We all have something we want from a vacation. Some people want to relax, some people want to party – and some people want to go on journeys of historical discovery. Every year, archeology buffs make their way around the world to sites of historical importance – and who can blame them. There are numerous destinations around the world that offer a wealth of information and sightseeing regarding the work of ancient civilizations, all of which are fascinating and awe-inspiring. There’s something truly special about visiting ancient cities and buildings that were built by regular people hundreds or even thousands of years ago, and connecting to them through the works they left behind. Standing in the midst of monuments and feeling history wash over you is an experience like no other – and there are plenty of places you can find it.
Containing some of the world’s most striking and impressive monuments, the city of Giza and Egypt is a no-brainer for anyone with an interest in archeology. The most obvious attraction that it possesses is the Great Pyramid of Giza – a colossal structure built to serve as a tomb for the ancient Egyptian pharaoh known as Khufu. The pyramid is a remarkably well-preserved piece of ancient architecture, containing fascinating chambers and walkways within, adorned with the art of ancient Egyptian society. In addition, Giza plays host to the Great Sphinx – one of the oldest statues in the world and an icon known across the globe – and several other temples built by the ancient Egyptians.
Rome, the capital city of Italy, is a haven for anyone with an interest in archeology and ancient Roman society. The city is filled with numerous monuments and relics built by the ancient Romans, each one a fascinating insight into the most powerful empire in history. The obvious attraction for most people is the Colosseum, the huge amphitheater in which Roman citizens would spectate gladiatorial combat. The Colosseum is certainly breathtaking, but is just one of many artifacts that the city has. For instance, there is also the Pantheon, an ancient Roman temple that despite being almost 2000 years old is still incredibly well preserved. The archeologically minded can also visit the Mausoleum of Augustus, the Castel Sant’Angelo, and the Forum Romanum among many other attractions.
Petra is one of the oldest locations on this list – a city in Jordan that is suspected to have been settled for the first time almost 11000 years ago. The city itself was founded closer to 400BC, suspected to have served as the capital city of the Nabataean kingdom. Petra became a hub of trading and commerce, eventually becoming one of the most important cities in the world during its heyday. Nowadays the city is not so important, but is still just as breathtaking. Huge amounts of the city are carved into the rock of the mountain valley that it lies in – making for a truly unique sight and fascinating exploration. Tourists can walk around observing the surviving temples and tombs in Petra – admiring the skill and artfulness required to literally carve a city out of solid rock.
Located on a mountain ridge 2430 meters up, Machu Picchu in Peru is certainly one of the harder destinations to get to – but is also one of the most worth it. An Inca citadel from the 15th century, Machu Picchu is thought to have served as the royal estate for a few Inca rulers. Walking around Machu Picchu is truly breathtaking, simply for the fact that you are in a city built on a mountain – restoration projects are consistently restoring the city to its former glory, so visitors really can get a sense of its grandeur and spectacle. Tourists can view the residences and temples of Machu Picchu, to see just how the people lived in a city 2500 meters in the air. Getting to Machu Picchu is obviously less easy than usual, necessitating a hike that lasts several days – but it is entirely worth the effort.