The “seven wonders of the world”: all of us have all heard the phrase so many times, but can we name the specific wonders to which it refers? Though the list took its final form in the Renaissance, it originates all the way back with the ancient Greeks who wanted a sense of the most majestic man-made landmarks that lay within their territory. These were eventually narrowed down to the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon (whether they really existed or not), the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, the Statue of Zeus at Olympia, the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, the Colossus of Rhodes, and the Lighthouse of Alexandria.
Today we offer you an alternative set of ancient wonders, made even more wondrous by a technology wholly unimaginable to ancient Greeks: the animated GIF. You see here four of the set, which in total includes the Parthenon in Greece, the Pyramid of the Sun and the Nohoch Mul Pyramid in Mexico, the Temple of Lago Argentina in Rome, the Temple of Luxor in Egypt, the Temple of Jupiter in Italy, and Hadrian’s Wall in England.
“Despite their ‘ruinous’ condition, these structures have influenced many of history’s great architects, and continue to be an inspiration today,” writes Designboom’s Rob Reuland. “These sites have been depleted by time and by conquest, parts are reused, others just fall away with neglect. Seeing them restored is a bit like hopping in the Delorean and cranking the flux capacitor, and reversing their slow decay.” And as a commenter adds below, “the next thing would be this in combination with AR-glasses while visiting the site” — the ongoing collaboration, in other words, of the wonders of the ancient world and the wonders of the modern one. See all seven of the animated GIFs here.
Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities and culture. His projects include the book The Stateless City: a Walk through 21st-Century Los Angeles and the video series The City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.