Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Megalithic Portal - Prehistoric and Ancient Sites for Google Earth

I just discovered The Megalithic Portal through the Google Earth blog. It's an independent, volunteer-driven site organized by Andy Burnham. He started a database of ancient sites in 1997 and got things online in 2001. He now has a compilation of more than 25,000 prehistoric and ancient sites from all over the world. You can start by looking for sites using a clickable map of the world, or you could run a search on the site and find, e.g., Ancient Temples in Israel, of which one would be the Chalcolithic Temple at En Gedi.

Perhaps a better way would be to download a KMZ file that can be used in Google Earth. On the Google Earth Community Group (get the KMZ file from there), Burnham says of the KMZ file:
It is a compilation of the 25000+ locations we have listed on the Megalithic Portal. Each entry includes summary descriptions and a thumbnail image, where available. 
The links do provide good information and multiple pictures where available. The sites are organized according to what they are in 50+ categories: temple, palace, tomb, mound, cave, pyramid, etc.

In terms of sites connected with the Bible, it's a mixed bag, but this is an ongoing work, and users can add their own sites and pictures. E.g., in the screen shot of west-central Turkey above, there are some links for Ephesus, Miletus, Sardis, Smyrna, Laodicea..., but not for Philadelphia or Colossae. In Greece, you can Philippi and Corinth but not Thessalonika.

In any case, it's worth getting the KMZ file and adding the web site to your list of resources.