Ancient Cities | Ancient City Guide

In terms of historical sites, nothing quite beats exploring lost, abandoned and ruined ancient cities. From the remains of the ancient city of Babylon to lost Roman metropolises, Mayan centres and Egyptian mega-towns, the ancient cities of the world are as varied as they are numerous.

Our ancient cities guide will help you plan your very own ancient city tours and explore the world’s best ancient places. So whether you’re seeking ancient cities in Europe, South America or anywhere across the globe, our ancient city guide will help you get exploring.

Check out our ancient cities map above or the list of ancient cities below and click on each ancient city for more information.

Ancient Cities | Ancient City Guide: Editor's Picks

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1. Machu Picchu

One of the best known ancient cities of the world, and a staple of many tours of ancient cities, Machu Picchu is one of the best preserved Inca sites, located in modern Peru.

Machu Picchu is an extraordinary ancient stone city along the Inca Trail in Peru and forms one of the most famous historical sites in the world. Believed to have been constructed by the Inca Yupanqui people sometime during the mid-fifteenth century, the ruins of Machu Picchu sit high atop a granite... Read More

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2. Ephesus

Containing some of the best preserved Greek and Roman ruins in the Mediterranean, Ephesus in Turkey is something that should be a must for those planning tours of ancient cities or any ancient cities list.

Ephesus or "Efes" was a vibrant classical city, now bordering modern day Selçuk in Turkey and representing some of the best preserved Greek and Roman ruins in the Mediterranean.  Thought to have been founded in the 10th century BC by an Athenian prince named Androklos, Ephesus grew into a thriving city... Read More

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3. Teotihuacan

Teotihuacan is a well preserved ancient Mesoamerican city near Mexico City.

Teotihuacan was a holy Mesoamerican city built in around 400 BC in what is now Mexico and forms one of the country’s oldest archeological sites. Whilst the founders of Teotihuacan have never been definitively identified, it is thought that the city was inhabited by the Toltecs and was also an... Read More

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4. Palmyra

One of the best preserved Roman cities, Palmyra was an independent trading state which eventually fell to the Roman Empire. Its impressive ruins are located in Syria.

Along with many other historical sites in the region, the ancient site of Palmyra is reported to have been heavily damaged in the current conflicts. This page remains as it was originally created in 2011 and will stand as a live-archived article until it is again possible to assess the... Read More

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5. Ostia Antica

One of the less well-known ancient cities in Italy, Ostia Antica contains the ruins of the port of ancient Rome and visitors can explore some amazingly well preserved remains of the settlement.

Ostia Antica is an extraordinary Roman site that contains the ruins of the ancient port town that served as the gateway to Rome. Just half an hour from central Rome by train, Ostia Antica has all the inspiration of Pompeii without the throngs of tourists. In fact, if you want to... Read More

Ancient Cities | Ancient City Guide: Site Index

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Abu Simbel

Abu Simbel is an Ancient Egyptian site housing, amongst other ruins, the two impressive Temples of Ramesses II. It is one of many ancient cities listed by UNESCO.

Abu Simbel is an archaeological site in Egypt housing a series of incredible Ancient Egyptian monuments, especially a number of rock temples. The most famous sites at Abu Simbel are the two Temples of Ramesses II. The site was rediscovered in 1813. Known as Ramesses the Great (sometimes spelt Ramses),... Read More

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Abydos

A must for anyone planning ancient city tours, Abydos is an important Ancient Egyptian site which contains a wealth of tombs, temples and other archaeological remains.

Abydos is an important Ancient Egyptian site located about 50 miles north-west of Luxor which contains a wealth of tombs, temples and other archaeological remains. Covering a vast area, Abydos has offered up many historical sites and much of the area still remains uncovered. It is perhaps best known for the... Read More

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Aguateca

An important site of the Maya, Aguateca was once a capital city in Guatemala until it was dramatically destroyed. A lesser-known entry on the list of ancient cities of the world.

Aguateca is an important and well-excavated ancient Maya ceremonial site in Guatemala’s Peten Region. Thought to have been one of the two capitals of the Maya Dynasty in the region – together with Dos Pilas – from around 700 AD, Aguateca was a vital stronghold, especially given its elevated position.... Read More

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Aizanoi

One of many surviving ancient cities from Roman times, Aizanoi houses ancient ruins including a gymnasium, theatre, stadium, and the impressive Temple of Zeus.

Aizanoi is a Turkish archaeological site housing mostly Roman remains from this ancient city’s peak in the second and third centuries AD. Amongst its ruins, Aizanoi has five ancient and still used bridges, two Turkish-style baths, column-lined promenades, a stadium, a gymnasium, a theatre and its great Temple of Zeus.... Read More

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Akrotiri

Believed by some to be Atlantis, Akrotiri is a beautifully preserved Minoan site in Santorini, famed for its incredible frescos.

Akrotiri is a beautifully preserved ancient site in Santorini, famed for its incredible frescos and its connection with the Minoans. In fact, Akrotiri was inhabited as early as the 4th millennium BC - some say earlier - during the late Neolithic period. It would then thrive and grow into a... Read More

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Alesia

The site where Julius Caesar defeated the Gauls in 52 BC, Alesia went on to become an important Roman settlement, the ruins of this being among the lesser-known ancient cities of the world.

Alesia is an archaeological site on Mount Auxois in the Côte-d'Or and the place where Roman emperor Julius Caesar won his decisive victory over the Gauls in 52 BC. By this time, much of southern France was already within the Roman Empire, having been annexed in around the second century... Read More

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Amathus

Amathus is an archaeological site in Cyprus which includes the ruins of one of the island’s oldest ancient cities.

Amathus is an archaeological site in Cyprus containing the remains of one of the island’s oldest ancient towns. Known to have been inhabited since at least 1050BC, the origins of Amathus are unclear. It is believed to have been founded by the Eteocyprians and to have flourished and grown. Over time,... Read More

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Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat is an incredible, vast 12th century temple in Cambodia and a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Angkor Wat is an enormous 12th century temple complex in Cambodia and the best preserved of its kind. Incredibly grand and ornately decorated, Angkor Wat’s sand-coloured buildings rise up to form five towers, representing the home of the Hindu deities. Friezes and sculptures are found throughout, depicting both day-to-day life from... Read More

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Anjar

Built by Caliph Walid I, the ancient trading settlement of Anjar is an excellent example of the 8th century architecture of the Umayyad dynasty.

Anjar was a city of the Umayyad Islamic dynasty, founded in the early 8th century by Caliph Walid I. Over the course of this century, Anjar’s setting at the centre of two trading routes allowed it to flourish into a commercial hub. Yet, in 744AD, this prosperity came to an... Read More

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Apamea

One of the most visually impressive of the world’s ancient cities, Apamea in Syria which boasts a remarkable 1800 metres of dramatic Roman colonnades

Apamea (Afamia) is an ancient site in Syria which boasts a remarkable 1800 metres of dramatic Roman colonnades together with a range of other ruins. Said to have been one of the largest Seleucid cities and built in around the 4th century BC in what is now Syria, Apamea... Read More

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Aquincum

A large ancient site in Budapest, Aquincum houses the remains of part of what was an important Roman military base and city. One of many Roman settlements on the list of ancient cities.

