Travel back in time to these 10 must-visit archaeological sites

Jul 19, 2017

From vast temple complexes and towering pyramids to megalithic monuments and the sandy ruins of bygone civilisations, the world is full of fascinating archaeological sites that give us insight into the lives and cultures of the ancient communities that once populated our planet.

If visiting such places is high on your travel wish list, then make sure to add these impressive destinations to your bucket list.

Luxor, Egypt

luxor egypt

While most people immediately think of the pyramids of Giza as the jewel in Egypt’s archaeological crown, there are indeed a wealth of other ancient Egyptian sites worth visiting. The city of Luxor, known in ancient times as Thebes, sits alongside the mighty Nile River and is surrounded by archaeological sites and ruins that are sure to impress.

The colossal Luxor Temple complex with its famous entrance flanked by massive stone sculptures, as well as the enormous hieroglyphic-inscribed pillars at the precinct of Amun-Re in the immense Karnak Temple, are just two of the incredible sights you can expect to see.

Parthenon, Greece

Parthenon, Greece

As far as iconic archaeological points of interest go, there is perhaps no greater spot than the Parthenon at the Acropolis in Athens. As the temple dedicated to the ancient Greek goddess Athena, the Parthenon is widely regarded as the most significant remnant of Ancient Greece.

Hundreds of thousands of visitors descend upon this site every year, easily making it the most visited archaeological site in Greece. The Parthenon is classic bucket list material that everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime.

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Petra, Jordan

Petra, Jordan

Carved into the rocks of the dusty desert in Southern Jordan, is the majestic Nabatean city of Petra. This ancient Middle Eastern city is made up of a number of tombs, grand temples and other monumental structures, with the intricately carved Treasury (or Al Khazneh) being Petra’s most iconic and recognisable feature.

The cultural and historic significance of Petra is considered so integral to humankind’s collective heritage that the site has, since the 1980s, been given UNESCO World Heritage status and was even named as one of the new 7 wonders of the world.

Terracotta Army, China

Terracotta Army, China

Anyone who’s ever visited the Chinese city of Xi’an’s most famous attraction, the Terracotta Army, can attest to its wholly remarkable nature. A mind-boggling collection of terracotta figurines, each unique and depicting a member of the army of China’s first emperor Qin Shi Huang, the Terracotta Army is arguably China’s most renowned archaeological find and dates back to as far as the third century BC.

Not only does this astonishing feat of ancient sculpture feature some 8,000 individual soldiers, set to safeguard the emperor in his tomb for all eternity, but a collection of chariots, horses and other officials add a sense of wonder to this archaeological marvel.