Show Us the World's Most Incredible Historic Ruins!

As far as I can tell, the Maya painted all their temples… it’s all just worn away over time. But they also built new temples on top of older ones… and some of the paint on the buried ones survived.


The coastal plain of South Carolina and Georgia along with a bit of North Carolina and Florida are one large ruins. They show the ruins of the Atlantic rice culture or the old rice kingdom.

This photo captures one canal on one plantation in one county of South Carolina. Enslaved people began building this canal around 1740 and it still works today for flooding and draining fields by taking advantage of freshwater tidal fluctuation.
Satellite images of the landscape are even more revealing of these complex dike and canal ruins all built by human hands and under the worst of conditions.


Persepolis (6th century BCE). Because after 2500 years, the life-like bas relief carvings still show detail as fine as a lion’s claws. Because the ruins point to the long, proud history of Persia/Iran. Because its construction was a marvel: six dozen columns, each 19m/62 ft high, to support the palace’s massive roof, which covered a 1000 sq. meter grand hall. (And that was just one of the buildings at the site.) Because it’s awe inspiring.


I’ve wanted to go here for absolutely ages just to check out the stelae and reliefs , I totally agree its the best of all the Mayan sites to see those things.


Not really when you consider America is less than 600 years old. In Europe they have buildings that are dated back to 1300. America wasn’t around then.

Jerash in the north of Jordan. It’s the most intact Roman city outside of Italy. And because of its location, it is also partly Greek, Byzantine and Nabatean. It was a crossroads and ancient artifacts from many cultures have been found there. We had the place mostly to ourselves when we were there.


No, we don’t. Look up Turkey: Catal Huyuk is about 9500 years old.
I personally dug at Gobekli Tepe also eastern Turkey, which is over 12,000 years old.
Older than god, so to speak.
See them here:


Some of my absolute favorite ancient sites that I have visited:

  • Hierapolis - Climb up the Pamukkale terraces to Hierapolis. There, you’ll find a gate to hell, amazing ampitheatre, a necropolis, and the possible tomb of Apostle Philip. It is stunning.

  • Cappadocia - There are amazing rock formations throughout the area. People have been carving homes and churches into them for a very long time. If you hike through the area, you’ll come across caves with ancient and modern paintings. There are also the nearby underground cities, as well as the stunning Goreme Open Air Museum.

  • Dun Beag Broch - It’s the only broch I’ve visited, but it is amazing to think of what this building could have looked like thousands of years ago. It’s a circular structure that may have been used for defense.

  • Hadrian’s Wall and Vindolanda - Lumping these together even though Vindolanda predates the wall. Vindolanda itself turns up amazing Roman finds, like boxing gloves, a toilet seat, and, of course, the Vindolanda Tablets. The site is still being excavated, and they always post amazing finds on social media.

The scale and organization of the wall is staggering. What’s even more mindblowing is that the vast majority (I think over 90%) of the wall remains unexcavated.

  • Mesa Verde - Absolutely staggering to visit and see where some Pueblo peoples lived. I am always in awe of how settlements like this were built. Like a lot of the ruins from indigenous settlements, they are fragile and haven’t been treated with the respect that they deserve.

Some that I still want to visit:

  • Çatalhöyük - a huge Neolithic compound in Turkey. I don’t believe there were doors, and all of the rooms in this huge city were interconnected.

  • Skara Brae - another Neolithic complex, this time in Orkney. The units even have built in shelves, where things like jewelry have been found.

  • Canyon of the Ancients - This area seems to contain such a diverse assortment of ruins, it must be spectacular.

  • Chogha Zanbil - The best preserved, most outstanding ziggurats in the world. A stunning remnant of the religious life of the Elamite empire, and a place I dream of visiting.

  • Behistun - A trilingual rock inscription that helped us to understand Old Persian, Babylonian, and Elamite.

I ended up listing way too many places, sorry. But I will add the visiting ruins in the UK is so easy thanks to the Ordnance Survey maps. Possible ruins are marked on their maps. If I saw something that looked interesting, I’d just open the map and it would tell me if it was something already noted, or if maybe I had been watching way too much Time Team.


Thanks for all of these! This is a great source of information for people to easily access. Thanks for sharing, truly appreciated :beers:

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I go to some events that feature a moment of silence at the start to acknowledge the local Ohlone tribe and its history in the area. Rare moments like those highlight the erasure of history and culture and people that’s occurred here in the U.S. and how their neglect continues.

