About Paths Unwritten
Paths Unwritten seeks to discover, document, and share historical, cultural, and practical travel information from the ruins and monuments of ancient kingdoms and civilizations around the world, along with any stray curiosities found on the way.
Throw yourself out into the currents of the world.
What You’ll Find at Paths
Ancient ruins and forgotten cities capture the traveller’s imagination in a way few other things can, and that allure is one of the reasons I keep travelling — to see these places before they fade away and perhaps capture some glimmer of their story in person.
And that is something I hope to share through Paths Unwritten.
Archaeology is one of the sciences that is critically underserved in popular communication, while simultaneously being inundated with unsubstantiated theories from every angle.
There are some fantastic science communicators in the field who make the topic approachable and entertaining — including some of my favorites like Karen Bellinger, Natasha Billson, Stephen Milo, and Raven Todd Da Silva. However, they tend to focus more on the process and overarching theory of archaeology and anthropology.
Paths aims to look more closely at individual archaeological and historical sites, putting them into their proper context and making these ancient locations themselves more accessible to the casual visitor and traveller.
Atlas posts profile particular locations, providing the reader with background information, a firsthand account of the visit, and conclude with information on how to visit them for yourself.
The central focus of Paths Unwritten — the Lost City Travel Guides — detail individual archaeological sites as well as entire ancient cities. These guides provide their history, cultural significance, and practical information for the traveller to visit the ruins, whether a single monument or a deserted landscape.
Cultures around the world often devote their greatest artistic effort to their religious spaces. Whether they are ancient or modern, the Sacred Spaces travel guides focus on living religious sites, their histories, and their significance to the modern people who visit, be they traveller or pilgrim.
Perhaps the greatest thrill of travel are the cultural quirks and unexpected locales you can find yourself in. These posts document those noteworthy oddities found hidden in the dark corners of the earth.
Cultural Index — Profiles examining the history, artwork, beliefs, and geography of the historic and ancient cultures discussed in the articles on this site.
Architecture Index — Profiles looking at the designs, history, and cultural significance of particular building trends in the ancient world.
Artifact Index — Profiles examining the history and meaning of individual artifacts, whether they are unique examples of a culture’s expression, influential objects in a culture’s history, or simply interesting.
What You Won’t Find at Paths
The principal focus of Paths Unwritten is examination of archaeological sites and the ancient civilizations around the world who built them. Inherent in this topic is much in the the way of fringe theories (ancient aliens, genetic engineering), metaphysical or religiously-motivated conspiracies (giants, crystal energies), and general misinformation (unproven civilizations, high technology) — otherwise dubbed “pseudoarchaeology”.
As most of this self-referencing “alternative research” either sidesteps or is incapable of employing the scientific method, it will not be addressed here.
Paths does its best to use professional research and academic sources to provide the most accurate information to readers. While articles will often delve into local folklore, legends, or oral traditions from a location (whether they are sourced firsthand or through academic research), these will be supplemental material included to provide a more complete picture, and are not meant as a substitute for archaeological and anthropological information.
Paths Unwritten Has Been Featured at:
- Lomprayah Magazine
- Chiang Mai Uncovered Magazine
- Ancient Sites of Southeast Asia: A Traveler’s Guide through History, Ruins, and Landscapes by William Chapman
- Khmer Life