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June 22, 2024 42 mins

Long before slide rulers and pocket protectors, civilizations across the world used their noggins to build some impressive structures. Almost all have crumbled to ruins over the millennium, but thanks to the earliest tourists, we admire them still today. Explore some of them with Josh and Chuck in this classic episode.

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:00):
Hi, everybody. Chuck here on Saturday.

Speaker 2 (00:04):
I am in charge of picking out the Saturday Select
this week, and this week we're doing a two parter,
so you're going to hear the first part today and
then next week Josh we'll have his selection, and then
the following week you can listen to part two. Or
you can just get creative and type with your little
fingies on the internet and get part two on your own.

Speaker 1 (00:22):
If you just can't wait two weeks. But here is
part one from December twenty six, twenty seventeen. All the
seven Wonders of the Ancient World work. Part one.

Speaker 2 (00:37):
Welcome to Stuff You Should Know, a production of iHeartRadio.

Speaker 3 (00:47):
Hey, and welcome to the podcast.

Speaker 4 (00:49):
I'm Josh Clark, and there's Charles W Chuck Bryant there.

Speaker 3 (00:52):
Wait wait, I know you thought I was going.

Speaker 4 (00:54):
To say Jerry, but you're wrong because it's Nol today,
guest producer Nol, and that makes this stuff you should know.

Speaker 1 (01:01):
That's right?

Speaker 3 (01:03):
How you doing?

Speaker 1 (01:04):
I'm good? Noel?

Speaker 2 (01:04):
Who is the uh the eighth Wonder of the ancient world?

Speaker 3 (01:08):
He is and the modern world too.

Speaker 1 (01:12):
He spans He spans space and time.

Speaker 4 (01:14):
Yes, like the Colossus spanned the Harbor of Roads or
did it it didn't. We're gonna learn a lot, Chuck,
I'm so excited about this one.

Speaker 1 (01:24):
Oh yeah, these two? You mean these two?

Speaker 3 (01:26):
That's right?

Speaker 4 (01:27):
Yeah, I hit upon it, and I'm like, this is a
two parter right here, and I can't believe we haven't
done this already. Like everybody knows about the Seven Wonders
of the Ancient World, but nobody knows about the Seven
Wonders of the Ancient World, you know.

Speaker 1 (01:38):
What I mean, Nobody knows about them at all.

Speaker 4 (01:41):
It's like a perfect, perfect stuff you should know episode
if you ask me times two, Well, the sequel, that's right.
So to get started, we probably would Let's just give
a brief overview of the Seven Wonders.

Speaker 3 (01:55):
Okay, let's do you.

Speaker 1 (01:57):
Just want to like name them?

Speaker 4 (01:59):
Yeah, we're gonna We're gonna do them chronologically too, Okay.

Speaker 1 (02:03):
Oh is that how they're listed for me?

Speaker 3 (02:06):

Speaker 2 (02:06):
Okay, Well, then first up we have the the the
Great Pyramid, the Great Pyramid of Giza.

Speaker 4 (02:15):
Right, and then after that, again chronologically, there's the Hanging
Gardens of Babylon and apparently there used to be it
used to be the walls of Babylon in addition to
the hanging Gardens of Babylon, but they were removed later, right,
and then what's next, chuck.

Speaker 1 (02:30):
The Temple of Artemies at.

Speaker 2 (02:35):
Here we go the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus Ephesus
either one Artemis at Ephesus, nice man.

Speaker 4 (02:47):
And then there's a statue of Zeus at Olympia, which
I have to admit I had not heard of before.

Speaker 1 (02:53):
I had heard of that one. I think, I think
a couple of these.

Speaker 2 (02:57):
I felt bad because maybe I had disregarded some of
this and wonders of the ancient world because a couple
of these were news to me.

Speaker 4 (03:04):
Oh yeah, okay, so that one was for me. The
Mausoleum at Halli Carnassis was also new for me too.

Speaker 1 (03:10):
Yeah. Colossus of Rhodes old hat.

Speaker 3 (03:12):
Sure everybody knows that one.

Speaker 2 (03:13):
Come on, yeah, Like, I've got Colossus of Roads underwear
on right now.

Speaker 4 (03:18):
I know you wear you got that whole style where
you wear the sage and you show your underwear too,
That's right.

Speaker 2 (03:25):
And then finally the Lighthouse of Alexandria m h which
is I think I had heard of that one. But
when you put these all together, it is not. It
is no small list.

Speaker 4 (03:36):
No, And so this list, like you may wonder who
put this list together, you know, maybe Jacques Cousteau, maybe
Bertrand Russell, who knows. It's actually way way way older
than that. This list goes back to the time of
ancient Greece, actually, and they're not entirely certain who wrote

the first one, but there were several people who kind
of took the list and added to it or subtracted
to it. And there's a bunch of candidates for who
had written the list, But the one I saw that's
pretty roundly considered probably the first one to have written
a list is Deodorus Sicilis, or Diodorus of Sicily. And

the reason that these lists were made was because at
the time Greece had done a pretty good job of
subjugating a lot of the areas around it, like Turkey, Persia, Babylon,
and these places were now safe for Greeks to go visit.
And because the Greeks, who were wealthy and had a
lot of leisure time, they actually became some of the

world's first tourists, international tourists, And that was basically the
point of the list of the Seven Wonders of the
ancient world was hey, you should go visit these things,
go to these places and see these things, and so
some people would go do I think it was probably
a point of pride to be able to say I've
seen all seven what they called theamatta.

