Pre-Historic Sites

If you’re looking to explore pre-historic sites and want to find the best places to view prehistoric places then you can explore our interactive map above or navigate further by using the links below.

There’s a great selection of prehistoric sites and you can plan some fantastic things to see on your trips. Once you’ve explored the list of pre-historic locations and selected those you wish to visit you can use our itinerary planner tool to plan your trip and then print off a free pocket guidebook. This indispensible holiday guide will help you make the most of your time exploring pre-historic sites.

Our database of historic places is growing all the time, but we may not cover them all. Remember, if you know of other  Pre-History sites, remains or ruins, you can always add them to Trip Historic now by visiting our upload page.

Pre-History: Site Index

Photo by BluEyedA73 (cc)

Akrotiri

Akrotiri is a beautifully preserved ancient site in Santorini, famed for its incredible frescos and its connection with the Minoans.

DID YOU KNOW?

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 larger settlement measuring up to 20 hectares in the next millennium, during the Bronze Age.

Increasingly frequent earthquakes in the area meant that Akrotiri was finally abandoned, some say in the 17th century BC, but it was a volcanic eruption that truly ended the tale of this magnificent place.

Today, the stunning ruins of Akrotiri now stand in testament of the sophisticated urban settlement which once existed there. The buildings are not only multi-storey, many of them contain vivid frescoes of various themes. This excellent state of preservation has drawn parallels with another famously volcanically preserved site, earning it the moniker of the "Minoan Pompeii".

Yet, Akrotiri has another claim to fame. It is generally considered that Akrotiri was linked with Knossos and would have been a Minoan site. However, some have gone further, claiming that it was the lost city of Atlantis. This site also features as one of our Top 10 tourist attractions in Greece.

Albufeira Municipal Archaeological Museum

The Albufeira Municipal Archaeological Museum exhibits a collection of artefacts relating to the history of the area.

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The Albufeira Municipal Archaeological Museum (Museu Municipal de Arqueologia de Albufeira) exhibits a small collection of artefacts relating to the history of the area dating from the prehistoric to the Roman, the Moorish up to the seventeenth century.

Photo by ellevalentine (cc)

Arles Archaeological Museum

The Arles Archaeological Museum houses an extensive collection of prehistoric and Ancient Roman artefacts.

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The Arles Archaeological Museum, known as Musée de l’Arles et de la Provence Antique, displays an array of artefacts from archaeological sites in Arles and in the surrounding region.

From prehistoric funereal pieces to Roman statues and mosaics from the nearby sites such as the Arles Roman Theatre, the Arles Archaeological Museum is a good place to gain an overview of the town’s history. A visit can be done chronologically or by theme and guided tours are available every Sunday at 3pm (July-August daily).

Photo by jaybergesen (cc)

Athens National Archaeological Museum

Athens National Archaeological Museum is one of the most prominent of its kind in the world and has over 20,000 pieces.

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Athens National Archaeological Museum is the largest museum in Greece, housing over 20,000 exhibits spread over 8,000 square metres of an imposing nineteenth century building.

With permanent exhibitions ranging from the Neolithic era and the Mycenaean era to the Ancient Romans and even the Ancient Egyptians, the Athens National Archaeological Museum’s collection offers a comprehensive insight into the history of Greece throughout the ages, from prehistoric times to the eighteenth century.

Amongst of the most impressive exhibits at the National Archaeological Museum is its collection of Greek sculptures. This vast exhibit includes statues, altars, busts and other pieces from throughout mainland Greece and the Aegean islands. Many of the sculptures are funerary in nature and include sarcophagi and reliefs.

The Neolithic, Mycenaean, Cycladic and Thera exhibits, which make up the National Archaeological Museum’s prehistory collection, encompass everything from tools from 6800 BC to finds from the doomed settlement of Akrotiri in Thera, destroyed by a volcano in the sixteenth century BC. The Mycenaean collection is the largest exhibit at the National Archaeological Museum. This includes excavation finds from Mycenae itself as well as from the settlements of Argolid, Lakonia, Messenia, and Attika.

Photo by Jule_Berlin (cc)

Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery

Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery in Ireland is one of the largest and most impressive cemeteries of its kind.