Aquincum is a large Ancient Roman site in Budapest housing the remains of part of what was an important military base and city. Most of the sites at Aquincum date back to the second century AD, when the city reached its peak with up to 40,000 inhabitants and as the... Read More

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Asklepieion

Asklepieion was an ancient centre of healing based on the teachings of Hippocrates. Today visitors can explore the ruins of this ancient city, which is said to be the birthplace of medicine.

Asklepieion, also known as Asclepeion, in Kos was an ancient Greek and Roman sacred centre of healing based on the teachings of Hippocrates. It seems that there has been a healing sanctuary at the site of Asklepieion since prehistory, but the main ruins today are those of later sanctuaries. The most... Read More

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Augusta Raurica

Augusta Raurica is an ancient Roman archaeological site near Basel in Switzerland. Relatively unknown, it makes for an interesting stop for those undertaking tours of ancient cities in Europe.

Augusta Raurica is a well-preserved Ancient Roman site near Basel in Switzerland. Founded in 15 BC, Augusta Raurica grew into a thriving colonia by the mid-first century with a population of over 20,000 people. Amongst its sites, Augusta Raurica has a fifty-row theatre, the remains of several public and private buildings... Read More

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Avdat

Avdat was an ancient Nabatean city located in modern Israel which once stood along a prosperous trade route.

Avdat or “Ovdat” is an archaeological site in Israel which houses the pretty remains of an ancient Nabatean city later inhabited by the Romans, the Byzantines and the Arabs. It initially formed part of the trading route known as the Incense Route which ran from the Mediterranean to south Arabia... Read More

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Aventicum

Aventicum is an ancient Roman site in Switzerland which was once the capital of the Helvetians. Among the ruins of this ancient city are parts of the original city walls and a surviving tower.

Aventicum is an impressive ancient Roman site in Switzerland which was the thriving capital of the Helvetians. It is unclear as to exactly when Aventicum was founded, but it reached its peak between the 1st century BC and 5th century AD, during its time as capital of the region... Read More

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Baalbek

One of the world’s most impressive ancient cities, and a UNESCO site, Baalbek is home to the largest Roman temple ever built as well as many other magnificent ancient structures.

Baalbek is a hugely impressive Roman site in Lebanon which is home to the largest Roman temple ever built, as well as a range of other magnificent ancient structures. Initially a Phoenician settlement dedicated to the worship of the deity of the sun, Baal, the city was known as Heliopolis (City... Read More

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Babylon

Babylon is one of the most famous cities of the ancient world and today can be found near the town in modern-day Iraq. Often at the very centre of ancient civilisations, this city saw culture and conquest alike.

The ancient metropolis of Babylon is one of the most famous cities of the ancient world and today can be found near the town of Al-Hillah in modern-day Iraq. Founded almost five thousand years ago, the city on the Euphrates has seen empires rise and fall and has been the centre... Read More

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Baelo Claudia

A well-preserved ancient city which sits on the Andalusian coast, the ruins of Baelo Claudia provide a picturesque setting from which to explore history.

The Roman city of Baelo Claudia in Andalusia is one of the best surviving examples of an ancient Roman town in Spain. Sitting directly on the coast, Baelo Claudia is a beautiful site to visit, with both stunning views and ancient ruins. The remains of Baelo Claudia, near the modern town... Read More

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Baia

Baia was once the summer retreat of Ancient Rome’s elite and is now an archaeological park outside Naples.

Baia, also known as Baiae, is an impressive archaeological complex in Campania in Italy housing the remains of a series of summer homes of the leaders of Ancient Rome. Development began in Baia in the second century BC, during the republican era and continued into the imperial age, when the Emperor... Read More

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Bulla Regia

Among the most fascinating ancient cities of the world, Bulla Regia was an Ancient Roman settlement in Tunisia, famous for its subterranean villas.

Bulla Regia is a significant Ancient Roman archaeological site in Tunisia with a fascinating set of subterranean villas and other monuments. Tunisia was annexed into the Roman Empire in approximately 46 BC, under Julius Caesar. Previously a Berber site, Bulla Regia flourished under the Romans, who built a series of monuments... Read More

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Butrint

Spanning the empires of the Greeks, Romans and Byzantines, Butrint is a UNESCO World Heritage site containing the ruins of this ancient city, now located in south west Albania.

Butrint is an archaeological national park in Albania and a UNESCO World Heritage site, renowned for its ancient ruins dating back as far as the 7th century BC. In fact, classic mythology says that exiles moved to Butrint to escape following the fall of Troy. Originally part of an area called... Read More

Byblos

One of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited cities, as attested by the incredibly diverse ages of its ruins, Byblos is a must for those seeking tours of ancient cities.

Byblos (Jbail) in Lebanon is one of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited cities, as attested by the incredibly diverse ages of its ruins. Thought to have first inhabited sometime around the fifth millennium BC, Byblos began as a Neolithic village of fisherman. Over time, Byblos would, amongst other things,... Read More

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Caerwent Roman Town

Caerwent Roman Town in Wales contains the remains of the once thriving Roman settlement of Venta Silurum.

Caerwent Roman Town is the name of the collection of Roman ruins which formed part of the once buzzing Roman settlement of Venta Silurum. Probably founded in the first century AD, Venta Silurum reached its peak in the second century and was home to a range of buildings and facilities.... Read More

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Caesarea

A staple of any ancient city guide, Caesarea in Israel was a Roman city later conquered by the Crusaders and now containing remains from several periods and civilisations.

Caesarea or “Keysarya” was an Ancient Roman city which is now a large archaeological site in Israel. It is believed that the city of Caesarea was initially founded atop the ruins of Straton's Tower, a third century BC Phoenician port city. Conquered by King Alexander Jannaeus of the Hasmonean Kingdom in... Read More

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Cahuachi

Believed to have been a pilgrimage site, Cahuachi is an ancient city of the Nazca civilization in Peru.

Cahuachi is believed to have been a pilgrimage site of the Nazca people. Still an active archeological site, Cahuachi is dominated by several adobe pyramids made of sand and clay as well as having a graveyard. Little is known about Cahuachi, but as it overlooked the Nazca Lines, it is thought... Read More

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Calixtlahuaca

Calixtlahuaca contains the ruins of an Aztec city located near Toluca in Mexico. It has a series of fascinating and impressive structures including ancient pyramids.

Calixtlahuaca near Toluca in Mexico is a well-preserved Aztec archaeological site which was once a thriving city originally home to the Matlatzinca people – the people of the Toluca Valley. The Calixtlahuaca site has a series of fascinating and impressive structures, not least of which are its vast pyramid-like temples.... Read More

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Cappadocia Underground Cities

Among the more unusual of the ancient cities of the world, the Cappadocia Underground Cities are Christian subterranean fortified settlements in Turkey.

The Cappadocia Underground Cities, found mostly in the Nevsehir region in central Turkey, are a series of magnificent subterranean cities built by the Troglodytes or ‘cave goers’. Of the almost forty known Cappadocia underground cities, some in Nevshir are open to the public, including Kaymaklı, Derinkuyu, Özkonak, Mazi and Ürgüp. These... Read More

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Carranque Archaeological Park

An ancient city in Spain, Carranque Archaeological Park contains a series of Roman ruins built in the 4th century AD.