Speaker 2 (05:04):
Yeah, theamata translates as things to be seen, or if
you want to get even more modern, it's literally like
here are your mussies if you're going on vacation.

Speaker 3 (05:13):

Speaker 1 (05:13):
It was kind of like the first travel website.

Speaker 3 (05:16):
Kind of, but it was just a list.

Speaker 2 (05:18):
Yeah, I mean it wasn't on the web yet. That
would take a couple hundred years.

Speaker 4 (05:22):
Sure, at least a couple hundred because these guys they
did live in like the third, fourth, fifth centuries BCE, right, Yeah,
so over time this list, like I said it was,
it started out I think with the Great Pyramid has
always been on there, sure, hanging gardens have always been
on there, Temple of Artemis, stato Zeus, the Mausoleum, the

classes of roads, and then I think the lighthouse at
Alexandria may not have been on and it was the
wall of the Walls of Babylon, and they said we've
already got Babylon covered, you guys. This lighthouse is to
be seen, so it was eventually compiled and that list.
So the list itself is pretty ancient too.

Speaker 1 (06:04):

Speaker 2 (06:04):
In Babylon, if they had one motto, it was come
for the gardens, stay for the wall.

Speaker 1 (06:09):
For sure, you know.

Speaker 3 (06:11):

Speaker 4 (06:13):
So out of all of those, the the only ones
that are still around actually is the Great Pyramid.

Speaker 1 (06:22):

Speaker 2 (06:22):
I mean there are bits of some of these in
various museums, most notably the British Museum.

Speaker 3 (06:29):
Yeah. And there are some ruins on the site still.

Speaker 1 (06:32):
Yeah, here and there, some ruins underwater here and there.
I used to have you been to a lot of ruins?

Speaker 3 (06:41):
I've been to Pompeii? You me and I went. It
was kind of the fulfillment of a lifelong dream.

Speaker 1 (06:47):
Yeah. Yeah, have you been to Pompeii? Yeah?

Speaker 3 (06:50):
No, what ruins have you been to?

Speaker 2 (06:52):
Just your your your garden variety ruins like in Rome,
that kind of thing.

Speaker 4 (06:58):
Oh yeah, man, the call to see them, yeah, that
was something to be seen.

Speaker 3 (07:02):

Speaker 2 (07:03):
Yeah, I mean it's part of me. Like when I
go to see ruins, it's it's really cool because I
try and take myself back to that time. But then
when I stand back and look at it and it's
current surroundings, sometimes it get a little.

Speaker 4 (07:17):
Sad because there's a lot of people like chewing gum
and on their phone and stuff.

Speaker 3 (07:22):
Yeah, yeah, you know, yeah man, and.

Speaker 2 (07:25):
Especially well we'll talk about the pyramids, but you know
you have you seen the famous pizza hut pictures?

Speaker 3 (07:32):
No, what are you talking about?

Speaker 1 (07:34):
Well, you know that the pyramids.

Speaker 2 (07:36):
Oh is that a photoshopped No, it's not photoshopped. The
Pyramids back right up or I guess front, right up
to Cairo, So you always see the image looking at
the Pyramids from Cairo. If you see the image looking
the other way, there's like a city right button up against.

Speaker 4 (07:55):
It, right, and an ancient Egyptian in the foreground turns
of the camera, the single tear coming down in his eye,
his cheek, but.

Speaker 1 (08:03):
He was really Italian. Right, No, there's there there's a
literally a pizza hut KFC.

Speaker 5 (08:11):
Which you could do worse facing it could be facing
the Great Pyramids of Egypt and the Sphinx, and and
one of the windows.

Speaker 1 (08:20):
Of the pizza hut there's the Pizza Hut logo.

Speaker 2 (08:23):
And if you stand inside that pizza hut you can
take a photograph of that Pizza Hut cap and logo
kind of sitting on top of the pyramid, and so
you know, there are all kinds of photos now of
Pizza Hut, and it's just it's sort of you know,
it's not it speaks of the times, you know, sure,

which is what I talked about being a little sad.
There's a pizza hut, there's a friggin Kentucky Fried Chicken
yards from the Great Pyramids.

Speaker 3 (08:57):
Yeah, I know how I feel about that.

Speaker 4 (08:59):
I guess, well, I think it's pretty clear how you
feel about it.

Speaker 1 (09:02):
You don't like it, I don't know, But I mean
you can't say, like, no, what are you going to
have a restaurant here? You can't do anything. It's just
it is what it is, you know.

Speaker 4 (09:09):
Yeah, I mean it's not like you're gonna live without
KFC for a second.

Speaker 1 (09:14):
That's true. I would challenge some KFC if I was
over there too.

Speaker 4 (09:19):
The very famous one by the Pyramids.

Speaker 3 (09:21):
I know what you mean. Though, Sure, you know it
was kind of a little weird.

Speaker 4 (09:24):
But at the same time, you're like, wow, you know
this thing was built by slaves who died working, So
maybe the KFC is actually preferable in some ways, you know.

Speaker 1 (09:33):
Yeah, And maybe that's what I should feel sad about.

Speaker 3 (09:35):
Sure, just feel sad about both.