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Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery is a prehistoric burial site where archaeologists have found sixty graves believed to predate Egypt’s pyramids. In fact, the graves at Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery are thought to date back to between 3500 and 4500 BC.

Today, visitors can see up to thirty of these prehistoric tombs and an exhibition about the site. Managed by Heritage Ireland, Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery offers self-guide booklets in English, Irish, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Russian, Swedish, Czech, Dutch, Japanese, Polish, Hungarian, Portuguese, Basque and Danish. There are also guided tours. Visits usually last around an hour and involve some walking.

Photo by jessogden1 (cc)

Catalhoyuk

Catalhoyuk is the site of an important Neolithic town in Turkey.

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Catalhoyuk is the site of a Neolithic town in Turkey dating back to between 7400 and 6000 BC.

Containing some of the earliest ever known mural art, Catalhoyuk is considered to be vital in learning about the country’s origins. Catalhoyuk also has a visitor centre with exhibits, although most of these are replicas, the originals having gone to museums around Turkey.

Photo by isawnyu (cc)

Choirokoitia

Choirokoitia was a prehistoric settlement and the first site of human habitation in Cyprus.

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Choirokoitia in Cyprus was a prehistoric agricultural settlement from 7000BC and the first site of human habitation on the island. According to UNESCO, who have inscribed it as a World Heritage site, Choirokoitia is "one of the most important prehistoric sites in the eastern Mediterranean", particularly as it played a significant role in the area’s cultural development.

Today, visitors can see the remains of Choirokoitia as well as reconstructions of the circular huts which once characterised it.

Photo by tpholland (cc)

Din Lligwy

Din Lligwy is the site of a prehistoric settlement in Anglesey in Wales.

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Din Lligwy is a prehistoric site in Anglesey in Wales. Thought to have been in existence in the Iron Age and to have been inhabited for a long period of time, excavated pieces from Din Lligwy have been dated to the fourth century AD.

Din Lligwy is comprised of a small settlement of circular and rectangular stone structures enclosed by a stone defensive wall. Some of these would have been workshops and other dwellings. Within half a mile of Din Lligwy, visitors can also see a prehistoric burial chamber.

Photo by thebaldwin (cc)

Epidaurus

Epidaurus was a city of Ancient Greece located on the Greek mainland. Its incredible ruins are a UNESCO World Heritage site.

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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, called the Asklepieion, contains two such spas where a variety of healing rituals took place, including hypnosis. This was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1988. There is also a shrine to Asklepios and the remains of rooms for patients. 

Probably the most impressive of the sites at Epidaurus is the fourth century BC theatre, which was built to accommodate approximately 15,000 people and still extremely well preserved.

Whilst most of the sites at Epidaurus were constructed in the fourth and fifth centuries BC, when the city was at its peak, some of them date back as far as the Mycenaean period and others were also adapted later by the Romans. The theatre is one example of such refurbishments.

Overall, Epidaurus is an absolutely vast, fascinating site set over three levels and offering an insight into Ancient Greek life. There is also a nearby Epidaurus Museum, exhibiting artefacts from its excavation. This impressive site features as one of our Top 10 tourist attractions in Greece.

Photo by Historvius

Fourknocks

Fourknocks is a megalithic burial site in the Republic of Ireland.

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Fourknocks is a collection of passage graves located in County Meath in the Republic Of Ireland.

Excavated in the early 1950’s, archaeologists have dated them back to the megalithic era. The dozens of graves found at Fourknocks are hidden beneath large mounds and are decorated with prehistoric artwork including a rough portrait of a human face.

Galdar Archaeological Site

The Galdar Archaeological Site houses the best preserved remains of the prehistoric inhabitants of the Canary Islands.

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The Galdar Archaeological Site houses the best preserved remains of the prehistoric inhabitants of the Canary Islands. Known as the Guanches, these were the indigenous people of the islands and are believed to have originated from North Africa sometime in the first millennium BC.

The Galdar Archaeological Site is also known as Cueva Pintada or the "Painted Cave", a reference to its most celebrated find, a series of red, black and white cave paintings. Also there is a museum of finds from the Galdar Archaeological Site as well as the remains of a Guanche village.

