Can You Identify These Ancient Wonders?

How much do you know about some of the world's greatest architectural treasures?

By Google Arts & Culture

By Eliot ElisofonLIFE Photo Collection

Are you an ancient archaeological expert? Dig around in your memory banks and see if you can identify 6 of the world's greatest works of ancient architecture. Scroll on to test your knowledge, and then explore each of these sites in Street View...

By Dmitri KesselLIFE Photo Collection

Treasure 1

One of the most famous sites of the Incan Empire, this mountain top city was never discovered by the invading Spanish army in the 15th century. Eventually abandoned, its remains were rediscovered almost by accident by Hiram Bingham in 1911. Although, it is thought many local people were still aware of its existence. 

By Frank ScherschelLIFE Photo Collection

A marvel of engineering, it is estimated 60% of the structure was located underground, mostly for fortification and drainage purposes. It was constructed using huge stone blocks, without any mortar to bind them. And the fact much of is still standing over 500 years later is testament to the skill of the craftspeople who built it. Where is this magnificent cloud city?

Machu Picchu, Peru

Built in the 15th century. Click and drag to explore the ancient city.

Angkor Wat (2006) by sam garzaChina National Silk Museum

Treasure 2

The capital of the mighty Khmer Empire, which ruled Cambodia and the surrounding area between the 9th and 15th centuries, this once thriving metropolis was home to as many as 750,000 people. Making it the biggest city on the planet at the time.

Comprised of more than 1,000 temples scattered through the forest, complete with intricate stone carvings, it remains the largest religious monument in the world. The city was built on the orders of King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century and remains an integral part of Cambodian history, even featuring on the flag. Do you recognize this once thriving metropolis?

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Built from the 12th century onwards. Click and drag to explore the ruins.

A view of Chichen Itza's El CastilloCyArk

Treasure 3

Once the site of a thriving Mayan city on the Yucatan peninsula, this metropolis was built around 600 CE but abandoned around the 12th century when the capital moved to Mayapan. 

Chichen Itza forest (2005) by CyArkCyArk

The vast temple of Kukulkan dominates the skyline, with its 4 staircases, each with 365 stone steps. Other major structures include the Maya ball court and Wall of Skulls, as well as the grizzly Sacred Cenote where ritual sacrifices were carried out. Where might you find these impressive pyramids?

Chichen Itza, Mexico

Built around 600 CE. You can explore the site for yourself by clicking and dragging. 

Bagan Aerial Overview by CyArkCyArk

Treasure 4

This beautiful temple complex is found in Myanmar and was once the capital of a kingdom that ruled between the 11th and 13th centuries. There were over 10,000 temples, shrines and pagodas here. The sheer volume and scale of structures make it an impressive site. 

The city was raided by the Mongols and subject to several natural disasters which saw its importance fade. New temples were still added over the next few centuries but it never recovered its place as the centre of the kingdom. Do you know this lost seat of empire?

Bagan, Myanmar

Built from the 9th century onwards. Click and drag to explore!

World Heritage Sites To Go Online (2009-11-30) by Matt CardyGetty Images

Treasure 5

These iconic stones are found on Salisbury Plain, in Wiltshire, England, and are one of the most recognizable and ancient structures on the planet. Dating back around 5,000 years and made from sandstone, they are still shrouded in mystery.

Stonehenge Against Blue Sky on Sunny Day (2007-04-04) by fotoVoyagerGetty Images

Nobody really knows who built the henge, or exactly what it was used for (although it is suggested that it was a religious site used to track celestial bodies). It also remains a mystery exactly how these huge monoliths were brought to the site. What are these mythical stones?

Stonehenge, UK

Built around 5,000 years ago. Explore the mysterious stones for yourself.

Mesa Verde by Kacey HadickCyArk

Treasure 6

The Americas might be known as the New World but there are some very impressive ancient sites there too. Found in the southwest of the USA, this collection of 600 cliff dwellings features the impressive Cliff Palace.

Built into a huge sandstone alcove to shelter the building from the elements, the complex has more than 150 rooms and 23 sacred kivas. However, the buildings were only lived in for around a century before being abandoned for unknown reasons in the 13th century. Where can you see this hidden fortress?

Mesa Verde, USA

Built from the 12th century onwards.

By Eliot ElisofonLIFE Photo Collection

So, how did you do?

How many of these lost treasures did you identify. If this quiz has piqued your interest in the ancient world and you would like to know more about Angkor Wat, you can learn all about it here.

Credits: All media
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