Carranque Archaeological Park (Parque Arqueologico de Carranque) contains a series of Ancient Roman ruins built in the fourth century AD. The site is believed to have a connection with Emperor Theodosius I the Great. Carranque Archaeological Park is mainly comprised of a well preserved villa - known as the Materno Villa - as... Read More

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Carthage

One of the most famous ancient cities, Carthage was once the centre of a hugely powerful civilisation. Today, the ruins of Carthage can be found on the outskirts of Tunis and are a must for those seeking cities of the ancient world.

Carthage was one of the most powerful cities of the ancient world and spawned the powerful Carthaginian Empire which dominated much of the western Mediterranean. The ruins of this famed city can be found on the outskirts of modern day Tunis. Carthage itself was central to the history of the ancient... Read More

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Ceibal

A Maya settlement site in northern Guatemala, Ceibal is a lesser-known ancient city that nonetheless contains many interesting remains, including an impressive round temple.

Ceibal or “El Seibal” in El Peten in Guatemala was an ancient Maya settlement probably mostly constructed and inhabited in the Preclassic Period and which is now represented by a set of ruins. Most archaeologists think it was abandoned in the late classic period and then inhabited again at a... Read More

Cerro Patapo

Not mentioned in many ancient city guides, and only recently discovered in 2008, Cerro Patapo was an ancient city of the Wari civilisation found in modern Peru.

Cerro Patapo is an archaeological site near Chiclayo in Peru which houses the remains of a city of the Wari Empire. This empire, which ruled much of the Andes, had a presence in Peru from approximately 600 AD to 1100 AD. Only discovered in 2008, Cerro Patapo was a vitally important... Read More

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Chacchoben

An interesting part of any ancient city tours, Chacchoben is a Mexican Maya site which contains some impressive pyramid temples.

Chacchoben is a Maya site in Mexico housing some impressive pyramid temples. The exact history of Chacchoben is unclear. Most sources date its pyramids to around 700AD (some say 300AD), although the Mayas are said to have been present at Chacchoben long before this, perhaps as early as 200BC. ... Read More

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Chan Chan

Chan Chan in Peru was the capital of the Chimu civilisation and is the largest pre-Colombian city in the Americas as well as a UNESCO listed site. A fascinating ancient city to explore.

Chan Chan is an impressive site in Peru and the world’s largest adobe city as well as the largest pre-Colombian city in the Americas. As the capital of the ancient Chimu civilisation, Chan Chan was developed in around 1300 AD and would have reached its peak in the fifteenth century,... Read More

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Chichen Itza

Ranked among the most famous of the world’s ancient cities, Chichen Itza is one of the most popular tourist sites in Mexico and a vital part of any ancient city tours.

Stunningly well-preserved and imposingly beautiful, Chichen Itza is one of Mexico’s most impressive historical sites. A UNESCO World Heritage site based in the forests of the Yucatan Peninsula, Chichen Itza is actually made up of two cities built by two peoples, the Mayas and the Toltecs. The site is made up of... Read More

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Choquequirao

Choquequirao is a little known ancient city of the Inca in Peru which is similar to the far more famous Machu Picchu. A lesser-known entry on the ancient cities list.

Choquequirao is a little known Incan city in the south of Peru which may well have served as the final stronghold of the Incan civilisation. Similar in design and architechture to the far better known Machu Picchu, Choquequirao is almost devoid of tourist due to its isolated position. ... Read More

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Citania de Briteiros

Among many ancient cities in Portugal, Citania de Briteiros contains the ruins of an ancient Iron Age settlement.

Citania de Briteiros is a Portuguese archaeological site containing the ruins of an ancient settlement. In fact, dating back to the second century BC, Citania de Briteiros was home to a people known as part of the castro culture, named as such because the high areas on which they settled... Read More

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Cobá

A vast Maya archaeological site in Mexico’s Quintana Roo region, Cobá is an important ancient city which contains the 138-ft tall Great Pyramid.

Cobá in Quintana Roo in Mexico houses the remains of a once vast city that developed in around 632 AD and peaked between 800 and 1100 AD. Whilst it is thought that Cobá originally spanned a massive 60 square kilometres, the current archaeological site has yet to uncover all its... Read More

Conimbriga

Probably Portugal’s best-preserved ancient city, Conimbriga contains a wealth of Roman ruins.

Conimbriga is probably Portugal’s best-preserved Ancient Roman archaeological site, although it has a history stretching back to the Iron Age. In fact, while the Romans arrived at Conimbriga in the late first century BC, the settlement had been inhabited since the ninth century BC. Whilst almost certainly not the biggest of... Read More

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Copan

Copan in Honduras was an important Maya city, the impressive ruins of which are UNESCO listed.

Copan (spelt Copán), near the town of Copan Ruinas in Honduras is an archaeological site housing the ruins of a major Maya settlement which was probably the most influential city in the south eastern area occupied by this civilisation. Copan is thought to have been inhabited as early as 2000 BC,... Read More

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Corinth

Corinth is a popular tourist destination and famous ancient city which was a major centre to both the Ancient Greeks and the Ancient Romans.

Ancient Corinth, the ruins of which can be found in the modern town of Korinthos, was a city of major importance in Ancient Greece and in Ancient Rome. Located in between mainland Greece and the Peloponnese, Corinth was a vital port and a thriving city-state as well as being of... Read More

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Cumae Archaeological Park

Once a famous ancient city, Cumae Archaeological Park contains a series of ancient ruins and artefacts and is thought to have been inhabited as far back as the Iron Age.

Cumae Archaeological Park in Pozzuoli houses a series of ancient ruins and artefacts and is thought to have been inhabited as far back as the Iron Age. Cumae itself was a settlement established by Greek colonists in the eighth century BC. Sacked by the Oscans in the fifth century BC and... Read More

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Cyrene

Boasting some impressive ancient ruins, Cyrene in Lybia is considered to be one of the most impressive Greco-Roman cities in the world.

Cyrene in Libya is considered to be one of the most impressive Greco-Roman sites in the world and one of the best Classical Greek sites beyond Greece itself. Traditionally said to have been founded by the Greeks of Thera in 631BC, Cyrene was a trading hub first inhabited by the Battiadae... Read More

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Delos

Delos is an impressive UNESCO listed ancient Greek city and the island on which Apollo was said to have been born.

Delos is an island and archaeological site which was held sacred by the ancient Greeks as the birthplace of the deity Apollo. It is unclear as to whether his twin sister Artemis was also believed to have been born there. There were temples built in honour of Artemis at Delos,... Read More

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Delphi

One of the most famous ancient cities in the world, Delphi is an Ancient Greek site once considered to have been the centre of the Earth.

Delphi is an archaeological site in mainland Greece comprised of the well-preserved ruins of one of the most important cities in Ancient Greece. Archaeologists have found evidence that Delphi was inhabited as early as the Neolithic period and sites dating back to the Mycenaean Civilisation, but it was the Ancient... Read More

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Dendera

Dendera, near Luxor, contains the stunning Temple of Hathor and is a real gem amongst Ancient Egyptian ruins. Day-trips to the site run from many Luxor hotels.

The Dendera complex lies approximately 50 miles north of Luxor and contains some of the best preserved and most accessible ancient Egyptian ruins to be found in Egypt, including temples, tombs and even a Christian chapel. The most prominent site in the Dendera complex is the Ptolemaic-era Temple of Hathor. Dating... Read More

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Djemila

The site of extensive Roman ruins of a former ancient military base, Djemila in Algeria is one of several ancient cities to have survived in North Africa.

