10 Oldest Ancient Ruins in the World

Unveiling the Mysteries: Exploring the Enchanting Ancient Ruins of Greece

Ancient ruins all over the world

There are many ancient ruins all over the world that showcase the history and culture of different civilizations. Some of the most famous ones are the Egyptian Pyramids, the Greek Acropolis, the Roman Colosseum, the Mayan Chichen Itza, and the Angkor Wat in Cambodia. Some of the oldest ones are the Ggantija Temples in Malta, the Tell Qaramel site in Syria, and the Eridu city in Iraq.

What is Mayans ruins?

  • Ancient Mexican ruins
  • Mayans ruins

The Mayan ruins are the remains of the ancient Maya civilization, which existed from antiquity to the early modern period in Mesoamerica. The Maya were known for their sophisticated writing system, calendar, mathematics, astronomy, art, and architecture. They built impressive temples, pyramids, palaces, and cities in what are now Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador12. Some of the most famous Mayan ruins are Chichen Itza, Tulum, Palenque, Tikal, and Copan Ancient ruins. .

Mayan ruins are the remains of ancient cities, temples, and other structures built by the Maya civilization. The Maya were a Mesoamerican civilization that flourished in what is now southern Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, and El Salvador. They were skilled farmers, engineers, and astronomers, and they developed a sophisticated writing system and calendar.

The Maya ruins are scattered throughout the Maya region, and they range in size from small villages to large cities. Some of the most famous Mayan ruins include Chichen Itza, Tulum, Tikal, and Palenque Ancient ruins. .

The Mayan ruins are important for a number of reasons. They provide us with a glimpse into the lives of the Maya people, and they help us to understand their culture and history. The ruins are also a popular tourist destination, and they help to boost the economies of the countries where they are located.

The Mayan ruins are still being studied by archaeologists, and there is still much that we do not know about them. However, they are a valuable resource for understanding the Maya civilization, and they continue to fascinate people all over the world.

Here are some of the most famous Mayan ruins:

  • Chichen Itza, Mexico: This ancient city was once a major center of trade and religion. It is famous for its Kukulkan Pyramid, also known as El Castillo.
  • Tulum, Mexico: This Mayan city was built on a cliff overlooking the Caribbean Sea. It is known for its well-preserved temples and walls.
  • Tikal, Guatemala: This ancient city was once the largest Mayan city in the world. It is famous for its temples and pyramids, including the Temple of the Grand Jaguar.
  • Palenque, Mexico: This ancient city was once a major center of power. It is famous for its temples and tombs, including the Temple of the Inscriptions.
  •  Copan, Honduras: This ancient city was once a major center of culture and learning. It is famous for its hieroglyphic inscriptions, which are some of the most beautiful and well-preserved in the Maya region.

These are just a few of the many Mayan ruins that can be found in the Maya region. They are a testament to the ingenuity and creativity of the Maya people, and they offer a glimpse into the past that is both fascinating and mysterious Ancient ruins. .

  • Maya temples

Mayans dedicated much of their architectural prowess to the construction of religious monuments, including temples.

Initial temples in the Mayan civilization were simple but as the civilization grew, large stone pyramids topped with shrines came to be identified as temples.

Priests often managed over these temples and used them for sacrificial rituals as well as for other religious congregations.

The pyramid-structure of the temples included staircases leading to the top. Staircases also carried religious significance.

Mayan Temples Construction

Mayan temples were typically located at the center of the city, close to the palaces of the nobility and royalty.

To elevate them above other structures in the neighborhood, the temples were often built on top of mounds.

Stones were used in conjunction with masonry and lime mixtures to prop up a solid building, which may explain why many of these temples have survived for more than a thousand years.

In some temples, Mayans used repeated arches to increase the height of the ceiling.

Most of the temples had staircases on one or more sides, which were ascended by the priests and the nobility and were considered an ascent which brought them closer to the gods.

At the top of the pyramid structure usually sat shrines dedicated to different Mayan gods.

Temple Architecture

Knowledge of sciences such as astronomy and the use of hieroglyphic script was mostly limited to Mayan priests. These priests made use of this knowledge in the construction and ornamentation of the temples that were built.

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For instance, features related to astronomy are often found in the Mayan temple constructions. Notable among these is the El Castillo temple in Chitchen Itza which had such a structure that a serpent effect was created on its wall during equinoxes.

Similarly, hieroglyphic inscriptions were often used on temple walls, detailing history, major events, sometimes even the names of the rulers and similar other details.

On the doors and walls of the temples, gods and goddesses of the Mayan pantheon were also carved. This was especially done at the shrines located at the top of the temples, dedicated to specific gods.

Temples Staircases

Typically, Mayan temples had two or four staircases, either on two opposite sides or on all four sides of the pyramid structure. Staircases were a powerful religious symbol for the Mayans.

They signified the ascension of the humans from the Earth to the sky where the gods lived.