Speaker 4 (09:37):
Okay, So let's go to the Great Pyramids of Giza,
and there's actually if you go, oh, we're gonna really
wear out the way Back machine.

Speaker 1 (09:53):
Huh. Yeah, this gassed it up.

Speaker 3 (09:55):
It's ready, and I got a new air fresher, and
you like it.

Speaker 1 (09:58):
I'm not big on the Pineapple, but it's all right,
hill the old Pineapple.

Speaker 4 (10:02):
We can swap it out for the second part. Okay, Okay,
So we're gonna get in the way Back machine and
if you go, we're actually just going to go back
a couple of days because we're going in modern times.
But if we're gonna look at the Great Pyramid at Giza,
there's actually just one of them that's on the list
of the seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It's one

particular one, the Pyramid of Kufu or Chaops is what
the Greeks call them, and his is the biggest pyramid
of them all.

Speaker 2 (10:32):
Yeah, I mean there are more than more than or
exactly eighty pyramids scattered across Egypt, various sizes, and they're
imagine they're all pretty great to go look at. But
the big daddy of them all, like you said, is
Cufu k h U f U, and it is It
is the one you know that you can get with

a pizza hut cap on top.

Speaker 3 (10:55):

Speaker 2 (10:56):
It's the main dude there with the three pyramids, with
the sphinx standing by watching over Kentucky Fried Chicken to
make sure nobody robs it.

Speaker 4 (11:07):
Well, it actually would work really well for that pizza
hut cap because it's the one of the three. You
always see the three together. The other two are the
Pyramid of men Kuar and the other one is Pyramid
of Coffrey, and they're smaller, but if you'll notice those
two have points. Yeah, the biggest one, the Pyramid of Cufu,

has a flat top. Like it just knew that that
pizza hut was coming in four thousand years, right. But
so we know so little about this pyramid that they're
not entirely certain if this is true or not. But
there's a pretty widespread theory that that pyramid was actually unfinished.

Speaker 1 (11:46):
Oh really, mm hmm. They couldn't bring those final stones. Huh.

Speaker 4 (11:50):
Maybe everybody involved died or there was a change in
dynasty or something. But they think and there's other evidence
we'll talk about, but it seems like it might have
been unfinished.

Speaker 1 (11:59):
Didn't Napoleon shoot off the nose of the sphinx? Or
is that a Is that an old wives tale? No?

Speaker 3 (12:03):
That was isis?

Speaker 1 (12:05):

Speaker 3 (12:05):
Okay, probably so, Chuck.

Speaker 4 (12:08):
One of the things that's so great about this pyramid
is just how massive it is, right, Yes, it's it's tall.

Speaker 3 (12:14):
It's very tall.

Speaker 4 (12:15):
It's like four hundred and eighty feet tall, which that's
that's a substantial height if you ask me.

Speaker 2 (12:22):
Yeah, I mean for a long time it was one
of the tallest or the tallest building in the world,
which is amazing.

Speaker 4 (12:27):
Yeah, until the fourteenth century when Lincoln Cathedral in England
finally topped it. So for almost for about thirty four
hundred years it stood as the tallest structure, the man made,
human made structure in the world.

Speaker 1 (12:41):
It's hard to believe.

Speaker 3 (12:42):
Yeah, it's pretty cool.

Speaker 4 (12:43):
And then its side, each side at the base is
about seven hundred and fifty five feet long. They're just massive,
massive structures.

Speaker 1 (12:53):

Speaker 2 (12:53):
And you know how I was talking about the fact
that it's uh, it just butted right, up against Cairo
at least is not surrounding, like the city is not
just on all sides. So if you do look at
it from the city, it's on the Giza Plateau and
that is still you know, I'm not sure how far
it goes back, but you know, a nice wide aerial shots.

Looks like most of that plateau is pretty preserved, right
at least, So.

Speaker 3 (13:19):
This the whole thing.

Speaker 4 (13:20):
The pyramid was built sometime during the reign of King Kufu,
appropriately enough, and the king reign from I think twenty
five eighty nine to twenty five sixty six, So it's
pretty old pyramid, and it's it's you know, and it's
made of just a ton of blocks cut blocks, right.

One of the things like if you go on some sites,
you'll find people who just kind of poopoo the pyramids,
like it's just pile piles of stone. Oh, clearly, But
it's actually pretty clever engineering, especially considering how long ago
it was built. It's not just a pilot stone. There's
a lot of corridors and shafts and rooms, and the
engineers had to take into account where to place these

things so that the structure didn't collapse in on itself
as it aged. So it is a pretty big feed
of engineering just in addition to its size, you know.

Speaker 1 (14:18):
Yeah, I mean there are more than two million pile
of stones. Who says that.

Speaker 3 (14:22):
Some people online?

Speaker 2 (14:24):
Yeah, more than two million limestone and granite blocks, the
weight of about six and a half million tons.

Speaker 1 (14:31):
And these things are.

Speaker 2 (14:32):
Engineered such that they it's about a fifty one degree
slope on each side, and each side faces exactly to
the four cardinal directions.

Speaker 3 (14:43):
So it's pretty impressive.

Speaker 2 (14:45):
Yeah, that's no accident. It's not like it just happened
to land that way. It was all done very much
on purpose. These rocks fit together, the blocks really really tightly,
less than a fiftieth of an inch separating them. So
that right there is why these things are still standing,
you know, right.

