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INFO VINE * 50 Ancient Lost Cities Of The World That Were Rediscovered *

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INFO VINE * 50 Ancient Lost Cities Of The World That Were Rediscovered * Empty INFO VINE * 50 Ancient Lost Cities Of The World That Were Rediscovered *

Post by Paul Sun 28 Jan 2024, 8:33 am

50 Ancient Lost Cities Of The World That Were Rediscovered






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Photo Courtesy: [nik wheeler/Corbis Historical/Getty Images]
Throughout history, many cities around the world have been destroyed or abandoned. External threats, internal conflicts, and unexpected events like diseases or natural disasters are often reasons for this. As a result, the historical record often forgets about these locations, leaving virtually no evidence of their existence.

Fortunately, the ongoing efforts of people across the globe have resulted in the finding of many of these cities. Some were found after months or years of searching, while others were stumbled upon by accident. Here are 50 ancient lost cities of the world that archaeologists, explorers, and others eventually rediscovered.





Machu Picchu


Machu Picchu occupies a 7,970-foot mountain ridge in southern Peru, about 50 miles northwest of the city of Cusco. American explorer Hiram Bingham III brought the site to public attention in 1911. More than a century later, Machu Picchu is still undergoing restoration.


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Photo Courtesy: [Jacques Haillot/Sygma/Getty Images]


Historians believe that Machu Picchu was an estate for the ninth Inca emperor, Pachacuti. The massive citadel was constructed in the 1400s but abandoned a century later amidst the Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire.


Angkor


Angkor was the capital of the Angkorian Empire, also known as the Khmer Empire, which existed in Cambodia between the 9th and 15th centuries. The best-known structure in the city is Angkor Wat, an extensive religious complex built to honor the Hindu god Vishnu.


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Photo Courtesy: [Bjørn Christian Tørrissen/Wikimedia Commons]


Following years of decline, Angkor was abandoned and looted by invaders from the Ayutthaya Kingdom in 1431. António da Madalena, a Portuguese friar, became the first Westerner to visit the city in 1586. By the 19th century, explorers like Louis Delaporte were increasing awareness of the site in Europe.


Tanis


Tanis was one of the territorial capitals of Lower Egypt during the 19th Dynasty, lasting from 1292 to 1189 BC. The city became abandoned during Roman rule, which began in 30 BC when Rome annexed the Ptolemaic Kingdom.


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Photo Courtesy: [Jon Bodsworth/Wikimedia Commons]


Auguste Mariette conducted the first significant excavations of Tanis in the 1860s. Jean Yoyotte directed a series of excavation campaigns at the city between 1965 and 1985, culminating in a major exhibition at the Grand Palais in 1987. Tanis is fictionally portrayed in the H. Rider Haggard novel The World's Desire and the 1981 Steven Spielberg film Raiders of the Lost Ark, where archaeologist Indiana Jones searches its ruins for the Ark of the Covenant.


Chichen Itza


Constructed by the Maya sometime before 750 AD, Chichen Itza is an extensive pre-Columbian city in the northern Yucatán Peninsula. Heavily influenced by the Toltec civilization, the site was among the largest Maya cities and may have been home to a highly diverse population.


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Photo Courtesy: [Claude Belair/Wikimedia Commons]


John Lloyd Stephens, a key figure in the rediscovery of Maya civilization, visited Chichen Itza and several other pre-Columbian cities, recounting his experiences in the 1843 book Incidents of Travel in Yucatan. Its publication led to subsequent explorations, with Désiré Charnay taking some of the first photographs of the city in 1860.


L'Anse Aux Meadows


L'Anse aux Meadows is a Norse settlement on the northernmost point of Newfoundland, an island located off the eastern coast of the North American mainland. Many believe that this area is Vinland, a coastal region of North America explored by Leif Erikson and mentioned in two 13th-century Icelandic texts, The Saga of Erik the Red and The Saga of the Greenlanders.