Djemila in Algeria is an archaeological site housing the ruins of a UNESCO-inscribed Ancient Roman settlement. Founded under the name Cuicil, it is thought that Djemila was first established between 96 and 98 AD under the Emperor Nerva and occupied until the fifth or sixth century. Constructed amidst mountainous terrain, Djemila... Read More

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Dos Pilas

An ancient city of the Maya, Dos Pilas was a major centre which eventually succumbed to the ravages of warfare.

Dos Pilas in northern Guatemala was an ancient capital city of the Maya civilisation. Twinned with nearby Aguateca, its powerful dynasty is thought to have derived from that of Tikal and to have thrived in the seventh and eighth centuries AD. However, it was famously abandoned in the late eighth... Read More

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Dougga

Once the thriving Numidian capital, Dougga is an impressive and well-preserved UNESCO-listed ancient city in Tunisia.

Dougga (Thugga) in Tunisia is the location of the extremely well-preserved ruins of an ancient site inhabited by a series of cultures, notably the Numidians, the Punics, the ancient Greeks and the Romans. Dougga boasts a series of impressive ruins amidst its seventy hectares, including a 3,500-seater theatre, an amphitheatre, temples... Read More

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Dura Europos

An important ancient city in Eastern Syria, Dura Europos was occupied by a series of civilisations, now represented by a series of well-preserved ruins.

Dura Europos was a thriving ancient city in Eastern Syria occupied by a series of civilisations, now represented by well preserved ruins. It was one of the successor states that emerged after the death of Alexander the Great, the Seleucid Greeks, who founded Dura Europos in 300BC, locating it at... Read More

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Durnovaria

Now the English town of Dorchester, Durnovaria contains the ruins of the ancient Roman city

Durnovaria is the original Roman name for what is now the English town of Dorchester. Though Dorchester is best known for its Thomas Hardy connections, it remains an interesting town in its own right, having a number of museums dealing with such diverse topics as dinosaurs, Tutenkhamun and military history. The best... Read More

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Dzibilchaltun

Dzibilchaltun in Mexico is an archaeological site housing the ruins of an ancient Maya settlement.

Dzibilchaltun in Yucatan, Mexico is one of the earliest of the series of Maya settlements along the Puuc Route - a trail of the Maya sites in the Puuc region in Yucatan. Thought to have been inhabited from around 500 BC, Dzibilchaltun – which is translated as “the site of stone... Read More

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Ek Balam

One of many ancient cities in Mexico, Ek Balam is a Maya site on the Yucatan Peninsula which contains some impressive ruins including a 100ft pyramid.

Ek Balam or Ek’ Balam is a Maya site on the Yucatan Peninsula with some impressive ruins. Translated either as Black Jaguar or Star Jaguar, Ek Balam is surrounded by a low, stone wall, an unusual feature in Mayan cities. Within this area are several restored pyramids and large temples... Read More

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El Brujo

A Moche settlement inhabited between 100 and 700 AD, El Brujo is a lesser-known ancient city in Peru.

El Brujo in Peru was a Moche (early Chimu) settlement inhabited between 100 and 700 AD. Now an archaeological site, the main features of El Brjuo are its three “huacas” or sacred pyramid temples. The best preserved of El Brujo’s trio of temples, thought to have been sites of ceremonial significance,... Read More

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El Tajin

El Tajin in Mexico is an impressive archaeological site which was once a city of the Totonac people and is now a UNESCO World Heritage site.

El Tajin in the state of Veracruz in Mexico is an impressive archaeological site which originally formed the capital city of the Totonac state. In fact, the name “Tajin” refers to the Totonac deity of thunder, lighting and rain. Today, it is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is open... Read More

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Epidaurus

With a wealth of incredible ruins, Epidaurus is one of the best ancient cities of the world. Located on the Greek mainland it is now a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Epidaurus was a major city in Ancient Greece famed as a centre for healing. Inhabited since prehistoric times, Epidaurus thrived as a sanctuary devoted to the healing deities including Apollo, Asklepios and Hygeia and contained hundreds of spas, the remains of many of which can be seen today. The main sanctuary area,... Read More

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Glanum

An extensive archaeological site, Glanum is of a former Roman city near Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. Most of the site dates back to between the first and second centuries AD.

Glanum was a thriving Ancient Roman settlement, the impressive remains of which can now be seen in an archaeological site near Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. Whilst there is some evidence to show that this site has been occupied since the first millennium BC, most of the sites at Glanum date back to between... Read More

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Gortyna

An interesting ancient city in Crete, Gortyna was the capital of Crete and Cyrene during the Roman era.

Gortyna or “Gortyn” in Crete was an ancient settlement originally founded in approximately 3000 BC, during the Neolithic era. However, it was during the Roman era, from around the first to the fifth centuries AD, that Gortyna flourished, with a population of up to 100,000 people. During the Roman period, Gortyna... Read More

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Hattusha

A UNESCO heritage site, Hattusha holds the ruins of one of the capitals of the Hittite Empire and is one of many such ancient cities in the region.

Hattusha (also known as Hattusa or Hattuşa) is one of Turkey’s great ruins of capitals of the Hittite Empire and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Hittite Empire reached its peak in the second millennium BC, most prominently in the thirteenth century BC, at which time much of... Read More

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Heraklea Linkestis

Heraklea Linkestis was an ancient Macedonian city, conquered by the Romans in the second century BC which then became an important Roman settlement.

Heraklea Linkestis, also known as just Heraklea, is believed to have been founded by King Philip II of Macedon in around the fourth century BC, before being conquered by the Romans in approximately the second century BC. Located along the important trade route of Via Egnatia, Heraklea Linkestis thrived as a... Read More

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Herculaneum

An important stop on any Ancient city tours of Italy, Herculaneum was a Roman town which was destroyed along with Pompeii following the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD.

Herculaneum was a port town established by the ancient Romans in what is now modern Ercolano, Italy. At its peak, Herculaneum would have had around 4,000 citizens and served as a holiday town for wealthy Campanians and Romans. Like nearby Pompeii, Herculaneum was engulfed by the lava and mud which spewed... Read More

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Hierapolis

One of many ancient cities in Turkey, Hierapolis was once a thriving, multicultural city and spa, the remains of which are now a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Hierapolis was once a thriving, multicultural ancient city and spa, the remains of which can now be seen in modern day Turkey. It is said to have been founded by the rulers of Pergamum, the Attalid Dynasty, and is usually attributed to their King Eumenes II (197BC-159BC). However, it is... Read More

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Histria

Thought to be the oldest settlement in Romania, Histria was occupied by the Greeks, Romans and Byzantines and is a relatively quiet ancient city to explore.

Histria, close to the city of Constanta in Romania is an archaeological park housing ruins which date throughout Romania’s history. Histra was once a harbour, first occupied by the Ancient Greeks in 675 BC. Under the Greeks, it flourished into a centre of trade, specialising in ceramics, glass and metals.... Read More

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Jerash

Containing some of the world’s best preserved Roman ruins, Jerash in Jordan was once a thriving Roman city and is one of the most fascinating ancient cities in the world. Definitely ranks highly on the list of ancient cities of the world.

Jerash or Jarash, is one of the world’s best preserved ancient Roman sites. Once known as Gerasa, Jerash is believed to have been inhabited since the Neolithic Era. However, it is the impressive Roman city built in Jerash which has left its greatest mark on the area, becoming Jordan’s second... Read More

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Kabah

Inhabited from the 3rd century BC and abandoned circa 1200 AD, the ruins of the ancient city of Kabah are those of a Maya settlement in Yucatan, Mexico.

