The New Wonders of the World

Swiss entrepreneurs Bernard Weber and Bernard Piccard decided it was time to renew the original list of the Seven Wonders of the World, hence the "New Wonders of the World" were unveiled. All but one of the old Seven Wonders disappeared from the updated list. Six of the seven are archaeological sites, and those six and the leftover from the last seven -- the Pyramids at Giza -- are all here, in addition to a couple of extras that we think should have made the cut.

Pyramid caravan
Mark Brodkin Photography / Getty Images

The only remaining 'wonder' from the ancient list, the pyramids on the Giza plateau in Egypt include three main pyramids, the Sphinx, and several smaller tombs and mastabas. Built by three different pharaohs of the Old Kingdom between 2613-2494 BC, the pyramids must make anybody's list of man-made wonders.

Views Of The Colosseum, Rome, Italy
Dosfotos / Design Pics / Getty Images

The Colosseum (also spelled Coliseum) was built by the Roman emperor Vespasian between 68 and 79 AD AD, as an amphitheater for spectacular games and events for the Roman people. It could hold up to 50,000 people.

The New Seven Wonders: Taj Mahal, India
Phillip Collier

The Taj Mahal, at Agra, India, was built at the request of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in the 17th century in memory of his wife and queen Mumtaz Mahal who died in AH 1040 (AD 1630). The exquisite architectural structure, designed by the famed Islamic architect Ustad 'Isa, was completed in 1648.

Machu Picchu from a distance, the ruins with mountain Wina Picchu behind it.
Gina Carey

Machu Picchu was the royal residence of the Inca king Pachacuti, ruled between AD 1438-1471. The huge structure is located on the saddle between two huge mountains, and at an elevation of 3000 feet above the valley below.

Camels and tourists at the Treasury of Petra
Peter Unger / Getty Images

The archaeological site of Petra was a Nabataean capital city, occupied beginning in the sixth century BC. The most memorable structure -- and there are plenty to choose from -- is the Treasury, or (Al-Khazneh), carved out of the red stone cliff during the first century BC.

Close-up of Chac Mask (Long Nosed God), Chichen Itza, Mexico
The New Seven Wonders of the World Close-up of Chac Mask (Long Nosed God), Chichen Itza, Mexico. Dolan Halbrook

Chichén Itzá is a Maya civilization archaeological ruin in the Yucatán peninsula of Mexico. The site's architecture has both classic Puuc Maya and Toltec influences, making it a fascinating city to wander through. Built beginning about 700 AD, the site reached its heyday between about 900 and 1100 AD.

The Great Wall of China, in winter
The New Seven Wonders of the World The Great Wall of China, in winter. Charlotte Hu

The Great Wall of China is a masterpiece of engineering, including several chunks of massive walls extending for a huge length of 3,700 miles (6,000 kilometers) across much of what is China. The Great Wall was begun during the Warring States period of the Zhou Dynasty (ca 480-221 BC), but it was the Qin dynasty emperor Shihuangdi (he of the terracotta soldiers) who began consolidation of the walls.

Rainbow over Stonehenge
Scott E Barbour / Getty Images

Stonehenge didn't make the cut for the Seven New Wonders of the World, but if you took a poll of archaeologists, Stonehenge would likely be on there.

Stonehenge is a megalithic rock monument of 150 enormous stones set in a purposeful circular pattern, located on the Salisbury Plain of southern England, the main portion of it built about 2000 BC. The outside circle of Stonehenge includes 17 enormous upright trimmed stones of hard sandstone called sarsen; some paired with a lintel over the top. This circle is about 30 meters (100 feet) in diameter, and, stands about 5 meters (16 feet) tall.

Maybe it wasn't built by druids, but it is one of the best known archaeological sites in the world and beloved by hundreds of generations of people.

Angkor Wat
Ashit Desai / Getty Images

Angkor Wat is a temple complex, indeed the largest religious structure in the world, and part of the capital city of the Khmer Empire, which controlled all the area in what is today the modern country of Cambodia, as well as parts of Laos and Thailand, between the 9th and 13th centuries AD.

The Temple Complex includes a central pyramid of some 60 meters (200 ft) in height, contained within an area of about two square kilometers (~3/4 of a square mile), surrounded by a defensive wall and moat. Known for breathtaking murals of mythological and historical figures and events, Angkor Wat is certainly an excellent candidate for one of the new wonders of the world.