Today we explore the secrets of the 7 wonders of the world. Let’s take a look at the mysterious Maya city Chichen Itza, where researchers accidentally discovered new artifacts and caves just 3 years ago. We’ll also uncover how people in this forgotten city built an empire in the desert and why the Taj Mahal almost had a black replica next to it. Only 3% of our viewers are currently subscribed to our channel.
So if you enjoy our videos, make sure to click that button. And now, let’s start with Chichen Itza in Mexico The Maya Civilization is one of the most remarkable civilizations in history and their influence can be observed across Latin America to this day. They developed sophisticated writing methods, advanced systems of astronomy, and a 365-day Calendar system that could accurately predict solar eclipses. With help of the latest radar technologies, archaeologists are discovering new Mayan cities to this day. One of the most fascinating places of the Maya civilization is the city of Chichen Itza. It was built in proximity to four Cenotes that served as sources of freshwater. However in one of these Archaeologists discovered something interesting. They found thousands of objects in the so-called Sacred Cenote, including artifacts made of gold and other valuable materials, and they also found human skeletons. This Cenote served as a place for the rituals of the Maya including bloodletting and human sacrifice to the Rain God. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the impressive city. In total Chichen Itza is home to 26 Mayan Ruins including the famous 30-meter tall pyramid called El Castillo. Built between the 9th and 12th centuries, the Pyramid served as a temple. It is surrounded by four stairways with 91 steps each. With the addition of the final step at the platform, a total of 365 steps lead to the Pyramid, which is also the number of days in the Mayan Calendar. The Pyramid also has 9 terraces believed to symbolize the nine stages of Heaven according to the Maya belief. On top of that, El Castillo is not a single pyramid. During the 1930s, archaeologists found that inside the pyramid is another pyramid temple. Among other things they found a red Jaguar-shaped Throne inside this second temple. Just recently, in 2015, researchers made yet another amazing discovery under El Castillo. They found another Cenote beneath the Temple which is believed to hold sacred significance for the worshippers. Since excavations at Chichen Itza have also uncovered human remains, researchers believe that El Castillo was a place of human sacrifice and the hidden Cenote acted as a connection between the human remains and the afterlife. Another phenomenon can be observed twice a year when the sun rays come from a certain direction. On the outer ring of El Castillo visitors can see a massive serpent shadow descending from the top of the pyramid. And at the base of it is the head. There are probably many more things to explore. Chichen Itza was re-discovered more than 150 years ago, with excavations ongoing for over a century. However, only one-fifth of the site has been excavated so far, with new discoveries being made to this day. Just in 2019, researchers looking for sacred cenotes accidentally discovered a cave system containing more than 150 Maya ritual objects. These discoveries may finally give archaeologists some clues on the fall of Chichen Itza. Whether we will find more secrets in these caves remains to be seen, but it is clear that this Mayan Ruin has more stories to tell. The Colosseum in Italy Ancient Rome was famous for their brutal gladiator fights and Chariot racing.
Under the motto of bread and games, they already understood how to entertain their people and today we can only imagine the atmosphere during these events. In total Rome had over 200 of these venues, but none of them was as grand and magnificent as The Colosseum. Construction of the Colosseum started in 72 AD with most of the funds coming from the Roman conquest of Jerusalem. The construction of the Colosseum was no small feat and remains one of the most refined examples of architectural achievement of its time. The secret behind the Colosseum’s longevity is the concrete mix used in construction. Romans used a sticky mortar made of lime and volcanic ash. And while today’s concrete is around 10 times stronger, it seems like their concrete has great resistance over time. Starting with a 13-meter deep foundation, the Colosseum was built up to five levels and reached a height of 50 meters. The structure required large quantities of Travertine stone which was transported from the quarries of Tivoli around 30 kilometers away. To get the stones to the top, laborers used wooden cranes with a weight at the back to support the load. Close to 100,000 laborers took part in construction and after less than 10 years, construction was completed. The oval-shaped arena stood 50 meters tall, 190 meters long, and 156 meters wide. Building something on that scale without many advanced tools in such a short time just shows how advanced their building skills already were. The first games in the arena lasted for 100 days and for the following 200 years, the Colosseum remained the central venue for the most blood-thirsty sport of all time — the Gladiator Fighting. Most Gladiators were convicted criminals or prisoners of war and were given martial arts training all year at special schools. During the games, most of these fighters died in the amphitheater after battling powerful opponents and the scorching sun for hours. Gladiator fighting was banned towards the end of the 4th century as the church declared that such brutality had no place in the civil world. Other games continued for many more decades and the Colosseum became the starting point for our modern stadiums. Petra in Jordan The story of Petra goes back 2000 years when Arabian Nomads settled on a desert terrain in Southern Jordan.
