Forgotten cities lost to the ages of time and abandoned years ago. Some “Lost Cities” such as the lost of city of Atlantis are truly lost and have never been discovered although they are alluded to in the literature. The lost cities on this list are not truly lost, except that they have been completely abandoned for ages. Unlike some modern ghost towns which are only recently abandoned and may still be partially occupied. Read on to discover our list of forgotten cities.
1. Persepolis, Iran
Persepolis, literally meaning “the Persian city,” also known as the Throne of Jamshid (Taxt e Jamšid), was the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire (ca. 550–330 BC). Persepolis is situated 60 km northeast of the city of Shiraz in Fars Province, Iran. The earliest remains of Persepolis date back to 515 BC. It exemplifies the Achaemenid style of architecture.
2. Ciudad Perdida, Colombia
Ciudad Perdida (Spanish for “Lost City”) is the archaeological site of an ancient city in Colombia’s Sierra Nevada. It is believed to have been founded about 800 CE, some 650 years earlier than Machu Picchu. This location is also known as Teyuna and Buritaca. Ciudad Perdida was “found” in 1972, when a group of local treasure looters found a series of stone steps rising up the mountainside and followed them to an abandoned city which they named “Green Hell” or “Wide Set”.
3. Babylon, Iraq
Babylon was a significant city in ancient Mesopotamia, in the fertile plain between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. The city was built upon the Euphrates and divided in equal parts along its left and right banks, with steep embankments to contain the river’s seasonal floods. Babylon was originally a small Semitic Akkadian city dating from the period of the Akkadian Empire c. 2300 BC.
4. Petra, Jordan
Petra is a historical and archaeological city in the southern Jordanian governorate of Ma’an that is famous for its rock-cut architecture and water conduit system. Another name for Petra is the Rose City due to the color of the stone out of which it is carved. Established possibly as early as 312 BC as the capital city of the Nabataeans, it is a symbol of Jordan, as well as Jordan’s most-visited tourist attraction.
5. Pompeii, Italy
Pompeii was an ancient Roman town-city near modern Naples, in the Campania region of Italy, in the territory of the comune of Pompei. Pompeii, along with Herculaneum and many villas in the surrounding area, was mostly destroyed and buried under 4 to 6 m (13 to 20 ft) of volcanic ash and pumice in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79.
6. Copán, Honduras
Copán is an archaeological site of the Maya civilization located in the Copán Department of western Honduras, not far from the border with Guatemala. It was the capital city of a major Classic period kingdom from the 5th to 9th centuries AD. The city was located in the extreme southeast of the Mesoamerican cultural region, on the frontier with the Isthmo-Colombian cultural region, and was almost surrounded by non-Maya peoples.
7. Kuelap, Peru
The fortress of Kuelap or Cuélap (Chachapoyas, Amazonas, Perú), is a walled city associated with the Chachapoyas culture built in 6th century AD. It consists of more than four hundred buildings surrounded by massive exterior stone walls. The complex is situated on a ridge overlooking the Utcubamba Valley in northern Peru and roughly 600 meters long and 110 meters wide.
8. Caracol, Belize
Caracol is the name given to a large ancient Maya archaeological site, located in what is now the Cayo District of Belize. It is situated approximately 40 kilometres south of Xunantunich and the town of San Ignacio Cayo, and 15 kilometers away from the Macal River. It rests on the Vaca Plateau at an elevation of 500 meters above sea-level, in the foothills of the Maya Mountains.