Archaeologists are scientists that study objects from the past to understand human history. Sometimes they find amazing things. Here’s a list of ten cool archeological sites from around the world.
Angkor Wat, Cambodia
A temple built in the 12th century, Angkor Wat (meaning “capital monastery”) was a temple in the ancient Khmer capital city of Angkor. It is Cambodia’s best-known tourist attraction and appears on the country’s flag. The temple is known for its beautiful architecture and reliefs.
King Tutankhamun’s Tomb, Egypt
Tutankhamun was one of ancient Egypt’s minor kings, but his tomb is very famous. When Howard Carter discovered the tomb in 1922, it was almost completely undisturbed—and filled with treasure!
Machu Picchu, Peru
Machu Picchu was built high in the Andes mountains by the Inca in the 15th century. Its exact purpose is unknown. It has been designated one of the New Seven Wonders of the World and is threatened by over-tourism.
The entire Stonehenge site was constructed over thousands of years. The reason for building the monument and the construction techniques are still a mystery.
Terra-cotta Warriors, China
The famous army of terra-cotta soldiers were created to protect Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China, in the third century B.C. The statues are life-size and were even given individual features.
When Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 A.D., Pompeii was buried under many layers of ash, preserving the city exactly as it was when the volcano erupted. Because so many objects were preserved, archaeologists are able to better understand daily life in the ancient Roman Empire.
The mysterious city of Teotihuacan, laid out in a grid, had been built and abandoned before the Aztec settled in central Mexico. The Aztec named the site and guessed about the purposes of the buildings, but archaeologists are only now beginning to understand the importance of the temples here.
Unknown to Westerners until its discovery by Johann Ludwig Burckhardt in 1812, Petra was a caravan crossroads and the capital of the Nabataean kingdom 2000 years ago. Today, more tourists are visiting the site, making preservation more important.
Moai Statues of Easter Island, Chile
The massive statues of Easter Island, called moai, were carved between 1400 and 1600 A.D. out of compressed volcanic ash. Many of these statues are still standing at different sites around the island.
Nazca Lines, Peru
The Nazca lines are giant drawings in Peru’s Nazca Desert. The drawings can be seen clearly from the sky, but not from the ground. The lines may have religious significance according to some theories. The drawings depict many different things such as humans and different kinds of animals.
Text by Sara Zeglin