Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu Picchu is an Incan citadel set high in the Andes Mountains in Peru, above the Urubamba River valley. Built in the 15th century and later abandoned, it’s renowned for its sophisticated dry-stone walls that fuse huge blocks without the use of mortar, intriguing buildings that play on astronomical alignments and panoramic views. Its exact former use remains a mystery.

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Tikal National Park, Guatemala

Gautemala’s crown jewel is Tikal, perhaps the greatest of all the Maya city-states. Its magnificent six temples still dominate the landscape much as they did a thousand years ago, soaring above the rainforest canopy and making one wonder at the ceremonies that once took place here, and the size of the city now swallowed up by the jungle.
Mohenjo Daro, Pakistan

Presently located in Pakistan, Mohenjo-Daro was built in 2600 BCE. With over 35,000 inhabitants, the city was among the most advanced civilizations in the ancient world. Indus Civilization is considered one of the oldest and it reached its high point around 2000 BCE. It had its specialized water and drainage system. The designs of streets and marketplaces show amazing resemblance with the present age.

A great flood destroyed the whole city somewhere around 1700 BCE. Its residents used to worship idols, had their own festivals and exquisite architecture. The explorers even found jewellery and toys.

Palmyra in Syria

Archeologists suggested that this central Syrian city was built around the second millennium BCE. It belonged to the Roman empire later on in the first century of ACE. The rich city of Palmyra had about 200,000 residents and it flourished by trade caravans.

It had a Silk Road with beautifully constructed temples having precious ornaments in them. In 2 ACE, the city was destroyed by a Roman emperor named Aurelian and most of the inhabitants had converted to Christianity before converting to Islam in 4 ACE. The most recent destruction of the Syrian city has been caused by the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant.

Petra, Jordan

The capital of the Nabateans and a key trading centre for silk and spices that linked Asia with Arabia and the West, Petra fell into decline under Roman rule in the fourth century AD and wasn’t rediscovered until 1812. Its tombs – especially The Treasury (of Indiana Jones fame) and The Monastery – are spellbinding, all the more so as they were carved into the rock face itself.

Angkor, Cambodia

One of the world’s greatest sights, the Angkor complex encompasses various capitals of the Khmer Empire that flourished from the ninth to fifteenth centuries AD. It stretches over 400 square kilometres, though the highlight is the incomparable Angkor Wat, a Hindu temple with fir-cone towers, stylised sculptures of human faces and carved reliefs of Hindu myths.

Sigiriya, Sri Lanka

Deep in the middle of Sri Lanka, a massive column of rock juts out from the green tropical forest. It reaches 660 feet tall and features frescoes, graffiti, and landscaped gardens. The rock is known as Sigiriya (see-gee-REE-yah) and holds a special place in the island’s cultural history.

It was established as the stronghold of a rogue king over 1,500 years ago, and today the Sigiriya complex stands as one of the earliest preserved examples of ancient urban planning. Ultimately the rock was unable to save its king, but it succeeded in preserving ancient Sinhalese culture.

Skara Brae, Scotland
Skara Brae is a stone-built Neolithic settlement, located on the Bay of Skaill on the west coast of Mainland, the largest island in the Orkney archipelago of Scotland. Consisting of eight clustered houses, it was occupied from roughly 3180 BC to about 2500 BC. Europe's most complete Neolithic village, Skara Brae gained UNESCO World Heritage Site status as one of four sites making up "The Heart of Neolithic Orkney". Older than Stonehenge and the Great Pyramids, it has been called the "Scottish Pompeii" because of its excellent preservation.
Nabta Playa, Cairo

Though little is known about the people who once inhabited this large basin roughly 500 miles south of modern-day Cairo, or what may have become of them, we have discovered from archaeological sites in the area that the people here farmed, domesticated animals, and fashioned ceramic vessels more than 9,000 years ago. Among the most striking ruins that remain in Nabta Playa are stone circles resembling Stonehenge. These circles suggest that the people who once lived here also practiced astronomy.
Carthage (Tunisia)

The ancient city of Carthage was founded by the Phoenicians, in present-day Tunisia, under the rule of the legendary Queen Elissa or Dido. The city was a large and prosperous center of the region. For this reason, it enviously eyed the rulers of Syracuse and Rome.
The city survived the war with Rome, but in 698 BC was destroyed during the invasion of Muslims. At the time of Carthage with its hills, forums, houses decorated with mosaics and paved streets was the pearl of the Mediterranean.
Babel and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon (Iraq)
The capital of the empire of Mesopotamia, Babylon, was known for its luxury and innovation. Today its ruins are located between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in Iraq, and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon are generally considered one of the seven wonders of the world, although no tangible evidence of this fact is not. The legend associated with the hanging gardens, says that King Nebuchadnezzar II built it for his wife, homesick, situated in the mountainous region. The gardens at the center of the desert on the terraces, which were watered thanks to a specially constructed irrigation system. If there were gardens and today, they would have been one of the most desirable attractions and a paradise on earth.
Mesa Verde, Colorado

The cliff dwellings of Mesa Verde are some of the most notable and best-preserved ruins in the North American continent. Sometime during the late 1190s, after primarily living on the mesa top for 600 years, many Ancestral Puebloans began living in pueblos they built beneath the overhanging cliffs. The structures ranged in size from one-room storage units to villages of more than 150 rooms. While still farming the mesa tops, they continued to reside in the alcoves, repairing, remodeling, and constructing new rooms for nearly a century. By the late 1270s, the population began migrating south into present-day New Mexico and Arizona. By 1300, the Ancestral Puebloan occupation of Mesa Verde ended.
Vijayanagar, India

Vijaynagar, meaning the city of victory, was the capital city of the historic Vijaynagar Empire. As the prosperous capital of the largest and the most powerful kingdom of its time in India, Vijaynagar attracted people from all around the world. The ruined city, known as the ruins of Hampi, is a World Heritage Site. Protected by the turbulent Tungabhadra River in the north and rocky granite ridges on the other three sides, the ruins of Hampi silently unfold the story of the pomp and splendor, grandeur and magnificence and the fabulous wealth of a lost Kingdom.


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