The list of famed Archeology sites could run on for pages. Almost every nation and island, big or small has a story to tell and places wherein the earliest settlers made their mark. The destinations presented here are places that stand out for the quality of the presentation, the preservation and the fascination. While there are many more places some more well known, some lesser known, we present here a simple list of ten places from around the globe whose Archeological appeal is first class.
This ancient metropolis on the shores of North Africa was a civilization famed for its dominance in trade and rivalry with Rome. It is a unique place to visit because the first city was completely destroyed and a second built on top. To access the site go during normal daylight hours, take a cab or short train ride out from the capital city of Tunis. Byrsa Hill and Cannae battlefield just adjacent are also worth seeing.
Perhaps the most iconic of all sites due to its portrayal in popular film and tourism media, Petra is the kind of archeology that is stunningly preserved and thrillingly alien due to the uniqueness of its long ago inhabitants. The canyons walls are the natural buildings from which incredible facades and rooms are carved. The best way to get in is to fly to Amman in Jordan and head south on the king’s highway following the signs. Petra as a city has hotels and restaurants for all budgets. Hours are from sunrise to sunset and an expensive entry ticket of 50USD is required. Definitely overpriced, but it is unmissable.
The ruins of an ancient Roman resort town are famously well preserved thanks to the devastation of Mount Vesuvius almost 2,000 years ago. The lava encasings have preserved whole neighborhoods, streets, temples and villas. Still much remains to be unearthed. The experience here is one of a kind as you can spend an entire day just circulating into the lives of ancient Italians. The site is easily reached by train from Naples or Rome, a day pass is around 11 Euros.
Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Sitting just four miles North of Siem Reap, this is a true Temple Mountain arrangement with various galleries whose alignment and dimensions reflect funerary purposes. Like many religious structures it reflects the positions of the sun, moon and seasons in the art of thousands of figures. Tuk Tuks, buses, taxis and cars are all convenient ways to get to the temple, but for blissful and carefree transit rent a bike in Siem Reap which usually goes for a dollar a day and peruse the temple at your leisure. Take lots of water and day passes go for $20.
To visit an archeological site that is still yielding exciting new finds is one of the best historic treks one can take. Students from Leuven University in Belgium have unearthed another honorary pillar in the agora just this season. The site is rich in Hittite, Greek and Roman wonders. It sits in the beautiful Southwest lake region of Turkey and was lost to history and wasn’t officially excavated until 1985. Although remote public buses go everywhere in Turkey, so simply figure out a route that gets you to a bus heading to Ağlasun which is the closest town. The site is open to be visited all summer long when the archeologists are working during daylight hours.
The terracotta warriors are one of the most curious archeological finds on the planet. Thousands of artistically genius shaped soldiers and characters guard the tomb of an emperor. The city of Xi’an in China is far out in the center of the country but it is reachable by sleeper train from East coast cities or by direct flight. The site has three major pit excavations as well as big facilities, souvenir shops and restaurants. Displays of the warriors up close and well lit are just stunning. Take bus 306 (also line 5) see here, from the railway station of the city about an hour out to the site, it is little more than a dollar each way and park entrance is around 25 US dollars.
Known as the world’s greatest open air museum, Luxor brings together the best of Egypt, temples, palaces, tombs and the Nile. It is one of the most visited spots in modern Egypt. There is an international airport as well as a railway station. Taxi’s, hotels, shopping and souvenirs are all reasonably priced and available for haggling. Tourism expansion is planned for the future and be sure to keep cool, it is one of the hottest cities in Egypt.
This is one of the largest and most important Mayan civilization archeology sites in the Americas. The dense jungle preserved this wonder in Northern Guatemala for centuries until its fairly recent excavation. Visitors recommend earlier as better in order to beat the crowds and the heat. The nearby town and area of Peten is a major transit zone for cars, buses and even an airport. The stelas and burial sites are numerous and fascinating.
Chichen Itza, Mexico
This is probably Mexico’s most famous city temple complex of Maya ruins. The area is full of cosmological symbols and impressive feats of architecture. The world heritage value of this Yucatan based Castillo pyramid is priceless. Tours are abundant and the history lessons are quite vivid. Cancun tour buses are the most abundant means of bringing tourists and as a result of over-exploration and injury some of the buildings are less accessible these days.
Easter Island, Chile
An island so remote and unvisited should be certainly less known, however it is the lure of the unknown which makes Easter Island so popular, although in comparison few have ever been. Santiago in Chile and Tahiti are the two most dependable airline routes and certain cruises will also make it part of the itinerary. The hundreds of Moai scattered throughout the island give the visitor plenty of places to explore. The best places to admire them are the ahus or the Rano Raraku volcano.