The oldest historical place in the world

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The oldest historical place in the world

1. Ggantija, Malta (around 3700 BC)

The temples of Ġgantija are located on the edge of the Xagħra plateau, facing southeast. This large stone structure consists of two temples and an incomplete temple, only the facade of which was built before it was abandoned. Like the southern Menagedra, it faces the sunrise of the equinoxes, made side by side and enclosed in a boundary wall. The southern part is more significant and older, dating back to around 3600 BC. It is also better preserved. The plan of the temple consists of five large apses, in which traces of plaster that once covered the irregular wall between the blocks can be seen.

2. Knap of Howar, Scotland (around 3700 BC)

Hoar Hill is a Neolithic site on Papa Westri Island in Orkney, Scotland. This name means “hill of hills” or “great rampart”. The building preserved in this place is considered the oldest stone house in Northern Europe and dates back to 3700-3500 BC. This building, which is one of the first man-made structures, consists of two rectangular buildings facing the sea. One of the buildings was used as a family residence and the second as a workshop and storage space.

The Old Norse name for the western island Papay Meiri means “Great Island of the Papas”. Poppars were legendary Irish or Scottish monks mentioned in Norse legends. After leaving Iceland, they settled in the North Orkney Islands. Since the paparazzi sources date back to the 12th century AD and the site was built much earlier than that, the paparazzi may have originally been pagan priests who later became Christians in legend.

However, it is unlikely that Christian monks were the first builders and inhabitants of the Hvar Ridge. Instead, fairly conclusive evidence suggests that its first inhabitants were a Neolithic Orcadian farming family. According to the remains, the people there kept cattle, sheep and possibly pigs, cultivated the land to produce barley and wheat, and fished for food.

3. Tarxien Temples, Malta (around 3250 BC)

The city of Hal Tarxien is located in the southern part of Malta. This town is small and has a population of about 7800 people. The name Tarxin is believed to be derived from the word “tirix” which means large stones used in Neolithic temples. Tarxian motto, “Tyrii Genure Coloni” means “Phoenicians created me.”

Archeological research tells about an ancient history of this city and places it among the oldest historical monuments in the world. Tarxin region has been inhabited since ancient times.

Several sculptures and reliefs of animals, including goats and pigs, have been discovered in the Tarxian temples. The most prominent statues are about 2.5 meters high, representing the Mother Goddess, who specifically symbolizes “fertility”. Megalithic temple structures in Malta are among the earliest human-made structures and are places for ritual sacrifices and cremation cemeteries.

4. Newgrange, Ireland (about 3200 BC)

This Neolithic building consists of a large circular mound filled with passageways, decorated rooms, and tombs. The evidence shows that these buildings are among the oldest historical buildings in the world and have religious importance.

The megalithic passage tomb in Newgrange is one of the world’s oldest historical monuments, built around 3200 BC. This kidney-shaped hill covers an area of more than one hectare and is surrounded by 97 curb stones, some of which are decorated with megalithic art. Its internal passage is 19 meters long and leads to a cruciform room.

According to archaeologists, constructing the passage tomb in Newgrange required at least 20 years of time and 300 workers. The pictures of Newgrange show that 12 standing stones remain out of about 35 stones that existed when the building was built.

The megalithic mounds in Newgrange are made of alternating layers of soil and stone and are 85 meters wide and 13 meters high, and their area is 4500 square meters of land. These hills are mentioned in Irish mythology, and it is said that Newgrange is the home of Ongus, the god of love.

Newgrange’s Spiral Megalithic Art is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and attracts 200,000 visitors a year. There is no direct access to the Passage Tomb at Newgrange. Access by guided tour from the Brú na Bóinne Visitor Center near Donore, Co. Meath village is done.

5.Skara Brae village, Scotland (around 3180 BC)

Sekarabera is an ancient settlement from the Neolithic era located on the mainland island of the Orkney archipelago of Scotland. This settlement is one of the oldest historical buildings in the world and includes eight long stone houses. From 3180 to 2500 BC, life was going on in homes. A small stone alley connects the houses of Sekarabera and forms a coherent fabric. According to archaeologists, the population of Sekara Berai reached one hundred people at its largest.Scarabera is unique among the remains of Neolithic Europe in that it has survived surprisingly intact due to its burial in the sand and has been called the “Pompeii of Scotland” because of the information it provides about the lifestyle of people at that time.Scarabrai was discovered in the winter of 1850 after a strong wind. Another gust of wind 1924 damaged one of the houses and revealed the need to explore and protect Sakkaberai. In the late 1850s and 1928-1930, excavations were carried out at Skaraberai, but no detailed archaeological investigation was carried out until the 1970s.In 1999, UNESCO added Scaraberae to the World Heritage List, Mizoho, the Standing Stones of Stenness, and the Ring of Brodgar under the title “Heart of Neolithic Orkney.” Today, this work is one of five places in Scotland on this list, and the Historic Environment Institute of Scotland manages it.

