Archaeology is the study of humans through the things they have left behind, like artifacts, architecture, bones and items of life. Every country has sites which show a lost culture, a different world but a piece of our own history. Which ones are the best, which ones show the way the world works more than any other?
Listing archaeological sites
How can you possibly rank the Acropolis against Stonehenge? A ranking makes no sense, so this list is built on the basis of a wonderment of how did they do it, or why did they do it. Or just an acknowledgment there’s something amazing about such a thing still existing. Here’s a list of archaeological sites that you might be interested enough to put on a list.
Angkor Wat – Cambodia
Originally built as a Hindu temple, it was converted to Buddhism in the 12th century. It was the capital of the Khmer Empire and built King Suryavarman II as his state temple and mausoleum. It now represents Cambodia to such an extent, the temple is on the flag.
The Great Pyramid of Giza – Egypt
This is on the list because it is amazing that it was done at all. When it was built it was 146m high, bigger than anything for centuries. To put it into context it is about a third higher than the Empire State building. It is more a how question as we can guess why.
The Parthenon – Athens
No list would be complete without the Parthenon. What is awe-inspiring is how it was built. None of the lines on the building are straight. None. How did they work that out?
Machu Pichu – Peru
Machu Pichu was not the most important Incan site, but its significance lies in its being undiscovered until 1911 and so it was not ransacked or spoiled by the conquistadores. Now it is increasingly carefully managed and getting there is by good management not by good luck.
The Moai Statues – Easter Island
This one is a little like Stonehenge, amazing in itself but more a question of how on earth did this happen? Knowing where the stones come from is one thing, knowing how they got where they did is something else completely different.
Masada – Israel
The remains of the Roman forts that surrounded Masada are still visible from the palace on the top of the outcrop. What’s amazing about Masada is how they managed fresh water. The system of channeling water was so sophisticated it is still there today.
This list is by no means extensive. There is nothing Roman on it at all and that makes no sense. Candidates would be the Forum or the aqueducts. No mention of the Great Wall of China (surely a candidate for why?). Surely Pompeii is worthy of a mention – a place stopped in a moment of time.
It comes down to this, a person has to do their own research and make their own mind up.