Kabah was a Maya settlement and is now an archaeological site in Mexico’s Yucatan state. Inhabited from the third century BC and, like nearby Uxmal, abandoned in circa 1200 AD, Kabah was mostly constructed from the seventh century and added to in the ninth century. It is thought that Kabah was... Read More

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Kamiros

Kamiros was an ancient city on the island of Rhodes, the ruins of which include an acropolis.

Kamiros (Kameiros) was an ancient city on the island of Rhodes, the ruins of which include an acropolis. Excavations have revealed a long a diverse history at Kamiros including a temple to Athena dating to the 8th century BC. Twice destroyed by earthquakes (in 226BC and 142BC), the main remains... Read More

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Karnak Temple

Forming part of the ancient Egyptian city of Thebes, the Karnak Temple is a vast sacred Ancient Egyptian complex in Luxor.

The Karnak Temple, or rather the complex of temples of Karnak, in Luxor, Egypt is one of the most impressive of Ancient Egyptian sites and once formed part of the city of Thebes. Sprawling over two square kilometres, the site known as the Karnak Temple was built and expanded by a... Read More

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Kasserine

Kasserine was an ancient Roman city known as Cillium, the remains of which can be seen today near the modern town of the same name.

Kasserine, also known as Cillium, is a city in central Tunisia with several Ancient Roman monuments and ruins. Founded in approximately the second century AD, Kasserine became a Roman colonia known as Colonia Cillilana or just Cillium. Just west of the main city of Kasserine, visitors can see the remains of this city,... Read More

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Khajuraho

Home of a number of stunning temples, famous for their erotic sculptures, Khajuraho was the ancient capital of the Chandela Dynasty.

Once the capital city of the Chandela Dynasty, today Khajuraho is best known for its exceptional temples which are considered to be among the best examples of medieval Indian architecture. The Khajuraho temples were largely constructed between 950AD and 1050AD and actually represent two separate religions, with some being Hindu temples... Read More

Knossos

One of the most famous ancient cities in the world, Knossos is an archaeological site which was once the thriving heart of the Minoan civilisation.

Knossos or ‘ko-no-so’ was an important ancient site found on the outskirts of the modern city of Heraklion in Crete. It is believed that Knossos was first established a place of settlement in Neolithic times in around 7000 BC and then continuously inhabited until the Ancient Roman period. Knossos reached its... Read More

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Kourion

Kourion is an impressive ancient city in Cyprus containing mostly Roman and Byzantine ruins.

Kourion, also known as Curium, is an impressive archaeological site near Limassol in Cyprus containing mostly Ancient Roman and Byzantine ruins. In fact, it is believed that the site of Kourion was first inhabited during Neolithic times, with the earliest evidence dating back to 4500-3900 BC, but that the town itself... Read More

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Labna

Labna is a Maya city in Yucatan, Mexico and part of what is known as the Puuc Trail.

Labna is one of a series of former Maya settlements in Mexico’s Yucatan region and part of what is known as the Puuc Trail. Like the city of Uxmal, with which it is linked, Labna’s structures, such as its palace and its archway, are beautifully ornate. However, unlike its counterpart, Labna... Read More

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Laodikeia

Laodikeia was an Ancient Greek then Roman city, which now contains a set of ruins including a stadium and gymnasium.

Laodikeia, also known as Laodicea, was an Ancient Greek then Roman city, which is now represented by a set of interesting ancient ruins. Said by some to have been founded by Antiochus II Theos of the Seleucid Kingdom in the third century BC, many of the buildings and monuments at the Laodikeia... Read More

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Leptis Magna

One of the most important ancient cities in North Africa, Leptis Magna is now an impressive archaeological site near Tripoli.

Leptis Magna (Lepcis Magna) is an incredibly well preserved archaeological site in Tripoli, Libya. Originally founded by the Phoenicians as the port of Lpgy in the first millennium BC, Leptis Magna later became part of the Carthaginian Empire and was then incorporated into the Roman Empire in 46 BC. Most of... Read More

Leukaspis

Founded in the second century BC, Leukaspis was a thriving Greco-Roman port and city. Today, it has been excavated as the Marina el-Alamein Archaeological Site.

Leukaspis (Locassis) was a thriving Greco-Roman port and city founded in the second century BC and which grew to a population of 15,000 residents at its peak. Also known as Antiphrae, Leukaspis was a commercial hub of the Mediterranean olive, wine and wheat industries, conducting trade both inland and overseas.... Read More

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Luxor Temple

Part of the ancient city of Thebes, the Luxor Temple is a vast Ancient Egyptian site which is UNESCO listed.

The Luxor Temple in the city of Luxor, Egypt was once a sacred temple built in honour of the deity Amun. Constructed in the 14th century BC by Amenhotep III, the ninth pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty, the Luxor Temple was part of the Ancient Egyptian city of Thebes. Today, together with the... Read More

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Mamshit

One of a number of ancient Nabatean cities, Mamshit in Israel is the site of one of four UNESCO listed settlements which prospered as part of the Incense trading route.

Mamshit was an ancient Nabatean city which formed part of the Incense Road, a trading route of various spices in the Mediterranean and south Arabia. In fact, it is one of four such cities in the Negev Desert in Israel which form the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Incense Route.... Read More

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Mesa Verde National Park

Mesa Verde National Park holds an incredibly well preserved and stunning collection of archaeological sites of the Native American Pueblo people dating back to 600 AD.

Mesa Verde National Park or “green table” national park is a breathtaking Native American site dotted with over 4,000 archaeological treasures, including 600 exceptionally well preserved cliff dwellings dating back to 600 AD. Mesa Verde National Park was once the home of the Pueblos, a Native American people who lived there... Read More

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Miletus

Miletus was once an important ancient Greek then Roman city, which still has an impressive theatre, but relatively few other remains.

Miletus was an important ancient Greek then Roman city, which still boasts an impressive ancient theatre among its ruins. With a history thought to date back as far as the 16th, perhaps even the 17th, century BC, Miletus eventually became a thriving hub from the 8th to 7th centuries BC until... Read More

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Mirobriga

Dating back to around the first century AD, Mirobriga was once a thriving Roman city, the ruins of which contain Portugal’s only surviving Hippodrome.

Mirobriga was once a thriving Roman town, the ruins of which can now be seen in Portugal. Believed to date back to the first century AD, the remains of Mirobriga are quite extensive, well preserved and include a forum and the country’s only surviving Hippodrome - once the site of fierce... Read More

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Mitla

An interesting entry on our ancient cities list and one of many ancient cities in Mexico, Mitla was a Zapotec religious centre later taken over by the Mixtecs in Oaxaca.

Mitla was a Zapotec and later a Mixtec settlement in what is now the modern town of San Pablo Villa de Mitla in Oaxaca in Mexico. Thought to have first been inhabited by the Zapotecs in around 600 BC, Mitla evolved into an important ceremonial centre. It was later taken... Read More

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Monte Alban

Containing numerous pyramids, ornate palaces and elaborate tombs, Monte Alban is a remarkable UNESCO listed ancient city in Mexico.

