Top 10 Archaeology Bucket List - BookitList

Top 10 Archaeology Bucket List

There are few more fascinating experiences than exploring historic ruins that date back thousands of years, and the world is home to a diverse wealth of extraordinary archaeological gems that stand as spectacular emblems to the remarkable cultures of the ancient world.


From the Mayan cities of Central America to the ornate tombs of Egypt, here is our Top 10 Archaeology Bucket List.

Pompeii, Italy

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Situated in the southern Italian region of Campania, some 15 miles from the city of Naples, Pompeii is one of the most fascinating and famous archaeological sites on the planet. Once a thriving Roman city, in 79 A.D the nearby Mt Vesuvius erupted with incredible force killing around two thousand people and completely burying the city in ash. It remained abandoned until the mid 18th century when it was excavated by a group of engineers who discovered many of its buildings, artefacts, skeletons, and even food items almost completely intact, preserved by thick layers of volcanic ash!


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The Terracotta Army, China

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One of China's most famous attractions, The Terracotta Army is a vast collection of over 8000 clay sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China.


Housed in a vast necropolis that is dedicated to the emperor, in the historically-rich city of Xian, the army, which includes thousands of soldiers, along with over 130 chariots and over 500 horses, dates back over 2200 years, and remained buried until 1974 when they were discovered by a group of farmers who stumbled across them whilst digging a well!


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SEE THE TERRACOTA ARMY OF XI'AN

Discover the vast armies of China’s first Emperor, immortalised by the masterful hands of ancient artisans!

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Teotihuacán, Mexico

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Perhaps the most iconic and spectacular of Mexico's many archaeological sites, the ancient city of Teotihuacán was once the largest in the Americas and though its origins remain a mystery is thought to date back as early as 400 B.C and believed to have served as the capital for an ancient civilisation for centuries. Named Teotihuacán, (meaning “the place where the gods were created” in the Nahuatl language) by the Aztecs who discovered it abandoned in the 1400s, today it is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is home to an incredible array of well-preserved structures, including, most famously, the breathtaking 'Pyramid of the Sun'.


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Stonehenge, UK

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Situated in Southwest England, Stonehenge is the country's most famous prehistoric site, an ancient monument of giant stones that dates back some five thousand years to the Neolithic Period. Shrouded in myth, legend and folklore, its origins remain a mystery, though many archaeologists believe that it was constructed by the Celtic Pagans as a temple for their Druids, whilst today it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, that attracts some 800,000 visitors every year!


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Petra, Jordan

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One of the New Seven Wonders of the World, the ancient rock-hewn city of Petra is truly extraordinary, a complex of dwellings, temples, and tombs carved into rose-coloured, sandstone cliffs in Jordan's eponymous desert. Thought to date back to the fourth century B.C, the city was once the capital of the Nabatean Kingdom, though, after its abandonment due to a series of major earthquakes, it remained undiscovered for centuries, whilst today it is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the most iconic historic landmarks on the planet!


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SEE PETRA

One of the new Seven Wonders of the World, the magnificent rock-hewn city of Petra is a must-see at least once in your life!

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The 'lost' village of Curon, Italy

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The inspiration behind the eponymous supernatural drama series that debuted on Netflix last summer, Curon was a small village in the Italian Alps, that was flooded in 1950 to make way for an artificial lake and hydroelectric plant. For over seven decades it remained 'lost', the only evidence of its existence, the steeple of its 14th-century church rising from the lake's surface, though in order to carry out maintenance work the water has been temporarily drained, revealing the remains of the village below!


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Lalibela, Ethiopia

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Situated in northern Ethiopia, the small town of Lalibela is home to an incredible complex of rock-carved churches (a number of which are joined together by tunnels and trenches) which date back to the 12th and 13th centuries. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the town is an important pilgrimage site for Coptic Christians, as well as one of the most fascinating and historically important destinations in the Christian world, and forms part of Ethiopia's ‘historical circuit’, which among others, includes the former capital of Gondar, renowned for its stunning 17th-century castle, and the medieval monasteries of Bahir Dar.


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Nazca Lines, Peru

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One of Peru's many incredible archaeological sights, the Nazca Lines are a collection of around 300 pre-Colombian carvings, etched into the desert in the south of the country. Covering an area of around 1000 sq KM, they depict animals and plants along with seemingly alien-like figures, and are as large as 30 meters wide and as long as 9 kilometres!


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Valley of the Kings, Egypt

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Prior to 1500 B.C. the ancient Egyptians famously buried their Pharaohs in giant pyramids, but after this time, many were instead laid to rest in tombs in its royal capital Luxor, in an area known as 'Valley of the Kings'. Excavated over the course of 500 years, and made a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979, the valley is home to over 60 extravagant tombs and chambers, including, most famously, that of Tutankhamun, whilst on its peripheries are a series of temples which include the magnificent Hatshepsut.


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Tikal, Guatemala,

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The largest excavated Mayan city in existence, Tikal dates back to the 1st century and is home to an array of remarkably well-preserved structures including the iconic Temple IV, one of the tallest structures in the Maya world. Abandoned in around 900 AD, the city remained empty and engulfed by jungles until the mid 19th century when it was fully surveyed by archaeologists. Situated in northern Guatemala, the city one of a number of important Maya sites, in the country, which includes the ancient cities of Yaxhá, which is home to around 500 buildings, and Zaculeu, once the largest city in the Mayan world.


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GO TO GUETAMALA

From vast jungles to volcanic peaks, and grand colonial cities to ancient Mayan ruins, this Central American gem is as fascinating as it is beautiful!

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