Photographer: Bret Webster
Summary Authors: Bret Webster; Jim Foster
"The photo above shows a particularly long (approximately 9 ft or 3 m) serpent petroglyph found in the San Rafael Swell of east central Utah. Very little has changed at this spot since the petroglyphs here were first painted some 2,000 years ago. The serpent, rock face and Milky Way look now much as they did then. San Rafael Swell, a weathered dome-shaped anticline, was pushed up to the surface during the Paleocene epoch. The petroglyphs or pictograms can be traced back to people of the Desert Archaic Culture and perhaps to people of the Fremont culture, more recent arrivals, who inhabited this areas from about 1600 hundred years ago to 800 years ago."
"Newfound tombs in Central America are yielding thousand-year-old gold, gems, and even hints of murder by pufferfish. But the real treasure is the excavation's clues to the unnamed civilization of the so-called golden chiefs of Panama, archaeologists say."
New findings rekindle old debates about when the first people arrived and why their civilization collapsed.
"Hundreds of years ago, a small group of Polynesians rowed their wooden outrigger canoes across vast stretches of open sea, navigating by the evening stars and the day's ocean swells. When and why these people left their native land remains a mystery. But what is clear is that they made a small, uninhabited island with rolling hills and a lush carpet of palm trees their new home, eventually naming their 63 square miles of paradise Rapa Nui—now popularly known as Easter Island." from Smithsonian.com
The Ming and Qing imperial tombs are outstanding testimony to a cultural and architectural tradition that for over 500 years dominated this part of the world. By reason of their integration into the natural environment, they make up a unique ensemble of cultural landscapes.
From time immemorial, the rulers of China attached great importance to the building of imposing mausolea, reflecting not only the general belief in an afterlife but also an affirmation of authority. When the Ming dynasty came to power (1368), an overall design was adopted. This was characterized by the attempt to achieve great harmony between a natural site meeting certain precise selection criteria and a complex of buildings fulfilling codified functions. The natural site, a plain or broad valley, must offer the perspective of a mountain range to the north, against which the tombs would be built, with a lower elevation to the south. It must be framed on the east and west by chains of hills, and feature at least one waterway. In order to harmonize with the natural setting, a number of buildings are constructed along a main access road several kilometres in length, known as the Way of the Spirits, which may branch off into secondary Ways leading to other mausolea.
visit this site in panophotographies - immersive and interactive spherical images
"Spiraling up from the ground, the remaining minaret of the Great Mosque of Samarra is the the most prominent of the remaining structures of a mosque that was once the largest in the world.
Known as the malwiya or the snail shell minaret, this 180 foot tower was the main focal point of the mosque, that covered 42 acres at its peak. In the mid-9th century, the great work was commissioned by the Abbasid caliph Al-Mutawakkil who allegedly rode a white donkey up the spiraling paths to the top.
Over time, the mosque was slowly destroyed and fell into disuse by the 11th century. However, it's memory was always preserved in the Malwiya minaret that towered over Samarra. The pillar was given something of a new life during the war in Iraq, as US troops used it for observation. Sadly, in 2005, the famous minaret was partially destroyed during a bombing raid by insurgents. After 1000 years of proudly standing in the medieval Abbasid capital, it finally began to crumble under the firepower of modern weaponry." Atlas Obscura
"The largest Pre-Columbian city in South America, Chan Chan is an archaeological site located in the Peruvian region of La Libertad, five km west of Trujillo. Chan Chan covers an area of approximately 20 km² and had a dense urban center of about 6km². Chan Chan was constructed by the Chimor (the kingdom of the Chimú), a late intermediate period civilization which grew out of the remnants of the Moche civilization. The vast adobe city of Chan Chan was built by the Chimu around AD 850 and lasted until its conquest by the Inca Empire in AD 1470. It was the imperial capital of the Chimor until it was conquered in the 15th century. It is estimated that around 30,000 people lived in the city of Chan Chan.
Chan Chan was added as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986."