“A fallen lighthouse is more dangerous than a reef”

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Lighthouses don’t go running all over an island looking for boats to save: they just stand there shining.
— Anne Lamott

Coquille River Lighthouse, Bandon, Oregon

Before the development of clearly defined ports, mariners were guided by fires built on hilltops. Since raising the fire would improve the visibility, placing the fire on a platform became a practice that led to the development of the lighthouse. In antiquity, the lighthouse functioned more as an entrance marker to ports than as a warning signal for reefs and promontories, unlike many modern lighthouses. The most famous lighthouse structure from antiquity was the Pharos of Alexandria, although it collapsed during an earthquake centuries later.

The intact Tower of Hercules at A Coruña and the ruins of the Roman lighthouse at Dover Castle in England give insight into ancient lighthouse construction; other evidence about lighthouses exists in depictions on coins and mosaics, of which many represent the lighthouse at Ostia. Coins from Alexandria, Ostia, and Laodicea in Syria also exist. (Wiki)

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