Tourism Ireland

Four Archaeological Sites Off The Beaten Path

by Akhil Kalepu

Dec 5, 2015

The Persepolis, Iran © Ultra67 | Dreamstime

History

Egypt and Rome are world famous for their monuments, but many history buffs are looking for destinations off the beaten path. Here are four lesser-known destinations with impressive archeological sites that haven’t been inundated with tourists.

 

The Ring of Brodgar, Orkney, Scotland © John Braid | Dreamstime 30320849

© John Braid | Dreamstime

 

Ring of Brodgar, Scotland

Rivaling England’s Stonehenge, the Ring of Brodgar is a Neolithic stone circle made of 27 stones arranged around a 341-foot diameter. There were originally 60 stones, erected sometime between 2500 and 2000 BC on the remote Orkney Islands. The nearby Ness of Brodgar is even older by 1,000 years, used as a cathedral or palace in ancient times.

 

Meroe, Sudan, The Pyramids of Nubia © Uros Ravbar | Dreamstime 5232988

© Uros Ravbar | Dreamstime

 

Meroë Pyramids, Sudan

The three Kushite kingdoms of antiquity built the Nubian pyramids of the Nile River Valley. Unlike their Egyptian counterparts, these pyramids are much smaller and narrower, but what they lack in size they make up in sheer number, with more than 200 located in the city of Meroë.

 

The Persepolis, Iran © Aleksandar Todorovic | Dreamstime 25571315

© Aleksandar Todorovic | Dreamstime

 

Persepolis, Iran

Translating to “City of Persians,” the Persepolis was the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire, one of history’s biggest empires with an estimated 50 million people at its height in 480 BC. The city was destroyed by Alexander the Great’s invasion of Persia in 330 BC, allowing his troops to loot the treasury and beginning a period of decline and ruin.

 

Wat Phu Khao Thong, Ayutthaya, Thailand © Aphichat Engchuan | Dreamstime 20008286

© Aphichat Engchuan | Dreamstime

 

Ayutthaya, Thailand

Ayutthaya is still the capital of its namesake province in Thailand, but it was once capital of the Ayutthaya Kingdom during the Middle Ages. King U Thong founded the city after escaping a smallpox outbreak in Lopburi. At its peak in 1700, it had a population of 1 million people, making it one of the largest cities of its time and garnering a reputation as the “Venice of the East.”

 

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