Discovering your inner Indiana Jones: Best travel locations for archaeological adventures

Oct 11, 2011, 4:43 p.m.

Discovering your inner Indiana Jones: Best travel locations for archaeological adventures

Perspective is a heck of a thing. It can make a proud woman humble and it can make a strong man weak. The next time you’re starting to feel a bit long in the tooth and are fretting that your best days are behind you, consider rubbing elbows with the ancients. There’s really no better way to make yourself feel youthful in comparison than to walk in the footsteps of those who lived long ago and left behind the evidence of their existence.

Pompeii – Lost to history for close to 1,700 years following an eruption of Mount Vesuvius, the city of Pompeii was accidentally dug up in the mid-1700s and has been a major tourist attraction ever since. The preservation of the discovered ruins has been a major magnet for travelers fascinated by archaeological discoveries, and although visiting won’t exactly give you an opportunity to get your fingers dirty, it’ll certainly inspire the Indiana Jones deep inside.

Teotihuacan – Dating back over 2,000 years, Teotihuacan is a veritable treasure trove of archaeological discoveries. From bona fide pyramids to innumerable stone structures to color murals created by mysterious residents of which even the Aztecs after them had no knowledge. What makes Teotihuacan such a great archaeological adventure is that it’s only 25 miles outside of Mexico City and can be reached by bus.

Israel – Even though The Holy Land is one of the longest populated places in world history, there are still archaeological finds being made all the time. And the best part about it is that you can actually take part in that discovery by signing on for a variety of guided tours where you can take part in digs, examine ancient aqueducts, explore caves, and sift for treasures.

Egypt – The granddaddy of all archaeological sites, visiting the various points of interest in Egypt, such as the Pyramids of Giza and Valley of the Kings, isn’t exactly the best place to get your hands dirty. But no self-respecting archaeology nut would skip out on traveling to see this.

Ancient Greece – The cradle of civilization was also home to the great minds that dreamed up mythological gods we still talk about to this day. And for those fascinated by Ancient Greece, no better way exists to experience its near-mythical aura than to visit the capital city of Athens, which has long been considered the epicenter of archaeological research. If the Odeon of Herodes Atticus doesn’t make you feel the rush of physical time travel, it’s likely nothing will.

So maybe you’ll never be accused of being as agile as Indiana Jones or even half as schooled. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t relish in the opportunity to travel to far off lands to take in with your own two eyes the very things many people only ever dream about. If you’re in a position to be able to take extended vacations and you’ve got nothing better planned, consider treating yourself to any one of these top 5 archaeological meccas.

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