Werner Herzog’s “Cave of Forgotten Dreams” could well be our only opportunity to see the oldest cave art in the world. The movie's Chauvet Cave, discovered in southern France in 1994 and now closed to the public, reminds us of the unlikely but wondrous chance that we might stumble upon the previously unknown. Seeing as the Washington Times recently published their “Greatest World Discoveries,” we’d like to ask: what do you think is an exciting discovery made in the last century? We’ve already profiled Machu Picchu in a recent post.
Here’s just a short sampling to get you started (courtesy of our members):
- Terracotta Warriors, Xian China
Discovered in 1974 in Xian, China, by farmers excavating a water well, the third century BC Terracotta Army is often considered the eighth wonder of the world. MichaelJM visited and stood in awe, “gazing at the figures, all with their own character and distinguishing marks. It was said that the emperor threatened to kill any of the men if they failed to produce a perfect figure or if there were similarities between the figures. No twins here!”
- Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania, Africa
Photo by Sirenlake
Also called the “Cradle of Mankind,” Olduvai Gorge is so dark that actonsteve said he had “been to some remote places in my life but I don’t think I’ve encountered anywhere as bleak as Olduvai Gorge (where) deep in the African bush hides the remains of man’s ancestors from millions of years ago.” The Gorge, originally a millennia-old lake, was first observed in 1911 but not fully excavated until 1931.
- Ruins of Pompeii
Photo by Two For the Road
We all know the story of Pompeii -- the eruption of Mount Vesuvius buried (and preserved) the town in ash in AD 79, and it was lost to history until its rediscovery in 1749. Susiejwp visited in 2005, and her review, “The Bakery of Modestus,” lays bare her heartfelt thoughts and impressions: “So busy was this bakery and so unaware of the seriousness of Mt Vesuvius' eruption that when this bakery was excavated, 81 loaves of bread were found in the ovens where they had lay after the eruption that killed so many, perfectly preserved for these hundreds of years. It both amazes me that people could not comprehend the seriousness of the eruption and moves me when I think of the people these loaves of bread would have fed had Vesuvius not blown on that fateful day so long ago.”
More Great Things to Do
Things to Do in Italy
Things to Do in Tanzania
Things to Do in China
Posted by Nik’sMom (Terre Grilli)