Speaker 4 (15:02):
And so when you look at the pyramid, it's actually
so I think I said four hundred and eighty feet.
I think it's four hundred and fifty five feet at
its height. Originally it was four hundred and eighty feet
and it was also encased in limestone.

Speaker 1 (15:16):
Well did it originally have the point then?

Speaker 4 (15:18):
I don't think so, because I think they would. I
think there's some other stuff that suggests that it was
unfinished too. I don't know if it ever had the point.
I don't know if anybody knows for certain, but it
seems like it hadn't been put on yet.

Speaker 1 (15:32):
Like an inscription at the top that's just not quite done.

Speaker 3 (15:34):
Well, that's one of the things.

Speaker 4 (15:36):
That's one of the reasons why they think that it
wasn't done, because it's lacking inscriptions that other pyramids have,
like in ass Oh, it doesn't have any no more
like we dedicate this to the Sun god raw and
the name of King Kufu.

Speaker 3 (15:49):
And blah blah blah, right, yeah, the usual.

Speaker 4 (15:54):
So it's lacking any kind of inscriptions. The king's burial chamber,
the actual sarcophagus, which is just this huge, massive stone
that they actually built the chamber around. It's not like
they built the room and then imported this thing. It's
bigger than any entrance to the room. But it's it's
kind of rough, it's got some cut marks still showing,

and it was obviously not finished. And then the other
reason why they think that it wasn't ever finished, Chuck,
was that there's no evidence that anyone ever found any
treasure loot bodies anything. Yeah, it's like it's this dead,
empty place that has never been used. Ironically too and

tomb dead people into it was just never finished either.
So that's one theory that it was finished and never used.
Another one is that it actually was looted, and it
was looted so thoroughly that there's just not even evidence
of it being looted.

Speaker 1 (16:52):

Speaker 3 (16:53):
And then that yeah, it's kind of impressive.

Speaker 4 (16:55):
And then the last one is that it is finished
and that all of these shafts and like walkways and
crawl spaces that we found are actually meant to distract
you from the real places where the tombs are that
we've just not found yet.

Speaker 1 (17:13):
Couldn't they find those by now?

Speaker 4 (17:15):
Though not necessarily. They're still finding like secret rooms and
passages that are hidden from view. They're just starting to
now apply the technology to seeing through stone.

Speaker 2 (17:26):
Literally, just get up the X ray camera right and
just stand at pizza hut, zoom in right and just
see what's in that thing.

Speaker 4 (17:34):
You don't even need that you can send off for
some of those X ray specs from a comic book exactly.
I don't know why no one else has thought of
this yet.

Speaker 1 (17:43):
So I have a question. Then they said it's originally
covered in limestone in that casing. Does that mean that
originally it was not in a step pattern and it
was just smooth on the outside. Yes, Well, how in
the world did they get up there? Would they just
slide back down?

Speaker 4 (17:58):
Well, the answer that is obvious. It was aliens that
helped them. That's right, That's that's it. That's the answer.

Speaker 1 (18:06):
All right.

Speaker 4 (18:08):
I have no idea, Chuck, that's a really good question
to tell you the truth. Maybe they maybe there's a
passageway inside.

Speaker 1 (18:14):
Right that they come out the top, you know, come out.

Speaker 4 (18:17):
The top, pull the limestone up into place, and then
slide down it and start the process over again.

Speaker 1 (18:23):

Speaker 4 (18:24):
But if you want to see kind of probably what
it looked like, just go look at the Iron Maiden
Power Slave album cover.

Speaker 3 (18:30):
Yeah, it's kind of like smoothly covered.

Speaker 4 (18:32):
It's not stepped, really, I mean, there's steps, but they're
they're meant to be like a staircase.

Speaker 3 (18:36):
It's not steps on the outside.

Speaker 1 (18:38):
Oh yeah, that makes sense. So yeah, So in the
fourteenth century, there was an earthquake, and as you'll see,
that becomes a pattern here with a lot of these
ancient wonders that would become ruins because of earthquakes.

Speaker 2 (18:52):
You know, most of these in the Middle East. It's
a volatile area tectonically speaking, so you know, over the
course of thousands of years, things are gonna tumble over time,
you know.

Speaker 1 (19:06):
Yeah, and it is what happened in this case.

Speaker 4 (19:08):
It's basically earthquakes, earthquake, earthquake, earthquake, over and over again.

Speaker 3 (19:12):
It's the great leveler of monuments, right.

Speaker 1 (19:14):

Speaker 2 (19:15):
But the Kufu Pyramids stood. It was stood that earthquake
because it's just more than a pile of rocks. It
is so big and so grand and so heavy, I guess,
and probably a little luck came involved as well.

Speaker 4 (19:27):
Yeah, but it was also really good engineering too, for sure.

Speaker 1 (19:30):

Speaker 4 (19:31):
But the earthquake did get it in that it did
level Cairo, and they went out to the pyramid and
took the limestone off of it and used it to
rebuild Cairo.

Speaker 1 (19:40):
Yeah. And that's another common refrain of notices.

Speaker 2 (19:44):
A lot of these would be toppled, and then people
would come in and say, hey, let's use this stuff
for like actual for the city, yeah, instead of just
some monument to a ruler.

Speaker 3 (19:54):
Yep. And if you are you ever going to go
see the pyramids.

