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Lost Cities

Lost Cities

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Lost Cities

86 pages
25 minutes
Jul 1, 2014


'Lost Cities' examines the search for lost cities and the important artifacts within them that can offer us an extraordinary window on to the past. Part of the Treasure Hunters series, 'Lost Cities' offers a crosscurricular mix of science & technology and history & civilizations, with a fun, dramatic approach. Cities covered in the book include Pompeii, Troy, the desert city of Ubar, and the Inca city of Machu Picchu. The book also looks at the motives for these searches, and the importance of responsible archaeology: were the treasure hunters driven by personal greed or glory, or did they embark on their quest with a historical interest and a desire to preserve the lost treasures?
Jul 1, 2014

À propos de l'auteur

As well as writing about lost cities, Nicola Barber has  written books on the modern-day cities of Tokyo and Los Angeles. She has also written about many periods of history, from the Vikings to the Victorians. Nicola lives in North Wales.

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Aperçu du livre

Lost Cities - Nicola Barber


Looking for Lost Cities

Ubar: City in the Sands

The Search for Troy

Pompeii: Buried Alive

Lost Cities of the Incas

Legends of Lost Cities



Find Out More



How do cities get lost? It is a good question! Think of one of the world’s many modern-day cities, such as Los Angeles, London, or Tokyo, and it is difficult to imagine how they could ever be lost. Ancient cities were, of course, many times smaller than our modern-day mega-cities. And over the centuries, many of them have been abandoned and forgotten.

Mohenjo-Daro, in modern-day Pakistan was one of the world’ earliest cities. It was abandoned in around 1800 BCE.


There are many reasons why a city can become lost. In some cases, a natural disaster such as an earthquake, a volcanic eruption, or flooding can simply overwhelm a city. This is what happened to Pompeii, in Italy, when the volcano Vesuvius erupted violently. You can find out more about the swift and terrifying destruction of Pompeii on pages 24 to 33.

Other cities were abandoned by their inhabitants because of war. In some places, the food or water supply seems to have been disrupted, forcing a city’s residents to move elsewhere. But sometimes we just do not know why a place that had once been bustling and busy was deserted by the people who lived there.

In 1250 CE, on the floodplain of the Mississippi River (in present-day Illinois), there stood one of the biggest cities in the world. At that time, the city of Cahokia covered nearly 6 square miles (15 square kilometers) and was home to up to 20,000 people—as big as London or Paris at the time. Yet by 1400, it had been abandoned. Today, the only reminders of this city are more than 100 earth mounds (see the photo below).


Most lost cities are not absolutely lost. Local people often know something about

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