Hello, and welcome back to my blog! This is part…part…ummmmm, I honestly don’t remember what part we’re on. 😂 I’ve written so many election day posts I lost track of how many parts we’re in! Hopefully, I remember it and can add the title by the end of this post. Anyway, I am back! Our topic for today is actually, different than what I write about. Politics is pretty much, most of what I write these days… Anyway, the topic is about facts and history. It sounds weird at the moment, but, when we get into it, it won’t. Today, I’m writing from my heart, and what else do I like to explore and have an interest in than facts and history?
I’ve mentioned this in, about 2-3 posts, but I’ve never clarified WHAT I like about history. ( To be more specific, ANCIENT history) History is fascinating to me because it is our past, and shows/is what life was like without all these new gadgets in our modern-day world. It’s fascinating to learn about how civilizations thrived in a world with limited supplies and with tools more basic than what we use in our everyday lives. It’s amazing how they created the most amazing things- Pyramids of Giza, ancient temples, ancient vaults, beautiful sculptures- by hand and without complex machines and equipment. I want to share some – 3 – of my most favorite ancient sites with you, to share how creative and innovative they were.
#1, Angkor Wat
I actually, first learned about Angkor Wat from Kumon. One of the passages was a document on an explorer who discovered this temple, and out of curiosity, I googled it and, found out, that it is a very real place, and is very beautiful. Angkor Wat is a temple complex, located in northern Cambodia, in the Khmer region.
Angkor Wat was originally built as a Hindu temple, dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu, in the first half of the 12th century and became a Buddhist temple at the end of the 12th century. It is said to be the largest religious monument in the world, spreading over more than 400 acres. It was built by Emperor Suryavaram II, and because his religion was Hinduism, the temple of Angkor Wat was designed to be a Hindu temple. Later, Angkor Wat had been “sacked” by a rival tribe to the Khmer region, and under the rule of Jayavarman VII, moved their capital to Angkor Thom and the state temple Bayon, both of which are only a few miles to the north of this site. Angkor Thom was actually the last and most enduring city of the Khmer empire and was established by King Jayavarman VII. Angkor Wat was never abandoned, but was only unused and fell apart.
– I had to do some quick research)
#2, Machu Picchu
Ah yes, the all-time famous Machu Picchu which everyone knows about. I didn’t choose this site because it’s popular- I think it is well known- but rather because of how it is built.
I actually learned about Machu Picchu last year, in 6th grade, when learning about Peru. Anyway, Machu Picchu is located in Peru, as I mentioned before, high up in the Andes mountains. It is a famous and mystical city of the Incans. It is believed to have been built in the 1450s, by a young Incan ruler. Machu Picchu is also known as, City in the Clouds. It was discovered by Henry Bingham III in 1911, and in April of 1913, Machu Picchu was revealed to the world by National Geographic. The most remarkable thing about the construction of Machu Picchu is that it lies on two fault lines, and yet can withstand resulting quakes.
This is mainly because the stone rocks making up Machu Picchu fit together perfectly. The Incans used the Ashlar masonry technique to build and stabilize the buildings of Machu Picchu. Ashlar Masonry is a type of stone construction where all the stones are “dressed or cut” to a uniform shape. Another remarkable fact about Machu Picchu is that about 60% of the city is located UNDERGROUND. The purpose and use of Machu Picchu are of many scenarios. From a bustling city center of many cultures to a scared convent for worshippers of the sun god to a resort for the Incan ruler and his family.
#3, Ajanta Caves
To be honest, I know very little about the Ajanta caves, but I have visited them when I was a few years old. Despite that I know very little about them, they are still one of my favorite ancient sites. ( I actually found less info than I was expecting, so, sorry about that!)
The Ajanta Caves are located in the Aurangabad region in the Maharashtra region, of India. They date back to the 2nd century BCE to about 480 CE. The Ajanta consists of about 30 caves and is not numbered chronologically. They are instead, numbered by their location. The Ajanta Caves consist of many paintings and hand-carved sculptures and constitute ancient monasteries and worship-halls carved into a 75-meter wall of rock. One amazing thing about these caves, which I learned from my parents and not the web which has very limited answers to my endless questions, is that they were carved from the top to bottom. They were cared from actual caves, starting from the top, all the way to the bottom. They never started in the middle to mark out the proportions, and just started carving. Cool, right? Another surprising fact about these caves is that they are engulfed in darkness. The caves remain in their original state, as the majority of the caves remain in darkness, without the help of artificial lighting.
I want to share a short fact about the sculptures. I actually have two photos, of me as a little kid, sitting next to the elephant sculpture you see in the picture above, and on the lap of a Vishnu sculpture. When you see the pictures, you see how big these sculptures are. It’s really cool.
So, those were my top 3, most favorite ancient historical sites, and I hope you enjoyed learning about them, a much as I did, writing about them. As you see from the title, it says, ” Facts AND History”. So, that means, we still have facts to cover. Yes, I gave you a list of facts on those 3 historical sites, but I’m not talking about those facts. I’m talking about everyday facts. Really cool facts. I mainly watch Great Big Story on Youtube, and I recommend you check out their channel and some of their videos. They are a company/channel that shares some of the many stories around us to the world. I watch Great Big Story for fun, when I have nothing else to watch or when I’m in the mood to watch something interesting and learn something. It’s not like school where you have to sit down and study Algebra or read about the Mexican-American war for about an hour, but instead short 5 minute videos on the world’s stories. Here are some of my most favorite stories.
Ever heard of a 100-year-old egg? In China, this strange-sounding egg is quite popular. It is a preserved egg, that is a delicacy in China. Only a few people continue to make it the traditional way. The process is something I will leave a surprise, but I want to hint that the eggs only are called century eggs, because of their appearance. Check out the 100-year-old egg Great Big Story
to learn more!
Learn about a Turkish ice cream
that never melts, but is stretchy and delicious, or even how ramen
was invented, or even about the loneliest tree
on earth. There are so many stories about so many things you might not even have known existed, or even about how your most favorite foods were made. I encourage you to check out their videos, you’ll learn a thing or two about the smallest things, and will want to know more!
I also just research random facts online. Did you know, a celebrity learned English just by watching the TV sitcom, “Friends”? Guess who, it’s Kim Namjoon-RM- the leader of the 7-member South Korean boy band, BTS! He has a 148 IQ and taught himself English just by watching the show.
Did you know, Harry Potter/Daniel Radcliff wore out about 60-70 wands during the making of the Harry Potter films? He had a habit of drumming on his lap with his wand- which you can see in many Harry Potter behind the scenes clips- and constantly had to have the wand replaced.
Anyway, I hope you had as much fun as I did, learning about all these facts about Angkor Wat and about the 100-year-old egg. These two topics are my most favorite to learn about/research, and I feel so happy I got to are them with you. Anyway, that was it for today, I hope you all have an amazing day, bye!