Since ancient times, cities have always been an important part of human existence. Unlike cities in the modern world, many cities of ancient times were quite small but were still extremely important to the people who inhabited them. Even though many ancient cities are still visible today, there are also many that have been lost due to natural disasters, wars or the effects of time. Evidence for many of these towns can now only be seen in written records which are generally rare. As more and more archaeologists dedicate their time to digging and excavating the earth for more evidence of the past, we can expect more of these cities to be discovered in the future. In the meantime, here are some of the lost cities that have been found. While reading, keep in mind that each of these uncovered cities has something unique to learn about ancient humans, which is why they are worth visiting.
ten Troy, Turkey
The story of the great Trojan War written by Homer turned out to be possibly based on facts when the city of Troy was discovered in 1868 by a man named Heinrich Schliemann. The city, also known as Hisarlik, was discovered on the northwest coast of modern Turkey, and the man who discovered the city even claimed to have found treasures belonging to King Priam.
9 Dazzling Aten, Egypt
A 3000-year-old Egyptian city was recently discovered in Egypt, and it is so remarkable that archaeologists have even called it the greatest discovery in Egypt since the discovery of the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun. This city was named after the Egyptian sun god – Aten, and its existence has been dated to around 1386 and 1353 BC when Amenhotep III was Pharaoh.
8 Ciudad Perdida, Colombia
South America is home to many lost cities, and although the Lost City of Gold has yet to be found, the Lost City of Ciudad Perdida has been found in Colombia. This city is older than Machi Picchu, having been founded in 800 CE. It was discovered in 1972 by a group of local treasure looters who discovered the town buried in dense foliage as they attempted to retrieve the wild turkey they had slaughtered. According to experts, it was the home of the ancient Tairona who fled when the Spaniards arrived. Its remote location in the jungle means that tourists can only reach the lost city after a five-day trek.
seven Tanis, Egypt
Tanis was one of the most important cities in ancient Egypt which served many things during its existence. At one time, it even served as the Egyptian capital. Some of the oldest structures in the excavation date from a period that lasted from 1069 to 945 BC. The city was first excavated in 1825 and was also made famous by the popular Indiana Jones movie – Raiders of the Lost Ark.
6 Pompeii, Italy
One of the most tragic stories of all time was the destruction of the Roman city of Pompeii. It all happened in the summer of 79 AD when Mount Vesuvius erupted and buried the city in volcanic ash and poisonous gases. Even though it was such a large Roman city, Pompeii was lost for many centuries until 1748 when workers came across a city with buildings and streets while digging a foundation. Words spread and soon the site was attracting treasure hunters and archaeologists like sugar ants. It didn’t take long to conclude that the newly discovered city was the lost city of Pompeii. Excavations have revealed a lot, from the remains of people trapped in the city to impressive buildings and a massive amphitheater.
5 Caral, Peru
Peru is not only home to the impressive Machu Picchu. It is also home to Caral, famous for being the oldest civilization in the Americas. The origin of this city dates back 5,000 years, and it is the origin of the Andean culture, most of which came under the influence of the Inca Empire. The city was discovered in 1948 and declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2009.
4 Mohenjo Daro, Pakistan
Mohenjo Daro was a very important city in the Indus civilization. It was built around 2,500 years ago and is considered the largest settlement of the Indus Civilization, as it is estimated to have a peak population of around 40,000 people. The city was discovered in 1922 by RD Banerji and excavated during a period that lasted from the mid-1920s to the 1930s. Besides being one of the most important ancient civilizations in the world, this ancient city is also l architecturally one of the most impressive.
3 Thonis-Heracleion, Egypt
It is difficult to find cities lost on land but even more difficult to find those under water. With the discovery of Thonis-Heracleion, it is clear that there is no limit to archaeologists who will not set off to discover new cities. For more than a thousand years, this port city was submerged by water and forgotten until it was explored in 1999. The ruins of underwater exploration include several statues, including that of the god Serapis.
2 Ani, Turkey
Ani is perhaps the youngest city on the list of lost and discovered cities in the world. It was a medieval Armenian city that was the capital of an Armenian kingdom. While its prosperity peaked in the 10th and 11th centuries, this city has been home to residents since the Bronze Age and had an estimated population of 100,000 at its peak. After being attacked by the Mongols and hit by an earthquake, the city was irretrievably destroyed and lost until it was discovered in 1955 in Turkey by Mark Gioloany.
1 Helike, Greece
Nature played a huge role in the sudden demise of Helike, a once vibrant ancient Greek city located in the northern Peloponnese region. The city was lost after being submerged one winter night in 373 BC by waters resulting from a tsunami that was also believed to have been caused by an earthquake. Like Pompeii, all the inhabitants of this city perished as a result of the natural disaster. For a long time it remained lost until it was rediscovered in 2001, and excavations have continued since then.