. If you are curious as to what made Khufu so special to receive such an honor, he was known for much more than reigning between 2589 and 2566 BC. The son of King Sneferu and Queen Hetepheres, Khufu did not follow in the footsteps of his father and instead, created a name for himself that later became drenched in cruelty and ruthlessness.  

Khufu was responsible for the building of the pyramid at Giza, which was the first one ever constructed in this particular region. Stories depicting Khufu show him as a mean individual who would stop at nothing to see the completion of his pyramid. He was hell bent on surpassing his two sons and ensuring that his dynasty would continue past both. Whatever the case, he was known for putting the pyramid before his people and his family.

Temple of Artemis at Ephesus (~ 550 BC)

Dedicated to the Greek goddess Artemis (known as the huntress who carried a bow and arrows), the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus is believed to have been the handiwork of the Lydians, Persians, and Greeks. It took quite a long time to build the temple , around 120 years , all to suffer a burning fate at the hands of Herostratus, who set it afire (in 356 BC) in an effort to create an ever-lasting fame for himself. However, that could not keep the Greek goddess down and Alexander the Great rebuilt her temple. Unfortunately, the Goths destroyed the landmark once again in 262 AD.

In history, the Temple of Artemis is also referred to as the Temple of Diana, and was situated in Ephesus (what is now known as present-day Turkey). The temple thrived during a time when the Achaemenid dynasty of the Persian Empire was in power. The initial design and construction was headed by a Cretan architect named Chersiphron and his son Metagenes.

What we know now about the temple comes from a description created by Antipater of Sidon, who created the list of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. He stated:

“I have set eyes on the wall of lofty Babylon on which is a road for chariots, and the statue of Zeus by the Alpheus”¦. but when I saw the house of Artemis that mounted to the clouds, those other marvels lost their brilliancy, and I said, “Lo, apart from Olympus, the Sun never looked on aught so grand”.