Archeologists Found Ancient Lighthouse of Alexandria Base

Society | November 7, 2005, Monday // 00:00| Views: | Comments: 0

French archeologists have discovered the foundation of the ancient lighthouse of Pharos in Alexandria, the seventh wonder of the world.

The director of the Alexandria national museum, Ibrahim Darwish, said that the lighthouse, which was destroyed by two earthquakes in the 11th and 14th centuries, had occupied an area of 800 sq m north of the city's eastern harbor.

The Pharos guided sailors into the city harbor for 1,500 years and was the last of the six lost wonders to disappear. Earthquakes toppled it in the 14th century A.D.

An Arab traveler made notes in 1166 that provide intricate details on the structure. From his writing, archaeologists have deduced that the lighthouse was constructed in three stages. On top of the lighthouse, there was a bronze chalice holding smoldering coal. A complicated system of mirrors made it possible for travelers to see the smoldering coal from a distance of tens of kilometers.

The lighthouse was built by Greek architect Sostratus for King Ptolemy II (284-246 BC). It was erected on the eastern side of the island of Pharos at the entrance to the harbor of Alexandria. Earthquakes scattered the remains of the lighthouse all over the harbor, and only now have archeologists established its exact location.
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