Exploring the Depths of Ancient Architecture: 8 Fascinating Examples

Ancient Architecture

Ancient architecture is one of the most integral periods of design history. It embodies the culture surrounding power during this era and is appreciated for its grandeur and class. There are earth-shattering examples of ancient structures intact all over the globe to this day. After reading this guide, they’ll be yours to discover next!

Definition of Early Civilization Architecture

Structures were created by some of the first ancient civilizations known to man. Ranging from palaces, columns, tombs, pyramids, places of worship, and power. Differs slightly between varying parts of the world and groups of people. Often what is left is structures of the folks in the highest places of power. Ancient architecture is said to be written and documented by the victors of history. These civilizations were scattered between Mesopotamia, Greece, Egypt, and the Americas. Followed by the Middle East, India, and China.

Time Period

The ancient era took place from approximately 30,000 BC to 400 AD. Ancient buildings and structures began to progress significantly towards the end of this era.

Characteristics of Ancient Structures

  • grand;
  • symbol of power;
  • large in scale;
  • made for royalty;
  • durable;
  • emphasis on symmetry;
  • detailed;
  • principles of order;
  • great volume.

Famous Ancient Architecture

Gobekli Tepe

Ancient building

This ancient temple home to South Turkey is known as one of the world’s oldest buildings. The man-made religious structure is equipped with beautiful animal carvings that are still intact today. It holds over 200 massive pillars in the arrangement of 20 circles. Each pillar is extremely heavy and detailed. They are approximately six meters tall and located inside the local bedrock surrounding them. This magnificent piece of history can be found in the Anatolia Region of Turkey close to the city of Şanlıurfa. This archeological marvel was just recently designated as a heritage site in 2018.

Tower of Jericho

Tower of Jericho

This ancient megastructure also falls in line as an example of the oldest architecture. This stone monument is said to be from approximately 8000 BCE and stands a whopping 8.5 meters tall. It is located in Palestine North of the Dead Sea. The cone-shaped tower has 22 internal steps and is made entirely of untouched stone. Experts have interpreted many possible purposes for the making of this tower. It has been seen as a political symbol, religious site, and anti-flooding system. The Tower of Jericho served as a claim of territory and emphasizes the importance of Jericho in world history and its integral role in the bible. Many tourists visit Jericho in Palestine for its cultural and religious significance!

Zhaozhou Bridge

Zhaozhou Bridge

This is known for being the oldest building in China. It is also known as Anji Bridge. The bridge is an ancient structure expert say was built from early 500 AD to early 600 AD. It is roughly 50 meters long and curves into a beautiful arch. It crosses the Xiao River and was used as a method of transportation. The design of the bridge is said to be credited to a craftsman by the name of Li Chun. Its beautiful construction has stood the test of time and definitely deserves a spot on this list.

The Great Pyramid of Giza

The Great Pyramid of Giza

This is one of the most recognizable historical structures in all of history. It is the oldest of three pyramids in the Giza area. The complex of pyramids borders the city of Cairo, Egypt. It is made from limestone granite and was constructed by ancient Egyptian civilians using ancient building techniques. It was built over the course of King Khufu’s reign. This massive structure is no small feat and took thousands of working hands to create over years. The last of the world’s seven wonders. Many excited tourists pose for pictures in front of this one-of-a-kind attraction to this day!

The Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China

Another famous wonder belonging to Northern China is this ancient stone wall. It stands the test of time as one of the most popular tourist sites known to mankind. It is the longest wall on Earth and measures over a shocking 21,000 kilometers. It is over 2,300 years old which is nothing short of spectacular. It is not only a wall, it also includes guard-towers, fortresses, barracks, and beacon towers. It is surrounded by beautiful greenery, vast mountains, and rolling hills. Over the years, the Great Wall has been reworked many times but its original essence still remains. This old treasure is definitely worth a visit to China!

Sanchi Stupa

Sanchi Stupa

Famously known as the oldest building in India, the Sanchi Stupa is a Buddhist temple dating back to the 3rd century BCE. It is an extremely relevant monument when it comes to Indian architecture. The emperor Ashoka originally birthed the idea of this temple. This stunning circular structure is 16 meters tall and 36 meters wide in diameter. It is completed by a beautiful entrance and detailed carved stones. Many temples were created following the lead of The Great Stupa, attempting to emulate its essence and flawless construction.

The Colosseum

The Colosseum

The Colosseum is a prime example of the emphasis on power and dominance within architecture during the Roman Era. It is hard not to gasp when you see it, as it is one of the oldest buildings on Earth. The daunting and stunning structure is home to Rome, Italy. It was constructed between 70-80 AD using materials like limestone and brick-faced concrete. The purpose of this massive amphitheater was intended to host large gatherings, gladiatorial contests, mock battles, and public spectacles. It soon also became a center for animal hunting and brutal execution. Over time Earthquakes and stone robbers have deteriorated this Roman jewel, but much it still remains today. This space feels cinematic when you witness it firsthand. You can visit this popular tourist attraction on your next venture to Europe!

The Pantheon

The Pantheon

One of the most interesting ancient stone structures on our list is this ancient temple from Acropolis, Greece. It is admired for its towering columns and large stone. Its construction was perfectly timed with the peak of power in the Athenian Empire. It is quite possibly the most important remnant of Classical Greek architecture. It was completed and decorated throughout early 400 BC. It originally served as the city treasury and slowly transformed into a Christian church over time. Many sculptures have survived years of battle and wear and can be seen in the Pantheon. It also was dedicated to a mosque and many other purposes over the course of changes in power. This ancient treasure is one of the many good reasons to visit Greece!

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