6. Stonehenge, England (about 3000 years BC)

One of the most famous and oldest monuments in the world is Stonehenge. This building is located 130 km from London and consists of a collection of huge stones in a circle.

Scientists still do not know the exact age of this building, but its construction dates back to at least 3000 BC. One of the distinguishing features of Stonehenge is its location, which is said to have been built in energetic areas of the earth. This historical monument is located in the desert plain of England, far away from the mountains and rocks.

This collection contains over a hundred stone blocks, the minimum weight of which is 5 tons and the maximum weight of 50 tons. How the people of ancient civilizations were able to move so many megalithic stones to the plain is one of the secrets of these ancient artifacts.

It is also difficult to explain the purpose of building this vast complex. According to archaeologists, Stonehenge could be the oldest observatory in the world, a ground field for extraterrestrial spaceships, and even a gateway to a parallel world.

According to one of the ancient legends, this monument was built by the wizard Merlin. Archaeologists have discovered ancient ruins and even many corpses on this plain. However, they are all much newer than the main ancient monument in the area.

In 1986, Stonehenge was declared a World Heritage Site, and today, it attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists worldwide.

7. Djoser Pyramid, Egypt (around 2660 BC)

This step pyramid, built by Pharaoh Djoser, is more than a century older than the Giza Pyramid and is considered the oldest surviving pyramid in Egypt.
The Djoser Pyramid is one of the first artificial structures that was the resting place of Djoser – the second king of the third dynasty of the Old Kingdom of Egypt. This king has reigned for 19 years.
This building is located above Saqqara in Egypt and is surrounded by a light limestone wall with a height of 10.5 meters. The overall structure of the pyramid is similar to mud bricks. The sides of the pyramid from its rectangular base are about 121 and 109 meters long.
This building has an entrance passage with a limestone roof that resembles a tree trunk. This area contains 20 pairs of limestone columns made like the stems of plants.
The pyramid’s burial chamber is made of four layers of well-dressed granite and has an opening that is sealed by a 3.5-ton block after burial. Unfortunately, nobody traces were found because the tomb had already been robbed.

8. Mohenjo Daro, Pakistan (around 2600 BC)

Mohenjodaro, also Mohenjodaro or Moenjodaro, is a series of hills and ruins on the right bank of the Indus River, in northern Sindh Province, in southern Pakistan. These ancient monuments contain the remains of one of the two main centers of ancient Indian civilization and are among the oldest historical monuments in the world.

The name Mohenjodaro means “Hill of the Dead.” The archaeological significance of this historic site was first recognized in 1922, a year after the discovery of Harappa. Subsequent excavations revealed that these hills contain the remains of what was once the largest city of the Indus Civilization and had a road, an advanced drainage system, two-story brick houses, and public baths. Due to the size of the city (about 5 km) and the relative abundance of historical buildings and ancient artifacts, this city is considered the capital of a vast state. However, its relation to Harappa needs to be clarified. For example, it is not known whether these two cities were capitals at the same time or whether they became important one after the other. Mohenjo Daro was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1980.

9. Pyramids of Giza, Egypt (about 2560-2500 years BC)

The triple pyramids of Giza are excellent in their scale and grandeur. These ancient artifacts show the glory of ancient Egypt.

The pharaohs of Egypt expected to continue their life as gods in the afterlife. In preparation for entering the next world, they built great temples and pyramid tombs and filled them with everything that any ruler would need to guide and sustain himself in the next world.

Pharaoh Khufu started the construction of the first pyramid of Giza around 2550 BC. His Great Pyramid is the largest in Giza and is 147 meters above the plateau. According to archaeologists’ estimates, 2.5 million stone blocks are stacked in this building, each weighing between 2.5 and 15 tons on average.

Khufu’s son, Pharaoh Khafre, built the second pyramid in Giza around 2520 BC. His tomb contains a statue of a sphinx, a mysterious limestone monument with a lion’s body and a pharaoh’s head. The Sphinx was probably the guardian of the entire complex of Pharaoh’s tomb.

