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Travel Logs October 2017

Compulsive Traveler

Step into the Past

By Sandra Scott

Some sites are so puzzling that some people believe they were created by aliens. Such is the case with the Nazca Lines south of Lima, Peru, where there are over 800 straight lines, 300 geometric figures and 70 animal and plant designs that are only visible from the air.

Exploring archeological sites can be thought provoking. Amazing civilizations flourished and died before Europeans stepped foot in the Americas but all was not lost. It is from these people that we derived our language, government, religions, arts and much more.

  1. Delphi: In 1400 BC, when the Greeks wanted to know about the future they would consult the Oracle of Delphi. The High Priestess of the Temple of Apollo answered questions about the future. People came from all over to ask about everything from when to plant corn to when to go to battle. The answers were cryptic so were open to interpretation.

  2. Ostia Antica: Ostia, dating back to the 8th century BC, is where the Italian capital of Rome began. It was located at the mouth of the Tiber River, but due to silting it is now two miles from the sea. They had shops that advertised their goods and a theater that is one of the oldest brick theaters and still used for concerts today.

  3. Ephesus: Walk the same streets in Ephesus that Anthony and Cleopatra walked in 36 BC when they were on their honeymoon. It is also reputed to be the home of the Virgin Mary. The library at one time held 12,000 scrolls. After visiting the public toilet one can fully appreciate today’s modern plumbing.

  4. Ggantija Temples: Sometimes the structures are so big that some feel that they were built by giants. Such is the case of the Ggantija Temples on Gozo Island in Malta. Built somewhere around 3600 BC, it is among the oldest Neolithic structures in the world. Some the boulders weigh around 50 tons making transporting them a herculean effort.

  5. Great Wall of China: Countries have always tried to protect their land but nothing compares to the Chinese effort to keep out invaders. The 13,000-plus-mile wall did not work. Soldiers, forcibly recruited peasants, slaves, convicts, and war prisoners did the work.

  6. Angkor Wat: In the 12th century Angkor was built as a temple to the Hindu god Vishnu. When Cambodia converted to Buddhism in the 13th century, the temple was used by the Buddhists. Angkor Wat is the largest religious monument in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

  7. Plain of Jars: There are intriguing sites in the world that seem to have no history. Who built it? Why? When? Plain of Jars in Laos is a megalithic archeological place where thousands of stone jars are scatter across the plains. None of the answers to these questions put forth by historians have been conclusive.

  8. The Nazca Lines: Some sites are so puzzling that some people believe they were created by aliens. Such is the case with the Nazca Lines south of Lima, Peru, where there are over 800 straight lines, 300 geometric figures and 70 animal and plant designs that are only visible from the air. Possibly the Nasca people created them about AD 700.

  9. Easter Island: The remote Chilean island is prone to much speculation. The 900 huge statues were created around the 13th century. One of the human-like figures is 32 feet tall and weighs about 82 tons. Still unanswered are how were these massive statues were moved and why so many remain unfinished in the quarry.

  10. Pueblo Grande: For more than 650 years, Pueblo Grande near Phoenix is thought to have been a meeting and gathering place along what was once part of the extensive irrigation canals used to irrigate the desert to facilitate farming and sustain the Hohokam community.

 

Sandra Scott travels the globe recording the top attractions at every destination.

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