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Our world is full of magical, mystical, and mysterious places that defy explanation.  There are treasures yet to be found, stone carvings we don't yet understand, and architectural feats to be explained. 


Temple of Concord, Agrigento, Sicily: The Temple of Concord lies on a plateau encircled by low cliffs overlooking the junction of the Drago (ancient Hypsas) and San Biagio (Acragas) rivers and is dominated from the north by a ridge with twin peaks. Agrigento was a wealthy ancient city founded about 581 BC by Greek colonists from Gela. It was ruled 570–554 BC by the notorious tyrant Phalaris, who was reputed to have had men roasted alive in a brazen bull, and it reached its peak in 480 when the tyrant Theron, in alliance with Syracuse, won the decisive Battle of Himera over the Carthaginians. In 470 the tyranny was replaced by a democracy. Agrigento was the birthplace of the philosopher-politician Empedocles. Under the tyranny it was a considerable centre of the arts. The city was neutral in the struggle between Athens and Syracuse but was ravaged by the Carthaginians in 406 BC, a disaster from which it never really recovered. Refounded by the Greek general and statesman Timoleon in 338, it achieved some local importance in the early 3rd century BC but was sacked by the Romans (262) and the Carthaginians (255) before falling finally to Rome in 210 BC. Under Roman rule its agricultural wealth and the exploitation of the nearby sulfur mines ensured a modest prosperity.
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Ward's LakeJerash: In a remote, quiet valley among the mountains of Gilead lie the ruins of Jerash, at one time a city of the Decapolis, and the only one of that powerful league through whose streets and monuments we can wander and see them as they were in its heyday, untouched except by the hand of time. The history of Jerash goes back to prehistoric times, and on the slopes east of the Triumphal Arch can be found flint implements which show that here was the site of the Neolithic settlement. Outside the walls to the north was a small Early Bronze Age village about 2500 B.C., and on the hilltops above are remains of dolmens of a slightly earlier period.

the field in which the stones stand was said to be cursed, and consequently unprofitable, and the stones themselves were believed to grant any wish whispered to them on Halloween. The capstone is said to whirl around three times on Midsummer Eve, and the same night all the stones go to bathe in the river.

UmiumCorinth, Greece: Corinth, at the north-eastern tip of Peloponnese, the home of Sisyphos and the great hero Bellerophon, was one of the oldest Greek city-states and among the most important ones. Strategically positioned on the Isthmos, was controlling the communication of Peloponnese with the mainland Greece.  It was this position that made her the richest commercial city of ancient Greece. Equated with the Homeric city Ephyra, Corinth was the innovator and master builder of commercial and war ships and developed great wealth from the ancient times, establishing a series of colonies, among them Syracuse. Under Periander, who constructed the Diolkos, Corinth reached its greatest wealth and power.

Ward's LakeThe Labna Arch: The arch at Labna has become one of the main images used when companies wish to portray something "Mayan". It is located at the foot of El Mirador, and is on the opposite side of the city to where tourists enter the site. Measuring about 42 feet wide and standing 20 feet high, the arch shows one of the definitive architectural "fingerprints" of this people... namely the Mayan or Corbelled Archway. The arch once served as the entrance to the city and has a small room on one side where a guard on sentry might find shelter from the elements. Both sides of the arch are richly carved in the classic Puuc style.

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sohpetbneng peakPompeii, Italy: On August 23, 79 AD, Pompeii looked like any other busy, prosperous city. People were moving about, trading goods, news, and friendly talk. Three days later, on August 26, all of these sounds had fallen silent, and the place itself had vanished. Almost nothing was seen of Pompeii for more than 1500 years. The site of Pompeii is located in western Italy in a region called Campania, near the Bay of Naples. Greek settlements began as a series of small trading posts, but soon grew into successful merchant cities that eventually dominated the area. For a few centuries the inhabitants of Campania remained under Hellenic control, with Pompeii and the nearby city Herculaneum the center of Greek occupation. During the fifth century B.C. a group of warriors from Samnium, a region north of Campania, invaded the latter region and seized control of Pompeii. Rome, vying with the Samnites over control of the Italic peninsula, drove the Samnites out in the fourth century B.C. and took Pompeii as its own ally about 290 B.C. Rome's control over Pompeii was distant - the city was allowed to retain its own language and culture, but was required to admit itself subject to Rome without benefiting from the status of Roman citizenship.Where there are no trees to hang a man. Where there is not enough water to drown him. And if you finally succeeded in killing him, it's too rocky to bury him. The landscape of the Burren is special. The limestone is split and weathered. Everywhere are traces of Megalithic Tombs (like this famous Poulnabrone), ringforts, souterrains, cairns, holy wells and stone rows.The vast amount of stone works on the imagination of people some dating from 3000 years BC, by 'Vivienne' (See Vivienne), the woman that he truly loved an who ultimately was to enchant him with the use of his own knowledge bestowed upon her. Merlin is attributed at different times to helping three Kings of England: Aurelius; Uther Pendragon; and later Uther's son Arthur.


Ward's LakeDelphi, Greece: High above the Gulf of Corinth, in the holy Mountain of Parnassos, surrounded by a forest of pines, lay the shrine of the God Apollo, Delphi. For many centuries the voice of Delphi, the most important sanctuary, was the absolute guiding power to the Greeks. People as well cities visited it in order to get answers and guidance for their future and destiny. The oracles were listened and obeyed and their suggestive power was such, that wars were won or lost, by a few words of Pythia. During the 7th century BC, when the barbarian cult of Dionysos had been introduced in Greece, endangering to wipe out the values and traditions and send Hellenes in barbaric stages, it was Delphi that saved Greece by ingeniously introducing Dionysos, with the qualities of Apollo. Delphi, a religious and cultural center, imposed for the first time in human history international law, prohibiting the execution of prisoners of war or the pollution the waters of wells and destruction of aqueducts. Delphi influenced Greece not only religiously, but in education and literature, in art and trade and mainly on colonization. The offerings of individual and cities to the oracle of Pythian Apollo were enormous. More than five thousand works of art were at Delphi before it was destroyed.

UmiumCodz Poop, Kabah: There are numerous representations of the rain god Chaak throughout Yucatan, nowhere are they as apparently obsessive as they are in the Codz Poop at Kabah. This structure is a true feat of engineering. Imagine for a moment if you will, that this building is almost 45 meters long. In the total area that makes up  each Chaak mask, there are 19 different "blocks" including the nose. The total blocks needed for just the Chaak masks were therefore 4,940. Add to this the smaller blocks that made up the door jambs and other ornaments on the wall, and we can estimate that in all the building would require over 6,000 blocks. this mound forms part of the huge passage-tomb cemetery beside the lower stretches of the Boyne. This site has suffered generations of abuse, more than half the original mound is gone, the stone having been taken for road-making and building materials. The Annals of Tighernach tell of Dowth being plundered and burnt in 1059, with a record in the Annals of the Four Masters of three great early battles at Dowth, and a later burning in 1170. In the last century, a house was built on the summit of the mound. There are two prehistoric tombs in the western part of the mound, dating from about 3000 BC. One of the tombs, just inside the kerb of the mound, has a single side chamber opening off a large circular chamber with decorations on some of the stones. This souterrain was probably originally constructed in the 1st millennium BC, when the mound was adapted as the base for a fortress.gical sword, Excalibur. It took him three attempts, so drawn was he to the mighty weapon; when he finally complied with the wounded king's wish, a hand rose from the lake and caught the sword and brandished it three times before vanishing again beneath the water.

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