The third pyramid of Giza is significantly smaller than the first two pyramids. This temple was built around 2490 BC by Pharaoh Menkaure, and its temple building was much more complicated.

Each great pyramid is only part of a larger complex, including palaces, temples, and other factors.

The feats of ancient engineering at Giza are so impressive that even today, scientists cannot be sure how the pyramids were built. However, they have gained much knowledge about the people who created them and the political power to make them happen.

“A lot of people think of this place as just a cemetery in the modern sense, but it’s so much more than that,” says Peter Dermanoulian, an Egyptologist at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and Tufts University. “In these decorated tombs, you see amazing scenes from different aspects of life in ancient Egypt, so it’s not just about how Egyptians died, but how they lived.”

10. Ziggurat of Ur , Iraq (around 2100 BC)

Ziggurats are the most distinctive discovery of ancient Near Eastern architecture. The ancient Near Eastern ziggurat, like the ancient Egyptian pyramid, has four sides and rises to the realm of the gods. However, unlike the Egyptian pyramids, the exterior of ziggurats is not flat; Rather, it is class. These floors were built for ease in works related to the structure, administrative supervision, and religious rituals of the ancient cities of the Near East.

Ziggurats, one of the oldest historical monuments in the world, are scattered around modern-day Iraq and Iran. These ancient artifacts are impressive evidence of the power and skill of the ancient culture.

The Great Ziggurat at Ur is one of Mesopotamia’s giant and most attractive ziggurats. During the small excavations at the end of the 20th century in this place, 1920s Sir Leonard Woolley unveiled this historical monument in a joint project with the Museum of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and the British Museum in London.

The ziggurat of Ur and the temple above it are among the oldest monuments and were built by King Ur-Nammu of the Third Dynasty of Ur for the moon god Nana, the divine patron of the city. This building is the town’s highest point, and like the garland of a medieval cathedral, it has been visible for miles around. Also, it is considered a focal point for travelers and pious people. Since the ziggurat protected the temple of Ur’s patron deity, it was likely the place where the citizens of Ur brought their surplus crops and received regular food. In ancient times, visiting Ziggurat Ur meant receiving spiritual and physical nourishment.

It is clear that the most critical part of the ziggurat was the temple of Nanna above it, but unfortunately, nothing remains of this temple. Only a few blue-glazed bricks have been found, which archaeologists believe are part of the temple’s decorations. The remaining lower parts of the ziggurat contain unique engineering and design details. For example, since the unfired brick core of the temple would become more or less humid according to the season, the architects placed holes in the outer layer of the temple to help water vapor escape from the brick core. In addition, drains were built into the ziggurat terraces to drain the winter rains.

11. Minoan palace of Knossos, Crete, Greece (around 2000-1300 BC)

The city of Knossos (Knossos or Cnossus) is a city in ancient Crete that was the seat of the legendary king Minos and the center of the first civilization of the Aegean Sea. Knossos is located at the confluence of two rivers and is about 8 km from the northern coast of Crete. In 1900, excavations began at Knossos under the supervision of Arthur Evans, during which the palace and its surrounding buildings, which were the center of a complex Bronze Age culture, were discovered.

The first human inhabitants of Knossos probably came there from Anatolia in the 7th millennium BC and engaged in wheat cultivation and animal husbandry. At the beginning of the Early Minoan period (2000-3000 BC), they began using bronze to make glazed pottery, engraved seals, and gold jewelry. Hieroglyphic writing was invented simultaneously, and trade with the Egyptians took place.

The first palace at Knossos was built at the beginning of the Middle Minoan period (2000-1580 BC), consisting of separate structures. Around 1720 BC, a devastating earthquake leveled most of Knossos. After that, the palace was rebuilt with massive columns and stairs connecting the different buildings on the hill. The remains of this palace have prevented the site of current excavations.

12. Tomb of Cyrus the Great, Iran (around 530 BC)

The Tomb of Cyrus the Great is one of the oldest historical monuments in the world. This tomb is in Pasargad, an ancient site in Fars province of Iran. The Tomb of Cyrus the Great was first identified as the tomb of Cyrus in modern times by James Justinian Morier. He compared this building with what was described in the writings of the Greek historian Arrian.

This mausoleum has a straightforward but unique construction and is visible from all sides of the Marghab plain. This ancient work, considered one of the first artificial structures in Iran, was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004.

The Tomb of Cyrus the Great is considered an important historical example of earthquake engineering because it is said to be the oldest structure in the world, built separately from the foundation. This feature provides excellent flexibility against seismic hazards.