Monte Alban in Oaxaca in Mexico is an impressive ancient site created by an incredible feat which involved carving a flat space out of a mountain rising to an elevation of over 1,600 feet above the valley below it. Monte Alban was inhabited for approximately 1,500 years by a succession... Read More

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Mycenae

Mycenae is a famous Ancient Greek archaeological site in the Peloponnese which formed the centre of the Mycenaean civilisation and was once ruled by the famous King Agamemnon.

Mycenae is an important archaeological site in Greece which was once the city at the centre of the Mycenaean civilisation of between 1600BC and 1100BC. Believed to have been inhabited since Neolithic times, Mycenae flourished into a fortified city and was ruled at one time by the famous King Agamemnon. At... Read More

Nea Pafos

Nea Pafos is the site of an ancient city near Paphos which served as the capital of Cyprus from the 4th century BC.

Nea Pafos is an archaeological site near Paphos Harbour in Cyprus housing the remains of what was once the capital of the island. Founded in the fourth century BC by Nikokles, the last king of nearby Palaipafos, Nea Pafos then went from strength to strength, particularly under the Ptolemaic kingdom... Read More

Nora Archaeological Site

One of the more obscure cities of the ancient world, the Nora Archaeological Site in Sardinia contains Phoenician and Roman ruins.

The Nora Archaeological Site in Sardinia contains mostly Ancient Roman ruins, but was founded in at least the 8th century BC by the Phoenicians. Some Phoenician ruins can be seen, including a temple and some fortifications. Prior to Phoenician settlement, Nora may have even previously been a nuraghi site (the people... Read More

Novae

Once a Roman town and military camp, the ruins of Novae are found in modern day Bulgaria. One of the more obscure entries among the list of ancient cities of the world.

Novae, also known as Nove, was a Roman town and military camp and the headquarters of the 8th Augustan Legion, the ruins of which are now found in Bulgaria . Established in around 45AD, at its peak, Novae was of vital strategic importance for guarding from eastern attacks and grew... Read More

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Olympia

One of the most famous of all ancient cities, Olympia was the Ancient Greek centre from which the Olympic Games originate and is now an important archaeological site.

Olympia was a vibrant Ancient Greek city. It is believed that the site of Olympia was inhabited from 3000 BC, however it was after the fall of the Mycenaean civilisation that the city began to flourish and, by 900 BC it was already considered an important religious site. The Olympic Games In... Read More

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Paestum

Containing the amazing remains of three ancient Greek temples, Paestum is a Greco-Roman site located south of Naples.

Paestum is a Greco-Roman site located south of Naples which contains the stunning remains of three ancient Greek temples which still stand tall today. Founded as a Greek colony in the 6th century BC, Paestum was originally known as Poseidonia, named for the Greek god Poseidon. The city was captured by... Read More

Palaipafos

A must for any ancient city tour in Cyprus, Palaipafos contains ruins dating back as far as the Late Bronze Age as well as the famous Sanctuary of Aphrodite.

Palaipafos, also known as Palaepaphos, is an archaeological site near Kouklia village, Paphos, in Cyprus linked to the ancient cult of the “Great Goddess” of fertility. The oldest and most revered site at Palaipafos is the Sanctuary of Aphrodite, built by the Mycenaeans in circa 1200BC, around the time at... Read More

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Palenque

One of the most intriguing historic cities in Mexico, Palenque is a UNESCO listed Maya archaeological site which thrived between 500 and 700 AD.

Palenque in Mexico is an important Maya archaeological site located just outside the modern city by the same name. It is thought that Palenque was first inhabited in around 100BC and excavations have uncovered writings about a king who ruled there in the fifth century AD, however the city was... Read More

Pasargadae

Pasargadae was the first capital of the once mighty Persian Empire, the ruins of which are located in modern Iran and are UNESCO-listed.

Pasargadae was the capital of the Persian Empire from the sixth century BC until it was conquered by the Macedonians led by Alexander the Great in 330 BC. Now a town in Iran, Pasargadae was established by the first ruler of the Achaemenid Dynasty, Cyrus the Great. Amongst the sites still... Read More

Pella

Famous as being the birthplace of Alexander the Great, Pella in Greece was the capital of ancient Macedonia.

Pella, near a small town in Greece by the same name, is an archaeological site which was once the thriving capital of ancient Macedonia. Established by King Amyntas III at the end of the fifth, beginning of the fourth century BC, Pella took over this role from the former capital,... Read More

Pergamum

Pergamum was an important ancient Greek and Roman city, home to famous sites such as its Asclepion, theatre and library.

Pergamum, which is also spelt Pergamon, is a famous archaeological site in Turkey which developed under the Attalid dynasty following the death of Alexander the Great. When Alexander died, one of his generals, Lysimachus, took control of the region. When Lysimachus died in 281BC, Pergamum and the surrounding area fell... Read More

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Perge

Perge in Turkey is an archaeological site which contains mostly Roman ruins, but has a history dating back to Ancient Greece.

The ancient city of Perge near Antalya in Turkey is now an impressive archaeological site containing a wealth of ancient ruins, mostly dating back to the Roman period, though the city itself has a history dating back well into antiquity. The current city is said to have been founded in circa... Read More

Perperikon

One of the lesser-known ancient cities in Europe, Perperikon in Bulgaria was an important Thracian sanctuary turned Roman town and medieval fortress.

Perperikon was an important Thracian holy sanctuary which became a Roman town around the first century BC and was later the site of a medieval fortress. Inhabited since 5000BC, Perperikon became home to the Temple of Dionysus, legendary for being the place of great prophecies. One of the most famous... Read More

Persepolis

One of the most famous cities of the ancient world, Persepolis was the capital of the Persian Empire and today contains the ruins of many ancient buildings and monuments.

Persepolis was the ancient capital of the Persian Empire during the Achaemenid era. Founded by Darius I around 515BC, the city stood as a magnificent monument to the vast power of Persian kings. Persepolis remained the centre of Persian power until the fall of the Persian Empire to Alexander the Great.... Read More

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Petra

One of the most recognisable of all ancient cities, Petra is a UNESCO-listed Nabataean city which later formed part of the Roman Empire. Lost to the ages, it was a secret to all but the Bedouins until 1812.

Petra is an iconic ancient site in southern Jordan. A secret to all but the Bedouins until 1812, Petra’s incredible monuments are now considered to be one of the wonders of the world. Petra was established by the once nomadic Kingdom of the Nabataeans. Carving a city out of the sandstone... Read More

Pollentia

Pollentia is an Ancient Roman site in Alcudia in Majorca which includes the partial remains of the Forum and theatre.

Pollentia is an archaeological site in Alcudia, Majorca housing the remains of an Ancient Roman city. It is thought that the Romans established Pollentia in either the first or second century BC and that the city was thriving by the second century AD. Sadly, Pollentia has been the subject of significant... Read More

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Pompeii

Perhaps the first name on any tour of ancient cities, Pompeii was famously destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, leaving incredibly well-preserved ruins which are now a hugely popular tourist destination.

One of the best known ancient sites in the world, Pompeii was an ancient Roman city founded in the 6th to 7th century BC and famously destroyed by the eruption of the volcano Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. The people of Pompeii were completely unprepared for this disaster and its... Read More

Priene

A picturesque ancient Greek city in Turkey, Priene boasts some amazing ancient remains without the crowds of other nearby sites.

