Archaeology

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Can unmanned vehicles help speed up archaeological digs? That is the hope of Vanderbilt archaeologist Steven Werne and engineering professor Julie A. Adams. They have developed a product called SUAVe - for Semi-autonomous Unmanned Aerial Vehicle. Pronounced "SWAH-vey," this revolutionary product aims to greatly reduce the time it takes to create a three-dimensional model of a site versus using current technology. As in 10-15 minutes compared to two to three entire field seasons faster!

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Machu Picchu is one of the most iconic symbols of Peru and the Inca culture, but urban development threatens this archaeological treasure. UNESCO, the United Nations-run organization that protects historical and natural sites around the world, recently launched an evaluation to determine the level of preservation of Machu Picchu. The investigators found more stringent regulations are necessary to protect the ancient ruins.

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While a Madagascar tour is a great nature travel experience, there are other things to see and do there as well, and checking out some of the man-made sites can mix things up on a trip to the African island. In the heart of the oldest part of Madagascar's capital city, Antananarivo, there is a royal palace complex, called Rova.

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When archaeologists began digging off the coasts of Turkey in the 1960s, they found what are now determined to be some of the oldest shipwrecks from the Bronze Age.

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History and archaeology buffs searching for unusual lore and adventure should consider adding Machu Picchu travel to their list. Not only is this 600-year-old Incan ruin a window into Peru’s rich past, but the original citadel of the ruins may possibly be shaped like a bird. One researcher, Enrique Guzman, set out to examine the city from an architectural point of view and he found plenty of evidence to support his theory, according to Peru This Week News.

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Many of the stops on a Turkey and Greece cruise have more to do with ancient Greek and Roman cultures than Christianity, but Meryemana, or the House of the Virgin, is an exception.

Local legend tells that this house, now a church, is the place Mary fled to after Jesus was crucified. Located between Ephesus and Seljuk, Turkey, the site has received the official sanction of the Vatican and is now a popular site for religious pilgrims.

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While art, music and textiles are some the best known contributions of Mali culture that visitors can experience, architecture is a creative venue that is especially rich in this West African country. One of Mali’s most distinct architectural wonders is the Grand Mosque of Djenné.

Considered by many architects to be the greatest achievement of the Sudano-Sahelian architectural style, the mosque is the largest mud brick building in the world, according to Sacred-Destinations.com.

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From the pyramids to the Nile, an Egypt tour has an aspect of adventure and discovery unmatched by any other place on earth. But why? As Gina Davidson writes for the Scotsman, Egyptians didn't exactly do that much for modern society. The preoccupation with Romans makes sense, as they left behind legacies such as roads, viaducts and bridges that we still use today. But Egyptians, with their hieroglyphs, mummies and animal-headed gods left us fascinating artifacts for museums.

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India has a wealth to offer international tourists, from nature travel in the rich Western Ghats to the urban explorations afforded by the modern metropolis of Mumbai. Plus, the vibrant Indian culture draws travelers from across the globe. Modern explorers looking for a unique glimpse of the both the native culture and amazing wildlife can join International Expeditions’ India Tiger Safari, which includes a stop in Khajuraho. This small town is famed for its temples featuring exquisite — and often erotic — depictions of the Hindu and Jain pantheons of gods.

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Pilgrims once flocked to the Egyptian island of Philae, coming from all over the ancient world to worship Isis, a goddess who is commemorated with a massive temple that was re-erected from beneath the Nile River. Isis was mysterious to most who worshipped her, but was believed to have healing powers for those who sought her counsel.

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