10 Lost Cities: Exploring Uninhabited Places Around the World
Many of us have grown up fantasizing about discovering untouched parts of the world. Whether it’s the thrill of finding gold or other treasures, the idea of exploration has always been fascinating. There are hundreds of places in the world that are still largely uninhabited but come with a lot of history, myths, or interesting stories. Some of these are known tourist sites, while others receive relatively small numbers of visitors each year. In this article, we will take a closer look at 10 of these lost cities and their intriguing backstories.
The civilization of Teotihuacán was established with the building of the step pyramid, which still stands today. Teotihuacán thrived for many years, but the region’s hot climate eventually made it uninhabitable. Over time, it has been visited and sanctified by various groups, ending with the Aztecs. Today, the site is a popular tourist attraction for those visiting Mexico.
Ctesiphon, located in modern-day Iraq, was once one of the largest civilizations in the world. Today the city is mainly known for the building pictured above. However, the city has been uninhabited since the year 639. Mesopotamia was an important region that included various important figures in history and religion. While now a tourist site, some have found difficulty visiting the site due to its nearby volatile location.
Located in modern-day Armenia/Turkey, Ani was a former capital city in the 10th century, known for its medieval architecture and churches. The city thrived for three centuries before being devastated by a destructive earthquake. This not only leveled buildings but also destroyed the economic health of Ani. The survivors eventually left for other trade routes, leaving the vast landscape peppered with ruins, rocks, and rubble. Despite its current state, there are still several standing buildings that await visitors.
Persepolis was the capital city of the Persian Empire and known for its beautiful art. Unfortunately, the city failed to survive its downfall, which came from the destruction brought by Alexander the Great. While the city was technically not uninhabited, it ultimately became uninhabited due to the difficulties in thriving that came after the destruction.
5. Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu is perhaps the most well-known lost city in the world and considered by many to be the most picturesque. The former terraces and rocks, combined with the high elevations of Peru, make it jaw-dropping on a partly clouded day. Despite its popularity, Machu Picchu has only been a global destination for a little over a century. It is a testament to the vast undiscovered parts of the world that await visitors.
6. Chan Chan
Chan Chan, located in modern-day Peru, is another lost city in the region. The city’s intricate adobe brick common in the area is unique and stunning. Unfortunately, the city’s demise occurred after the Incan conquest of the area in the late 1400s. Since then, the city’s thousands of previous residents have been replaced by tourists visiting the area.
Emperor Trajan founded Timgad in 100 AD. It quickly became an overcrowded city. While the population wasn’t astronomically large initially, the city simply wasn’t big enough to hold the increase. Timgad’s demise occurred due to the conquest by the Berber community that still resides in much of North Africa today. Overpopulation may have also contributed to its inability to protect all of its citizens.
Located in modern-day Thailand, Sukhothai is unique in that it is one of the oldest cities of traceable history. It was once vibrant, large, and had a significant population to match. However, the establishment of the city of Ayutthaya proved that Sukhothai was unable to survive. The population left for better opportunities in the newly established city. Once Sukhothai was conquered, there was no question that the city would ultimately see decline.
Mohenjo-daro is one of the earliest examples of a modern city center, complete with streets and homes. After almost a millennium of existence, the transition to becoming a lost city is still unexplained. Accounts and historical evidence, along with the well-advanced construction and climate in this modern-day Pakistani locale, don’t point to a cause of demise.
Petra, located in Jordan, represents the country and its history. This lost city was once the Nabataean capital city and is now one of the most famous tourist attractions in the Middle East. However, due to natural disasters and severed trade routes, the city gradually became uninhabited. It is now revered as a must-see destination for visitors to Jordan.
In conclusion, each of these lost cities has its unique history, and it’s fascinating to imagine the lives of their past inhabitants. From overpopulation to natural disasters and the impact of conquerors, each city has a unique story that deserves to be told and remembered. Today, these sites act as crucial reminders of the world’s history, providing us with insight into ancient civilizations. Hopefully, this guide will inspire you to plan your trip to visit one of these fantastic ancient cities.