In many cases, staircases were so steep that they could hardly be climbed. This was true for such temples that were meant for sacrificial rituals and common Mayans were forbidden from climbing them.

Mayan Temple Astronomy

Mayans often considered astronomical movements and calculations when constructing their temples. This can be seen from the fact that many Mayan temples are aligned with the movement of one of the planets such as Venus, the sun or the moon.

An example of this is the complex of pyramids at the Mayan city of Tikal. In front of the pyramid are situated three other temples. On equinoxes and solstices, the three temples can be seen aligned with the sun when viewed from the top of the temples.

  • Mayans Chichen Itza

The serpent effect on El Castillo at Ruins Of Chichen Itza is another example. Most temples were set up with such windows that the sun, moon and other significant bodies in the skies could be viewed at important occasions of the year.

Significance of Mayan Temples

Mayans were an agrarian society where the survival of the community depended on its being closely knit together. In this structure, religion and priests played a critical role. Temples served as the congregational ground for various ceremonies, rituals, festivals and even political events.

It was in front of the temples that the masses gathered to witness different sacrifices, watch the priests perform rituals and hear the priest-king make any proclamations.

Even festivals including religious music and dances often took place in the courtyard of these temples.

The temples were tied to the education of the masses because priests were the educated elite of the Mayan society.

Sciences such as astronomy, hieroglyphs, medicine and others were often confined to the hands of the priests.

Mayan Temples Summary

Mayan temples are some of the most remarkable of constructions in Mesoamerican history. A huge number of these temples survive to this day, scattered around the ruins of notable Mayan cities.

The typical shape of the Mayan temples was pyramidic, often topped with a shrine. The staircases were built on two or four sides of the temples and lead to the top where sacrificial rituals were performed.

The longevity of the temple structures owes in large part to the stone masonry and the use of lime in their construction. Astronomy was very crucial in determining the overall position, architecture and shape of the temple.

Mayan priests also used the temples as observatories for sun, moon and the planets. At times, special windows were constructed in temples to allow the observation of these bodies at specific times of the year.

Ancient ruins in Greece

Ancient Ruins of Greece
Ancient Ruins of Greece
  • ancient ruins of Greece

Greece is a treasure trove of ancient ruins, dating back to the glorious civilization that flourished in the Mediterranean for centuries. Some of the most famous and impressive ancient ruins in Greece are:

  • The Acropolis of Athens, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the symbol of the city, featuring the Parthenon, the Erechtheion, the Propylaea, and the Temple of Athena Nike123.
  • The Temple of Poseidon at Sounio, which is a stunning example of classical architecture, perched on a cliff overlooking the sea, and a popular spot for watching the sunset3.
  • The sanctuary of Delphi, which was the center of the ancient world and the oracle of Apollo, where pilgrims came to seek divine guidance, and where you can see the Temple of Apollo, the theatre, the stadium, and the museum23.
  • The Acropolis of Lindos on Rhodes island, which is a fortified citadel with a long history, dating back to the Bronze Age, and featuring the Temple of Athena Lindia, a medieval castle, and a Byzantine church4.
  • The ancient city of Philippi in eastern Macedonia, which was founded by Philip II of Macedon, the father of Alexander the Great, and where Saint Paul preached and wrote one of his epistles
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Roman ancient ruins

The ancient Romans were one of the most powerful and influential civilizations in history, and they left behind many impressive ruins that testify to their engineering, art, and culture. Some of the best Roman ancient ruins are:

Roman ancient ruins

Roman ancient ruins are the remains of buildings, monuments, and cities built by the ancient Romans, who ruled over a vast empire from the 8th century BC to the 5th century AD. Roman ancient ruins can be found in many countries across Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East.

Some examples of Roman ancient ruins are:

Read More Ruins Of Rome

Celtic ruins

Celtic ruins are the remains of ancient structures built by the Celts, a group of people who lived in Europe and the British Isles from the Iron Age to the Middle Ages. Celtic ruins can include stone circles, hill forts, burial mounds, churches, and castles.

Some examples of Celtic ruins are:

Ancient ruins of Babylon

The ancient ruins of Babylon are the remains of a city that was the capital of the Neo-Babylonian Empire from 626 to 539 BCE. Babylon was one of the most influential and powerful cities in the ancient world, famous for its architecture, culture, and religion.

Some examples of the ancient ruins of Babylon are:

  • The Ishtar Gate, a massive entrance gate decorated with glazed bricks depicting animals and gods.
  • The Etemenanki, a ziggurat or stepped tower that was believed to be the inspiration for the biblical Tower of Babel
  • The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, a series of terraced gardens with exotic plants and water features

Ephesus ruins Turkey

  • Ancient Turkish ruins
  • Turkish ruins ephesus

The Ephesus ruins are the remains of an ancient Greek and Roman city in western Turkey, near the modern village of Selcuk. Ephesus was one of the most important and prosperous cities in the ancient world, famous for its Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, its Library of Celsus, one of the largest and most impressive libraries in antiquity, and its Great Theatre, which could seat 25,000 spectators12. Ephesus was also a religious center, where Christianity spread and where Saint Paul preached and wrote his Letter to the Ephesians1. The Ephesus ruins are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a popular tourist attraction. Ancient ruins.

