16 Lesser-Known Ancient Places Around the World
Collected by Danielle Walsh , AFAR Contributor
Ancient Rome, Jerusalem, and Machu Picchu are must-sees—but there are so many ancient cities around the world to explore. Here are 16 that fly under the radar.
Viale della Stazione di Ostia Antica, 00119 Roma RM, Italy
Hop on the commuter train at Lido Station (next to the Piramide Metro stop) and make the 25-minute trip to Ostia Antica, Rome's ancient port town and administrative center. The teeming city of up to 100,000 residents is relatively well preserved...
Abu Simbel, Aswan Governorate, Egypt
The Great Pyramids of Giza are very impressive and rightfully earn their wonder of the world title. But then there's Abu Simbel. The site has, well, personality. Ramses II is present at every turn, as is his wife Nefertari. Four giant likenesses...
Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
Crowds may swarm upon it daily from sunrise onwards, but exposure hasn’t dulled the impact of the largest religious monument in the world. Commissioned by King Suryavarman II in the 12th century as the centerpiece of the mighty Khmer empire,...
Osman Ben Affan St, Doursoumian bldg, P.O.Box 11-4215, بعلبك، Lebanon
I went to Lebanon in spring to visit friends. But also because in the back of my head I thought, "This might be the last time that I'll be able to safely see Lebanon intact for a while." While car bombs had gone off in Beirut in recent weeks, and...
80045 Pompeii, Metropolitan City of Naples, Italy
We were offered the chance to visit Pompeii or Herculaneum when we docked at Sorrento. People rave about Pompeii because it's absolutely huge and gives you a great sense of just how sophisticated Roman civilisation was. Herculaneum, by contrast,...
Carretera Merida-Campeche Km. 78, 97890 Uxmal, Yuc., Mexico
Overshadowed by its larger and more well-known cousins, Palenque and Chichén-Itzá, Uxmal ("Oosh-mahl") is the ruins of an ancient Maya city located near present-day Campeche. In its heyday, Uxmal was one of the largest cities of the...
88 Route de La Goulette, Site archéologique de Carthage, Tunisia
January is a lovely time to visit the Roman ruins at Carthage. Fewer people. Cooler temperatures. And, if you are lucky, beautiful blue skies over the adjacent sea. While the ruins themselves are quite small (especially in comparison to Pompeii or...
B1/163, Nagwa Rd, opp. River Ganga, Assi ghat, Shivala, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh 221005, India
Varanasi is a city of beautiful chaos. Located on the banks of the Ganges River, it's one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, and also one of the holiest. The river is the pulse of the city and it's worth setting your alarm...
Old City, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel
Jaffa, the oldest seaport in the world, is home to a vibrant multiethnic community of Muslims, Christians, and Jews next to Tel Aviv. Archaeology and ancient documents show that Jaffa has been in existence as a port city for more than 4,000...
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