Egypt is planning to rebuild one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World – the Lighthouse of Alexandria.The influence of the Pharos Lighthouse, the ruins of which were located in Alexandria's eastern harbor in 1994, continues to be far and wide:
Standing at 137 metres tall, the Lighthouse was built in 280 BC and collapsed after a series of earthquakes in 1323. Now, Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities is in the process of approving plans to rebuild it.
Only after an in-depth look into what reconstructing the giant tower would consist of, were plans submitted, Dr Mostafa Amin from the Council told Egyptian newspaper Youm7.
Alexandria’s governor is now going to assess the plans and decide whether to give them final approval.
Also known as the Pharos Lighthouse, the Lighthouse of Alexandria was one of the world’s tallest structures for hundreds of years.
Lying for centuries on the sea bed, ruins from the Lighthouse of Alexandria were discovered by French archaeologists in 1994.Not just Arabic. According to Wikipedia:
Jean-Yves Empereur, lead archaeologist, wrote at the time that he had found "columns of all sizes, in their hundreds, column bases and capitals, sphinxes, statues, and some immense blocks of granite which, given where they lie, certainly came from the famous lighthouse."
Experts said the importance of Alexandria's lighthouse lies with the far-reaching influence of its innovative architecture. Its distinctive tapering tiers have been influential in both Islamic and western styles of architecture, according to Dr Judith McKenzie, an archaeology lecturer of the University of Oxford and the author of Architecture of Alexandria.
"You still see that structure on church spires now if you look at any churches in London designed by Christopher Wren, and even minarets on the mosques of Cairo," she said. The word 'minaret' is derives from the Arabic for lighthouse.
Pharos became the etymological origin of the word 'lighthouse' in Greek (φάρος), Persian (Fānūs – فانوس), many Romance languages such as French (phare), Italian and Spanish (faro), Romanian (far) and Portuguese (farol), and even some Slavic languages like Bulgarian (far). In Russian, a derived word means "headlight" (fara – фара).While Alexandria was the capital of Ptolemaic Egypt, it was the Pharos Lighthouse that was the real source of Alexandria's fame, and it continues to be the symbol of the city.
|2006 computer reconstruction of Alexandria's Pharos Lighthouse. From Wikimedia Commons.|
This will be a huge deal. I love Egypt, especially its pyramids (which are threatened by idiot Islamists) but I really love Ptolemaic Egypt. If this gets done, I will have to find a way to visit. Obama has certainly done little to help the people of Egypt, so it is up to us to do so.