Stephanie is a cherished member of the Sampling America writing team, dedicated to crafting captivating narratives that transport readers to thrilling adventures across the country and beyond.
Most people will think only of the pyramids in Egypt when the subject is brought up. While they are undoubtedly stunning sites to see, there are several other famous pyramids from around the world that deserve the same recognition.
Be sure to follow along to find these majestic architectural marvels from China to Mexico; many cultures have left these towering sculptures behind.
Pyramid of the Sun, Mexico
The ancient Mayans left behind several pyramids around Mexico and Central America when they were in power. The central city of Teotihuacan is a particularly well-preserved pyramid as it was built from red coarse volcanic rock.
This important archeological site was constructed around the year 100 CE. And thanks to its stable architecture, visitors can enjoy the long walk to the top to enjoy the scenic view of the area.
Archaeologists believe a religious temple once sat atop the pyramid for Mayans to perform ceremonies.
Prang Temple, Cambodia
Founded in 912 AD, the sandstone temple in Koh Ker was once the epicenter of Cambodia. The area has around 100 temples, most of which can still be visited today.
Unfortunately, this site was left unprotected for a long time, so the pyramids in this location were looted or vandalized. Many ancient artifacts can be seen in museums worldwide, but being taken away from the site and scattered across the globe means that archaeologists have needed help painting a complete picture of life and worship inside this structure.
Tomb of the General, China
Although China is already known for its architectural marvels, such as the Great Wall, this pyramid should undoubtedly be added to the list for early architectural importance.
The site in modern-day Ji’an, China, was built as the final resting place of King Gwanggaeto or his son, King Jangsu, both former Kings of Goguryeo, one of the three Kingdoms of Korea.
Ziggurat of Ur, Iraq
Constructed by the Sumerians in 2000 BCE (which makes the building 4,000 years old), the Ziggurat in modern-day Iraq is one of the most well-preserved monuments.
Although parts of the temple have survived all this time, parts have been destroyed and rebuilt twice throughout the years. Once in the 6th century BCE and once recently in the 20th century.
Seeing something with such historical significance stand the test of time is truly a marvel.
Tomb of Kashta, Sudan
Sudan was once known as Nubia, and before that, the Kushite Kingdom. There are over 40 pyramids at this one location in Meroe.
The Nubian kinds were influenced by Egyptian architecture and similarly created their tombs. However, they made their pyramids smaller and more tapered, creating a thinner appearance.
There are currently twice as many Nubian pyramids as Egyptian ones, which is impressive considering the erosion in the sandy desert.
Borobudur Temple, Indonesia
The Borobudur Temple in Java, Indonesia, is one of the world’s largest Buddhist temples. This hand-carved stone pyramid features hundreds of Buddhas and open-air passageways.
At Borobudur, geometry and theology are inexplicably intertwined; the shape of the temple, the adornments, and the passageways follow fascinating shapes and patterns. The building is a masterful example of craftsmanship and needs to be seen to be believed.
The pyramid of Tikal is an entirely preserved Mayan city. This epic pyramid is topped by the Temple of the Two-Headed Serpent. It sat unused for hundreds of years until 1850 when European settlers discovered the area.
Today, Tikal is used as an important archeological site. It has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site and has taught the world about Mayan culture.
Pyramid of Cestius, Italy
Pyramids were not typical structures for Roman tombs. However, the magistrate Caius Cestius built this resting place in 12 BCE in modern-day Rome.
The Romans had visited Egypt, so assumed that Cestius saw the great pyramids and wanted to craft an eternal resting place for himself in the same style, although much smaller.
This pyramid still sits in the city of Rome and can be visited at any time of the year to view the inscription inside the walls.
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