An archaeological site is any place with physical evidence of past human activity. Such sites might be from pre-history as well as history; even remnants from modern times can count as archaeological sites.
The leave-no-trace principle is mandatory for these places. Legal consequences for trespassing in closed areas, damaging remnants, or removing artifacts, might be harsh. Respect local authorities.
Some archaeological sites give opportunities for tourists to take part in excavations. Other sites have developed into tourist traps, where commerce is dominant above the genuine experience.
For places that are both archaeological sites and still inhabited, we have a separate list at Old Town.
There are several kinds of archaeological souvenirs:
- Genuine artifacts: Possession of these might be illegal. In every case collecting at archaeological sites destroys valuable historical information. You need a scientific strategy, elaborate methods and the permissions of the relevant government authorities.
- Forged artifacts: Claimed to be genuine, but might cause as much trouble as a genuine artifact.
- Official replicas: Often sold by museums; probably the safest choice for a traveller
Famous archaeological sites
- Greece: Athens/Acropolis, Olympia, Knossos, Rhodos
- Italy: Rome/Colosseo, Pompeii
- United Kingdom: Stonehenge
- Cambodia: Angkor Wat
- Pakistan: Mohenjo-daro
- Turkey: Troy
- Jordan: Petra
- China: caves outside Dunhuang
- Guatemala: Tikal
- United States: Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site, Moundsville, Ohio prehistoric sites