It’s difficult to believe how a whole city could go lost, yet that’s exactly what happened to the places on this list. There are a variety of reasons for a city’s abandonment. To name a few, war, natural disasters, climate change, and the loss of vital economic partners. Whatever the reason, these lost cities faded into obscurity until they were unearthed hundreds of years later.
1. Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu, one of the world’s most renowned lost towns, was rediscovered in 1911 by Hawaiian historian Hiram after it had been concealed for generations above the Urubamba Valley. The “Lost City of the Incas” is fully self-contained and undetectable from below, surrounded by agricultural terraces and fed by natural springs. Although well-known in Peru, it remained mostly unknown to the rest of the world until 1911, when it was rediscovered. Also, read Best Tacos near me.
Tikal was the biggest Mayan metropolis between 200 and 900 AD, with an estimated population of 100,000 to 200,000 people. When Tikal’s population peaked, the surrounding area saw deforestation and erosion, followed by a precipitous population decline. Between 830 and 950, Tikal’s population plummeted, and the city’s central authority appears to have crumbled quickly. Tikal was nearly deserted by the year 950, though a small population may have survived in shelters among the ruins. Even these people left the city in the 10th or 11th centuries, and the ruins were seized by the Guatemalan rainforest for the next thousand years.
Petra, the famous “rose crimson city, half as old as time,” was the Nabataean kingdom’s ancient capital. The Nabataeans constructed a massive, unique metropolis into the wall of the Wadi Musa Canyon in southern Jordan millennia ago, turning it into an important crossroads for the silk and spice routes that connected China, India, and southern Arabia with Egypt, Greece, and Rome. The city was nearly completely abandoned in the 6th century after repeated earthquakes destroyed the critical water management system. Petra was forgotten in the Western world after the Crusades until it was rediscovered in 1812 by Swiss adventurer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt. Also read Breakfast Near Me.
Angkor is a sprawling temple city in Cambodia that houses the majestic ruins of numerous Khmer Empire capitals from the 9th to the 15th centuries AD. The world’s biggest single religious edifice, Angkor Wat, and the Bayon temple (at Angkor Thom), with its number of enormous stone faces, are among them. Angkor has undergone various religious transformations during its long history, changing from Hinduism to Buddhism on several occasions. The year Angkor was sacked and looted by Ayutthaya invaders in 1431 is considered the end of the Angkorian period, albeit the civilization had already begun to deteriorate. Except for Angkor Wat, which remained a Buddhist sanctuary, nearly all of Angkor was abandoned.
The volcano Vesuvius erupted on August 24, 79 AD, engulfing the nearby town of Pompeii with ash and earth and thereby preserving the city in its original state. Everything was frozen in time, from jars and tables to paintings and people. Pompeii, like Herculaneum, was abandoned, and their names and sites were gradually forgotten. They were rediscovered in the 18th century as the result of excavations. The lost towns have revealed a wealth of information about the lives of people two thousand years ago. Also read romantic hotels near me.
Palenque in Mexico is much smaller than some other Mayan lost towns, but it houses some of the Maya’s best architecture and art. Palenque’s majority of constructions date from around 600 to 800 AD. During the eighth century, the city began to decay. For a few centuries, agricultural people lived here, but the lost city was abandoned and gradually engulfed by the forest.
Ani, which is located on a key east-west caravan route, grew to importance in the 5th century AD and by the 10th century had developed into a thriving town and Armenia’s capital. The city’s nickname, “City of 1001 Churches,” came from the numerous churches built during this time period, which comprised some of the finest examples of medieval architecture. Ani had a population of 100,000 to 200,000 people at its peak. It was Armenia’s capital until Mongol incursions in the 13th century, a disastrous earthquake in 1319, and shifting trade routes forced it to collapse irreversibly. The city was eventually abandoned and forgotten for generations. The ruins have since been relocated to Turkey. Also read Best places to visit in turkey.
Ctesiphon was one of the world’s largest cities and one of ancient Mesopotamia’s great cities in the 6th century. Ctesiphon was a significant military objective for the Roman Empire, and it was taken five times by Rome and later the Byzantine Empire due to its strategic importance. During the Islamic invasion of Persia in 637, the city fell to the Muslims. Baghdad, after becoming the Abbasid capital in the eighth century, fell into fast decline and eventually became a ghost town. Ctesiphon is thought to be the inspiration for the Thousand and One Nights metropolis of Isbanir. The enormous arch Taq-i Kisra, which is located in Iraq, is the only visible remnant today. Also read Breakfast Near Me.
Palmyra, or “city of palm trees,” was a prosperous and influential city positioned along the caravan routes connecting Persia with the Mediterranean ports of Roman Syria for centuries. Palmyra’s trade declined after the Sassanids took control of the Tigris and Euphrates mouths in 212. To protect the city from the Sassanid menace, Roman Emperor Diocletian erected a wall and enlarged it. In 634, Muslim Arabs took the city but left it intact. Under the Ottoman authority, the city deteriorated to the point where it was reduced to nothing more than an oasis town. Western travellers rediscovered its site in the 17th century.
10: Mesa Verde
The iconic Anasazi cliff houses can be found in Mesa Verde, Colorado, in southwestern Colorado. The Anasazi begin building dwellings in shallow caverns and under rock overhangs along the canyon walls in the 12th century. Some of these mansions had up to 150 rooms. The Anasazi had all left Mesa Verde by 1300, yet the ruins were virtually completely maintained. The reason for their abrupt departure is yet unknown. Drought-related agricultural failures are one theory, while alien tribes from the north are another.