Photo by foxypar4 (cc)

Ggantija Temples

The Ggantija Temples are a UNESCO-listed megalithic temple complex on the Maltese island of Gozo.

DID YOU KNOW?

The Ggantija Temples are a UNESCO-listed megalithic temple complex on the island of Gozo and some of the world’s oldest surviving religious structures.

Comprised of two well preserved stone temples enclosed by a wall, it is unclear as to exactly when the Ggantija Temples were built. UNESCO put their origins between 3000BC and2200BC, although others date it to as early as 3600BC.

Photo by Tracey and Doug (cc)

Grotte de Font de Gaume

Grotte de Font de Gaume is a prehistoric cave in Les Eyzies, France.

DID YOU KNOW?

Grotte de Font de Gaume in Les Eyzies, France is a cave containing a series of prehistoric paintings dating back to the Stone Age.

From horses to reindeer and bison, the paintings at Grotte de Font de Gaume are truly fascinating and this is one of the few prehistoric cave sites still open to the public.

Note that some ‘paintings’ are eighteenth century rather than prehistoric, owing to previous visitors.

Grotte de Font de Gaume is part of a UNESCO World Heritage site protecting the Vezere Valley and its many prehistoric caves.

Photo by melissa.delzio (cc)

Grotte des Combarelles

Grotte des Combarelles is a cave in southwest France with prehistoric paintings.

DID YOU KNOW?

Grotte des Combarelles in southwest France is a cave which houses a series of prehistoric paintings of various animals and people as well as symbols.

Grotte des Combarelles forms part of the UNESCO World Heritage site of the painted caves of the Vezere Valley.

Photo by bjbrake (cc)

Hagar Qim

Hagar Qim is one of Malta’s UNESCO-listed megalithic temples.

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Hagar Qim is one of Malta’s UNESCO-listed megalithic temples. Dating back to between 3600BC and 3200BC, Hagar Qim is a single temple which stands dramatically on a cliff-edge, although it may once have been a larger complex. There are also some other prehistoric structures nearby.

It’s worth noting that Hagar Qim is not far from the Mnajdra site and the two are usually seen together.

Photo by teamaskins (cc)

Hill of Tara

The Hill of Tara was the royal seat of the High Kings of Ireland for thousands of years and is home to a Stone Age passage grave.

DID YOU KNOW?

The Hill of Tara (Cnoc na Teamhrach) was the royal seat of the High Kings of Ireland for thousands of years, becoming the site of over a hundred coronations. It is also home to a Stone Age passage grave.

In fact, with a history stretching back as far as 4000BC, the Hill of Tara holds an important place in the nation’s history. This was echoed in 1843, when Daniel "the Liberator" O'Connell held what is known as the "monster meeting" there in favour of dissolving the Irish British union.

Today there are guided tours of the Hill of Tara and people often come to enjoy its beautiful views. You can view a useful map of the site here.

Photo by MarilynJane (cc)

Hod Hill

Hod Hill is one of the largest Iron Age hillforts in Dorset.

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Hod Hill is an Iron Age hillfort and one of the largest of its kind in Dorset. With its imposing size and ramparts, Hod Hill would have defended a village.

In 44 AD, it is likely to have been captured by the Romans during their invasion of Britain. The Roman Second Legion, led by the future emperor Vespasian, was sent to subdue the region and captured a number of hill forts in the area.

Evidence of Roman occupation of Hod Hill can be seen at the site in the form of the remains of a Roman fort.

Photo by zozo2k3 (cc)

Hungarian National Museum

The Hungarian National Museum is a museum of history, archaeology and art in Budapest.

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The Hungarian National Museum exhibits a comprehensive collection of historic artefacts, documents and works of art. Its collections is incredibly diverse, ranging from bone tools from the Palaeolithic era to 45,000 twentieth century posters relating to significant political, social and cultural events.One of the main sections of the Hungarian National Museum is its archaeological department, which is divided according to time periods.

Amongst the myriad of exhibits overseen by this department, they cover the Paleolithic era, the migration period of the early Middle Ages and the Middle Ages generally and the Hungarian Conquest.