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Photo Courtesy: [Christian SAPPA/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images]


Before its discovery, there was no archaeological evidence of Norse settlement in North America. Helge Ingstad and Anne Stine Ingstad, a couple from Norway, discovered L'Anse aux Meadows in 1960 and excavated it between 1961 and 1968.


Teotihuacan


Located approximately 30 miles northeast of Mexico City is Teotihuacan, a vast Mesoamerican city. Settlement began as early as 400 BC, and by 400 AD, it had become one of the largest and most influential cities in the pre-Columbian Americas.


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Photo Courtesy: [Ralf Roletschek/Wikimedia Commons]


Interestingly, the city got its name, which means the place where the gods were created, from the Aztecs. They discovered Teotihuacan in the 1400s, hundreds of years after its original inhabitants abandoned it. Though knowledge of the city's existence was never totally lost, most of its early history remains a mystery.


Karakorum


From 1235 to 1260, Karakorum was the capital of the Mongol Empire, one of the largest empires in history. The area containing the ruins of this city is part of Övörkhangai province in present-day Mongolia.


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Photo Courtesy: [Clive Newstead/Wikimedia Commons]


When Kublai Khan came to power, he relocated the capital, markedly reducing the importance of Karakorum. Dayan Khan of the Northern Yuan dynasty briefly reinstated the city as a capital in the early 16th century before its subsequent abandonment. It would be over 400 years before the first excavations of the area under Dmitrii D. Bukinich in the 1930s.


Vilcabamba


Commonly known as the Lost City of the Incas, Vilcabamba is in the Cusco region of Peru, which is also home to Machu Picchu. Between 1539 and 1572, Vilcabamba was the capital of the Neo-Inca State, established after the fall of the Inca Empire in 1533.


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Photo Courtesy: [AgainErick/Wikimedia Commons]


Following its abandonment, the location of the city became a mystery. Hiram Bingham III mistakenly believed that Machu Picchu was Vilcabamba, and it was not until 1964 that Gene Savoy correctly identified the Lost City of the Incas.


Pompeii


Due to its rich agriculture and proximity to the Bay of Naples, Pompeii was a thriving city in the days of the Roman Empire. Unfortunately, its prosperity ended with the eruption of nearby Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. Across two days, volcanic ash and pumice engulfed the city and many of its inhabitants.


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Photo Courtesy: [Jebulon/Wikimedia Commons]


In 1592, Italian architect Domenico Fontana accidentally stumbled upon the ruins of Pompeii while digging an aqueduct but did not make his findings public. It was not until 1763, following the discovery of the nearby town of Herculaneum, that Pompeii was found and identified.


Mycenae


Approximately 75 miles southwest of Athens is Mycenae, resting on a hill 900 feet above sea level. The city was once a military stronghold and a focal point of ancient Greece, extending its influence across much of the surrounding area.


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Photo Courtesy: [Dennis Jarvis/Wikimedia Commons]


Mycenae reached its peak around 1350 BC, with 30,000 inhabitants and an area of more than 79 acres. By the time Greece was under Roman domination, its ruins had become a tourist attraction. Excavation of Mycenae began under Greek archaeologist Kyriakos Pittakis in 1841.


Hedeby


Between the 8th and 11th centuries, Hedeby served as a stronghold and trading settlement in Viking Age Denmark. It was also the second-largest Nordic town during this period, surpassed only by Uppåkra in present-day Sweden.


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Photo Courtesy: [Matthias Süßen/Wikimedia Commons]


King Harald Hardrada of Norway sacked Hedeby in 1050, with the West Slavs doing the same in 1066, leading to the settlement's abandonment. After its rediscovery in the late 1800s, excavation of the city started in 1900, with the Hedeby Viking Museum opening nearby in 1985.


Chan Chan


Chan Chan is in the La Libertad region of northwestern Peru and is the largest pre-Columbian city in South America. Due to its placement in a coastal desert, the city relied on rivers supplied by surface runoff from the Andes Mountains for water.


