by Constance Daley
American Reporter Correspondent
St. Simons Island, Ga.
November 7, 2006
NARROWING THE WONDERS OF THE WORLD TO SEVEN
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Scanning e-mail messages is a speedy process with so much to see and so little to absorb. Today, however, a date jumped out at me: 07.07.07. There it is! Our 50th anniversary is close enough to start marking the event.
The notice was to inform me that on that date "The New Seven Wonders of the World will be announced during the Official Declaration ceremony in Lisbon, Portugal." The date is what attracted my attention, the wonders of the world have always been there - well, haven't they? Actually, no. As a matter of fact, only one of the original seven survives, six having given way to catastrophes of either human or natural design. The Pyramids of Giza alone are still here to reflect the glory that we learned as ancient history. All of these structures are mysterious to us. How did they do that? What did the architect have in mind? Did they deliberately leave out natural wonders in the list? We know pyramids were tombs for their kings but there is symbolism in the structures not easily interpreted. Scholars and archeologists have debated reasons for the design for centuries. It's a wonder. It's simply a wonder. And, when the list of seven wonders was finalized in the Middle Ages, it was concluded that in each case the builders were paying homage, their work being a devotion to their art. You can see religion in some, mythology in others. Personally, I see great testing of the laws of physics. There is continuing debate over how they got the stones of the pyramids in place. When we see these man-made wonders we see how perfectly we are able to change the world around us by fulfilling someone's vision of a structure, a monument, or something spectacular that stands the test of time. Not even the angry sands of the Nile could topple the Pyramids. The only formidable foe was the camera-toting tourist who chipped away at the edges until security to protect these ancient treasures was put in place. These Wonders did not necessarily co-exist. 350 BC or 280 BC seem like a very long time ago but are almost recent when compared to 770 BC, the date construction of the Great Wall of China began, zig-zagging 4000 miles across China, starting as a fortress and ending as a symbol of unification. The Great Wall was far away and unknown to the Greeks seeking candidates for the list of seven - and it had to be seven, another mystery. I think it's safe to say that nothing in this world is unknown to us today. Aerial photography makes it possible for us to see any man-made structure anywhere. I'll list here the candidates from which I must choose seven in the online voting machine. Additionally, out of the seven I'm allowed to vote for one favorite. I'm choosing Stonehenge, that marvel that could be anything from a burial ground or an observatory designed for astronomy. It's been there quite possibly 4000 years; estimated beginning of the construction between 3000 and 1600 B.C. This time the Great Wall is among those listed as are the Statue of Liberty, the Eiffel Tower, the Acropolis, Rio's Christ Redeemer, Pyramids of Giza, England's Stonehenge, the Roman Colosseum, Istanbul;s Hagia Sophia, the Sydney Opera House, India's Taj Mahal, Morocco's Alhambra, the Kremlin's St. Basil Cathedral, Peru's Machu Picchu, Jordan's Petra, Easter Island, the Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany, Angkor Wat in Cambodia, Chichen Itza on the Yucatan Peninsula, and Kiyomizu Temple in Japan. And now, on 07.07.07, a new list of seven wonders of the world will be announced and they will have been chosen by the people from all over the world. <http://www.new7wonders.com> As for our 50th anniversary, we still haven't come up with an agreeable plan to celebrate the milestone. But, now that I think of it, Lisbon, Portugal has a nice ring to it.