The Oldest Buildings in the World, Part III: South America and Europe

Today is Part III, the final instalment of our look at the world’s oldest buildings by continent. Part I can be found here; Part II can be found here. South America – Sechin Bajo (3500 BCE) View Larger Map A rather recent addition to the list, the oldest building in the Peruvian ruins of Sechin Bajo…

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The Oldest Buildings in the World, Part II: North America, Africa, and Asia

Today is Part II of our look at the world’s oldest buildings by continent. Part I can be found here; Part II can be found here. North America – Cuicuilco Circular Pyramid, 800-600 BCE View of Cuicuilco’s main circular pyramid looking south from the Anillo Periférico freeway in Mexico City. Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:CuicuilcoPerifericoDF.JPG. View Larger Map…

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The Oldest Buildings in the World, Part I: Antarctica and Australia

For any building to make it past 100 years old, let alone be thousands of years old, it’s actually quite an accomplishment when you think about it. A building has to be constantly maintained in order to ensure its continued integrity. Aesthetic tastes change, land uses change, and disasters both natural and manmade occur; all…

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The Ruins of Nan Madol

On the other side of the world from Venice, there exists the ruins of another mediaeval maritime city, built upon dozens of small islands divided by canals, that was home to a political dynasty that lasted for centuries. Unlike the world-renowned Adriatic city, however, the Micronesian city of Nan Madol faded away into history, leaving…

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Geoglyphs of the Andes

The Atacama Desert and the Altiplano directly to its east are filled with geoglyphs – there are over 5 000 recorded in the Atacama alone, preserved in dry, largely windless landscapes. There are large drawings and paintings, there are petroforms made from piles of rock, and most famously there are petroglyphs: giant figures incised into…

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The Hierapolis-Pamukkale Complex: The ‘Holy City’ and the ‘Cotton Castle’

Over the past 400 000 years, a complex of seventeen separate hot springs in southwestern Turkey has been depositing snow white travertine limestone in a series of terraces and petrified waterfalls that have accumulated to create a sprawling limestone formation 2 700 m (8 860 ft) long, 600 m (1 970 ft) wide and 160 m (525 ft) high.  Known…

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The Great Wall of Gorgan

The Great Wall of China is the longest defensive wall ever constructed in history, as most people are likely aware.  To find the next longest wall, you have to travel across Central Asia to the Caspian Sea and Iran’s province of Golestan near the Turkmen border, where the (at least) 195 km (121 mi)-long, 6-10…

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Old Sarum and Rotten Boroughs

View Larger Map The hill you see above is the site of one of the most infamous locales in the history of representative democracy.  For half-a-millennium, it stood out as the most egregious example of England’s so-called ‘rotten’ boroughs.  How it came to be in such a position is an interesting story; one which can…

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Cueva de las Manos (Cave of the Hands)

Source: Mariano, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:SantaCruz-CuevaManos-P2210651b.jpg.  Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported licence. If the above image reminds you of souls trapped inside of a wall calling out to onlookers, well, they are in a way.  Those images are handprints and hand stencils left behind by past inhabitants of western Patagonia – 7 000 years…

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