Priene is an ancient Greek city which lies between the popular holiday resorts of Kusadasi and Bodrum. It is one of many important ancient sites in the area and is close to both Miletus and Ephesus. However, though smaller than other nearby historical attractions, the real charm of Priene lies in... Read More

Qatna Archaeological Park

Qatna Archaeological Park houses the ruins of what was the thriving ancient Mesopotamian city of Qatna.

Qatna Archaeological Park in Tell Mishrifeh in Syria houses the ruins of what was the thriving ancient Mesopotamian city of Qatna. Known to have first been occupied in the third millennium BC, Qatna’s location on an important commercial and political crossroad connecting it to both the Mitanni empire and the... Read More

Quirigua Archaeological Park

Quirigua Archaeological Park is a former Maya settlement and is now a small, yet important UNESCO listed site in Guatemala.

Quirigua Archaeological Park in Izabel, Guatemala is an historic site housing the remains of a Maya settlement. Whilst thought to have been inhabited from 200 AD, most of the structures at Quirigua date back to the mid-sixth century AD and include numerous carved stone objects and structures, such as an... Read More

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Sabratha

A picturesque ancient city on Libya’s coast, Sabratha contains some excellent Roman ruins.

Once a thriving Roman city, the impressive ruins of Sabratha lie approximately fifty miles west of Triopli, alongside the modern town of the same name. Remarkably picturesque, the ruins of Sabratha look out across the Mediterranean and give modern visitors an insight into why this location served the ancient trading routes... Read More

Sagalassos

Sagalassos is an active archaeological site in southwest Turkey which contains mostly Hellenistic and Ancient Roman ruins, some of them very well preserved.

Sagalassos is an active archaeological site in southwest Turkey which contains mostly Hellenistic and Ancient Roman historic ruins, some of them very well preserved. In particular, the Fountain of Antoninler at Sagalassos still has its pretty facade. There are also the remains of a 9,000 seat theatre, a council hall... Read More

Saqqara

Saqqara was the burial ground of the ancient Egyptian city of Memphis and home to numerous pyramids and tombs.

Saqqara was the burial place of the city of Memphis, the capital of Ancient Egypt founded in 3000 BC by Menes. Now a UNESCO World Heritage site, Saqqara is home to eleven major pyramids sprawled over six miles, including the first ever pyramid, known as the Step Pyramid and funerary complex... Read More

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Sbeitla

Sbeitla in Tunisia flourished as a Roman city from the 1st century AD.

Sbeitla in Tunisia was once a flourishing ancient city, the spectacular remains of which are among the best Roman ruins in the world. This startling site, also at times known as Sufetula, thrived as a Roman settlement from the 1st century AD before becoming a Christian centre, a Byzantine city and... Read More

Segesta

Segesta contains the famous fifth century BC incomplete, but very well-preserved, Temple of Segesta.

Segesta is an archaeological site in north western Sicily most famous for the Temple of Segesta. This fifth century BC temple was started by the Elymian people (circa 426 BC-416BC) but never completed. Nevertheless, with its over thirty intact Doric columns and clear structure, the unfinished Temple of Segesta is so... Read More

Selinunte

Selinunte is an Ancient Greek archaeological site in Sicily containing the ruins of an acropolis and five temples.

Selinunte is an Ancient Greek archaeological site in southern Sicily containing the ruins of an acropolis surrounded by five historic temples, mostly dating to the sixth to fifth centuries BC. The sites at Selinunte are relatively meagre when one considers that this would once have been one of the great cities... Read More

Sirmium Imperial Palace

The Sirmium Imperial Palace complex holds the remains of a Roman imperial palace which was home to several Roman Emperors in the middle and late empire.

The Sirmium Imperial Palace complex in Serbia contains the remains of a Roman imperial palace which was home to several Roman Emperors, including Constantine I. Built at the end of the third or beginning of the fourth century AD, the complex has now been opened to the public as a museum.... Read More

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Sparta

The ancient Greek city of Sparta was one of the most famous city-states of the ancient world.

Sparta was one of the most famous city-states of the ancient world and left not only a mark in our historic records, but its very culture at the heart of modern language – the English word 'Spartan' reflecting their very way of life – simple, basic, severe. Rising to power in... Read More

Stabiae

Stabiae contains the ruins of both ancient Roman and Oscan civilizations, dating back as far as the 7th century BC.

Stabiae, today contained in the modern town of Castellammare di Stabia, was an Ancient Roman town which, along with Pompeii and Herculaneum, was engulfed in lava and ash when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD. In fact, it was during this natural disaster that Pliny the Elder was killed in... Read More

Stobi

Stobi in Macedonia was an ancient settlement of Paeonia before becoming a Roman city.

Stobi is one of Macedonia’s most famous archaeological sites. Once the capital of the kingdom of Paeonia, Stobi was located along a busy trade route and thrived as a commercial hub specialising in the trade of salt. Stobi reached its peak in the third or fourth century AD. Whilst the first... Read More

Syracuse Archaeological Site

The Syracuse Archaeological Site contains the impressive remains of an ancient city dating as far back as the eighth century BC.

The Syracuse Archaeological Site (Siracusa) in Sicily contains the impressive remains of the ancient city of Syracuse dating as far back as the eighth century BC. The city of Syracuse was founded by Greek colonists - heralding from Corinth - in 734 BC. At its height, Syracuse was the most... Read More

Taos Pueblo

Taos Pueblo is a beautiful thousand year old Native American settlement in New Mexico.

Taos Pueblo is a Native American settlement in New Mexico’s Rio Grande, USA. The Pueblo community in Taos Pueblo is known to date back to the fourteenth century, although some archeologists think it was established as far back as the 1st century AD. The Pueblo tribe is one of the most... Read More

Taxila

Taxila was the ancient Gandhāran capital city and its incredible ruins are a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Taxila, also known as the Ancient Gandhāran city of Takshashila, is an ancient site in the Punjab Province of Pakistan dating back as far as the sixth century BC. One of the factors which make Taxila such a significant archeological site is the fact that, over its five century lifespan, it... Read More

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Tchogha Zanbil

Tchogha Zanbil is home to the impressive remains of the ancient city of Dur Untash, the holy capital of the Elamite Kingdom.

Tchogha Zanbil is home to the impressive remains of the ancient city of Dur Untash, the holy capital of the Elamite Kingdom. Located between Anshan and Suse, the city of Tchogha Zanbil would have been founded in 1250BC by King Untash-Napirisha. It would finally be abandoned in 640BC, following a devastating... Read More

Tenochtitlan

Tenochtitlan was the Aztec capital, established in 1325AD and destroyed by the Spanish in the 16th century.

Tenochtitlan in Mexico was established on an island in Lake Texcoco in 1325 AD as the capital city of the Aztecs and, in its final and most prosperous days, was ruled by Motecuhzoma II, also known as Montezuma. At its peak, Tenochtitlan was a thriving and imposing city with around 200,000... Read More

Tharros

Tharros, in Sardinia, was founded by the Phoenicians and contains mostly Roman ruins.

Tharros is an archaeological site in Sardinia brimming with centuries of history. Founded in the eighth century BC by the Phoenicians, Tharros would be inhabited by the Carthaginians and the Romans, leaving behind a series of ancient structures, especially its two standing Corinthian columns. Among the other highlights of the... Read More

Thebes

Thebes was an ancient Mycenaean and Greek city eventually destroyed by Alexander the Great.