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Photo Courtesy: [Jim Williams/Wikimedia Commons]


Chan Chan was the capital of the Chimú Empire, which existed from around 900 to 1470 when Topa Inca Yupanqui, the tenth Emperor of the Inca Empire, conquered it. Excavation began in 1969 under Michael Moseley and Carol J. Mackey, while Peru's National Institute of Culture has conducted subsequent efforts.


Persepolis


A prime example of Achaemenid architecture, Persepolis is located in present-day Marvdasht, Iran, and is surrounded by the Zagros Mountains. While not the largest city in the Achaemenid Empire, it appears to have been a ceremonial center with private quarters for the king.


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Photo Courtesy: [nik wheeler/Corbis Historical/Getty Images]


Alexander the Great and his army conquered Persepolis in 330 BC, with a fire destroying the wooden sections of the city shortly after. There are historical mentions of various individuals visiting Persepolis over the centuries, including Italian explorer Giosafat Barbaro and Dutch artist Cornelis de Bruijn. However, the first scientific excavations did not take place until 1930 under Ernst Herzfeld and Erich Schmidt.


Tikal


Tikal is an ancient Maya city in the tropical rainforests of Petén, the northernmost region of Guatemala. At its peak between 200 to 900 AD, the city was the capital of one of the greatest Maya kingdoms and maintained contact with other Mesoamerican cities like Teotihuacan.


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Photo Courtesy: [Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket/Getty Images]


Tikal had become abandoned by the end of the 10th century, and due to its remoteness, no one explored the city for hundreds of years. Modesto Méndez and Ambrosio Tut visited on behalf of the Guatemalan government for six days in 1848, leading to the first official report on Tikal.


Conímbriga


Conímbriga is an ancient Roman city in the Coimbra District of central Portugal. It is one of the best-preserved archaeological sites in the Iberian Peninsula and once was part of the Roman province of Lusitania.


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Photo Courtesy: [Carole Raddato/Wikimedia Commons]


Invasions by Germanic peoples between 465 and 468 resulted in the destruction of the city and the enslavement of its inhabitants. The earliest formal excavations of Conímbriga took place in 1873, with the city becoming a national monument in 1910.


Troy


Located in the Çanakkale Province of present-day Turkey, Troy appears prominently in classic works of Greek literature like the Iliad and the Odyssey. Ancient Greek folklore depicts Troy as a powerful kingdom until its destruction by the Greeks during the Trojan War.


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Photo Courtesy: [Elelicht/Wikimedia Commons]


While scholars consider much of the Trojan War fictional, Heinrich Schliemann's discovery of Troy in 1871 indicates some truth to these legends. The resemblance of the city's ruins to literary depictions of Troy supports this.


Biskupin


Polish archaeologists discovered Biskupin in the modern-day province of Kuyavian-Pomeranian in 1933. First identified as a West Slavic settlement, the site belonged to the prehistoric Lusatian culture, which inhabited Central Europe between 1300 and 500 BC.


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Photo Courtesy: [Wolskaola/Wikimedia Commons]


Under German occupation during World War II, Biskupin became known as Urstädt. Despite efforts to destroy the site by flooding, Biskupin endured, with excavations continuing after the war until 1974.


Mohenjo-Daro


One of the largest cities of the Indus Valley civilization, Mohenjo-Daro, is located in the Sindh province of southeastern Pakistan. The Indus Valley civilization existed contemporaneously with the ancient Egyptians and Mesopotamians.


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Photo Courtesy: [Paolo KOCH/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images]


While the city's original name is unknown, Mohenjo-Daro means Mound of the Dead Men in the Sindhi language. It was erected around 2500 BC and abandoned in the 19th century BC amidst the decline of the Indus Valley civilization. R.D. Banerji, an Indian archaeologist, discovered Mohenjo-Daro in 1922, with numerous excavations taking place during the 1930s.


Cahokia


On the other side of the Mississippi River, directly across from St. Louis, Missouri, is the Native American city of Cahokia. At its peak, Cahokia was the most influential city of the Mississippian, which flourished between 800 and 1600 AD.