The Hungarian National Museum also houses an impressive Roman collection containing 65,000 artefacts including an incredibly large mosaic from Balácapuszta dating back to the third century - though they aren't all on display at any one time. The Roman collection also includes Roman gravestones, sculptures, milestones and stautes of Roman gods

A particularly interesting aspect of the Hungarian National Museum is its Zalavár collection, made up of grave and cemetery finds, mostly from the ninth century. It also has almost 80,000 archaeological animal bones, some dating back to the Palaeolithic era.

The Hungarian National Museum covers an extensive number of time periods and exhibits pieces from throughout the historical and global spectrum. There is quite a lot to see, but themed audio guides are available to rent, offering a structured tour.

An abridged audio guide can be downloaded from the Hungarian National Museum website whilst the full versions are available on site. Alternatively, you can either plan your route in advance or book a guided tour. Guided tours of the Hungarian National Museum are available in a variety of languages and themes, but should be booked at least a week in advance.

Photo by safaris (cc)

Kakadu National Park

Kakadu National Park is home to the famous aboriginal rock art dating back at least 20,000 years and is a World Heritage Site.

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Kakadu National Park in Northern Australia has been the home of aboriginal tribes for over 50,000 years, in particular the Bininji/Mungguy people. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, over 5,000 historical sites have been found at Kakadu National Park, those most famous aspect of which is its rock art.

Painted on sandstone blocks by the tribes who have inhabited Kakadu over the centuries, the rock art tells the story of their lives, including hunting imagery and paintings relating to magic and sorcery. There are three main areas of rock art, namely the Ubirr, Nourlangie and Nanguluwur sites, each of each can be reached via walking trails from the car park. The walks should take approximately 1-1.5 hours to complete.

There are many ways to enjoy Kakadu National Park, including ranger guided tours and walking trails. Many of these activities, such as the ranger guides, are only available during the dry season.

The Bowali Visitors Centre is probably the best place to start a visit to Kakadu. Not only does it have all of the information about tours and activities, but it also houses some aboriginal exhibits at the Warradjan Aboriginal Cultural Centre.

Kakadu National Park covers over 19,804 square kilometers, so organisation is key when visiting. The park’s website has some suggested itineraries tailored to each season and amount of time you plan to spend there.

Photo by Leonid Mamchenkov (cc)

Kalavasos-Tenta

Kalavasos-Tenta in Cyprus houses the remains of a Neolithic settlement.

DID YOU KNOW?

Kalavasos-Tenta (or just "Tenta") is an archaeological site in Cyprus housing the remains of a Neolithic settlement dating back to the eighth millennium BC. The ruins at Kalavasos-Tenta include the remains of the winding walls of what were the circular huts of the village.

Karlsstenen

Karlsstenen is a Neolithic burial mound in Northwest Zealand, Denmark.

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Karlsstenen or “Karl’s Stone” is a well-preserved Neolithic burial mound or “dolmen” in Denmark’s Northwest Zealand region.

Comprised of a mound of stones, Karlsstenen is located in a forest known as Gronnese Skov , which is around 4.7 km east of Hundested.

Photo by dccrowley (cc)

Knowth

Knowth is one of three prehistoric burial mounds in Ireland which make up the World Heritage site of the Bend of the Boyne.

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Knowth is one of three prehistoric burial mounds in Ireland which make up the World Heritage site of the Bend of the Boyne (Brugh na Boinne).

The oldest aspects of Knowth date back to the Neolithic period, moving through to the Iron Age when it was fortified. Knowth thrived as a settlement from the 8th century AD and, whilst located not far from three large ring forts built at the time, was itself undefended. Falling to the Normans in the 12th century, Knowth developed to play an agricultural role.

Visitors to the Bend of the Boyne can see Knowth together with the other two mounds, Newgrange and Dowth. Knowth itself includes tens of ruins ranging from small passage graves to occupation sites to its large passage tomb.

A visit to the visitor centre plus Knowth take about 2 hours or, for those who also want to see Newgrange, about 3 hours.

Photo by treehouse1977 (cc)

Maiden Castle

Maiden Castle is vast, well preserved Iron Age hill fort in Dorchester.

