When we dig deep into the history of Middle East what we know is it’s a home to many ancient archaeological wonders and UNESCO World Heritage sites. For years dating back to 7th and 8th century BC, the Middle East has been known to wow at its marvelous architectural and archeological feats. The Middle East countries are characterized by religious turmoil, ancient civilizations and ruins, stark desserts to lure the tourists from across the globe. From the ruins of Baalbek (Lebanon) to the red-hued city of Petra (Jordan), here are some of the fascinating Archetypal Wonders of this region.
Here Are Your Not-To-Miss Archeological Wonders In The Middle East:
The Jordan’s lost city – Perta – is a popular tourist attraction. Established in 213 BC, Petra was the capital city of the Arab Nabateans (nomads that carved structures into large rocks). Perta then was a wealthy country with immense trading options but eventually was ruled by Romans and saw its downfall. The most impressive structure here is the ‘Treasury’ and the entrance to the Petra city (now amongst the Seven Wonders of the World). The beautiful tombs, temples and archeological site here date back to 300 BC. Archaeologists claim that 85% of the lost city is hidden underground waiting to be discovered and explored.
Treasures Of Iraq
Ancient Mesopotamia: The region that lies between the rivers Tigris and Euphrates in modern Iraq is known to be the cradle of civilization. The Mesopotamian plain is believed to contain the best architectural and archaeological treasures of its time. In fact some archeologists believe that this is the site of Biblical Garden of Eden.
Ctesiphon: The ancient city of Ctesiphon lies around 32 km south of Baghdad. This glorious city has a remarkable archeological wonder that is a must visit. The Taq Kasra or Archway of Ctesiphon is the only vestige of the city built in the 3rd century AD. The arch is the largest single-span crypt of unarmored brickwork in the world.
Babylon: Babylon’s Hanging Gardens, located 85 km from Baghdad, were a wonder of the ancient Mesopotamia. You must surely witness its ruins that now resemble Iraq’s rich ancient history.
Wonders Of Turkey
Ephesus: The Library of Celsus and Temple of Artemis (one of official Seven Wonders of the Ancient World) have been revealed from the quarries of the Roman imperial period.
Troy: The ancient Troy was believed to be first occupied by the Bronze Age humans. It is one of the most popular world heritage sites of the siege of Troy by the Spartan and Achaean warriors from Greece back in the 12th or 13th century BC.
Baalbek also known as the “City of the Sun” is the best-preserved site of Roman ruins in the Middle East. This city was built on a very magnificent scale where people from across the globe came to visit and worship. It’s a great archeological wonder in the Middle East that you must add to your bucket list. Modern-day Baalbek hosts an once a year arts festival making the city a major cultural hub in the country.
Carthage was a renowned trading estate founded by the Phoenicians in the 9th century BC on the Gulf of Tunis. It was captured and destroyed by the Romans in 146 BC during the Punic wars. A new city was then built in the Roman deigns on top of the ruins of the first.
The mighty city of Persepolis was once the capital of the Persian Empire located about 70 km from the modern-day city of Shiraz. Persepolis was founded in the 6th century BC and it was originally a complex of elaborate palaces built by King Darius. It has been centuries now but the shadow of its glory is preserved in its monumental stairways and the stone terrace.
Crac des Chevaliers, Syria
Crac des Chevaliers or the Castle of the Knights or Kurds is located near Homs in Syria and is generally recognized as the archetypal Crusader castle dating back to the 11th century. It was first inhabited by the Kurds and thus the name. This is a classic example of the evolution of fortified architecture in the Near East during the reign of the crusaders. This is now regarded as a UNESCO world heritage site.
Mada’in Saleh, Saudi Arabia
Mada’in Saleh is the first UNESCO world heritage site in Saudi Arabia. Majority of this archeological site is a remnant of Nabatean civilization that existed before 1000 years. This site is located 20 km north of Al-`Ula, 400 km north-west of Medina, and 500 km south-east of Petra, Jordan. It is known for its remains from late antiquity like the 131 rock-cut monumental tombs. Here you’ll find traces of Roman, Lihyanite and Nabatean civilization.
Treasures Of Egypt
Lighthouse at Alexandria: The 350-feet tall lighthouse on the island of Pharos is another official wonders. It was the tallest man-made structure in the world even before Pyramids were built.
The Great Pyramid of Giza: The pyramids of Giza have long been in the list of Seven Wonders of the World.
Luxor: This is an ancient city of Thebes with amazingly beautiful tombs and temples dating back to 1392 BC. It’s called the “world’s greatest open-air museum” and is a great archeological wonder of the Middle East.
Karnak: Previously called as Ipet-isut, Karnak is a great religious temple complex with notable architecture and art. The great temple of Amun (major God of Egypt) is worth-watching!
Old Jerusalem has held great significance in Judaism, Christianity and Islam. This great archeological site has many holy sites to visit; the main tourist attractions being the Dome of the Rock. This monument dates back to the 7th century and is worshiped by all three religions as the site of Abrahams sacrifice. Its mesmerizing architecture is awe-inspiring.
Explore this treasure trove of historical sites and archeological wonders with TravelUR. Plan an exciting historical trip to the Middle East with us now.