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Photo Courtesy: [Joe Sohm/Visions of America/Universal Images Group/Getty Images]


Historians believe that the population of Cahokia may have even exceeded London, which had approximately 14,000 to 18,000 inhabitants at the time. Additionally, they have suggested environmental, political, and economic problems as reasons for the city's decline. French explorers eventually discovered Cahokia, which became a National Historic Landmark in 1964.


Dholavira


J.P. Joshi, an Indian archaeologist and Director General of the Archaeological Survey of India from 1987 to 1990, discovered Dholavira in the late 1960s. Excavation started in 1989, revealing the ancient city's architecture and uncovering numerous ornaments, vessels, and animal bones.


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Photo Courtesy: [Lalit Gajjer/Wikimedia Commons]


Like Mohenjo-Daro in neighboring Pakistan, Dholavira was one of the cities of the Indus Valley civilization. Recent research indicates that occupation of the city took place between 3500 and 1800 BC.


Shangdu


After Kublai Khan became the ruler of the Mongol Empire in 1260, he moved the capital to Shangdu, also known as Xanadu. Marco Polo, the famed Venetian explorer, visited Shangdu in 1275, with an account of his visit appearing in The Travels of Marco Polo.


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Photo Courtesy: [Flaumfeder/Wikimedia Commons]


The Ming army occupied Shangdu in 1369, setting it ablaze and forcing Toghon Temür, the last ruler of the Mongol Empire, to flee. Stephen Wootton Bushell and Thomas G. Grosvenor were the first Europeans to visit Shangdu since Marco Polo, discovering tiles, marble blocks, and the remains of temples at the site.


Great Zimbabwe


The first historical mention of Great Zimbabwe is from the 16th-century account of Vicente Pegado, a Portuguese captain who commanded a garrison on the coast of present-day Mozambique. However, the first confirmed visits by Europeans did not take place until the late 19th century.


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Photo Courtesy: [Andrew Moore/Wikimedia Commons]


Historians believe that Great Zimbabwe was once the capital of a powerful kingdom, though it remains uncertain what kingdom this was. Erected in the 11th century, up to 18,000 people may have lived in the city before its abandonment four centuries later.


Tiwanaku


Among the most extensive archaeological sites in South America is Tiwanaku, located in western Bolivia's Ingavi province. Its inhabitants had no known written language, leaving its original name a mystery.


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Photo Courtesy: [Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket/Getty Images]


One of the best-known landmarks at Tiwanaku is the Gate of the Sun, a monolith carved from a single piece of stone and estimated to weigh 10 tons. 19th-century European explorers found the monolith lying on its side and returned it to its upright position.


Babylon


Babylon was the capital of Babylonia, an ancient empire that existed in modern-day Syria and Iraq between 1895 and 539 BC. Founded by the Akkadian-speaking people of southern Mesopotamia, the city possibly extended as far as 2,200 acres. Additionally, it may have been the first city to reach a population of 200,000.


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Photo Courtesy: [Arlo K. Abrahamson/Wikimedia Commons]


The Achaemenid Empire conquered Babylon in 539 BC, absorbing Babylonia and reorganizing it as the province of Babirush. The earliest scientific archaeological excavations of Babylon took place under Robert Koldewey between 1899 and 1917.


Timgad


Timgad is an ancient Roman city near the Aurès Mountains, about 21 miles outside Batna, Algeria. Trajan, the Roman emperor from 98 to 117 AD, established Timgad around the year 100, with its population initially consisting of Romans and African colonists from across the Roman Empire.


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Photo Courtesy: [PhR61/Wikimedia Commons]


The Vandals sacked Timgad in the 5th century, with the Arab invasion of the 8th century finally causing the city to become abandoned. The first European in modern history to visit Timgad was Scottish explorer James Bruce in 1765, with French colonists taking control of the site the following century.


Kuélap


Constructed by the Chachapoyas in the 6th century AD, Kuélap is a walled city in the Amazonas region of northern Peru. It rests atop a limestone ridge overlooking the Utcubamba River, with two entrances facing the east and one facing the west.