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Maiden Castle is vast, well preserved Iron Age hill fort in Dorchester. Its name is believed to be derived from two Celtic words, ‘Mai’ and ‘Dun’, meaning “Great Hill”. Imposing and incredibly complex, Maiden Castle would certainly have posed a great challenge to anyone wishing to invade it.

Whilst the site was initially occupied during the Neolithic period, the structure of Maiden Castle was only built in the early Iron Age, circa 600 BC. It would have started as a small settlement, but as the society grew so did Maiden Castle. At its peak, the site would have been heavily populated, filled with houses and workshops and, at least according to the English Heritage audio guide, would have been the size of fifty football pitches. Its immense scale was both intimidating to any enemies and a symbol of the power of its inhabitants.

In 43 AD, the Romans invaded Britain and, within a few generations, the inhabitants of Maiden Hill moved to nearby Durnovaria (modern day Dorchester).

The Graveyard
Several fascinating finds have been made at Maiden Castle. For example, the archaeologist Mortimer Wheeler found an Iron Age cemetery. Wheeler originally thought that this was a war graveyard and that those interred there were casualties from when the Romans invaded the site. With little evidence that the Romans ever invaded Maiden Castle, it is now considered more likely that this was a normal cemetery.

The Roman Temple
Nevertheless, the Romans did make a mark on the site of Maiden Castle. In the fourth century AD, they built a temple there, the foundation stone of which are still in place. This was possibly to the cult of Minerva. Today, Maiden Castle is an English Heritage site and is open to the public. You can download a free audio guide from the English Heritage website.

Photo by DoNotLick (cc)

Mnajdra

Mnajdra is a coastal megalithic temple complex in Malta listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

DID YOU KNOW?

Mnajdra is a coastal megalithic temple complex in Malta listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The earliest of the Mnajdra temples was built sometime between 3600BC and 3200BC, dating back to the Ggantija phase, although there are several temple remains.

Moesgard Museum

The Moesgard Museum is an archaeological museum near Arhus in Denmark.

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The Moesgard Museum near Arhus in Denmark is a museum of archaeology, with a diverse set of displays.

Amongst its impressive collection, the Moesgard Museum houses the Grauballe Man, which is the incredibly well-preserved mummy of a prehistoric man believed to have lived around 2,000 years ago. The body was found in a nearby bog – the composition of which is the reason why the body is so intact. Investigations have found that the man had died a violent death, with his throat having been slit and his left tibia broken. It is thought this might have been a human sacrifice.

A bog was also the source of the Moesgard Museum’s exhibit of weaponry from Illerup Adal. Dating back to 200 AD, the 15,000 weapons and objects found there belonged to a force of invading western Scandinavians who were defeated and their wares destroyed and dropped into the bog.

A further display at the Moesgard Museum is its impressive collection of runes. These are stones bearing the runic alphabet, Scandinavia’s earliest form of written language. The runes at the Moesgard Museum date back to around 200 AD.

For those interested in Viking history, the Moesgard Museum houses a set of reconstructed Viking buildings. It is also worth wandering around the prehistoric path which surrounds the museum, which contains a series of reconstructed houses from different periods in Denmark’s history.

Musée d’Aquitaine

Musée d’Aquitaine in Bordeaux, France is a museum of the archaeology and history of the region.

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Musée d’Aquitaine (The Aquitaine Museum) is a museum of archaeology and history in Bordeaux, France.

Chronicling the history of Bordeaux and Aquitaine since prehistoric times, Musée d’Aquitaine has collections ranging from Gallo-Roman and ethnographic to the Middle Ages.

Musée d’Aquitaine has over 700,000 pieces spread over 5,000 square metres.

Musée d’art et d’archéologie du Périgord

Musée d’art et d’archéologie du Périgord contains pieces dating back as far as 70,000 years ago.

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Musée d’art et d’archéologie du Périgord (Périgueux Museum of Art and Archaeology) displays a wide range of art and artefacts dating back as far as 70,000 years ago and spanning, amongst others, the Roman and medieval eras.

Much of the Musée d’art et d’archéologie du Périgord is concerned with burial rituals and, as the name suggests, the museum also has an extensive display of artwork from around Europe.

Photo by (cc)

Musee National de Prehistoire

Musee National de Prehistoire is a national prehistoric museum in southwest France.