This ancient work is located in the southern corner of the site, once the royal park of Pasargad. Yellowish-white limestone was used to construct this building, probably extracted from the Sivand mine. The establishment of the tomb has been resistant to natural and unnatural factors for 2500 years and still stands in the Pasargad plain. Its main foundation is a stone platform whose plan is a rectangular square with a length of 13.35 meters and a width of 12.30 meters. This building consists of two completely separate parts: a six-step stone platform and a room with a gable roof on the sixth step.

In 529 BC, Cyrus attacked the Scythian tribes in Central Asia (Northeastern Iran) and was killed in a war with the Messages. He was buried in this tomb.

13. Persepolis, Iran (around 522 BC)
Takht Jamshid, Iran

Takht Jamshid, the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire, is located in the plains of Marvdasht and surrounded by the southern Zagros mountains in the Iranian plateau. Today’s Shiraz is located 60 kilometers southwest of the ruins of Persepolis. The oldest remains of Persepolis date back to 515 BC. This building, one of the oldest historical buildings in the world, is an example of the Achaemenid style of architecture.

The complex is built on a walled platform with five “palaces” or halls of various sizes and grand entrances. The function of Persepolis during the Achaemenid period is unclear. This city was not even one of the biggest cities in Iran, so it was not considered significant compared to the whole empire. But it has been a ceremonial complex used only seasonally. It still needs to be made clear where the king’s residence was. Until the recent challenges, most archaeologists believed that it was primarily used to celebrate Nowruz in the Iranian New Year, i.e., the beginning of spring, and annual celebrations are still held in this place in today’s Iran. Apparently, at that time, Iranian nobles and wealthy people came to this place to present gifts to the king.

It also needs to be clarified what permanent structures existed outside the palace complex. Perhaps it is better to consider Persepolis only as a complex rather than a “city” in the general sense.

This complex was captured by the army of Alexander the Great in 330 BC, and soon after, its wooden parts were destroyed by fire, most likely intentionally.

This place, considered one of the oldest historical monuments in the world, was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979.

14. Maison Carrée, France (16 BC to 4 AD)

Maison Carrée is an ancient Roman temple located in Nîmes in southern France. Nimes was founded as a Roman colony (Colonia Nemausus) in the first century BC. This building, one of the first artificial structures, is a protected ancient Roman building and is considered an example of a Roman temple.

The front of the temple is a classic example of the Tuscan-style temple described by Vitruvius (who wrote about architecture in the first century BC).

This building has a cell, deep front, and central porch and is placed on a high platform. The platform of the square house has a height of 2.85 meters, and the dimensions of the base of the temple are 42.42 x 13.54 meters.

The building is executed in the Corinthian style (this can be easily understood by the acanthus leaf pattern on its capital) and has six columns across the facade. Twenty columns are attached to the sides, creating a quasi-expropriate arrangement (the front columns are free, but the side and back columns are attached to the wall).

The temple once had an inscription that was lost in the Middle Ages. After the restoration of the description in 1758, researchers believe that this building was dedicated to the grandsons of Augustus and his heirs, Caius and Lucius Caesar.

15. Colosseum, Rome (70–80 AD)

The Colosseum, also called the Flavian Amphitheater, is a giant amphitheater built in Rome by the Flavian emperors. The construction of the Colosseum began between 70 and 72 AD during the reign of Vespasian. This building, one of the world’s oldest monuments, is located just east of Palatine Hill on the grounds of Nero’s Golden House.

According to archaeologists, there used to be an artificial lake drained based on a symbolic decision, and the Colosseum was built there. Vespasian, who had a humble view of the throne, replaced the tyrant emperor’s private lake with a public theater that could host tens of thousands of Romans.

This structure was officially dedicated in 80 AD by Titus in a ceremony that included 100 days of games. Unlike previous theaters, which were almost all placed on slopes for added protection, the Colosseum is a free-standing stone and concrete structure with a complex system of arches and measures 189 x 156 meters.

This theater had a capacity of about 50,000 spectators, who were protected from the sun by a vast folding canopy. One of the oldest monuments in the world, it was the scene of thousands of hand-to-hand combat between gladiators, contests between men and animals, and many more significant battles, including mock naval engagements.

Preservation of the Colosseum began in earnest in the 19th century with significant efforts led by Pius VIII, and a restoration project was undertaken in the 1990s. This building is known as one of the tourist attractions of Rome and has nearly seven million visitors every year.


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