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Photo Courtesy: [JYB Devot/Wikimedia Commons]


The Chachapoyas abandoned Kuélap in the 16th century, with a Peruvian judge named Juan Crisóstomo Nieto accidentally rediscovering it in 1843. In 1870, geographer Antonio Raimondi conducted one of the first surveys of the city.


La Venta


La Venta is a pre-Columbian city in the Mexican state of Tabasco that Matthew Stirling and Philip Drucker first excavated in the early 1940s. Some artifacts from the site are at a museum in Villahermosa, the capital of Tabasco.


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Photo Courtesy: [Alfonsobouchot/Wikimedia Commons]


The Olmec, the first Mesoamerican civilization, built La Venta from earth and clay instead of stone, unlike later Aztec and Maya cities. The city flourished from 1000 to 400 BC, functioning as a civic and ceremonial center.


Tulum


Situated on the Yucatán Peninsula of southeastern Mexico, the walled city of Tulum was a major port for another Maya city, Coba. One of the last cities built by the Maya, it was erected between 1200 and 1450 AD.


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Photo Courtesy: [Popo le Chien/Wikimedia Commons]


The earliest historical mention of Tulum comes from Juan Díaz, a 16th-century conquistador and a member of Juan de Grijalva's 1518 expedition to Mexico. In 1843, John Lloyd Stephens and Frederick Catherwood provided the first detailed description of Tulum in their extensive account, Incidents of Travel in Yucatan.


Birka


Located on Björkö, an island in Lake Mälaren, the third-largest freshwater lake in Sweden, is the medieval city of Birka. Established in the 8th century, it was an important center for trade during the Viking Age.


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Photo Courtesy: [Holger.Ellgaard/Wikimedia Commons]


After the abandonment of Birka in the 10th century, its location became lost for hundreds of years. By the late 1800s, it had been rediscovered, with the earliest detailed excavations taking place under Hjalmar Stolpe.


Tmutarakan


In the 6th century BC, the ancient Greeks established the colony of Hermonassa on the Taman Peninsula of modern-day Russia. Due to its coastal location and strong brick wall, the city became a thriving center for trade with a diverse population, including Greeks, Russians, Jews, and Armenians.


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Photo Courtesy: [Kmorozov/Wikimedia Commons]


The city became known as Tmutarakan during the Middle Ages when it came under the control of Kievan Rus, the first East Slavic state. Tmutarakan eventually fell into ruin before a peasant rediscovered it in 1792, with archaeological excavations beginning a century later.


Kaupang


Kaupang, which means marketplace in Old Norse, is the oldest Nordic town ever discovered and one of the most important monuments from the Viking Age. Located in Vestfold, a region of southeastern Norway, it was a royal seat of great significance during the 8th and 9th centuries, as indicated by historical sources.


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Photo Courtesy: [Colliekar/Wikimedia Commons]


Abandoned in the 10th century, Kaupang remained unexcavated until 1867, when Norwegian archaeologist Nicolay Nicolaysen mapped one of the burial fields and uncovered 79 burial mounds. Many of the artifacts recovered from the site, including coins, beads, and pottery, are at the University of Oslo.


Paestum


Founded by Greek colonists as Poseidonia around 600 BC, this site became the Roman city of Paestum in 275 BC. Abandoned at the onset of the Middle Ages, the city and its location were mostly forgotten until the 1700s.


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Photo Courtesy: [Oliver-Bonjoch/Wikimedia Commons]


Three of the best-known structures at Paestum are its ancient Greek temples, which belong to the Doric order and date from about 550 to 450 BC. Along with the city walls and open-air theater, these structures are generally intact.


Hattusa


Located near the district of Boğazkale in modern-day Turkey, the city of Hattusa was once the capital of the Hittite Empire. The earliest inhabitants were the indigenous Hattians, who called the site Hattush.


