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The Lighthouse of Alexandria, 285-247 BCE

Lighthouse of Alexandria.jpg

One of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the lighthouse was built at the port of Alexandria, Egypt.

Completed in about 279 B.C. by the second Ptolemy, the lighthouse soared to a height of 300 to 500 feet, the equivalent of a modern 40-story building; it was the tallest structure ever made until the Eiffel Tower was erected in 1889. Built of white marble, the lighthouse was designed in three tiers and supported by a 184-foot-high platform containing over 300 rooms. Fuel for the nightly bonfires was apparently hoisted to the lighthouse’s summit by the world’s first hydraulic machine. A great mirror focused the firelight into a beam that could be seen 35 miles out to sea. Some ancient sources even say that the mirror could focus sunlight and set fire to invading ships.

Strata- Alexandria’s Lighthouse Found, But Will Its Library Disappear? Gabrielle Deford, BAR 23-03, May-Jun 1997.

Posted in: Persian Period

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