Thebes was a powerful city in Ancient Greece, the few remains of which can now be seen in the modern Greek town of Thiva. Whilst first occupied in Neolithic times and already thriving in the Helladic period, Thebes reached its peak during the Mycenaean period. The settlement continued to thrive, becoming... Read More

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Tikal

Tikal in Guatemala was a major Maya site of great ceremonial importance. Its well-preserved ruins are listed by UNESCO.

Tikal National Park near Flores in Guatemala houses one of the world’s most famous and impressive Maya sites, known as Tikal. In fact, Tikal was a major ceremonial site in the Maya culture, with many temples and pyramids built there between 300 BC and 100BC and then further expansion taking... Read More

Timgad

The ruins of Timgad are the extremely well-preserved remains of an Ancient Roman military encampment in Algeria.

The ruins of Timgad in Algeria are an impressive set of ancient Roman remains and rank among the best such ruins in North Africa. Founded by the Emperor Trajan in 100 AD, the settlement of Timgad, then known as Thamugas, was probably a base for the Third Augustan Legion. Timgad was... Read More

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Tiwanaku

Tiwanaku in Bolivia was the capital of a powerful pre-Inca civilisation and is a UNESCO listed site.

Tiwanaku in Bolivia is an impressive archaeological site housing the capital of pre-Inca empire. Much about Tiwanaku remains a mystery and the subject of ongoing academic debate. Tiwanaku started out as a small farming village in approximately 1200 BC, possibly the first to ever cultivate potatoes. Over the course of the... Read More

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Troy

Troy is a world-renowned archaeological site, inhabited since the 4th millennium BC and believed to the have been the location of the famous Trojan War.

Troy or “Truva” is one of the most famous and historically significant sites in the world. Located in modern day Turkey, the site marks the meeting place of Anatolia, the Aegean and the Balkans, making it a vitally important source of information about the historic relationships between these regions. Imbued with... Read More

Tulum

Tulum is a cliff-top Maya site in Mexico’s Quintana Roo region with some interesting and quite well preserved ruins.

Tulum is a Maya site in Mexico’s Quintana Roo region dating back to between the 13th and 16th centuries. At its peak, Tulum was quite a thriving walled city. Whilst relatively modest in comparison to, say Chichen Itza, Tulum does feature some interesting and quite well preserved ruins, including its castle,... Read More

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Umm Qais

Umm Qais, also spelt Umm Qays, houses the remains of Gadara, one of the Decapolis cities.

Present day Umm Qais has within it the remains of one of the ancient Decapolis cities, the Greco-Roman settlement of Gadara. Probably established by the Greeks in the 4th century BC, Gadara was taken by the Seleucids and, in 63BC, by the Romans led by Pompey. It would later fall... Read More

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Uxmal

Uxmal was a Maya city in Yucatan, Mexico and is today a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Uxmal is an archaeological site in Mexico which houses the ruins of a Maya town thought to have been inhabited as early as 800BC. Having said this, most of the buildings and structures seen at Uxmal today were constructed in between around 700AD to 1000AD. A thriving city and a religious... Read More

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Valley of the Kings

The Valley of the Kings is a major royal Ancient Egyptian burial site in Luxor and part of a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The Valley of the Kings in Luxor in Egypt was once part of the Ancient Egyptian city of Thebes. From the Eighteenth Dynasty to the Twentieth, the pharaohs of Egypt were buried in the Valley of the Kings. Today, visitors flock to see the myriad of ancient tombs cut into the... Read More

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Velia Archaeological Site

The Velia Archaeological Site contains Greek, Roman and medieval ruins of the city initially founded as Elea.

The Velia Archaeological Site (Scavi di Velia) in Campania houses the remains of a Greek colony turned Roman municipality. Velia was originally founded by a Greek community as the colony of “Elea” in 540 BC. With the help of prominent citizens and philosophers Zeno and Parmenides (the latter having founded... Read More

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Verulamium

Verulamium was a Roman settlement near modern day St Albans in England.

Verulamium was a prominent Roman settlement near modern day St Albans in England. Formerly the tribal capital of the native Catuvellauni tribe, Verulamium was conquered by the Romans during their invasion of the island in 43 AD. By 50 AD, Verulamium had become a major Roman town, and as such was... Read More

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Volubilis

Volubilis near Meknes in Morocco was an Ancient Roman city developed in the first century BC.

Volubilis in Morocco is a UNESCO-listed ancient Roman site housing extensive ruins dating back to the first century BC. Already a thriving town, the Romans developed Volubilis from approximately 25 BC, during the reign of Juba II, a Berber prince appointed as the ruler of the region by the Emperor Augustus.... Read More

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Winaywayna

Winaywayna is an Inca site in Peru near Machu Picchu.

Winaywayna or Winay Wayna, literally translated as “forever young”, is an Inca site along the Inca Trail close to the famous ruins of Machu Picchu. Winaywayna is yet another great example of Inca civillisation and is made up of two levels containing a network of houses, fountains and agricultural terraces. Whilst... Read More

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Wroxeter Roman City

Wroxeter Roman City houses the remains of what was once Roman Britain’s fourth largest city.

Wroxeter Roman City is an impressive Ancient Roman site in Shropshire. It houses the remains of what was once known as Viroconium, at one time Roman Britain’s fourth largest city. In fact, Viroconium was initially a first Century garrisoned fort which evolved into a city. Around 5,000 people lived in Viroconium... Read More

Photo by By Veles (cc)

Xanten Archaeological Park

Xanten Archaeological Park houses the remains of the former Roman settlement of Colonia Ulpia Traiana.

Xanten Archaeological Park (Archaologischer Park Xanten) houses the remains of the former Roman settlement of Colonia Ulpia Traiana. The area of the park was first garrisoned by Roman legions in around 13 BC and soon flourished. Roads and a harbour were built as was a vast military camp and,... Read More

Photo by Herr_Bert (cc)

Xcaret

Xcaret houses the ruins of a Maya city which reached its peak in the 15th and 16th centuries.

Xcaret houses the ruins of a Maya city which reached its peak in the 15th and 16th centuries. Located in Mexico’s Quintana Roo region, Xcaret was then known as Ppole and is said to have been of great ceremonial importance, as evidenced by its wealth of temples, homes and monuments.... Read More

Xochicalco

Xochicalco is an important pre-Columbian site in Mexico and a World Heritage site.

Xochicalco is an important pre-Columbian site in Mexico, listed by UNESCO for its well-preserved ruins dating from an important period in Mesoamerican history. At Xochicalco’s peak between 650AD and 900AD - during the Epiclassic period - the Mesoamerican world was in great flux, with places like Tikal, Teotihuacan and... Read More

Photo by maximalideal (cc)

Yagul

Yagul was a fortified Zapotec settlement in Oaxaca in Mexico.

Yagul is an archaeological site in Mexico’s Oaxaca region inhabited by the Pre-Columbian civilisation of the Zapotecs, although the exact time of their first occupation of this area is unknown (sometime between 500 and 100 BC). Yagul was still in use at the time of the Spanish Conquest. Somewhat dwarfed by... Read More

Photo by Walter Rodriguez (cc)

Yaxha

Yaxha is an impressive ancient Maya site in Guatemala’s Peten region.

Yaxha in Guatemala’s Peten region is an ancient Maya site containing several incredible pyramids as well as other structures such as ball courts and also carved stelae. From its vast size – it’s not much smaller than Tikal – and its many monuments, it appears that Yaxha was an important settlement... Read More