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.