In the broad field of anthropology, researchers study ancient relics to discover the truth about humanity’s past. Either it be through ancient artifacts (archaeology), ancient fossils (paleontology), or any other study, they all strive to attain that shared goal through excavation and preservation. However, there’s been a new movement of an anthropological extent that is receiving attention among history buffs and fans. Some researchers (or maybe experts and enthusiasts) are trying to revive the past. An example of this would be the Temple Mount Faithful trying to revive the Jewish Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, Israel.
Now there is a new movement that is taking on the tantamount endeavor of reviving not just any relic of the past, but one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. This movement wants to revive the Colossus of Rhodes.
According to the official website for the Colossus of Rhodes Project, the endeavor was made not out of just wanting to restore one of the Seven Wonders of the World, but to help the people who have greatly suffered in Greece’s failing economy. Collaborating with archaeological-cultural institutions and travel agencies, Rhodes architect Ari A. Palla wants to put the Colossus of Rhodes back on the map. By reviving the ancient statue honoring the ancient Greek mythological gods of victory, it would serve as a port-of-entry for three continents, attracting millions of visitors each year. With the uptick in tourism, it is expected new job opportunities and living conditions will follow.
It should also be noted the Colossus of Rhodes will be accompanied by a new museum which will house hundreds of archaeological findings left in storerooms not publicly accessible. Its construction will also contribute to the country’s economic development with a “domino effect” as more infrastructure is added to make room for newly-discovered artifacts in the future.
Needless to say, having the Colossus of Rhodes revived in modern society is exciting news among those who love history. According to Ancient Origins, the Colossus of Rhodes is the last of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World to be completed back in 280 B.C.E. by Chares of Lindos. The island it was built on (known as Rhodes, of course) has a history of being conquered. Back in 357 B.C.E., its first record of being conquered was by Mausolus of Halicarnassus. That reign would be short-lived as 17 years later, the Persians took over the island in 340 B.C.E. Finally, it was captured by Alexander the Great in 332 B.C.E.
The one battle that would bring forth the building of the Colossus of Rhodes was back in 305 B.C.E. when Antigonus sent his son Demetrius to capture Rhodes for forming an alliance with Egypt through Ptolemy I. Demetrius arrived with 40,000 men ready to take over. However, Ptolemy sent a relief force of ships one year later which forced Antigonus’ army to abandon the siege. In the process, they also left behind most of their siege equipment as well. To celebrate, the Rhodians sold the siege equipment for money to be used to build a huge statue honoring the mythological Greek sun god Helios. The statue was made to honor him but was also meant to honor other mythological Greek gods associated with victory and triumph.
The Colossus of Rhodes is the last of the Seven Wonders of the World to be built. It was destroyed by an earthquake back in 600 C.E. [Image via Marten van Heemskerck (1498-1574)/Wikimedia Commons – http://www.rhodos-welten.de/koloss/koloss.htm]The Colossus of Rhodes did not last the test of time as it fell after 56 years. Its destruction wasn’t by the hands of invaders, but by an earthquake that hit Rhodes in 226 B.C.E. The statue broke off at the knees and toppled over, shattering into numerous pieces. The ruins of the Colossus of Rhodes would remain untouched until 654 C.E. when Arabs invaded and supposedly melted down the remains to be used for coins, tools, and weapons.
As of now, the Colossus Rhodes Project is just a proposal. Revival of the Seventh Wonder of the Ancient World have not gone through planning, purchasing, or contracts. Until the proposal is accepted, this project will merely remain a dream for the people of Rhodes.