CAIRO: The Lighthouse of Alexandria, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World that was badly damaged by three earthquakes, will be rebuilt nearby its original location.
In its meeting last week, “members of the Permanent Committee of the Egyptian Antiquities have approved an old project, submitted previously by the Alexandria governorate, aiming to revive the lighthouse,” Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities SCA Dr. Mostafa Amin told Youm7.
He explained that members of the committee agreed on reconstructing the Lighthouse on an area of land located a few meters to the southwest of the landmark’s original location. A comprehensive study has been completed and submitted to Alexandria governorate for final approval, he added.
The Lighthouse, also known as the Pharos, was badly damaged due to a series of earthquakes hit Alexandria and the Mediterranean area between the 3rd and 12th centuries, Greco-Roman archaeology professor Fathy Khourshid told The Cairo Post Tuesday.
“A severe earthquake in 1303 caused a huge destruction of the monument before the Mamluk Sultan Qaitbay in 1480 reused the monument’s ruins to construct a fortress (currently standing and bearing his name) on the original location of the Pharos northwest of Alexandria,” according to Khourshid.
Built by the Greek architect Sostratus of Cnidus for the purpose of guiding sailors into the harbor, the tower was completed and inaugurated during the reign of Ptolemy II Philadelphus (285 B.C.-246B.C.), said Khourshid.
“The original building comprised three stages: a lower square section with a central core, a middle octagonal section and a circular section at its top,” he added.
Its top used to have a mirror that reflected sunlight during the day while a fire was lit at night in order to guide ships, said Khourshid.
In 1994, remains of the original building were unearthed on the floor of the sunken part of Alexandria’s eastern harbor.
With a height estimated at 130 meters, (420 feet) the tower was the tallest manmade structure on Earth for many centuries.