6 World-Class Travel Destinations for History Enthusiasts and Archaeology Buffs

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6 World-Class Travel Destinations for History Enthusiasts and Archaeology Buffs

We often tend to take our world for granted, but a look back into the past can help us truly appreciate the progress we’ve made and the rich history that shapes our present. The countless people who lived before us, the civilizations they built and those that fell, their worldviews, cultures, and accomplishments—all these amazing feats of human endeavor are now distant memories scattered across ancient ruins.

It’s no wonder so many people are drawn to history and archaeology. The stories of our ancestors are both sad and inspiring, and archaeological sites and historic locations are where these emotions are felt most profoundly. These places allow you to experience the human past firsthand.

Why not pay a visit to some of them? Here is a short list for all those who consider themselves history and archaeology buffs.

Pompeii, Italy

Want to experience a moment captured in time? How about an entire ancient town frozen in that moment? Pompeii, a quiet Roman town located in southern Italy near modern-day Naples, met its fate when the nearby volcano, Mount Vesuvius, erupted and covered it in deadly ash and lava. The city and its residents disappeared in a matter of hours.

What remains today is an almost perfectly preserved, harrowing, and moving reminder of what the last day of a town in a once-mighty society looked like. For that reason, Pompeii is today one of Italy’s most iconic landmarks and one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world.

Photo by Pixabay: https://www.pexels.com/photo/macchu-picchu-peru-259967

Machu Picchu, Peru

The extinction of pre-Columbian societies in Central and South America is probably one of the greatest tragedies in history. Most of their advanced civilizations and rich cultures were abruptly and devastatingly cut short.

Fortunately, not all was lost and numerous artifacts can still be found. Machu Picchu, the 15th-century Inca citadel located in modern-day Peru, is one of the best-preserved remnants of this lost civilization.

The well-preserved ruins, the Temple of the Sun, and the Temple of the Three Windows invite you to hear their stories. Its location in the stunning Andes ridges makes this proposition even more appealing.

Al-Ula, Saudi Arabia

Now here’s a true gem. Al-Ula is an ancient oasis city situated in the Medina province of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This ancient site presents a vivid and inspiring intersection of Semitic pre-Islamic civilizations and the peoples who brought Arabian culture to its Golden Age.

Known as the open-air living museum, Al-Ula also benefits from being situated in the vast Arabian Desert. If you enjoyed this year’s Dune sequel, this is the place for you. Beautiful vistas combined with a healthy dose of mysticism and ancient allure make this a truly special destination.

Image by Bernd Schray from Pixabay

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Ancient Indochina was once home to the powerful Khmer Empire, which ruled the region from 800 AD to 1430 AD—a span comparable to the Ottoman or Roman Empires. During that time, the Khmer Empire produced legendary legendary rulers, warriors, priests, and artists.

Its peak is perfectly represented by the beautiful Angkor Wat, the largest recorded religious structure to date. Consisting of more than 1,000 smaller buildings and taking over 30 years to build, this temple is the ultimate destination for admirers of Hindu culture and the pantheon.

Giza Plateau, Egypt

Ever since European explorers began rediscovering ancient Egyptian civilization in the 19th century, the “gift of the Nile” has captured the attention of a global audience. Stories of mummies, mighty pharaohs, mysterious priests, powerful gods, and conquests continue to ignite interest of the general public to this day.

While it’s impossible to encompass all that this civilization produced over 3,000 years, the Giza Plateau—home to the Great Sphinx and the Great Pyramid of Giza—seems like a good place to start. Don’t forget to pay a visit to the Valley of the Kings as well.


Jerusalem, Israel

Jerusalem is one of the most important places of worship in all three major monotheistic religions. Its history was shaped by prophets, messiahs, emperors, and conquerors. Over more than 5,000 years, the city was part of the Judean, Babylonian, Persian, Roman, Arabian, Crusader, and Ottoman Empires.

Each of these rulers left their mark on the Holy City. This makes modern Jerusalem a true Holy Grail for anyone with even a passing interest in history. Bonus points for lovers of Middle Eastern cuisine.

We hope you enjoyed this short trip through some of the most important civilizations in history and the tourist destinations celebrating their accomplishments. People often get lost in their everyday grind and miss the allure of what makes our world great.

Taking a break, looking back on the past, and appreciating the achievements of those who paved the way for modern society can help us value it even more. So, make good use of the upcoming vacation season. The wonders of the old world are just waiting to be discovered.

Mike Johnston

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