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13 Of The World’s Most Fascinating Lost Cities

I know it’s hard to rank things that have essentially been lost for as long as we can remember, but we’re gonna try anyway. Throughout recent history, many explorers have ended up stumbling upon and/or actively tracking down lost cities, leading to huge discoveries in archaeology. Think Indiana Jones, but you don’t end up also being Han Solo. And while not all lost cities may be very impressive by themselves, the fact that they got rediscovered in the first place, is.

Let’s take a look at some of the best lost cities we’ve found in recent history:

Mohenjo-Daro, Pakistan

Adequately named “Mound of the Dead Men,” this city goes all the way back to 2500 BC. We know so little of this civilization that we haven’t even managed to properly translate their language yet, meaning we don’t really know the original name of this city. The city was discovered around 1920 and made very obvious that the Indus people were a part of the three earliest civilizations on Earth.

Ani, Turkey

While the Ani ruins are allegedly haunted, they were the capital of the Bagratid Dynasty once. This dynasty ruled what is now known as Armenia and Georgia and was located on a branch of the Silk Road. This made the city so rich that it built a plethora of churches and led to its nickname “The City of 1001 Churches”. The city was razed by Byzantines, Turks, Georgians, Mongols and an earthquake before finally giving up.

Mesa Verde National Park, USA

This place was home to the Pueblo people and was abandoned for unknown reasons sometime in the 13th century. According to archaeologists, this was caused by severe droughts that made growing crops harder. The scarcity of food led to violence and cannibalism, and the eventual exodus of the people that remained. Some of the 600 cliff dwellings remain open to visitors even today.

Hvalsey, Greenland

All we really know is that this place was inhabited by Vikings from 985 up until somewhere in 1408. After their sudden vanishing, a missionary was sent in 1721 to find out what happened, only to discovered that he had no clue. All they found was remnants of empty houses, but there was no one living there and no clue as to what happened to the original population.

Petra, Jordan

This city was literally carved into sandstone and was only discovered in 1812. At its peak, Petra was part of a huge international trade hub and had no less than 30000 inhabitants. This was truly a vibrant city, with theaters, temples, bathhouses, gardens and villas. There’s still quite a lot to be discovered of this city – one of the recent finds was a pool half a mile inside.