Ancient Attractions of the Middle East

The Middle East is an area of great historical significance. Visiting the ancient attractions of the Middle East is a dream for many. Located within its geographical borders are the roots of three of the world’s great religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

According to Carol J. Riphenburg, Ph.D. in the academic community, the term Middle East refers to the Arab countries of North Africa; the Arab countries of Asia; Israel; and the non-Arab countries of Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, and Turkey.

According to some broader definitions, it may also include the five countries of Central Asia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. Some might also include Azerbaijan. Many must see archeological sites are located in this array of countries.

Babylon

The remains of the ancient city of Babel are in the current day country of Iraq. The political unrest in the area makes this a difficult place to actually visit but in no way diminishes its importance as an archeological site. The location of the city has never been in question. They were just not excavated until 1899. Under the debris of ages was found the remnants of the magnificent walls, Nebuchadnezzar Palace, the foundation of the Tower of Babel and the main processional road.

It was thought at the time that the basement of the Hanging Gardens had been discovered but modern day archeologists dispute that finding and agree that the location thought to be the gardens is likely something else. Enough remains of this magnificent empire to make a visit to Babylon something that lovers of history and archeology would most certainly enjoy.

Troy

Who has not heard of the Trojan Horse, made famous by Homer in his epic story the lliad? The history of Troy, however is older than this time of the war between Troy and Sparta, going back as far as the Bronze Age and lasting well into the Ottoman era. Troy is not just one city, it is a series of city built one upon the other as its predecessor fell victim to a catastrophic event either man-made or natural.

Archeologists have found evidence of what was probably the burning of the city by the Spartans and it has also fallen to an earthquake. It is perhaps one of the best known archeological sites in the world and was discovered over 200 years ago, It remains just as interesting today. With its located in Turkey, it is not hard to see that it held an important geographic location for trade to the area.

Petra

Located in the kingdom of Jordan, Petra is one of the most magnificent archeological ruins in the world. Today, it is more of a tourist attraction than an active archeological site but that does not detract from what was created here and what still exists.

Carved into the rose colored cliffs of this city are the facades of magnificent buildings and archeologist are discovery more about this fascinating city all the time. They now know that it began in about 100 B.C. and thrived for 400 years. It was a rich city with pleasure palaces and lush gardens. Excavations in the area are revealing more information all the time. It is without doubt, stunningly beautiful and is a must see for anyone who enjoys great architecture and historically significant locations.

These are just three of the many archeological sites that are located throughout the Middle East. Jerusalem is an archeological gem though it is very difficult to do archeological digs within the city these days. The Valley of the Kings in Egypt is still giving up its secrets after so many years. The Middle East has much to offer when it comes to history and archeology and without doubt there are many treasures still to be discovered.


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