Taking the chance to learn about ancient sites in the Middle East can be a mesmerizing and eye-opening experience. There seems to be a sense of history embedded into each treasure. Various accounts from neighbors and friends have caused me to believe that the Middle East contains hidden gems that are so exquisite and profound in nature that they should be considered the wonders of the world. Visiting these ancient sites in the Middle East will certainly aid in opening up your eyes and hearts to diverse cultures.
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Old Jerusalem – Dome of the Rock
As one of the most religious ancient sites in the Middle East, I feel that Old Jerusalem should be placed on this list. One of the most important structures located within this site is the Dome of the Rock, a shrine that holds meaning to the religions of Islam, Judaism and Christianity. It is important to note that you don't have to be religious in order to appreciate the beauty of its overall structure.
Turkey – Troy
If you are a literary buff, then this next site will be no surprise to you. As one of the first places inhabited by people, I was amazed to find out that this truly was where the battle of Troy occurred (a war that was essentially cemented in Homer's Iliad). Being able to see how the historical aspect of Troy, fits in with the epic poem is sure to be a great experience.
Egypt – Great Temple of Amun
Located in Egypt, the Great Temple of Amun is one of the most historical sites in this beautiful country. The Karnak temple complex was built in dedication to Amun-ra, one of the most famous gods in Ancient Egypt. The Great Temple of Amun serves as one of its principal temples.
Saudi Arabia – Mada'in Saleh
This next site certainly bears mentioning. Some of the missions of the United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO) include promoting worldwide peace and gender equality. I was completely intrigued when I found out that Mada'in Saleh was Saudi Arabia's first world heritage site. Among its most striking features are 131 tombs carved out of rock.
Turkey – Göbekli Tepe
I find it highly interesting to note that Göbekli Tepe is considered by some to be the first temple ever created. According to Smithsonian Magazine, German archaeologist Klaus Schmidt is a firm believer of this assessment. This theory was initially rejected by the University of Chicago as it was believed that Göbekli Tepe was nothing more than an ancient cemetery.
Lebanon – Baalbek
Because of its rich history, Baalbek has been labeled as one of UNESCO's world heritage sites. The ancient Roman architecture boasted by this city is truly magnificent. Baalbek's religious value, as well as its detailed artistry, makes me more than certain that this ancient site will mesmerize you.
Yemen – Shibam
Last but not least, Shibam is another entry on UNESCO's world heritage sites. With its distinct and phenomenal design, as well as the history embedded into its culture, this does not come as a surprise to me. That being said, I was shocked to learn that the houses in Shibam are actually made of mudbrick!
If you ever get the chance, you should definitely travel to these amazing sites. Not only am I amazed at how beautifully structured each site is, I am also in awe of how much history is rooted into their very essence. Are there any ancient Middle Eastern sites that you would love to visit one day?
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