Sights of the Ancient World
Are you looking to get in touch with the past on your next vacation? Sick of the cities and the crowds and yearning for something a little more tranquil? Then fear not, for here’s a list of some of the most interesting and awe-inspiring remnants of the ancient world.
South African Ancient ‘San’ Rock Art
When people think of South Africa they think of safaris and fantastic scenery. Many could be unaware of the beautiful and fascinating 500 + rock art paintings or ‘cave paintings’. Here amongst the Drakensberg Mountains, the San Bushmen, of Basarwa have left a legacy of magnificent paintings and markings that are amongst the finest in the world. One of the most superb examples is found at the Game Pass Shelter that depicts an Eland that is in its dying moments. This area is considered a sacred place by many around the world including Zulu healers and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The indigenous paintings are vivid, unique and highly memorable.
Callanish Standing Stones, Lewis, Scotland
The Khmer City Of Angkor, Cambodia
Deep in Cambodia’s remarkable interior lies the ancient city of Angkor, a city that was lost until the late 19th century. The city is believed to have been founded around 879 AD to 1191 AD by the Khmer society. The ruins only tell part of the story of numerous ‘beehive’ palaces, homes, public buildings and lanes. There are areas that at not accessible but many are available for visitors. The city is well remembered for the temple scenes in the film Tomb Raider.
The La Venta Stone Heads Huimanguillo, Tabasco, Mexico
These huge ancient stone head carvings, fashioned around 814 BC are not only marvellous because of their size but that they all are facing one direction: looking out towards the Atlantic Ocean. One of the stone figures reaches an incredible 9ft high and has a flattened top that served as an altar stone. An extraordinary thing is that the ‘Olmec’ stone sculptors created a tube for ‘speaking’ that runs from one ear down to the mouth.
Derinkuyu Nevuehir Province, Turkey
A multi-level underground city is enormous and part of a group of other underground cities and structures. It plummets down 85m and an incredible 13 levels and was capable of holding several thousand people, belongings and animals. The city is complete with air shafts and water outlets. The engineering was phenomenal and it is thought that each level could be closed off for safety and protection from invaders. On one level is an ancient Church and the tunnels and rooms are thought to have sheltered Christians in Roman times. Tunnels were thought to connect with myriads of sites around the region.
So who says that the ancient world has to be long gone? While the cultures and civilisations that inhabited these lands thousands of years ago might have departed, there are still remnants of that time everywhere, so long as you know where to look. So next time you’re on vacation, why not steer clear of the urban hustle and bustle and get in touch with the past instead.
Article contributed by James Stark. If you’re heading out on vacation but would prefer to keep things modern, check out vacation apartments in New York from www.HouseTrip.com.