Top Ten Archaeological Ruins

Europe & Africa: Ruins Along the Nile Valley, Egypt

Egypt is unquestionably one of the world's greatest archaeological destinations. The most recognizable sites are the pyramids—those at Giza are the last of the original Seven Wonders of the World still standing. Of the ten pyramids erected here, the Great Pyramid of Cheops is the oldest and largest, completed around 2,600 BC. You will certainly stand at the pyramid humbled and in wonderment. Who built it? How did they build it? Why did they build it? Although you can explore the insides of the pyramids, most of the treasures are displayed at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. The Pyramids are only the beginning to uncovering the pharoahnic gifts that are spread across the Nile Valley. The West Bank of the lower Nile Valley is where you can put on your excavation hat and enter the Valley of the Kings for exploration of the tombs of such kings as Ramses II, Tuthmosis II, and Tutankhamun. The tombs were designed to resemble the underworld, with a long, inclined rock-hewn corridor descending into either an antechamber or a series of pillared halls, and ending in the burial chamber. The longer the reign of the pharaoh, the larger and more ornate his tomb. Come prepared with a water bottle and a high tolerance for heat and exertion as you will be required to duck, climb, and navigate through the once well-hidden tombs. The Ramesseum is yet another monument near the Valley of the Kings worthy of exploration. Erected by Ramses II in praise of himself, the massive temple was built to impress his priests and subjects, and most importantly, the Gods. The Temple of Karnak and Luxor Temple all erected for the most important God—Amun, God of Creation—are also among the not-to-be missed sites in Egypt.


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