Speaker 1 (19:59):
I was.

Speaker 2 (20:00):
It was sort of on the old bucket list until
I saw the pizza hut thing.

Speaker 1 (20:03):
To day.

Speaker 3 (20:03):
Oh man, that's funny.

Speaker 2 (20:05):
And I read an article where someone was like, don't
do it, just don't go really yeah, but I mean
that's just one person's opinion. We also had people that
said the northern lights aren't that impressive.

Speaker 3 (20:16):
Yeah, and that one person.

Speaker 1 (20:18):
Yeah, we got shouted down for that. Oh my god.

Speaker 3 (20:21):
It still happens from time to time.

Speaker 1 (20:22):
Uh huh.

Speaker 3 (20:23):

Speaker 4 (20:24):
So if you do go, though, chuck the way that
you go into the pyramid, as far as you can,
it's actually an No one's figured out how to go
in the way that it was intended. It's that entrance
is lost to history as far as I know. The
entrance that you use is actually a carved tunnel through
the pyramid from the ninth century from this guy named

Abdullah al Maman who oversaw a looting expedition, and he's
one of the reasons why they think that it was
unused because even back in the ninth century, this guy
couldn't find anything in the sealed pyramid interesting.

Speaker 1 (21:00):
And you gain access to that through the bathroom of
pizza hut.

Speaker 4 (21:03):
That's right with your X ray specs. Wow, you want
to take a break.

Speaker 1 (21:08):
Yeah, let's do that.

Speaker 3 (21:10):
Let's do it now.

Speaker 1 (21:33):
Hey, everybody, we're back.

Speaker 3 (21:36):
Yes, we are.

Speaker 2 (21:37):
No more poopoo ing of modern things next to old things.
I sound like an old man crabbing, grabbing along.

Speaker 3 (21:43):
That's all right, man uh.

Speaker 2 (21:46):
And this next one is interesting, the hanging Gardens of Babylon,
because this is one that that may not have even existed.
These are this is the we're going chronologically, like you said,
so the second oldest if it was re built in
about the sixth century. And obviously these don't exist anymore
in any shape or form. But the deal is that

these this was in like modern day Iraq, and they
were gardens that it was really about the building. It's
kind of like the first big botanical garden, right. It
wasn't just things hanging from the sky. It was plants
and trees and everything planted in this grand, big building

that had water flowing through it.

Speaker 3 (22:31):
Yeah, in the desert.

Speaker 1 (22:33):

Speaker 4 (22:34):
So if it was in Babylon, it would have been
about ninety miles or ninety kilometers. I can't remember which
one Outside of Baghdad modern day Baghdad, right, And if
it wasn't Babylon, they think that maybe King Nebukanezer built
the gardens. This is according to legend at least sure,
he built the gardens for his wife Ametis, who was

from the north where it's much more fertile and green.
And apparently Ametus missed her homeland, so the king built
her the hanging gardens. And again this is in the desert,
so to. And Babylon was a magnificent place in and
of itself, again, like their walls were once on this
list of seven Wonders to go see, right, But supposedly

it was just this enormous building, tiered with huge walkways. Yeah,
and they planted it with dirt and trees. And there
was a quote that was said it was thickly planted
with trees of every kind that, by their great size
or charm, could give pleasure to the beholder. That was
Deodorus who said that, and he was writing like a

while after they would have been built. But the idea
that you could just walk down treeline avenues in this
building in the desert's pretty neat.

Speaker 2 (23:53):
Yeah, I mean, I get the sense that in today's terms,
it would be like a sort of a nice office park.

Speaker 1 (24:00):
I gets.

Speaker 3 (24:01):
So now we just take them for granted.

Speaker 1 (24:03):
But back then it was a big deal.

Speaker 2 (24:04):
You didn't have these structures with all these plants in
the middle of the desert like this. It was along
the Euphrates River most likely, and we're talking about I mean,
it looks any of the pictures that you've seen, it
really looks like it was something else. About seventy five
feet tall, like you said, tiered, this brick structure with
plants and waterfalls coming off of it, and twenty two

foot thick walls four hundred feet wide, and all manner
of flora all over the place, and irrigated from that
Euphrates River.

Speaker 4 (24:39):
Right if if again it wasn't Babylon. But there's a
couple of reasons why that whole thing is why it
is question right. So for on the one hand, there's
no evidence of it. No one said this is where
it was, right, And other people say, well, of course
you can't say that these were plants, these were gardens.
There's not going to be any trace of it left.
Maybe you know, we've the building and we don't even

realize it. The reason why they think it might not
have actually existed in Babylon is because, first of all,
King nebukin Ezer love to boast about all of the
stuff he did. He left inscriptions in cuneiform basically everywhere.
He's like, you know, let out like a thirty second belch. Today,

King Nebucanezer, he would have stuff like this inscribed.

Speaker 1 (25:24):
Right. Yeah, I can't think of anyone today who I
could like in that too, but yes.

Speaker 4 (25:28):
Right, exactly like he was one of a kind. No
ruler ever has for any resemblance to him. But he'd
never mentioned the gardens of Babylon and any cuneiform tablet
that's ever been discovered.

Speaker 2 (25:42):
Yeah, he did not tout it in writing, which is
very very unusual.

