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7 Wonders of the World

Pyramids of EgyptHanging Garden of BabylonStatue of Zeus
Temple of Artemis at EphesusMausoleum of Halicarnassus
Colossus of RhodesPharos of Alexandria

Mausoleum of Halicarnassus

        This tributaroy tomb is the result of the most unusual ritual of the ruler marring his own sister.The story goes as.....In 377 B.C.,there was a city called Halicarnassus and it was the capitol of a small kingdom along the Mediterranean coast of Asia Minor. The ruler of this capitol was Hecatomnus of Mylasa who in tnat very year died and left control of the kingdom to his son, Mausolus. But before he died he had in ambition taken control of several of the neighboring cities and districts. All that and much more territory he bequethed to his son Mausolus on his deathbed, and in turn Mausolus extended the territory even further so that it finally included most of southwestern Asia Minor.

        Mausolus, with his queen Artemisia, ruled over Halicarnassus and the surrounding territory for 24 years. Mausolus, admired the Greek way of life and philosophy so,he founded many cities of Greek design along the coast and encouraged Greek democratic traditions. They led an extremely happy and fulfilled existence.Then tragedy struck and in 353 B.C. Mausolus died, leaving his queen Artemisia, who was also his sister (It was the custom in Caria for rulers to marry their own sisters), broken-hearted.

        The queen was immensely attached to her king and on his death was grief ridden. As a tribute to him, she decided to build him the most splendid tomb in the known world. It became a structure so famous that Mausolus's name is now associated with all stately tombs through our modern word mausoleum. The building was also so beautiful and unique it became one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. So famous was this structure that the word mausoleum came to be applied to any monumental tomb

        Artemisia decided that no expense was to be spared in the building of the tomb. She wanted the tomb to be one of a very different kind and one that shall be a fitting the strature of the fame of her great king.She sent messengers to Greece to find the most talented artists of the time- Scopas, the man who had supervised the rebuilding of the Temple to Artemis at Ephesus. Other famous sculptors such as Bryaxis, Leochares and Timotheus joined him as well as hundreds of other craftsmen.

THE GREAT STRUCTURE OF THE TOMB:

        The tomb was erected on a hill overlooking the city. The whole structure sat in an enclosed courtyard. At the center of the courtyard was a stone platform on which the tomb itself sat. A staircase, flanked by stone lions, led to the top of this platform. Along the outer wall of this were many statues depicting gods and goddess. At each corner stone warriors, mounted on horseback, guarded the tomb.

        Marble was the stone used for the tomb which was at the center of the platform .The structure rose as a square, tapering block to about one-third of the Mausoleum's 140 foot height. This section was covered with relief sculpture showing action scenes from Greek mythology or history.

        On top of this section of the tomb 36 slim columns, 9 per side, rose for another third of the height. Standing in between each column was another statue. Behind the columns was a solid block that carried the weight of the tomb's massive roof.

        The roof, which comprised most of the final third of the height, was in the form of a stepped pyramid. Perched on top was the tomb's penultimate work of sculpture: Four massive horses pulling a chariot in which images of Mausolus and Artemisia rode.

THE HARDSHIPS FACED BY THE QUEEN DURING THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE TOMB:

        Soon after construction of the tomb started Artemisia found herself in a crisis. Rhodes, an island in the Aegean Sea between Greece and Asia Minor, had been conquered by Mausolus. When the Rhodians heard of his death they rebelled and sent a fleet of ships to capture the city of Halicarnassus. Knowing that the Rhodian fleet was on the way, Artemisa hid her own ships at a secret location at the east end of the city's harbor. After troops from the Rhodian fleet disembarked to attack, Artemisia's fleet made a surprise raid, captured the Rhodian fleet, and towed it out to sea.

        Artemisa put her own soldiers on the invading ships and sailed them back to Rhodes. Fooled into thinking that the returning ships were their own victorious navy, the Rhodians failed to put up a defense and the city was easily captured quelling the rebellion.

THE END OF THE QUEEN AND THE SUNSEQUENT BURIAL:

        Artemisa lived for only two years after the death of her husband. Both would be buried in the yet unfinished tomb. The craftsmen who were commissioned to built the grave decided to stay and finish the work after their patron died considering that it was at once a memorial of their own fame and of the sculptor's art.

THE FATE OF THIS MONUMENT OF LOVE:-ITS DEMISE!

        The Mausoleum overlooked the city of Halicarnassus for many centuries. It was untouched when the city fell to Alexander the Great in 334 B.C. and still undamaged after attacks by pirates in 62 and 58 B.C.. It stood above the city ruins for some 17 centuries. Then a series of earthquakes shattered the columns and sent the stone chariot crashing to the ground. By 1404 A.D. only the very base of the Mausoleum was still recognizable.

        Crusaders, who had occupied the city from the thirteen century onward, recycled the broken stone into their own buildings. In 1522 rumors of a Turkish invasion caused Crusaders to strengthen the castle at Halicarnassus (which was by then known as Bodrum) and much of the remaining portions of the tomb was broken up and used within the castle walls. Indeed sections of polished marble from the tomb can still be seen there today.

        At this time a party of knights entered the base of the monument and discovered the room containing a great coffin. The party, deciding it was too late to open it that day, returned the next morning to find the tomb, and any treasure it may have contained, plundered. The bodies of Mausolus and Artemisia were missing too. The Knights claimed that Moslem villagers were responsible for the theft, but it is more likely that some of the Crusaders themselves plundered the graves.

        Before grounding much of the remaining sculpture of the Mausoleum into lime for plaster the Knights removed several of the best works and mounted them in the Bodrum castle. There they stayed for three centuries. At that time the British ambassador obtained several of the statutes from the castle, which now reside in the British Museum.

THE EXCAVATION BY CHARLES THOMAS NEWTON:

        In 1846 the Museum sent the archaeologist Charles Thomas Newton to search for more remains of the Mausoleum. He had a difficult job. He didn't know the exact location of the tomb and the cost of buying up all the small parcels of land in the area to look for it would have been astronomical. Instead Newton studied the accounts of ancient writers like Pliny to obtain the approximate size and location of the memorial, then bought a plot of land in the most likely location. Digging down, Newton explored the surrounding area through tunnels he dug under the surrounding plots. He was able to locate some walls, a staircase, and finally three of the corners of the foundation. With this knowledge, Newton was able to figure out which plots of land he needed to buy.

        Newton then excavated the site and found sections of the reliefs that decorated the wall of the building and portions of the stepped roof. Also a broken stone chariot wheel, some seven feet in diameter, from the sculpture on the roof was discovered. Finally, he found the statues of Mausolus and Artemisia that had stood at the pinnacle of the building.
        
         Today these works of art stand in the Mausoleum Room at the British Museum. There the images of Mausolus and his queen forever watch over the few broken remains of the beautiful tomb she built for him. Only crumbling fragments remain of the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus on the coast of Asia Minor,to show that It was raised to the memory of King Mausolus of Caria by his devoted Queen, Artemisia.

Pyramids of EgyptHanging Garden of BabylonStatue of Zeus
Temple of Artemis at EphesusMausoleum of Halicarnassus
Colossus of RhodesPharos of Alexandria






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