DID YOU KNOW?

Musee National de Prehistoire or the National Prehistoric Museum in Les Eyzies, France, displays an impressive collection of 18,000 prehistoric artefacts, mostly excavated from the Vézère Valley.

Through displays, original pieces and timelines, Musee National de Prehistoire offers an overview of the prehistoric past of this region of France and is a good introduction to the period prior to visiting archaeological sites in the area.

Foreign tourists should note that the exhibitions are mostly in French. Anybody wishing to have a tour in English should call in advance.

Museum of Orange

The Museum of Orange is a museum of mostly Roman, but also prehistoric, artefacts found in the region.

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The Museum of Orange (Musee D’Orange) is an archaeological museum across the road from the UNESCO-listed Roman Theatre of Orange.

The Museum of Orange displays a series of artefacts found in the area, dating from prehistoric to Roman times.

Amongst its most celebrated items, the Museum of Orange houses a series of objects which originally formed part of the Roman theatre, including friezes which once would have adorned its spectacular stage wall.

Upstairs, the Museum of Orange has a more modern collection of paintings, furniture and other objects which formed part of a private collection.

Photo by *clairity* (cc)

Mycenae

Mycenae is a well-preserved Ancient Greek archaeological site in the Peloponnese which formed the centre of the Mycenaean civilisation.

DID YOU KNOW?

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 its peak, Mycenae was one of the most important Ancient Greek cities and is linked to several works of cultural significance, including the Odyssey and the Iliad. Today, Mycenae contains several well-preserved sites, including the Lion’s Gate and the North Gate, which form parts of its fortified walls and which once stood 18 metres high and 6 to 8 metres thick.

A few other dwellings can also be seen at Mycenae, together with a granary and some guard rooms. Other important structures include Mycenae’s Terraced Palace, which was abandoned in the twelfth century, the religious structures which comprise several shrines and temples and the grave sites, which date back throughout Mycenae’s history.

The most impressive of the burial sites and arguably the most remarkable of Mycenae’s sites is the Tomb of Agamemnon, also known as the Treasury of Atreus. This once elaborate thirteenth century tomb is carved into Mycenae’s hills. This fascinating site also features as one of our top ten tourist attractions of Greece.

Photo by juliagrossmann (cc)

National Museum Cardiff

The National Museum Cardiff has a diverse collection ranging from art to natural history and archaeology.

DID YOU KNOW?

The National Museum Cardiff has a diverse collection ranging from art to natural history and archaeology.

The art collections at the National Museum Cardiff spans over 500 years and a range of countries.

Meanwhile, history fans can also head to the Origins gallery, which chronicles the history of man in Wales from the Stone Age to medieval times. Neolithic tombstones, Britain’s earliest human remains, Roman cups and medieval weapons are all on display in this interesting exhibit.

National Museum of Denmark

The National Museum of Denmark contains an impressive range of exhibits about the country’s history and culture.

DID YOU KNOW?

The National Museum of Denmark (Nationalmuseet) contains a range of exhibits about the country’s history and culture.

There are eight main themes within the National Museum of Denmark from prehistory to present day. Going through the museum, visitors can learn about everything from the Vikings and other early Danish inhabitants to viewing Renaissance artwork and seeing how the modern state of Denmark developed. Amongst the highlights of the museum are its prehistoric Trundholm Sun Chariot and its medieval golden altars.

The National Museum of Denmark also contains artefacts and items from around the world, some in its antiquities collection such as ancient Greek statues and Egyptian mummies and other in its ethnographic section including nodding dolls from China.

Just walking around the National Museum of Denmark is fascinating, especially given the building’s history as having once been the Prince’s Palace. Built in the 18th century, this palace was home to Denmark’s royals and there is a specific exhibit about its past. Perhaps its most impressive room is the Great Hall.

There’s an overview self-guided tour of the museum, which takes around an hour to complete. It’s also worth mentioning that the museum has a good children’s exhibit, which offers an interactive element for younger visitors.

Newgrange

Newgrange is a dramatic prehistoric burial mound complex in County Meath in Ireland.

DID YOU KNOW?