To add a comment on the topic at hand, I just added several sites from this article to my bucket list:


Seeing all these amazing posts, I can’t help but think of what we’ve lost with the demise of these ancient civilizations. @penelopeashe mentioned Hagar Qim on the island of Malta but Gozo, the neighboring island, has a number of temples and ancient structures all over the island as well. What I found most striking, though, was not a structure at all, but rather the cart ruts engraved in the stone on the edge of the island. It’s said that the ruts extend in the stone below the water. Gozo's ancient Ggantija temples are older than the Pyramids | Maltaeasy


Same! That was some of the thought that went behind this post, a collection of what the world once looked like and what was lost. :fist:

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When wandering the Italian countryside, we randomly came upon the ruins of the Latin town of Norba, which was destroyed in 82 BCE by Lucius Cornelius Sulla when he marched on Rome.


Kalabsha Temple is one of the wonderful attractions in Aswan which considered the most delightful city on the banks of the Nile River, as it is the most favorite winter resort for all people since the nineteenth century. plan Egypt tours gives you the chance to visit Kalabsha Temple it is magnificent attraction.

Kalabsha Temple returned to the roman times and was dedicated to the Nubian god Mandoulis, and go back to the time of roman emperor Augustus, later emperor have contributed for the construction, for example, kaligula and Trjan.It originally was built on much early site that dates back to the 18th dynasty and most probably go back to king Thothmosis and Amenhotep II.The temple is considered among the most complete temples in all of Nubia.

The design of Kalabsha Temple is classical for the Ptolemaic period with pylons, courtyard, hypostyle hall and three room, However the Pylon is offset, which creates a trapezoid in the courtyard beyond, It was based on the site of an earlier structure built by Ptolemy IX as evidenced by a chapel There is also a small chapel and gate on Elephantine Island from Kalabsha, and a gate built by Augustus was given to the Agyptisches Museum in West Berlin.

The courtyard just inside the pylon once had columns on three sides, At either end is a staircase that leads to the upper stories of the pylon and a good view of Lake Nassar, On the right screened wall separating the courtyard from the hypostyle hall is an engraving from Aurelius Besarion (around 249 AD), the governor of Ombos and Elephantine decreeing the expulsion of swine from the town for religious purposes, On a column here is the text of King Kharamadoye and is one of the longest Meroitic inscriptions found to date.

On an end wall is thought to be an inscription of the 5th century Nubian King, Silko, who conquered the fierce Nubian Blemmyes, Different seances on the screen walls including the King with Horus and Thoth, On the rear of the vestibule are scenes depicting a Ptolemaic king making offerings to Isis and Mandulis, Also Amenhotep II who founded the original temple (1450 to 1425 BC) upon which this one is built, is making offers of wine to Min and Mandulis, once you are in Aswan do not miss the chance to visit Kalabsha Temple.


Some of the oldest cities currently known are from the Harrapan culture. It’s one place I’d like to visit but probably will never get there. Quite an impressive culture, they had a lot of advanced engineering and yet it was hardly known until recent times. Some of the ruins were used to build a railway bed. :frowning: At the time they were just considered “old” but not known to be some of the oldest buildings on the planet.

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I love ruins! I have visited sites all over - Asia, Middle East, Central/South America, Africa - my favorites are in Israel; but I have a great fondness for the ruins I visited earliest in my life, in New Mexico; especially Gran Quivira: 117909-004-751A589F

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Hey Jordan
Thanks for such an amazing list. Have been to a number of them. And now have more to plan for. The Orkney Islands are a wonderful place for exploring and Skara Brae one of the highlights.

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An amazing collection of places. Totally agree with the brilliance of the sites throughout Mexico (my personal favourite is probably Palenque) and Tikal. But also with nominations for Jerash, Petra, Lalibela, Egypt and others. A couple of my favourites that haven’t come up:

The temples of Bagan in Myanmar

Leptis Magna, Roman ruins on the Libyan coast

Chiva, Uzbekistan

Also really loved Palmyra in Syria, much of which has now sadly been destroyed.

Keep exploring



These were awesome, thanks for sharing :fist:. It baffles me at times re-reading about the vastness of Rome’s empire.

Pompeii is amazing, but nearby Herculaneum is better preserved and just as impressive in its own right. You can still see paint colors in many homes, and tile is better preserved.

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