Lighthouses of Antiquity: Summary
The location of the first lighthouse in history has been the subject of much speculation over the years. Whilst the Pharos of Alexandria was one of the earliest, and certainly the most wonderful, it is commonly accepted that the idea behind the building of structures to assist nocturnal navigation was already widespread by the time of the Pharos. The absence of substantive evidence in support of a solution to the problem has meant that few pharologists in the twentieth century have seriously studied the matter. From the present perspective at the beginning of the 21st century, and with the benefit of the most recent archaeological evidence, it would seem a good moment to survey the information now available. We conclude here that the balance of evidence supports the argument that the first lightstructure was probably built on a promontory of land called Sigeum at the entrance to the important seaway known as the Hellespont, and close to the ancient city of Troy, sometime between the years 1700 and 1250 BC. To reach this conclusion, in this paper we study the candidate structures and cultures and discuss all the evidence that relates to the building of lightstructures before the time of the birth of Christ.