Newgrange is a dramatic prehistoric burial mound complex in County Meath in Ireland.

Comprised of several elements including a passage grave, a henge and a circle of standing stones, Newgrange is thought to have been built sometime between 3300 and 2900BC. This would make it older than both Stonehenge and Egypt’s pyramids, pre-dating the latter by some 500 years.

An extraordinary aspect of Newgrange is its alignment with the rising sun during winter solstice when its inner chamber is filled with sunlight. This unique feature adds to the mystery and wonder of this famous site.

Newgrange is part of megalithic cemetery and UNESCO listed site of Brú na Bóinne, in which there are over forty other such burial mounds including Knowth and Dowth.

Rouffignac Caves

The Rouffignac Caves house a myriad of Palaeolithic paintings and are part of the UNESCO listed region of the Vézère Valley.

DID YOU KNOW?

The Rouffignac Caves (Grotte de Rouffignac) stretch for eight kilometres near Les Eyzes, southwest France and contain a huge array of Stone Age cave paintings, primarily of mammoths.

Much of this historic site can be accessed via an electric train. The Rouffignac Caves form part of the UNESCO World Heritage site of the cave paintings of the Vézère Valley.

Photo by vintagedept (cc)

Silbury Hill

A Stone Age chalk mound with a mysterious past, Silbury Hill is the largest man-made mound in Europe.

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Only 1500 meters south of the main Avebury Rings stands Silbury Hill, the largest, and perhaps the most enigmatic, of all megalithic constructions in Europe.

Crisscrossing the surrounding countryside are numerous meandering lines of standing stones and mysterious underground chambers, many positioned according to astronomical alignments.

Believed to date back to between 2400 and 2000BC, Silbury Hill rises 30 metres and has a circular base which measures 160-metres wide. The origins of Silbury Hill remain a mystery to this day, but most archeologists believe it was a ceremonial or religious site.

Photo by yellow book (cc)

Skara Brae

Skara Brae is Northern Europe’s best preserved Neolithic village and a UNESCO World Heritage site located in the Orkney Isles.

DID YOU KNOW?

Skara Brae is an incredibly well-preserved Neolithic village in the Orkney Isles off the coast of mainland Scotland.

Characterised by sturdy stone slab structures insulated and protected by the clay and household waste which holds them together, Skara Brae is a stunning example of the high quality of Neolithic workmanship.

Skara Brae was inhabited between 3200 and 2500 BC, although it was only discovered again in 1850 AD after a storm battered the Bay of Skaill on which it sits and unearthed the village. Subsequent excavation uncovered a series of organised houses, each containing what can only be described as “fitted furniture” including a dresser, a central hearth, box beds and a tank which is believed to have be used to house fishing bait.

The inhabitants of Skara Brae built their community on a dichotomy of community life and family privacy, as portrayed by the combination of closely built, homogenous homes compared with the strong doors behind which they conducted their private lives. This sense of a structured community, coupled with the fact that no weapons have been found at the site, sets Skara Brae apart from other Neolithic communities and suggests that this farming community was both tight-knit and peaceful.

Visitors to Skara Brae can tour these original magnificent homes as well as a reconstructed version which really conveys the realities of Neolithic life. The nearby visitor centre holds many of the artifacts found at Skara Brae and offers an insight into the site’s history through touch screen presentations.

Spanish National Museum of Archaeology

The Spanish National Museum of Archaeology displays historical artefacts from throughout the country’s history as well as from around the world.

DID YOU KNOW?

The Spanish National Museum of Archaeology (Museo Nacional de Arqueologia) in Madrid displays historical artefacts from throughout the country’s history as well as from around the world.

The periods covered by the Spanish National Archaeological Museum range from prehistory to the nineteenth century and include Ancient Roman and Greek works, Egyptian mummies, Moorish objects and Iberian pieces such as the famous Lady of Elche and Lady of Baza sculptures.

Photo by Linda Cronin (cc)

Stonehenge

Stonehenge is a mysterious collection of vast stone circles dating back to around 3000 BC and a UNESCO World Heritage site.

DID YOU KNOW?

Stonehenge in Wiltshire is a world renowned, magnificent site consisting of standing (and lying) stones, some transported from South Wales.

