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Pharos (fârˈŏs) [key], peninsula, extending into the Mediterranean Sea, N Egypt, NE Africa, forming two harbors at Alexandria. Originally an island, it was joined to the mainland by a mole, constructed by order of Alexander the Great. On Pharos stood the celebrated lighthouse completed (c.280 B.C.) by Ptolemy II, which is usually included among the ancient Seven Wonders of the World. No precise description of it has survived, and modern estimates of its height vary between 200 and 600 ft (60–180 m). It was destroyed by an earthquake in the 14th cent.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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