Before being buries by the volcanic eruption around 1500 BC, the Minoan civilization always inhabited in this Bronze Age city. Some well-preserved staircases, excellent wall-paintings and ceramics have been found on the Greek island of Santorini. The severe eruption may lead large part of the island to sink under the sea. That may inspire the legend of Atlantis.
The Hanging Gardens of Babylon is the world-renowned symbol of this once-mighty kingdom. Although never viewing its magnificence with his own eyes, famed historian Herodotus still wrote it into the chronicles.
Troy, Atlantis and Babylon are all mysterious, fabulous cities which seemed to only exist in the writings of ancient history or folk tales. According to the legend, most of those metropolises possessed marvelous palace, prosperous markets and exhaustless treasures.
Cambodian dense jungle separated the enormous complex at Angokor, the capital of the Khmer Empire. French explorer Henri Mouhot discovered the miracle over 140 years ago.
Hidden amid the cloud forests of northern Peru, this walled fortress even existed earlier than the Incas.
As the capital of the Mayan civilization and once containing 4,000 buildings and 90,000 inhabitants, Tikal was mysteriously abandoned in about 900 AD. And then it was swallowed up by lush forest for more than 1,000 years.
The city was destroyed twice in wars, first by the Romans during the Punic war in 146 BC and Arabs again in 698 AD. Now, the remains scattered across Byrsa Hill in Tunisia.
Unlike other ancient cities above, this French city never disappeared. It was the witness of the Nazi’s massacre to the locals during World War II — total 624 residents killed by SS troops on June 10, 1944, no life left. Then the town was razed and abandoned until today. Memorials are sometimes held at the site.
There are around 1,000 more tombs, a sacrificial altar and a monastery. For the presence of several springs, the nomadic Nabataeans started to settle at Petra.
Along with the decay of Inca Empire since the 1530s, Machu Picchu has entirely faded from people’s memories. In 1911, U.S. explorer Hiram Bingham discovered the lost city of the Incas.