Speaker 4 (25:48):
And then there's another guy, Herod Herodotus. He was an
historian from Greece and he wrote a basically a monograp
on Babylon one hundred years after Nebukanezer, and he didn't
mention the hanging gardens at all. No gardens, no legend

of a garden, no talk of a garden, no garden.
I visited nothing about gardens. Yeah, and the idea that
he would have passed over one of the great wonders
of the ancient world. When he's writing about the town
that contains it, it's pretty questionable. So some people say, well,
maybe it wasn't in Babylon. Maybe it was in another
place in Assyria.

Speaker 2 (26:29):
Yeah, maybe the Assyrian queen built it. Maybe the ruler
of Nineveh, whose name and these names I just love
ticking through all these names, as if nebucad Nezar wasn't
good enough, Senakaib it's great, the ruler of Nineveh may
have built them. I had always thought these were real,

But I tend to think that maybe nebuchad Nesser didn't
have anything to do with it, because it doesn't You're right.
I don't think it makes any sense that it was
not mentioned in any of these accounts, right, because they
just and it wasn't just Nebukinzer all all this stuff
like keeping records.

Speaker 1 (27:07):
It was all very new.

Speaker 2 (27:08):
It was like the hot thing to do, you know, sure, right,
and so they wouldn't just say, oh, by the way,
we failed to mention we built this what would eventually
be a wonder of the world, but we just didn't
think it was important enough to write down.

Speaker 4 (27:20):
Yeah, and this is from Nebukinezer, who used to leave
like inscriptions in the blocks of buildings saying built by Nebukinzer,
ruler of Babylon from sea to sea.

Speaker 1 (27:30):
Even if he didn't build it, he would.

Speaker 3 (27:31):
Have met right exactly, he would have mentioned it.

Speaker 1 (27:34):

Speaker 4 (27:34):
So if if it was in NINEVA, it would have
been close to present day Mosl in northern Iraq, right right.
And if it was in NINEV, then we've actually already
found the gardens of Babylon because they they discovered a
structure that was clearly in something similar to what the

Gardens of Babylon have described. It was a structure that
had irrigation brought to it, that used water screws to
pump water remember from our Archimedes death ray episode, uh huh,
to pump it upward to this thing. So we found
a garden, basically a botanical garden structure in NINEV. So
if it is there, we now know where the hanging

gardens were.

Speaker 2 (28:19):
Yeah, And that is the idea is that they took
this water up them from the Euphrates into these big
holding tanks, these big cisterns essentially on top and then
it would use a very clever system of gravity.

Speaker 1 (28:33):
To then feed down and irrigate all the.

Speaker 2 (28:35):
Different areas as it flowed downward.

Speaker 1 (28:38):
Right, really something to see.

Speaker 4 (28:40):
I can't imagine what it must have been like like,
especially they rely can't.

Speaker 1 (28:45):
You know. I'm kind of disappointed now I have to
admit why we because it doesn't sound like it was
there or maybe even real.

Speaker 4 (28:54):
Yeah, but it could have been. In NINEV I think
it was real. I think it was a nineveh Yeah,
because if you if you look at the if you
look at some I think it was Diodorus. Diodorus's writing
from Sicily, the guy from Sicily. Yeah, he says that
there were hanging gardens, but they were built by Assyrian king,
So I'm pretty sure that's that's it, all right, So

they were real, Chuck, and we know where they are. Okay,
and then you want to do one more for this episode.

Speaker 2 (29:23):
Yeah, let's take a break and we'll come back and
finish up with the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus after this.

Speaker 4 (29:54):
Okay, Chuck, and we're back. Yes, this one, this might
be my favor. Do you have a favorite one yet?

Speaker 2 (30:02):
My favorite one will be in the next episode. Oh okay, cool,
how's that for a tease.

Speaker 3 (30:06):
That's a great tease.

Speaker 1 (30:07):
This one's pretty good though, because this took by all accounts,
over one hundred and twenty years to build in just
one night to go bye bye, yeah, which is how
it goes sometimes.

Speaker 4 (30:17):
Yep, especially when there's someone with pyromania involved.

Speaker 1 (30:21):
Yeah, exactly.

Speaker 4 (30:23):
So ephesusesis Ephesis, That's what I'm going with.

Speaker 1 (30:28):
How about you, Artemis at Ephesis. I think that sounds better.

Speaker 3 (30:33):
I think that might be it.

Speaker 4 (30:34):
So Ephesis is It's actually a pretty well known city
of the ancient world, and I think it's still around
in some way, shape or form. But it was It
used to be a fabulously wealthy port city in what's
today Turkey, but it was under the control basically of Greece. Yea,
from what I understand, it was allowed to remain an

independent city state, but it was still like that was
at the pleasure of Greece and then later Rome. But
they managed to be an important place of finance and
law too. I think that's where a lot of the
courts were was in Ephesis. But it was also well
known for all of its magic cults. Right, Yes, that's

where the Magician's mansion was located.

Speaker 3 (31:22):
Back in the ancient world.

Speaker 1 (31:24):
Yeah, so when they call it the city of magic,
they mean that literally.

Speaker 3 (31:28):
Right, not magic city.

Speaker 4 (31:31):
But it had like a quarter of a million residents
at its peaker at the time when the Temple of
Artemis was in full swing, and it was originally built
this temple, this massive, huge temple back in five point
fifty BCE by a guy named King Croesus. They think
that that might be old King Cole.

