The Acropolis of Athens is an ancient fortress located on a rocky outcrop above the city, containing the remains of several ancient buildings (including the Parthenon). It is the most striking and complete ancient Greek monumental complex still existing in our times, and was planned and constructed under the guidance of the great general and statesman Pericles of Athens . Wishing to create a lasting monument which would both honour the goddess Athena (who presided over Athens) and proclaim the glory of the city to the world, Pericles spared no expense in the construction of the Acropolis.
Angkor Wat is an located in northern Cambodia, and is the largest religious structure in the world by and area, measuring 162.6 hectares. At the centre of the temple stands a quincunx of four towers surrounding a central spire that rises to a It was originally built in the first half of the as a Hindu temple, dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu, Its name translates to “temple city” in the Khmer language of the region.
World Famous Unsolved Mysteries: The jungles of Angkor
Old Bagan, Myanmar is an ancient city in the Mandalay Region of Myanmar. From the , the city was the capital of the Pagan Kingdom,the first kingdom that unified the regions that would later constitute Myanmar. During the kingdom's height between the 11th and 13th centuries, more than 10,000 Buddhist temples, pagodas and monasteries were constructed in the Bagan plains alone, of which the remains of over 2200 temples and pagodas survive.
Borubudur is a Mahayana Buddhist temple on the island of Java, Indonesia. It is the world's , an ancient site widely considered to be one of the world’s seven wonders. The monument is a marvel of design, and is a temple consisting of nine stacked platforms, six square and three circular, topped by a central dome. It is decorated with 2,672 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues.
*Note: there are various spellings: e.g. Borubudur, Borobudur, Barabudur etc.
The Bradshaw or Gwion Gwion rock paintings are sophisticated paintings dotted across approximately 100,000 sites spread over an area of 50,000 square kilometres (the size of some small countries). They are thought to be at least 17,000, . (Compare this to the famed Egyptian hieroglyphs which are a mere 5,000 years old.). Today the Ngarinyin people of the Kimberley are the custodians of this art form. The ancient Bradshaw rock paintings are very different to any other Aboriginal rock art found in Australia. They depict graceful human figures engaged in display or hunt. Figures are beautifully painted, adorned with tassels, hair ornaments and even clothing.
Chichén Itzá is a ruined ancient Mayan city occupying an area of 10 square km in south-central Yucatan state in Mexico. It is a sacred site, thought to have been a religious, military, political, and commercial centre that at its peak would have been home to 35,000 people. It has a nearly 1,000 year old history, Maya priests in Chichen Itza sacrificed children to petition the gods for rain and fertile fields by throwing them into sacred sinkhole caves, known as “cenotes.” The caves served as a source of water for the Mayans and were also thought to be an entrance to the underworld.
The Colosseum is an n the centre of the city of Rome, Italy, just east of the Roman Forum. It is the largest ancient amphitheatre ever built, and is still the largest standing amphitheatre in the world today, despite its age. Measuring , it could seat around for a variety of events. These included .
Easter Island Moai Statues, Chile - In 1722, Dutch explorers found a remote island in the Pacific off the coast of Chile dotted with hundreds of huge stone statues. Where had the Islanders originally come from? Why and how had they built the figures? There are nearly on Easter Island, in various stages of construction. Opinions differ widely on how they were moved and raised (Some think they were walked; others that they were pushed on log rollers.) but no one disputes the years of effort involved in getting the statues carved and into place. , and were transported 16km from the quarry.
Great Wall of China is a series of fortifications that were built across the historical northern borders of ancient Chinese states and Imperial China as protection against various nomadic groups from the Eurasian Steppe, such as Genghis Khan. It is . The Great Wall actually consists of numerous walls—many of them parallel to each other—built over some two millennia across northern China and southern Mongolia. with an .
Great Zimbabwe is an ancient African city in the south-eastern hills of Zimbabwe near Lake Mutirikwe and the town of Masvingo. It is thought to have been the . The stone city spans an area of 7.22 square kilometres which, at its peak, could have housed up to 18,000 people. Great Zimbabwe is believed to have served as a royal palace for the local monarch and the seat of political power. Among the edifice's most prominent features were its walls, some of which are eleven metres high. They were . Eventually, the city was abandoned and fell into ruin. Great Zimbabwe has since been adopted as a national monument by the Zimbabwean government, and the modern independent state was named after it. The word great distinguishes the site from the many hundreds of small ruins, now known as "zimbabwes", spread across the Zimbabwe Highveld.
Ebook chapter from Cox, Reg; Morris, Neil, Seven Wonders of the Medieval World, 1995
Lascaux is famous for its Palaeolithic cave paintings, found in a complex of caves in the Dordogne region of southwestern France, because of their exceptional quality, size, sophistication and antiquity. The are the combined efforts of many generations, and are and the paintings consist primarily of, once native to the region. Horses are the most numerous, but deer, aurochs, ibex, bison, and even some felines can also be found.