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Photo Courtesy: [Carole Raddato/Wikimedia Commons]


At its peak, Hattusa had an inner and outer portion covering 1.8 square kilometers and over six kilometers of walls. The city fell, along with the Hittite Empire, around 1200 BC during the Late Bronze Age collapse.


Taxila


Taxila is an ancient city in the Punjab province of Pakistan, about 16 miles northwest of the capital of Islamabad. Due to its placement near the convergence of the Indian subcontinent and Central Asia, the city was strategically important during ancient times.


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Photo Courtesy: [Sasha Isachenko/Wikimedia Commons]


Many empires took control of Taxila during its history, including the Achaemenid Empire, the Maurya Empire, and the Kushan Empire. John Marshall conducted the first excavations of the city in 1913, working at the site for two decades.


Lothal


One of the southernmost cities of the Indus Valley civilization was Lothal, with construction beginning around 2200 BC. According to the Archaeological Survey of India, the city had the first known dock, linking Lothal to a trade route on the Sabarmati River.


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Lothal continued to thrive for years after the decline of other Indus cities like Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa. Unfortunately, natural disasters like floods and tropical storms ultimately led to the city's downfall before its rediscovery in 1954.


Qohaito


Situated in the Debub region of Eritrea in eastern Africa is the ancient city of Qohaito. Settled in approximately the fifth millennium BC, Qohaito thrived alongside the Aksumite Empire, which existed between the early 1st century and 960 AD.


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The city may have been on a trade route between Adulis and Axum, the ancient capital of the Aksumite Empire. Despite the discovery of its ruins in the 19th century, there has been no excavation at Qohaito.


Leptis Magna


Leptis Magna was a major city in the Carthaginian Empire and Roman-era Libya. Founded by the Phoenicians in the 7th century BC, the city grew significantly under the rule of Septimius Severus, who was born there in 145 AD.


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Leptis Magna fell to the Vandals in 439, who demolished the city's walls to discourage rebellion against their rule. After the forces of Justinian I recaptured the city in the 6th century, it became a provincial capital of the Eastern Roman Empire. The extensive excavation of Leptis Magna took place following the Italian conquest of Libya in the early 20th century.


Memphis


In ancient times, Memphis was the capital of Inbu-Hedj, an administrative division of Lower Egypt. At its peak, the city was a center for religion, trade, and commerce, believed to be under the guardianship of Ptah, an Egyptian god and the patron of architects and craftsmen.


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Factors contributing to the decline of Memphis include the rise of Alexandria as an economic center and the declaration of Nicene Christianity as the state religion through the Edict of Thessalonica. Since 1979, both Memphis and the Giza pyramid complex have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Calakmul


Calakmul, a Maya city in the Mexican state of Campeche, is similar in size to Tikal, its major rival during the Classic period. Erected using soft limestone, the building known as Structure 2 remains one of the most sizable structures in the Maya world.


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Cyrus Longworth Lundell accidentally discovered Calakmul from the air while working for the Tropical Plant Research Foundation in 1931. His discovery became public following its report to Sylvanus Morley, an archaeologist who later visited the site on behalf of the Carnegie Institution of Washington.


Helike


Helike is an ancient Greek city in the Peloponnese region of southern Greece, a little over a mile from the Corinthian Gulf. Established in the Bronze Age, it later founded colonies like Sybaris in south Italy and Priene on the Anatolian peninsula.


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While many ancient cities declined due to invasions and takeovers, Helike became submerged by a destructive tsunami triggered by an earthquake in 373 BC. Following years of speculation concerning its location, an archaeological team discovered Helike buried in a lagoon in 2001.


Seri Bahlol


Seri Bahlol is a small fortified city in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of northwestern Pakistan. This ancient settlement dates back to the time of the Kushan Empire, which existed from 30 to 375 AD.


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Excavated in the early 1900s, Seri Bahlol became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980. The site contains many artifacts, including utensils, coins, and jewelry, with antique dealers inciting locals to participate in illegal excavations.


Mehrgarh


Archaeologists have recovered approximately 32,000 artifacts from Mehrgarh, an ancient city in Pakistan's Balochistan province. Dating back to the Neolithic period, it is one of the earliest Asian sites with evidence of herding and agriculture.


