Colonia Marciana Ulpia Traiana Thamugadi to Latinists, is the archetypal lost city from adventure stories. Once a vibrant city founded in the desert on the orders of the emperor Trajan it survived the upheavals of the empire and grew to a large trading city. After being sacked in the 5th century it was reborn as a center of Christian life. A second major sacking in the 7th century by Vandals led to the complete abandonment of the city. That is when the sands of the Sahara covered the site and preserved the city until its rediscovery, in 1881. Tilak Guatemala Mayan city of Tikal was once the capital city of a Mayan kingdom and a major city of the New World. The site was occupied from ~200-900 AD. Thanks to the almost perfect preservation of the city much is known about the grandeur of Tikal at its height, as well as the powerful kings who ruled there. While the site is sometimes – like other New World ruins – listed as ‘mysteriously’ abandoned, research is showing that the land could not support the large number of people congregating in the city.
Minoan civilization of Crete is named for the mythical King Minos, builder of the labyrinth. There is scant written material left from the Minoans, so we do not know what they called themselves. The entire civilization was largely forgotten until the turn of the 20th century. With the discovery of the great palace at Knossos the glories of the Minoans were rediscovered.
Cliff palace Colorado
Pueblo people, the Native Americans of the US southwest, are named for the villages (Pueblos) they construct. While there are still vibrant pueblo communities today, the Anasazi, an ancient pueblo society, flourished between 900 and 1200 AD. Occupation of the site was short lived and it was abandoned by 1300 AD.
Whenever ‘lost cities’ are discussed Atlantis springs to mind. While there is no strong evidence that Atlantis existed outside of an allegorical tale by Plato many cities have suffered the supposed fate of Atlantis – being swallowed by the sea. Pavlopetri was a town of pre-Classical Greece that was settled in the Stone Age and persisted until ~1000 BC. That the site was submerged has given archaeologists a unique insight into life at the time.
Atlantis is the famous mythical lost city mentioned in Plato’s works and unlike the other cities on this list, has not been found till now. Most historians and archaeologists agree that there is no such city.
For a very long time, Troy was thought to be a mythical lost city mentioned only in Greek classics like Iliad but in 1860, an excavation in the coastal town of Anatolia found the remains of what is now confirmed as Troy.
Another Mayan lost city in Mexico, this archaeological site is located in the south of the country. It can be dated back to the 7th century which was the peak of Mayan rule but was abandoned due to unknown reasons.
This city is located near the famous Lake Titicaca is Bolivia and is one of the largest ancient cities in the country. It is estimated that anywhere between ten and thirty thousand people could have been living in this city.
This is probably one of the most enigmatic lost cities in the world since its original builders are unknown till today. The city is a large urban complex stretching to over 20 square kilometers with many distinctive pyramids.
The lost city of Tilak belongs to the Mayan era and may seem very remote today, but before the 4th century, it was the capital of one of the most powerful Mayan rulers.
Petra is an ancient city located in the valleys of Jordan and was established in 312 BC. It is also known as the Rose City since most of the structures in this abandoned city have been carved out of pink stone.
Pompeii is perhaps one of the most famous lost cities in the world and was buried under the volcanic ash when Mount Vesuvius erupted.
The Angkor Wat Complex is one of the largest Hindu temples that dates back to the 12th century. It was built by Khmer King Suryavarman 2 in the early 12th century as the official temples of the state.
MACHU PICCHU, PERU
Machu Picchu is an ancient city of the Inca period and is located on top of the Urubamba hill in Peru. It has been declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983