Machu Picchu, Peru - This is one of the , but the origins of the Inca's Machu Picchu remain a mystery. The Inca left no record of why they built the site ,or how they used it before it was abandoned in the early16th century. It is amazing that this dramatic and towering fortress of stone cut from cliffs was .
Mesa Verde National Park is in southwest Colorado. It's known for its well-preserved Ancestral , notably the huge Cliff Palace. The Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum has exhibits on the ancient Native American culture. Mesa Top Loop Road winds past archaeological sites and overlooks, including Sun Point Overlook with panoramic canyon views. Petroglyph Point Trail has several rock carvings.
Mungo Man, Central Australia - When the bones of Australia's oldest and most complete human were unearthed in the 1970s, it rewrote history. Dubbed 'Mungo Man' after the dried-up lake basin where he was found, the , and is the , a cremation. Mungo Man provided a further glimpse into a past that all of a sudden appeared far .
The Nazca Lines are a collection of giant geoglyphs—designs or motifs etched into the ground—located in the Peruvian coastal plain about 400 kilometers south of Lima, Peru. Created by the ancient Nazca culture in South America, and depicting various plants, animals, and shapes, the can Despite being studied for over 80 years, the geoglyphs—which were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994—are still a mystery to researchers.
White Horse of Uffington, a prehistoric hill figure, 110 m long, formed from deep trenches filled with crushed white chalk.
The Mystery Chronicles: Mystery of the Nazcar Lines
Ötzi, also called the . Due to the length of time he lay in the snow and ice, the body dehydrated, i.e. much of the body fluid was lost. Most mummies were treated with substances to preserve them as part of ritual burial after their organs had been removed. Ötzi is unique in that he has been preserved almost in his entirety. He lived between , discovered in September 1991 in the Ötztal Alps on the border between Austria and Italy. Ötzi is believed to have been murdered, due to the discovery of an arrowhead embedded in his left shoulder and various other wounds.
Inhabited since prehistoric times, this Nabataean caravan-city, situated between the Red Sea and the Dead Sea, was an important crossroads between Arabia, Egypt and Syria-Phoenicia. Petra is , and is surrounded by mountains riddled with passages and gorges. It is one of the world's most famous archaeological sites, where ancient Eastern traditions blend with Hellenistic architecture.
Pompeii is a preserved ancient Roman city near Naples at the southeastern base of Mount Vesuvius. Around noon in , a huge eruption from Mount Vesuvius showered over the city of Pompeii, followed the next day by . Buildings were destroyed, the population was crushed or asphyxiated, and the city was buried beneath a . For many centuries Pompeii slept beneath its pall of ash, which perfectly preserved the remains. When these were finally unearthed, in the 1700s, the world was astonished at the discovery of a sophisticated Greco-Roman city frozen in time.
Built during a time when Egypt was one of the richest and most powerful civilizations in the world, the pyramids—especially the Great Pyramids of Giza—are some of the most magnificent man-made structures in history. Their massive scale reflects the unique role that the pharaoh, or king, played in ancient Egyptian society. More than later, the Egyptian pyramids still retain much of their majesty, providing a glimpse into the country’s rich and glorious past.
World Famous Unsolved Mysteries: How were the pyramids built
The Terracotta Army is a collection of depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. It is a form of funerary art buried with the emperor in 210–209 BCE with the purpose of protecting the emperor in his afterlife. Three pits containing the Terracotta Army held more than , the majority of which remained buried in the pits near Qin Shi Huang's mausoleum Other terracotta non-military figures were found in other pits, including officials, acrobats, strongmen, and musicians.
Tollund Man is one of many “bog bodies” that have been discovered in the peat bogs of Northern Europe, where unusual conditions allow to occur. Over the centuries, . Tollund Man was so perfectly preserved that when he was discovered in 1950 by two brothers, they reported to the police what they thought was a recent murder, but it turned out to be a He died by hanging one winter’s day or early spring, and shortly after the hanging he was cut down. The rope is still around his neck. Somebody closed his eyes and mouth and placed him in a sleeping position in an old bog. The reasons for his murder are still a mystery.
The name Troy refers both to a place in legend and a real-life archaeological site in modern day Turkey, near Gallipoli. In legend, and eventually conquered by a Greek army led by King Agamemnon. The Trojan horse was a huge hollow wooden horse constructed by the Greeks to gain entrance into Troy during the Trojan War. Despite the warnings the horse was taken inside the city gates. That night Greek warriors emerged from it and opened the gates to let in the returned Greek army, who slaughtered the Trojans and burnt the city.
The Valley of the Kings was part of the ancient city of Thebes and was the burial site of almost all the kings (pharaohs) of the from 1539–1075 BC, from Thutmose I to Ramses X, when they no longer used pyramids. These pharaohs, fearing for the safety of their rich burial sites, adopted a new plan of concealing their . The plan of the tombs consists essentially of a descending corridor interrupted by deep shafts to baffle robbers and by pillared chambers or vestibules. At the farther end of the corridor is a burial chamber with a stone sarcophagus (stone coffin) in which the royal mummy was laid and store chambers around which furniture and equipment were stacked for the king’s use in the next world.