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French archaeologists Jean-François and Catherine Jarrige rediscovered Mehrgarh with their team in 1974. The first excavation of the city took place between 1974 and 1986, with the second occurring between 1997 and 2000.


Palenque


Located in the Mexican state of Chiapas, Palenque has some of the finest examples of Maya art and architecture, many dating to the reign of Pakal the Great. His rule, which lasted from 615 to 683 AD, saw the construction of most of the temples and palaces.


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Désiré Charnay captured the earliest photographs of Palenque in 1858 and returned to the city in the early 1880s. Mexican archaeologists conducted the first major excavations in the 1950s, with many structures still covered by the jungle.


Sybaris


Founded as a colony of Helike in 720 BC, Sybaris is on the Gulf of Taranto in the Calabria region of southern Italy. Due to its fertile land and bustling port, it became a wealthy and prosperous city, with its inhabitants gaining a reputation for their opulent lifestyles.


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After a lengthy struggle with the neighboring colony of Kroton, marked by periods of expulsion and reoccupation, the inhabitants of Sybaris abandoned it in 445 BC. Gradually buried by layers of sediment from the Crati River, Sybaris only ended up being rediscovered following an extensive drilling project in the 1960s.


Perperikon


On a rocky hill approximately nine miles northeast of Kardzhali, Bulgaria is the ancient city of Perperikon. Located in the historical region of Thrace, it was initially known as Hyperperakion, obtaining its present name in the Middle Ages.


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During classical antiquity, the city was home to a temple dedicated to the Greek god of wine and fertility, Dionysus. The excavation of Perperikon began in 2000, with Bulgarian archaeologist Nikolay Ovcharov discovering the ruins of an ancient complex of buildings.


Kourion


Situated on the hills of Cyprus, Kourion was one of the most important cities on the island in classical antiquity. The city overlooks the fertile land near the Kouris River, which it once had control over.


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Around 365 AD, a series of five devastating earthquakes resulted in the near-total destruction of Kourion. Following its identification by Carlo Vidua and several private excavations, the British Museum started excavating the city in the 1890s.


Sukhothai


Sukhothai means the dawn of happiness in Sanskrit, one of the classical languages of South Asia. During the 13th and 14th centuries, this city was the capital of the Sukhothai Kingdom in central Thailand.


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The city's ruins are now within Sukhothai Historical Park, maintained primarily by Thailand's Fine Arts Department, whose mission is to preserve the nation's cultural heritage. Additionally, Sukhothai is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Harappa


Harappa, an ancient city in the Punjab province of Pakistan, dates back to approximately 2600 BC. Along with Mohenjo-Daro, it was one of the major centers of the Indus Valley civilization and may have had as many as 60,000 inhabitants.


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Unfortunately, Harappa sustained heavy damage under British rule, with some bricks used to build a railway. Plans to erect an amusement park there were abandoned in 2005 when various artifacts turned up during early construction.


Ani


Settled by the Armenians in the Middle Ages, the city of Ani is now located in Kars Province in northeastern Turkey. However, it is visible from Armenia due to its proximity to the border between the two countries.


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Ani occupied several trade routes and became known for its fortifications, palaces, and religious structures. Following a severe earthquake in 1319, the city gradually became abandoned. After the 17th century, Ani was forgotten until its rediscovery by archaeologist Mark Gioloany in 1955.


Choquequirao


The Inca city of Choquequirao is a two-day hike from Cusco, Peru. Overlooking the Apurimac River, this isolated site rests above and below a truncated hilltop at an elevation of 10,010 feet.


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The history of Choquequirao begins in the late 15th century, which was during the height of the Inca Empire. Its architecture and overall structure resemble Machu Picchu, indicating that the construction of both cities took place around the same time. Despite being rediscovered by Spanish explorer Juan Arias Díaz in 1710, Choquequirao did not undergo excavation until the 1970s due to its remote location.
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