You’ve heard of Machu Picchu and Stonehenge. You’ve seen pictures of them your entire life. If you ever made it to Easter Island, you’d see the famous Moai, and you’d say, “Yeah, that’s basically what they looked like in the pictures.” But the world has more ruins than just the popular tourist attractions. The world is littered with scraps of its own history, and some of the lesser-known scraps are still truly spectacular.
They’re found in Central American jungles, Middle Eastern deserts, European cityscapes, Southeast Asian volcanic valleys, and on North American mesas. Here are some of the most impressive ruins that you’ve (probably) never heard of before.
An earlier version of this article was originally posted on September 17, 2009.