This world is today, obsessed with several wonderful and sophisticated technologies that had led us to unprecedented advancement in human civilization. As we see the developments, trends are always unique; but they are all inspired from the past legacies. The contemporary triumphs have made Homo sapiens sapiens proud; nevertheless, the modern expertise has always been evolved from ancient incitements only. This admission isn’t just a point, but is a complete truth in reference to every realm of civic development.
Today this world has great buildings, not only high-tech but also emerging ultra-tech structures and beautifully engineered structures. While people are being amazed by glamour of these structures, yet the whole astonishment sits in front of the grand and magnificent ancient megastructures from centuries ago. There are a number of ancient spectacular buildings and colossal structures from around the world, which are also sometimes cited as alien structures or megastructures, referring to their possible non-humanoid construction. These megastructures have been recognized with universal value that has offered our society with communal, religious and cultural richness.
There can’t be anything more defining than the eternal avowal of these ancient megastructures that could eloquently suggest our civic identity. At excitement, you can look forward to the modern conquest; but it’s the invincible delineation of ancient megastuctures that had defeated ugly undertone to our civilization. The socio-cultural wealth we have today is the accumulation of the universal civic values from these ancient megastructures only. These ancient architectural constructions are domineering landmarks of our civilization.
So, here’s the list of top 10 ancient megastructures in history from around the world.
10. Al Khazneh, Jordan
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Al Khazneh, the treasury of Petra city, is believed to have been built around 1st century AD during the reign of Nabataean kingdom. Al Khazneh is a stunning edifice of rock-cut architecture plentiful of elaborate façade carvings. The mystery of the Treasury of the Pharaoh and the royal tomb has engrossed several musings about the religious and cultural facets of Al Khazneh. Also, archaeologists wonder about the misguiding theme presented about Al Khazneh in popular movies Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Transformers, and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.
The tomb structure was entirely carved out of rose sandstone face. The most substantial measure of Al Khazneh is the intricately sculpted façade with whimsical colorful tones. The 28 x 40 m2 Greek and Roman inspired mausoleum has 40 ft. high double line columns designed atop with classical and Corinthian capitals. After the façade entrance, a colossal doorway goes into a sanctuary chamber, which is now inaccessible. The façade of Al Khazneh was restored around 1960s with reference from 1839 lithograph painted by David Roberts. Heavy traffic of tourists every year and natural climatological actions have eroded several architectural details and motifs of the building. Archaeologists have been exploring several new facts about religious and cultural aspects of Al Khazneh.
9. Hagia Sophia, Turkey
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Hagia Sophia is a 6th century AD ancient church building famous for its unparalleled Byzantine architecture. The church designed by the Greeks geniuses became home to many different religions over the period of imperialism. Hagia Sophia remained the supreme basilica in the world for a millennium. It has been twice placed in World Monuments Watch list of WMF in 1996 and 1998 due to its deteriorating condition. While major restoration of the ancient structure was done in 2006, the historical site needs vast research and conservation work.
Hagia Sophia is famous for its unique domical structure surrounded by 40 window openings. The gigantic dome is centered along reduced soaring domes varying the triangular curvature of the dome to rectangular silhouette. The 240 x 270 x 108 ft3 work structure took only six years to build. Another key feature of Hagia Sophia is original mosaic paintings facing the warm interior of the building. This classical Byzantine architectural structure, from 532 to 1453 AD, served as a holy basilica. Till 1935 then, it was mosque after removal of church bell, sacrificial pots and iconostasis; followed by addition of cardinal minarets. And since 1935, Hagia Sophia has been attracting a large number of visitors as a museum.
8. Angkor Wat, Cambodia
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Angkor Wat, the Legendary Temple City, considered to be the largest and most impressive architecture in stone, shows the grandeur of monumental architecture in South East Asia during 12th century AD during the apogee of Great Khmer Monarchy. For 500 years, the Angkor Wat buildings, walkways and courtyards were built and expanded. The temple was initially designed to honor Hindu God Vishnu, whose image is housed in the adytum. After 1300 AD, the temple was converted into Buddhist monastery, as Buddhism spread in through the whole Khmer Empire.
Angkor Wat is a vast rectangle mandala contained by a 4000 m long moat in the stepped pyramid form. The third or the final level of the structure supports the inner sanctuary and is crowned by an immense central Sikhara tower. There are four smaller towers of similar design at the corners of the great galleried platform. The temple of Angkor Wat covers a huge area of about 2.6 Km2. At first when it was found it was thought to be a city, because by itself it was very large. Nearly 800 m of the walls of this gallery are decorated with bas -reliefs depicting allegorical tales and legendary events from the Indian epics, the Mahabharata and the Ramayana. The carving and reliefs were cut on the sandstone and terracotta was used for the roofing of the cloisters. The temple complex is a part of Angkor World Heritage Site and has been undergoing conservation work under World Monuments Fund and UNESCO.