The settlers called Nabateans chose this location because of their experience of life in barren deserts and rocky mountains. They were able to use their knowledge of this particular environment to gain an advantage over enemies. In addition their settlement became the meeting point of six major spice trade routes. The settlers started providing shelter and water along the trade routes and charged tolls to foreign traders crossing their territory. Within a few years, these former Nomads started controlling a big chunk of the Spice trade. As the settlers grew rich, they started establishing a state in the desert, including a capital city that they named Raqmu. Using early rock-cutting techniques and simple tools, they carved the capital out of sandstone. The most important buildings like the Monastery and the Treasury were plastered and painted with bright rose color to give them an exquisite look. In addition they were masters in saving water. The residents developed a system of conduits and dams to harvest, store and distribute rainwater all year. Even though the region only had 6 inches of rain every year, the Nabateans survived thanks to their water conservation techniques. With time, the Nabatean Kingdom started growing and hit its peak towards the end of the 1st Century when the capital was home to 20,000 people. But during the time of the Roman Expansion, the city became a Roman province and was renamed Petra. The flourishing City started declining in the 4th Century when sea trade routes and new routes up north largely replaced the routes through Petra. A few years into this decline, Petra was devastated by a massive earthquake. Many of its structures were destroyed and that proved to be the final nail in the coffin. Despite some restoration efforts, Petra was essentially abandoned by the 7th century. Petra’s ruins resurfaced in 1812 when Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt reintroduced them to the world. Since that time, explorers have continued to unearth the once great city from the desert sand. Petra’s excavation formally began a century later and archaeologists have identified over 800 lost monuments at the site. However, they have uncovered just 15 percent of the city, and most of the remains are still buried underground. The Taj Mahal in India With 7 to 8 million visitors per year, the impressive Taj Mahal is India’s most visited building. Lying on the right bank of the sacred River Yamuna, the Taj Mahal was built during the reign of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. After losing his third and most loved wife he wanted to build a fitting memorial to express his love. So he ordered construction of an extravagant mausoleum, the likes of which were never seen before. Construction started in 1631 and over the next two decades, around 20 thousand workers built the Taj Mahal.
Since Mughals controlled most of South Asia, materials from all over the continent were brought to the construction site with elephants. The main structure was completed 17 years later and included a 35-meter Central Tomb surrounded by 4 minarets. These minarets were designed with a slight outward tilt to ensure that they fall away from the tomb in case of a collapse. The Taj Mahal is recognized around the world because of its white marble exterior. And equally impressive is its interior, which is decorated with 40 different types of precious stones. The elaborate stone work and the expensive decorations meant that the cost of building the Taj Mahal exceeded 32 million Indian rupees at the time, which is the equivalent of a billion dollars today. This makes the Taj Mahal comparable to the Great Pyramid of Giza as one of history’s most expensive Burial sites. According to a myth the emperor Shah Jahan was so proud of his creation that he wanted to build a Black Taj Mahal across the River. It should be built entirely of black marble. This replica was to serve as the final resting place of Shah Jahan himself who also wanted to connect the two tombs with a Golden bridge across the river. However, he didn’t get the chance to build another one. He already spent too much of the empire’s treasures on the first Taj Mahal. And that’s why his son put him under house arrest, when he gained control over the empire. Christ the Redeemer in Brazil We conclude today’s list with a relatively recent structure that serves as a symbol of Christianity across the world. Originally the statue was envisioned as Jesus carrying a cross in one hand and a globe in the other.
However, the design got changed and now it is standing at a height of 30 meters and with outstretched arms that have a reach of 28 meters. Also known as Cristo Redentor, the statue is placed atop Rio de Janeiro’s Mount Corcovado which towers more than 700 meters above the city. The statue was originally designed into clay pieces in France before being shipped to Brazil where it was remade with concrete. Because of its massive size, the statue was transported to the top of the hill in parts, where it was assembled on a 8-meter pedestal. Christ the Redeemer is the third largest Jesus statue in the world, and while the other entrants on this list are ancient, it was built quite recently in the 20th century. That’s why many observers wonder why Christ the Redeemer is on a list of 7 wonders that also includes marvels like the Pyramids, the Great Wall of China and Chichen Itza. One reason is that Christ the Redeemer has massive influence on a large population in Brazil and the rest of the world. And when the modern wonders of the world were chosen in an online vote in 2007, the statue received many votes due to its large publicity. Christ the Redeemer’s impact on Rio De Janeiro is undeniable. The statue has come to define the city and has become an important part of the culture. Almost 2 million people visit the site every year because of its spiritual hold on millions across the world. Overall tens of millions of people voted for the modern world wonders, but what do you think? What would your top 7 list look like? Do you think Christ the Redeemer merits a place on this list? Or are there other places that were worthy of a spot? Let us know in the comments below. If you haven’t already, make sure to check out our first part about the Great Wall of China, Machu Picchu and the Great Pyramid of Giza. Thank you for watching and we’ll see you next time