Speaker 3 (31:49):
Did you know that?

Speaker 4 (31:50):
Oh really, m h huh, that's what I've always heard.

Speaker 1 (31:54):
So King Crosis of Lydia.

Speaker 2 (31:56):
And this one, if you look it up under the
images it is it looks like you're you're kind of
classic Greek temple. It's rectangular that it measures about three
fifty by one eighty feet.

Speaker 1 (32:11):
And the thing about this one that is really jumped
out at me were the columns. And there are more
than one hundred columns and their marble and it's not
just like everything had columns. So that's that's all fine,
and well, these.

Speaker 3 (32:24):
Are enough with the columns.

Speaker 2 (32:27):
These are the ionic architectural style columns. But these were
like if you look at it, there like the two
rows of columns on the front. To me, like the
fact that they doubled them up and offset them is
just really kind of striking looking.

Speaker 3 (32:41):
It is. It's gorgeous.

Speaker 4 (32:43):
And if you just the size of this thing too,
three hundred and fifty feet in length right or in depth,
that's like one in more than one football field American
football field. Which is this is a pretty good sized temple. Yeah,
it's not as massive as you might think in this
but it's still pretty big.

Speaker 2 (33:02):
Well, I mean, you gotta you have to think all
of this in ancient standards. Sure, like today you look
at a building in size of a football field and
it's not that big of a deal, but it's still large.

Speaker 1 (33:12):
But by those standards back then, it was enormous.

Speaker 3 (33:15):
Right, which I'm I'm happy with saying it's massive.

Speaker 1 (33:18):
Yeah, put on your ancient hats, folks.

Speaker 4 (33:20):
Plus also plus also just the the ornate detail that
was carved into the structure in every single spot, it
was pretty neat. And then if you looked at the
pediment of the temple, the base, there was a door
and two windows. I believe the windows are on either
side of the door. That was not for Upion, that
was for Artemis to enter and leave her temple at

her whim.

Speaker 1 (33:43):
That's right.

Speaker 4 (33:44):
So Artemis herself, this is this is one of the
reasons why this is my favorite. Artemis herself was the
Greek precursor to the Roman Diana. Okay, she was the
goddess of fertility, of the hunt and I believed the
moon too, right, all right, And she was Apollo's twin sister.
She was the daughter of Zeus and Leto, so she

was a pretty important deity. But she was kind of
cobbled together at the Temple of Artemis with an already
much much much older deity for the area. And her
name was Sibyl, and Sibyl was based on an ancient
fertility goddess from nine thousand years ago. So they took

Sybil and they took Artemis, who basically represented the same
thing but to two different cultures, and they put it
together at this Temple of Artemis at Ephesis.

Speaker 1 (34:41):
Yeah, I mean, we're talking about a statue. I don't
think we said that.

Speaker 3 (34:45):
Oh yeah, no, we didn't.

Speaker 1 (34:46):
We weren't talking about some kind of weird black voodoo,
black magic.

Speaker 3 (34:49):

Speaker 2 (34:50):
It's a statue built from gold, silver, ebony, and some
other stuff. They had laying around. Pull tabs from tabcans.

Speaker 3 (35:00):
Sure, it was like a found object thing basically.

Speaker 1 (35:04):
But this what's amazing about this one.

Speaker 2 (35:06):
You can actually look up the statue even though these
are just I don't know.

Speaker 1 (35:10):
If whether it were pictures of it or is this
just called from I.

Speaker 4 (35:13):
Don't know, man, I'm not sure if it was just
from writings or if they do have it somewhere.

Speaker 1 (35:18):

Speaker 2 (35:18):
The cool thing is is the statue has this row
of bulbs hanging from her body and if you look
at it looks like she's wearing a.

Speaker 1 (35:28):
Tunic made of avocados.

Speaker 4 (35:30):
Or like water balloons. Sure, but what they are is
up for debate. Some people say, well, they're obviously breasts,
she's a fertility goddess.

Speaker 1 (35:39):
Yeah, make a little it does.

Speaker 4 (35:41):
It would make even more sense if it weren't for
the fact that Sybil's cult was known to castraight bulls
as sacrifice, so they think they were probably bull testicles, right,
and the actually the Sybil cult high priests would castrate
them so they could be more like Sybil I e.

Without testicles. Remember our castration episode do I Boy, We've
talked about a lot of stuff, Chuck, we have. So
you've got this amazing wonderful, super cool statue in an
already amazing temple. And it's not just me who thought

that that it was the most amazing one of all.
There was another guy who wrote. His name was antipurv Sidon.
He says, I and this is he's writing back in
You know, I guess BCE still because he was an
ancient Greek. But he said, I have seen the walls

of unbreachable Babylon. Remember that was originally when the Seven
Wonders along which chariots may race, and the statue of
Zeus by the River Alpheus, the hanging Gardens, and the
Colossus of the Sun, the Great Man made mountains of
the Lofty Pyramid, and the gigantic tomb of Masciless. But
when I saw the sacred House of Artemis reaching the clouds,

the others paled.

Speaker 1 (37:08):

Speaker 4 (37:08):
And that was Antipur of Sidon, right. So he's saying, like,
I've seen all the wonders, and to me, the temple
of Artemis at Efesis is the best.

Speaker 2 (37:16):
And he said, you got to see it. She has
bolt testicles hanging around her neck.

