in early human history, darkness was very frightening. Wild animals and our enemies could kill us more easily in the darkness. We hid in our caves and waited for the light. The idea of light, or fire, cutting through the darkness, is a common one in various cultures and religions. We eventually learned to light fires to illuminate our caves or campgrounds at night, but as we started venturing out on the seas in boats, the idea of being out in the darkness was scary.
The first navigators traveled mainly during the day. As mariners ventured out more at night, some learned to plot their course by the movement of the stars and constellations. But there was always the danger of running into hidden rocks, shoals, and other obstacles.
The origins of the lighthouse go back to simple bonfires built on beaches and hillsides in many cultures around the world. The Greeks built braziers filled with fire and put them on hillsides at the entrances to harbors and along navigation routes to guide mariners. The Greeks also built some of the earliest true lighthouses at least as early as the fifth century B.C.—basically columns surmounted by fires.The world’s first great lighthouse, the Pharos of Alexandria, was built in the third century BC in the harbor at Alexandria, Egypt, a city that had been founded by Alexander the Great. It was built of giant blocks of limestone and had a furnace at the top, with the fire possibly magnified by a mirror. It stood more than 300 feet tall and is regarded as one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.acquired from http://light2015blog.org/2015/08/04/what-is-it-about-lighthouses/
The struggle of nature vs. humans and their creations is at the heart of many of the most popular stories of lighthouses. There’s often great heroism in the struggle against nature.
Even in these days of GPS and other modern technology, lighthouses still serve a vital purpose for navigation. Electronics can fail, and when that happens there’s nothing better than the sight of a lighthouse to show us the way to safe harbor.
Lighthouses represent many things to many people, but they have universal qualities that make them a very special class of structure and help to explain why they’re so iconic in our culture. Lighthouses were built for completely positive, altruistic reasons–to safeguard life and property