What inspired you to become an adventurer? For many travellers it comes from the stories of their childhood. Whether it was watching the Indiana Jones films or playing Tomb Raider many travellers would have dreamed of going on their own action packed adventures. Next year, The Mummy staring Tom Cruise will be released and will maybe inspire the next generations of backpackers. In celebration of the trailer released this month we look at three places a backpacker must visit to fulfil their dream of being a modern adventure seeker.
A popular narrative in adventure films is discovering an ancient city deep in the jungle. While Chichen-Itza has already been found, its aura as a lost city still remains and it is one of the best-preserved examples of Mayan culture. According to UNESCO, the Chichen-Itza was built during 415-35 AD in a time know as the Classic period. The El Castillo, also known as the Temple of Kukulcan, is the famous focal point of the ancient city. There are many different examples of Mayan architecture to visit in the Chichen-Itza such as the El Caracol, an observatory tower that is believed to have been used to track Venus.
Great Pyramid of Giza
The Great Pyramid of Giza is the only one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World to remain intact. Due to efforts to preserve the great monument there are limitations to the amount of visitors who can go inside and it is best to book a ticket early to get the full experience. Egypt’s pyramids are the world’s most iconic historic structures and should be on every backpacker’s bucket list.
The pyramids are likely the first tomb you ever heard about and have been the focus of countless crossovers into film, books and games. Escapist Magazine in their article on Egypt and video games state that the original Tomb Raider took a lot of inspiration from Egyptian culture and mixed it with a modern setting. This type of crossover is popular via a slew of leading digital platforms with online gaming site Slingo using Egyptian icon Cleopatra and combining her with modern gaming on its title Cleopatra Plus. The vast use of Egyptian iconography in pop culture shows how much people are fascinated with Ancient Egypt. Unlike players who use games to explore Ancient Egypt, a backpacker knows that the only way to truly see it is to go there themselves.
The Terra-cotta Army
Located in the vast museum that covers the Terra-cotta Army is a small hole. This is the place where one of history’s greatest discoveries was made in 1974 by farmers digging a water well. Instead of finding water the farmers unearthed one of history’s greatest tombs: the burial site of Emperor Qin Shi Huang, the founder of the Qin dynasty. The tomb was built during Qin’s reign, 221-207 B.C., and is believed to contain 8,000 terra-cotta soldiers. Archaeologists have discovered that each terra-cotta warrior was individually unique showing the level of craftsmanship that went into creating the elaborate tomb.
History.com reports that despite the large number of warriors discovered it still only represents 1% of the total tomb. Due to fear of damaging the site the actual tomb of Emperor Qing has yet to be excavated. The Terra-cotta Army has remained one of histories greatest mysterious due to its scale, ambition, and disappearance until 1974.