Art and Culture

Watch These Cool GIFs Restore Ancient Ruins to Their Former Glory

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BY TIM NEWCOMB

Even in their ruined formed, the glory of the Parthenon in Greece and the Luxor Temple in Egypt draw myriad tourists every year. However, it can be hard to imagine what these buildings looked like in their dazzling original forms. That’s why Expedia recently showed off these GIFs that revitalize ancient ruins to their former glory.

The Parthenon

Atop the Acropolis sits perhaps the most famous building of Ancient Greece. Built in 447 B.C., the Parthenon sheltered a monumental golden statue of Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom, craft, and war. The Great Turkish War in 1687 damaged the temple when an ammunition dump exploded inside the structure.

While parts of the Doric architecture remain, the GIF reveals the structure in its full Greek grandeur.

Nohoch Mul Pyramid

The tallest of the Mayan pyramids on the Yucatan Peninsula, and the second-tallest Mayan pyramid in the world, the site was likely settled between 100 BC and 100 AD—but not discovered by Europeans until the 1800s. The Mayans probably abandoned the site around 1550, when the Spanish conquistadors came.

Temple of Jupiter

The ancient city of Pompeii on the Bay of Naples was destroyed by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 A.D. and not rediscovered until the 16th century. We can only reimagine what the Temple of Jupiter, a building dedicated to the god of the sky and thunder, was like in all its glory. Here’s a best guess.

Hadrian’s Wall, Milecastle 39

The Romans built Hadrian’s Wall across England during the 1st century A.D. as a way to secure the empire from would-be attackers. They built “milecastles,” or forts, within the wall at intervals of approximately one Roman mile (roughly 4,850 modern feet, or 0.92 of a U.S. mile). Here’s what it might have looked like.

Luxor Temple

Commissioned by Amenhotep III in 1380 B.C., this Egyptian sacred site was added onto over the years with a pylon gateway, an open courtyard, and even an avenue of sphinxes. One of the most monumental stone architecture examples of the day had plenty of extras to make it even more prominent.

The Pyramid of the Sun

An urban center in central Mexico, the Pyramid of the Sun was constructed between the 1st and 7th centuries A.D. as the largest building in Teotihuacan, a site of Mesoamerican archeological ruins northeast of Mexico City. It is one of the oldest pyramids in central Mexico. Seeing it now in its full form—likely around 216 feet tall, 720 feet wide and 760 feet long—would certainly continue to impress.

Area Sacra di Largo Argentina

Originally discovered in 1920, this Italian ruin shows off columns and steps of what is now known as Temple B, the most recent of four temples at the site. A reimagining of the Area Sacra di Largo site offers a look at the splendor of the temple. Source

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