Oldest ruins in the world

There are many ancient ruins in the world that date back to thousands of years ago, but some of the oldest ones are:

  • The stone wall at the entrance of Theopetra Cave in Greece, which is believed to be the oldest man-made structure ever found, dating to around 23,000 years ago.
  • The Ggantija Temples in Malta, which are the world’s oldest religious buildings, predating the Egyptian Pyramids and Stonehenge, dating to around 5,600 years ago.
  • The frieze at Sechin Bajo in Peru, which is one of the oldest examples of monumental architecture in the Americas, dating to around 5,500 years ago.
  • The Gobekli Tepe in Turkey, which is a complex of circular stone structures with carved animal motifs, dating to around 11,000 years ago.
  • The Wall of Jericho in Israel, which is one of the oldest defensive walls in the world, dating to around 9,800 years ago
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Here are the top 10 oldest ruins in the world:

  1. Göbekli Tepe, Turkey: This temple complex is believed to be the oldest monumental religious structure in the world, dating back to 9600 BCE.

Göbekli Tepe temple complex, Turkey

  1. Tell Qaramel, Syria: This tells (settlement mound) is home to the remains of a 12,000-year-old city, making it one of the oldest urban settlements in the world.

Tell Qaramel tells, Syria

  1. Jericho, West Bank: This city has been inhabited for over 10,000 years, making it one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world.

Jericho city, West Bank

  1. Skara Brae, Scotland: This Neolithic village is made up of stone houses that are remarkably well-preserved. It was built around 3100 BCE.

Skara Brae Neolithic village, Scotland

  1. Stonehenge, England: This megalithic monument is one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world. It was built around 3000 BCE.

Stonehenge megalithic monument, England

  1. Mohenjo-daro, Pakistan: This Indus Valley city was one of the most advanced civilizations of its time. It was built around 2500 BCE.

Mohenjo-daro Indus Valley city, Pakistan

  1. Nan Madol, Micronesia: This ancient city is made up of artificial islands and canals. It was built by the Saudeleur people around 1200 CE.

Nan Madol ancient city, Micronesia

  1. Easter Island, Chile: This remote island is home to the Moai, a series of massive stone statues. The statues were carved by the Rapa Nui people around 1200 CE.

Easter Island Moai statues, Chile

  1. Machu Picchu, Peru: This Inca city was built in the 15th century and abandoned shortly after the Spanish conquest.

Machu Picchu Inca city, Peru

  1. Angkor Wat, Cambodia: This temple complex is the largest religious monument in the world. It was built by the Khmer Empire in the 12th century.

Angkor Wat temple complex, Cambodia

These are just a few of the many ancient ruins that can be found around the world. Each one offers a unique glimpse into the past and the cultures that once thrived there. Ancient ruins.

South American ancient ruins

South America has many amazing ancient ruins that belong to different pre-Columbian civilizations, such as the Inca, the Maya, the Tiwanaku, and the Chimu. Some of the most famous and impressive ancient ruins in South America are:

  • Machu Picchu (Peru), a citadel built by the Inca in the 15th century on a mountain ridge, considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
  • Tiwanaku (Bolivia), a city and ceremonial center of a powerful civilization that flourished from 500 to 1000 CE, known for its monumental stone architecture and sculptures.
  • Chan Chan (Peru), the largest adobe city in the world, built by the Chimu culture between 850 and 1470 CE, with palaces, temples, plazas, and reservoirs.
  • Ciudad Perdida (Colombia), a lost city in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, founded by the Tairona people around 800 CE, with terraces, stone paths, and staircases.

Ancient ruins in Europe

Europe has a rich and diverse history that spans thousands of years, and many ancient ruins that reflect its cultural and historical heritage. Some of the most remarkable and popular ancient ruins in Europe are:

  • The Colosseum (Italy), a massive amphitheater built by the Romans in the 1st century CE, where gladiator fights, animal hunts, and public spectacles took place.
  • Stonehenge (England), a prehistoric monument consisting of a circle of large standing stones, dating back to around 2500 BCE, whose purpose and meaning are still unknown.
  • The Acropolis (Greece), a hilltop citadel in Athens that contains the remains of several ancient temples and buildings, such as the Parthenon, the Erechtheion, and the Propylaea, dedicated to the gods and goddesses of Greek mythology.
  • The Capitolium (Italy), a temple dedicated to the Roman triad of Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva, located in the ancient city of Brixia (now Brescia), which also preserves a Roman forum, a theater, and other archaeological structures. Ancient ruins.


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