Cultural sites in Egypt, Jordan, Peru and Israel are among the amazing "stars" of a new TV show.
Time Scanners should whet the appetites of any holidaymaker contemplating group tours to one of these destinations.
The National Geographic Channel programme gives a fascinating insight into some of the world's most iconic engineering achievements.
Structural engineer Steve Burrows began his quest on Tuesday (February 25) at 9pm in Jordan's legendary desert city of Petra.
This Middle Eastern hotspot, which was visited by US President Barack Obama last year, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Nabataean ancients carved this unique city into the sheer rock face, transforming the rocky region into a passageway for the import of trade goods including silk and spices. One of its highlights is the stunning Al-Khazneh (Treasury). With dimensions spanning 30m wide (98ft) and 43m (141ft) tall, it was carved out of the pink rock face in the early 1st century.
Burrows was a creative force behind the design of Beijing's famous Bird's Nest Olympic Stadium in China.
In future weeks he will be turning his attentions to the Egyptian Pyramids, so loved by holidaymakers on city breaks to Giza, Israel's holy city of Jerusalem, and Peru's enchanting Inca ruins of Machu Picchu.
The latter is breathtakingly beautiful, located in the heart of a tropical mountain forest. Its awe-inspiring massive walls, terraces and ramps seem as if they have been cut naturally in the continuous rock escarpments.
The show covers architecture, history, engineering and science in an accessible way, using the latest research tools and visual mapping to unravel the mysteries behind some of the world's most recognised buildings.
Time Scanners employs 3D laser-scanning technology to underline the brilliance of the engineers of the ancient world. The Gadget Show's Dallas Campbell presents the series, which also features Rome's Colosseum and St Paul's Cathedral in London.
Copyright Press Association 2014
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