The Megalithic Temples of Malta are thought to be the world's earliest free-standing constructions. They date between 3600 and 700 BC. The temples were built by members of the Mediterranean megafauna that included elephants, lions, and leopards. Although they were constructed from stone, no intact skeletons have been found below ground, so it may be they were simply covered with dirt.
The Great Pyramid of Giza was probably built for use as a tomb around 2500 BC. It is estimated to be about 4500 years old. However, its actual age has not been determined conclusively. The accuracy of the dating methods used to determine an exact age for the pyramid are subject to debate, and some researchers believe it may be significantly older than previously thought.
Construction on the Great Wall of China began around 220 BC and is believed to be still being added to today. The wall was built to protect against invasion from northern tribes such as the Xiongnu and Mongols. It was also meant to show the power of the emperor by demonstrating the extent of his military might.
Alaska's Mount McKinley is often called the world's tallest mountain outside of Asia. Located in Alaska, it rises 20,310 feet (6,190 m) above sea level.
Five of the World's Oldest Structures
Malta's Megalithic Temples are thought to be between 3,000 and 4,500 years old. They are made up of large monolithic stones that were brought from far away and placed without any mortar. The temples are in Valletta, which is the capital of Malta.
These are the only known neolithique sites in Europe. Other islands in the Mediterranean may have had settlements earlier in prehistory, but they're unknown except through history records. For example, there's good evidence that Sicily had many cities when Roman settlers arrived on the scene in 275 BC, but they're all buried under modern soil deposits.
It's believed that the people who built the Megalithic Temples were the ancestors of the Maltese. There's no proof of this, but it makes sense given how similar they are in design and construction techniques. You can see some of them today in the Grand Harbour area of Valletta. They're really impressive sights!
The Megalithic Temples are important because they show that ancient people were capable of building enormous structures out of rock. Many historians believe that they were used for ritual purposes.
The spherical, 19-columned edifice is known as the Temple of Hercules Victor and originates from the 2nd century BC, making it the oldest surviving building in Rome! Another temple that appears to be identical to the remnants of the Athenian Pantheon is the Temple of Portunus, which was built around 100-80..
The ruins you see today are all that's left of two great cities, one now buried under modern Rome, the other lost to history for over a thousand years. The original Roman Empire covered an area from Britain to Syria, but by the time Christianity became the state religion in A.D. 321, most of this territory had been abandoned. When the barbarians invaded Europe, they didn't go after gold or silver, they just sacked towns and killed people. The Romans left Italy, never to return again.
Rome reached its peak as an empire in its second century A.D., but it was already beginning to crumble away when it fell to the Germanic tribes in A.D. 476. The last emperor, Romulus Augustulus, surrendered to the Germans in 476 and the city was destroyed over the next few days. It's said that the German king Odoacer returned what money he could find to a poor peasant named Laurentius who lived in a small village about 15 miles outside of Rome...
...but there weren't any museums yet!
The Pantheon is the world's oldest edifice that is still in use today. It has been a Roman Catholic church since the 7th century. It was the third version of the edifice, built approximately 125 A.D. by the Roman emperor Publius Aelius Hadrianus. The original version of the temple was erected in 27 B.C. by Marcus Aurelius Antoninus.
The word "Pantheon" is derived from the Greek words pan (all) and theon (god). It used to be the largest temple in Rome devoted exclusively to Jupiter but it now serves as a church too. The original temple was destroyed in A.D. 160 during the reign of Emperor Antoninus Pius. It was rebuilt within five years by itself until it was finally completed in 135 A.D. By that time, Emperor Hadrian had become one of its main architects.
You may wonder how such an ancient structure survives today. The exterior is made of marble but the interior is actually limestone. The builders of the Pantheon took great care to preserve it over the centuries because of its important role in Roman religion. Even though it no longer functions as a temple, people continue to visit the Pantheon because of its historic significance.
You may also want to know how old the Romans themselves were at the time they built the Pantheon.