Looking up at the stunning skyscrapers in New York City, one cannot deny the compelling beauty they radiate.  The exteriors are fascinating and not any two are alike.  But the engineering that goes into these buildings and all other modern marvels do not compare to ancient times when tools were scarce and man had to use the resources around him.  Literally.  From stone houses to mud bricks, mankind has come along quite some ways when it comes to development.  This week, I am taking a look at some of the most impressive ancient structures and architecture our planet has to offer us.

1.  Knap of Howar: Scotland, built 3700 B.C. 

Photo Credit: http://www.spottinghistory.com/view/4593/knap-of-howar/

Photo from Flickr, copyright Five Senses Orkney Scotland

Considered the oldest preserved stone house in northern Europe, the Knap of Howar stands alone-by the sea that is.  This home with two buildings, commonly known as the “farmstead,” are connected by a stone passage.  According to archaeological excavations, it is thought that this marvel was formed at the center of a farming establishment atop an even older site. 


2. Roman Colosseum: Rome, Italy, built 12 B.C.

Photo Credit:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colosseum

Jerzy Strzelecki - Own work,Jerzy Strzelecki; adjusted from original, see below by User:Amandajm.

Roma, Colosseo.

It had potential to hold 50,000 people in its venue, is 620 feet long and 513 feet wide-but this is not why the great Colosseum makes our list.  Even though it was the largest amphitheater of its time, the engineering was clearly thought out. The detailed awnings that also have awning covers to provide shade in the sizzling Italy sun.  Overall, this immaculate arena’s engineering was beyond its year.  With the ability to support water for aquatic events, this building can easily be considered one of the greats.


3. Pyramids in Egypt: Egypt, estimated to be built around 2500 B.C.

Photo Credit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egyptian_pyramids


Ricardo Liberato - All Gizah Pyramids


All Giza Pyramids in one shot.


Built around the third dynasty, the Egyptian Pyramids are definitely one for the books.  It is believed that at their prime, these pyramids were surrounded by shrines, courtyards and temples.  In order for these beautiful giants to be constructed properly, each brick had to be hand-cut.  And you think your job is tough?  This grueling process took thousands of workers to haul materials into place for the perfect brick.  If you think about how tall the Great Pyramid of Khufer is at 481 feet tall…that is a whole lot of work!