So far we’ve spent a lot of time in this unit focusing on the religion half of this ‘Religion and Art’ unit. I’m feeling a bit guilty about this so as they say in sports its time to ‘go big or go home’. That is something they say in sports, right? Or is it something people say when they go to get fast food? I don’t know much about these things. Regardless, we and not going home. We are going to tackle the Seven Wonders of the World, which could be called the biggest bigmac-touchdown-thickburger-double-layup-bacon-extra-innings-slapshot-with-cheese of art/architecture that ever existed.

(See I totally know how to talk sports and/or awful food.)

Like so much in western culture we owe the start of the seven wonders idea to the Greeks. The Greeks were known for many things science, literature, drama, and architecture just to name a few. We’ve mentioned some of these things in class, but one of the things we didn’t mention is that the Greeks were also travelers. Traders, merchants, and explorers from the Greek city states roamed all over the known world; from Egypt to Persia and all over the Mediterranean Sea. Everywhere the Greeks went their influence spread.

Several Greek travelers wrote down their thoughts about the places they visited. They also recorded interesting sights, experiences, and traditions. Most of what is now known about the process of mummification, for example,  comes from the writings of a Greek traveler. Perhaps the best known Greek travel writing was the list that several travelers made to describe what they called the Seven Wonders of the World. Different travelers had different lists of wonders, and some included more than seven. But the list below is pretty close to what most Greek travelers would have put on their list of the places that everyone should see.

The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World

  1. The Lighthouse at Alexandria
  2. The Statue of Zeus at Olympia
  3. The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus
  4. The Great Pyramid of Giza
  5. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon
  6. The Colossus of Rhodes
  7. The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus

Each of these is linked to a Wikipedia article that gives a good description. You don’t have to read the whole article but at least read the intro to each one and look at the pictures.

All of these structures were amazing. There are a few things wrong with this list, however. First, most of these things are from a very small part of the world. Second, most of them were built by Greeks or people influenced by the Greeks. Lastly, all but one of them (The Great Pyramid) have been destroyed. From time to time different people have tried coming up with a new list of wonders, but no one list has been accepted.

I want you to come up with a list of Seven Wonders of the Modern World to go with the ancient Greek list. These should be man-made structures, built since 1000AD, that deserve to be visited by anyone/everyone in the world who can possibly make the trip. For each of your seven wonders write a brief (1 paragraph) description and a reason it deserves to be included on such a prestigious list.

This is going to require a good bit of research and little writing.  Be sure to include a list sources for the research you do. Make sure you reread and edit your work before you turn it in. I’ll give you until next Tuesday (Dec 20) to get all this done. Each wonder you identify and describe is worth 5pts, the bibliography is worth 5pts, and the assignment will be worth 40pts total.

Points will be subtracted for all the usual things (spelling errors, late, etc.)

For this assignment you will need to write or type your list and either turn in a hard copy or email the document to me through engrade. 

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