Speaker 3 (37:21):
You've never seen anything like it.

Speaker 2 (37:23):
So this thing was very I mean it was it
was a legit tourist destination. People would travel long distances
to come to this place to see the statue in
the temple, and it was I mean, it's hard to believe,
but even back then they had. It boosted the local
economy and was literally supported by like gift shops selling

little statuette recreations of this thing.

Speaker 4 (37:48):
Yeah, and this is already a wealthy area, so the
tourism was so big that that was still significant. The replicas,
the sale of the replicas still made that much of
a splash on the local that's how many were sold.

Speaker 2 (38:02):
Like you go to New York City and you go
to a gift shop at at the Statue of Liberty
and you buy the little replica that exact thing was
going on thousands of years ago.

Speaker 1 (38:15):
Yeah, there's nothing new.

Speaker 3 (38:16):
I want one of those.

Speaker 4 (38:18):
That would be great if you're looking for something for
me for Christmas, an original replica from the BCE, okay,
of the Temple of Artemis.

Speaker 3 (38:29):
I would love that, all right.

Speaker 2 (38:31):
So you just want to give that's worth that's priceless basically. Okay,
So this story gets a little more interesting here. You
mentioned a pyromaniac earlier in July three fifty six BC.
It was a man name and we almost didn't know
his name. He wrote Stratus, who is a pyromaniac who
burned this temple down for the by all accounts, for

the sole reason of living in infamy.

Speaker 1 (38:57):
And there was a.

Speaker 2 (38:58):
Decree that his name was I'll never be recorded at all,
so he wouldn't even earn that.

Speaker 1 (39:03):
But someone did.

Speaker 4 (39:05):
Well that was it was punishable upon death to even
say his name afterward.

Speaker 3 (39:10):
Yeah, but yeah, a guy named who was it?

Speaker 4 (39:14):
Theopompus was the one who wrote it down, who recorded
the act and so.

Speaker 3 (39:20):
What's his name? Heristratus?

Speaker 4 (39:22):
Yeah, was was recorded in infamy just like he wanted.

Speaker 5 (39:26):
He was.

Speaker 3 (39:26):
He was an ancient jerk, I think, is what you'd
call it.

Speaker 2 (39:29):
And the temple, this is the story gets even better
because the temple burned the same day that Alexander the
Great was born, which was amazing, and the temple. They
would later rebuild the temple and Alexander said, yeah, you
know what, why don't I why don't I pay for
this thing?

Speaker 1 (39:48):
All you gotta do is, like I don't know.

Speaker 2 (39:49):
Just throw my name on it somewhere, right, And they said, yeah,
that's nice, but we'll we'll just build it on her own.

Speaker 4 (39:56):
Right, But then they backed slowly out of the room, like, okay,
that's okay, right, you're not gonna kill us, are you.

Speaker 5 (40:02):

Speaker 2 (40:02):
And I couldn't find a bunch of places that said
that he wanted his name on the temple except for
our article, So I'm not sure that's true.

Speaker 1 (40:09):
Did you see that in other places?

Speaker 3 (40:12):
I did not.

Speaker 1 (40:13):
Yeah, that's that's so the story goes. I'm not sure
about that though.

Speaker 4 (40:16):
That's according to how stuff works. Yeah, so they rebuilt it.
They eventually did rebuild it, and I think it was
some Yeah, it was somewhat shortly after I'm not sure
actually how long it was after it was burned.

Speaker 1 (40:31):
Yeah, I don't, No one knows. They said they don't
know the date.

Speaker 4 (40:34):
Okay, but it was rebuilt, and I think it was
rebuilt even bigger than before.

Speaker 1 (40:38):

Speaker 4 (40:39):
But then in two sixty two CE, the Goths rated
it raided Aphasis, led by Robert Smith and Peter Murphy,
and they burned.

Speaker 3 (40:52):
That thing to the ground.

Speaker 1 (40:53):
That's right.

Speaker 4 (40:54):
They actually broke the thing up and used the marble
to build the city. After what an earthquake yep, a
bunch of earthquake that's right.

Speaker 3 (41:04):
It's the great leveler I know.

Speaker 2 (41:06):
And then I saw another thing that said, and this
wasn't our our article either, but it said that it
was rebuilt again even after that, and then a Christian
mob came along and destroyed it.

Speaker 3 (41:20):
Oh, is that right?

Speaker 1 (41:21):
That's what I saw.

Speaker 3 (41:22):
I've not seen that one.

Speaker 4 (41:23):
I did see that Ephesis was an important city in
the Bible, because I think Paul came and was proselytizing
there and started a riot because everybody's like, oh man,
your God sounds so great that it's going to undermine
our artemis and our local economy's going to fall to pieces.

Speaker 1 (41:42):
Wait, an, your religion was so interesting, it really was,
you know, yeah, all right, have you got anything else
on that one?

Speaker 3 (41:48):
No? I don't, man. I think we've reached the end
of part one.

Speaker 1 (41:52):

Speaker 3 (41:53):
And if you're waiting while you're waiting.

Speaker 4 (41:54):
For episode two to come out, you can get in
touch with us. We accept emails by the oodles at
stuff Podcasts at House Stuffworks dot Com, and has always
joined us at our home on the web. Stuff Youshould
Know dot com.

Speaker 1 (42:09):
Stuff you Should Know is a production of iHeartRadio. For
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