Tag Archives: archeology

Malta – Temple of Hagar Qim

Hagar Qim is a megalithic temple complex found on the Mediterranean island of Malta, dating from the Ġgantija phase (3600-3200 BC). The Megalithic Temples of Malta are amongst the most ancient religious sites on Earth, described by the World Heritage Sites committee as “unique architectural masterpieces.”
Hagar Qim’s builders used globigerina limestone in the temple’s construction. As a result of this, the temple has suffered from severe weathering and surface flaking over the millennia. In 2009 work was completed on a protective tent.

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Ireland – Newgrange Megalithic Passage Tomb

The Megalithic Passage Tomb at Newgrange was built about 3200 BC. The kidney shaped mound covers an area of over one acre and is surrounded by 97 kerbstones, some of which are richly decorated with megalithic art. The 19 meter long inner passage leads to a cruciform chamber with a corbelled roof. It is estimated that the construction of the Passage Tomb at Newgrange would have taken a work force of 300 at least 20 years.

The passage and chamber of Newgrange are illuminated by the winter solstice sunrise. A shaft of sunlight shines through the roof box over the entrance and penetrates the passage to light up the chamber. The dramatic event lasts for 17 minutes at dawn on the Winter Solstice and for a few mornings either side of the Winter Solstice.

Cyprus – Lemesos – Temple of Apollo

Limassol, lying between the ancient kingdoms of Kourion to the west and Amathus to the east, is the second largest town in Cyprus. Together with the suburbs surrounding it, it is already a large town, and is continually expanding in a coastal zone. It is a modern town, with fine residences, modern buildings, shops, luxury hotel complexes, countless restaurants & Taverns, and entertainment places to cater for all tastes.
The Apollo Temple, Near Limassol, is part of the Sanctuary of Apollo Hylates, the ancient god protector of forests.

Bulgaria – Nessebar

The city of Nessebar and the resorts on its territory are located in the southeastern part of Bulgaria.

The present-day town is the successor of a Thracian fishermen’s settlement named Menabryia (meaning literally ‘the town of Mena’), the foundation of which dates back to the 2nd century BC. Later it remained the only Doric colony along the Black Sea coast, as the rest were typical Ionic settlements. The Greeks named it Messembria (which was later transformed into Nessabar by the Slavs), and it grew into a big and well-fortified town-state. The town benefited from natural protection from both the land and the sea. Remains suggest the existence of aqueducts, a sewerage system, fortified wails, an amphitheatre and numerous cult edifices (including an impressive temple of Apollo) at that time. The town became a popular commercial centre as a variety of goods from the Aegean and the Mediterranean regions were traded there and it also minted its own coins in the 5th century BC. Two centuries later, it founded its own colony called Navlohos near Obzor. The whole land between Nessebar and Obzor used to be a granary that supplied the two colonies with food as well as goods of exchange. In the 1st century BC the town surrendered to Marcus Lukulus’ legions and was subjected top Roman domination, during which the construction of a second colony of Messembria began and was finished. The second colony, built to the south of Nessebar, was named Anhialo (present-day Pomorie).

In the early Middle Ages the town rebuilt its fortress walls and stayed part of the Byzantine Empire until 812 when the protobulgarian Khan Kroum conquered it, including it in the territory of Bulgaria. During the reign of Ivan Alexander the town went thorough a cultural and economic boom, and occupied substantial territories beyond the stretch of the peninsula. It was around that period when most of the churches of Nessebar, remains of which are to be found in the present-day town, were built. In 1366 the knights of Amadeus of Savoy conquered the town, and then sold it to Byzantium for 15,000 golden ducats. In 1453, shortly after Constantinople fell under Turkish domination the town was conquered by the Ottoman Empire and went through a period of decay. The Liberation found Nessabar as a small fishermen’s settlement, with well-developed viticulture on the hills above the town.

Due to the unique natural surroundings and the well-preserved monuments from various historic periods, at the 7th session of the World Heritage Committee in Florence in 1983, the Old Town of Nessebar became the only Bulgarian town included in the World Cultural Heritage list of UNESCO.

Bulgaria – Madara Rider

The Madara Rider or Madara Horseman is an early medieval large rock relief carved on the Madara Plateau east of Shumen in northeastern Bulgaria, near the village of Madara.

The monument is dated back to circa 710 AD and has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1979. The dating means the monument was created during the rule of Bulgar Khan Tervel, and supports the thesis that it is a portrayal of the khan himself and a work of the Bulgars, a nomadic tribe of warriors which settled in northeastern Bulgaria at the end of the 7th century AD and after merging with the local Slavs gave origin to the modern Bulgarians. Other theories connect the relief with the ancient Thracians, claiming it portrays a Thracian god.