Lost cities are cities that have been built by various empires throughout history and subsequently abandoned and forgotten for a long time. Most of these cities are later rediscovered through research by avid archaeologists or by chance when some hikers stumble across the remains of the city. Lost cities awaken a feeling of wonderment, mystery and grandeur and let people forget about time. Maybe that’s why they are such popular tourist attractions. Here is a list of the 10 most incredible lost cities in the world.
Machu Picchu- Peru:
Machu Picchu is a 15th-century Inca site in Peru, built at the height of the Inca Empire. It is the most iconic icon of Inca civilization. Archaeologists believe that it was built in 1450 as estate for the Inca Emperor Parachutist. It was rediscovered in 1911 by American historian and politician Hiram Bingham. The reasons for the desertification of this ancient Inca city are still largely unknown, but it is believed that it was abandoned a century later because of the Spanish conquest. Another theory holds the hypothesis that the inhabitants of Machu Picchu were infected with smallpox by travelers before the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors and extinct. Machu Picchu is now considered a Worlds Heritage Site and was voted one of the 7 Wonders of the World in 2007.
Great Enclosure- Zimbabwe:
The stone ruins of Greater Zimbabwe cover nearly 728 hectares of the southeastern hills of Zimbabwe, near Mutrikwe Lake. This ancient ruined city of Africa is known for its architecture of stone walls without mortar. Built by the ancestors of the Shone people, it served as the palace for the Zimbabwean monarch during the Iron Age. The walls of the Great Enclosures are up to 11m high and reach up to 250m. This makes it the largest structure south of the Sahara Desert. The construction of Greater Zimbabwe began in the eleventh century and lasted until the fourteenth century. Greater Zimbabwe has been recognized as a national monument by the Zimbabwean government and is recognized as a World Heritage Site.
This lost city is located near the popular Lake Titicaca in Bolivia and is one of the largest ancient cities in the country. It is estimated that between ten and thirty thousand people lived in this city. However, this city was abandoned shortly after its construction due to the unfavorable climate. Despite the availability of water, the city could not produce enough food to feed its inhabitants, and it soon had to be abandoned. Many of the structures of this city are still well preserved.
For a long time Troy was considered a mythical lost city, which was mentioned only in Greek classics like Iliad. In 1860 an excavation in the coastal city of Anatolia found the remnants of what is now confirmed as Troy. Further investigation of these dilapidated, buried buildings revealed that the city of Troy was repeatedly attacked, destroyed and rebuilt before it was finally abandoned in Byzantine times. Many attempts have been made to confirm the events of the Trojan War, as described in the Iliad, and the archaeological finds of Troy, although not all of them were successful.
The lost cities of Tikal belong 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. This dynasty was defeated by the Teotihuacan’s in the 4th century and began the six-hundred-year journey of the decline of the city.
It was finally abandoned in the 10th century. Today, Tikal is one of the largest and best-preserved Mayan sites and is currently under investigation to determine the exact purpose of the pyramid-shaped temples. It is also the most famous tourist destination in Guatemala. As one of the largest archaeological sites and lost cities in the world, the urban centers of pre-Columbian Mayan civilization are considered.
The Rose City, better known as the Lost City of Petra, is a stone city rising from a cliff between the Red and Dead Seas. This ancient Abatement caravan town was inhabited since prehistoric times. Its inhabitants, the Athabasca’s, were Arab nomads. For reasons that were not fully understood, they switched from a nomadic lifestyle to a city life. The city was an important hub and cultural hub between Arabia, Egypt and Syria-Phoenicia. During the Hellenistic and Roman periods, it was an important center for incense sticks of Arabia, the silk fabrics of China and the spices of India. It is recognized as a World Heritage Site and is famous for its monuments cut into the surrounding cliffs.