Watch From the astonishing city of Masada, to the amazing Petra, these are 10 UNREAL Ancient Locations ! 5. Masada -- Its name in Hebrew means ‘stronghold’ or ‘mountain castle’ … an apt description. It’s often considered a fortress, and is found in Israel, on the western shore of the Dead Sea. It was built by Herod the Great in the 1st century BC. The plateau upon which it was built was surrounded by deep gorges and naturally fortified. And it was known for its ingenious engineering, containing a palace, barracks, a storehouse and an armory. Today, it might be best known for a battle between the Roman legions and 960 Jewish Zealots … which ended with the Zealots mass suicide in 73 AD 4. Churches of Goreme (go-reem) -- Around 2,000 years ago, a volcano erupted in Turkey … the lava and ash formed soft rocks in the country’s Cappadocia (kappa-doe-sha) region, that covered some 20,000 kilometers. Present day fairy chimneys were formed as the softer rock was eroded by water and wind, but leaving a the hard cap rock atop the pillars. The people of Goreme, in the heart of the region, realized it was easy to carve houses, monasteries and churches from out of the soft rock. The Christian sanctuaries contains numerous examples of Byzantine artwork. The colorful frescoes are considered an exceptional artistic achievement from this period. 3. Kailasha temple Ellora Caves -- Located in India, this site is thought to represent the pinnacle of Indian rock-cut architecture … and is one of the largest such complexes in the world. Ellora features 34 caves excavated out of the rock. And the caves consist of artwork and monuments of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism (jane-ism) from the period of 600-1000 AD, thought to be when the caves were built. It’s now an archaeological site … but historically, the caves have served as temples for prayers, monasteries for monks and a place for pilgrims to rest. Did you know the world’s single largest monolithic rock excavation is found here? It’s called the Kailasha (kel-asha) Temple, a monument dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. It’s especially notable for its vertical excavation … that is, carvers started from the top of the original rock, then excavated downward. Amazingly, its area is twice the size of the Parthenon in Athens. 2. Lycian (liss-ee-un) Tombs -- The ancient Lycians (liss-ee-uns) were a group of people that didn’t leave behind the most detailed historical record … but they did leave behind some amazing architecture! Lycia was actually a federation of ancient cities located in present-day Turkey. Many of their tombs were cut directly into the rock face, most often a cliff. The elaborate funeral chambers of wealthy Lycians were usually decorated with detailed relief carving. Outside, the tombs displayed important events that occurred during the lifetime of the deceased, as well as their specific likeness. A sliding stone door sealed the entrance. None of the rock-cut tombs can be dated before the 4th century, BC. Other tombs created by the Lycians (liss-ee-uns) include the sarcophagus tomb, notable for their large size and consisting of a base, a grave chamber and a pointed lid. The oldest and least common Lycian tomb is the Pillar Tomb … they only exist in west Lycia and consist of a monolith which narrows toward the top, standing on the ground or positioned on a base. The best known pillar tomb is probably the Harpy Tomb at Xanthos (zan-thos). 1. Petra -- This site was first introduced to the western world by a Swiss explorer in 1812 … but it existed long before that. Although an exact date is unknown, this city may have been established as early as 312 BC by the Nabataeans (na-BAT-ee-uns). Petra is famed for its rock-cut architecture and water conduit system. It’s also known as the Rose City, due to the sandstone from which it is carved. Enclosed by gargantuan rock walls of the Wadi Musa (mews) Canyon, Petra enjoyed a perennial water stream, and had the advantages of a fortress. The city became a major junction for main commercial routes that linked Asia and southern Arabia with Egypt, Greece and Rome. Petra is listed as one of the new 7 wonders of the world, and is Jordan’s most visited tourist site. Subscribe to Epic Wildlife Lets Connect -- -- -- --

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