"Knossos" by Lapplaender via Flickr Creative Commons

So much has happened and been built on the European continent: the blossoming of the modern world, the majority of the world’s largest wars, the greatest collections of art, the ruins of fantastic architectural feats, and astounding religious monuments. Most sites concentrate on the southern regions of the continents along the Mediterranean, although you can find archaeological excavations ongoing in places related to the Celts, the Vikings, and other centuries old cultures.

  1. Pompei, Italy It takes significant archaeological work to dig an entire city out of solid ash that has lain untouched for centuries. This city frozen in stone gives archeologists a unique look at ancient civilizations.
  2. Istanbul, Turkey Formerly called Byzantium and Constantinople and once the capital of the Roman and Ottoman empires, this bustling city straddling two continents is home to an astounding number of archeological sites from the Hagia Sophia, the Serpentine Column, the Maiden’s Tower, the Hippodrome, and many others.
  3. Rome, Italy There’s not just the Coliseum in Rome’s historic center, but the Vatican and the Sistine Chapel, the Roman Forum, catacombs, arches, obelisks, palaces, squares, bridges, museums, and fountains.
  4. Stonehenge, England This circular collection of stones eight miles north of Salisbury date back to as far as 5,000 years.
  5. Knossos, Crete Although the Phoenicians founded the city of Knossos on Crete, it was firmly planted in Greek mythology. Palaces, luxury bathrooms, terra cotta figures, and kitchens are still being revealed.
  6. Sicily, Italy Italy’s southernmost island has been a crossroads of Mediterranean civilizations which have all left their trace. You’ll find Greek temples and theaters at Taormina, medieval monuments, Roman art, and much more.
  7. Numantia, Spain This Celtic-Iberian city was seiged by the Romans around 133 B.C., after twenty years of battles. A military battlefield, residential districts, and Roman columns and influences are still being discovered.
  8. Gavrinis, France The small island of Gavrinis in Brittany, France is best known for the abundance of megalithic art as well as a passage grave, tombs, chambers, stone mounds, and walls.
  9. Ribe, Denmark Built just after 700 AD this Viking settlement is considered the oldest city in Scandinavia. Archaeologists are hard at work hoping to find a Viking mint, where early Scandinavian coinage took place.
  10. Lascaux, France The cave complex in southwestern France, a UNESCO world heritage site, is home to some of the best representations of Upper Paleolithic art. The 16,000 year old paintings depict large mammals such as bulls and hoses.

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