The construction of Stonehenge took place between 3000 BC and 1600 BC and is considered to be one of the most impressive structures of its time, especially considering each stone weighs around four tonnes and that its founders had little by way of technological advances to assist them in moving the stones over the hundreds of miles that they travelled.

The purpose of Stonehenge has remained a mystery, despite extensive archaeological investigation.

Stonehenge is managed by English Heritage. Anybody wishing to access the stone circle of Stonehenge must arrange this in advance with English Heritage and these visits can only take place outside normal working hours. During normal operating hours, visitors walk around the circle on a set path and are given free audio guides explaining different aspects of Stonehenge.

A brand new visitor centre has now also opened at Stonehenge, designed to transform the visitor experience with a new world-class museum housing permanent and temporary exhibitions, plus a spacious café.

In 2010, archaeologists discovered a second henge next to Stonehenge. Hailed as the most exciting find in half a century, this second henge  was made up of a circle of pits – thought to have once contained timber posts - surrounded by a larger circular ditch.

Stonehenge is a UNESCO World Heritage site and also features as one of our Top 10 Tourist Attractions of the United Kingdom.

Photo by Bods (cc)

The Sanctuary (Avebury)

The Sanctuary near Avebury houses the remains of a Neolithic monument and is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

DID YOU KNOW?

The Sanctuary near Avebury in England is a monument believed to date back to around 3000 BC.

The concrete markers which can be seen today at the Sanctuary site were once made up of first timber slabs and then stones. These were destroyed in approximately 1725 AD, their original locations now marked by the concrete posts.

As with Stonehenge, the function of the Sanctuary remains a mystery, although archaeologists believe it was a ceremonial site, probably used for burial rituals. This theory stems from the fact that large quantities of human bones and food remains have been found at the site.

The Sanctuary forms part of the Avebury UNESCO World Heritage site.

Photo by Historvius

Tumba Madzari

Tumba Madzari is a Neolithic settlement in the north-eastern region of Skopje, in Macedonia. It is most notable for the Pre-Indo-European Great Mother statuettes.

DID YOU KNOW?

Tumba Madzari is a Neolithic settlement in the north-eastern region of Skopje, in Macedonia.

It is most notable for the Pre-Indo-European Great Mother statuettes which provide the proof of existence of the Cult of the Great Mother Goddess.

After several archaeological excavations on the site, a range of artefacts were discovered which indicate that ancient peoples inhabited Tumba Madzari between 6000 - 4300 BC.

Varna Necropolis

Varna necropolis consists of merely 300 excavated burials from the 5th millennium BC and contains the world greatest amount of manufactured gold for the time.

DID YOU KNOW?

Varna Necropolis is the site of some 300 excavated burials from the 5th millennium BC which are said to have once contained the world’s greatest amount of manufactured gold for the time. Today, many findings from Varna Necropolis – also known as the Eneolithic Necropolis – are displayed at the Varna Archaeological Museum.

Yorkshire Museum

The Yorkshire Museum is a true celebration of two thousand years of history of one of the UK’s most beautiful, traditional and influential cities.

DID YOU KNOW?

The Yorkshire Museum was opened in 1830 by the Yorkshire Philosophical Society and is a celebration of two millennia of history of one of the UK’s most beautiful, traditional and influential cities. One of the UKs first purpose-built museums, it reopened in 2010 after a £2m refurbishment project.

The Yorkshire Museum is home to around a million exciting archaeological finds including the skeletal remains of the Roman ‘Ivory Bangle Lady’; the Bedale Hoard; the thousand year old Cawood Sword; the Anglian Gilling Sword; the 4.5 billion year old Middlesbrough Meteorite, the Middleham Jewel and the York Helmet. There are also amazing collections of stained glass, coins, Iron Age jewellery, dinosaur skeletons and extinct Auks and the world-famous York Observatory.

There are some great activities for kids as well as competitions and downloadable resources and you can all walk on a genuine Roman mosaic floor and discover what Yorkshire was like when it was still underwater!

This is one of the best regional museums in the UK and if you are in the city discovering it’s wonders, including the magnificent York Minster, make sure the Yorkshire Museum is on your ‘to do’ list.