February 1, 2012 / Travel and places / 0 comments
These cities are now lost, but they really existed once. It is amazing how in one moment there was a populated city with all its attributes of a functional, urban area, and all of the sudden it’s gone! How this happened? These are 10 amazing lost cities which were modern, populated and well organized and now they are gone. It would be like today New York or Rio or Shanghai would disappear. It sounds like mission impossible. I wonder if people who lived in these ten amazing lost cities felt the same. When looking at the ruins of those places I can not tear off the impression that these cities are gone. They are genuine piece of art. With the tools they had at that time, this is really something which is hard to build, even today with all the technology and machines. How the city grow and what was life on the streets of these places, we can not tell with accuracy. We must satisfy our curiosity with the data scientists, archeologist and historians are giving us. God only knows how we can be wrong, in so many levels about all these ancient places. Because, as I see it, it is all about guessing game. They dig out some old stuff and than they guess what that was for. These are 10 amazing places which you can visit and see. Even though they are now ruins, still looks so mighty and astonishing.
1. Chichen Itza, Mexico
The Maya were an ancient civilization of southern Mexico and the Central American countries of Guatemala, Honduras Belize and El Salvador. Today there are an estimated 6 million Maya living in these regions and speaking a variety of Maya languages. Chichen Itza is one of the most visited archaeological sites in Mexico; an estimated 1.2 million tourists visit the ruins every year. How they build this is one other phenomena. During the first millennium AD the Maya observed and mapped the movements of the sun, moon, planets and stars. These celestial objects were incorporated into a complex cosmology and mythology that explained the past and predicted the future. The Maya built their sophisticated and highly decorated ceremonial architecture, including temple-pyramids, palaces and observatories apparently without the use the wheel. While no physical evidence has yet been found of the Mayan use of large wheels for transportation purposes numerous toys have been discovered that do have wheels, therefore it cannot be categorically stated that the Maya did not use larger wheels. [Read More at Wikipedia]
2. Machu Pichu, Peru
The people who lived here were Inca but unfortunately they extinguish. Ancient Inca were great masons. Buildings at the site are so well-built that anyone would be wondering how the early Inca people built all of those. There are buildings at the sight as well as baths and temples. Since Machu Picchu is a peak and living there is already challenging as it is, having 150 buildings constructed is phenomenal. Machu Picchu is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
3. Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Angkor Wat is the world’s largest religious building. Angkor was the seat of Khmer empire. Unfortunately in new history we remember only Red Khmer’s and not in a good way. Anyhow, to build this sanctuary was expected to spend 37 years in the construction that was all of the reign of King Suriyavoraman II. There were 500 builders, 1,000,000 laborers, and 5,000 stone dragging elephants. Even Arnold Toinebee, an English historian who had traveled around the world, said when he saw Angkor Wat that, “See Angkor Wat and Die”.
4. Memphis, Egypt
The Memphis is now an open air museum at Mit Rahina is a small diversion between Saqqara and Giza. It has a number of statues tagged as belonging to Ramses II, an alabaster sphinx, pieces of other statues and the colossi of Ramses II. Most of the displayed artefacts seem to be New Kingdom relics. The open air museum takes about 45 minutes to get around, and that is looking at and photographing each piece on display.
5. Petra, Jordan
The ancient city of Petra was literally carved from the sandstone cliffs of southern Jordan. The site remained unknown to the Western world until 1812, when it was introduced by Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt. It was described as “a rose-red city half as old as time” in a Newdigate Prize-winning poem by John William Burgon. UNESCO has described it as “one of the most precious cultural properties of man’s cultural heritage”. Petra was chosen by the BBC as one of “the 40 places you have to see before you die”. [Read More at Wikipedia]
6. Palmyra, Syria
The extensive ruins at Palmyra reveal the network plan of the ancient city. The Corinthian order marks almost all the monuments, but the influence of Mesopotamia and Iran is also clearly evident. The art found on monuments and tombs also reflects the influences of the surrounding Roman and Persian empires. As UNESCO puts it, “the art and architecture of Palmyra, standing at the crossroads of several civilizations, married Graeco-Roman techniques with local traditions and Persian influences.” This city is mentioned in Bible, too as a city in the desert.
7. Pompeii, Italy
The city of Pompeii is a partially buried Roman town-city near modern Naples in the Italian region of Campania, in the territory of the comune of Pompei. Along with Herculaneum, Pompeii was destroyed and completely buried during a long catastrophic eruption of the volcano Mount Vesuvius spanning two days in the year AD 79. The eruption buried Pompeii under 4 to 6 m (13 to 20 ft) of ash and pumice, and it was lost for nearly 1700 years before its accidental rediscovery in 1749. Since then, its excavation has provided an extraordinarily detailed insight into the life of a city at the height of the Roman Empire. Today, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the most popular tourist attractions of Italy, with approximately 2,500,000 visitors every year. [Read More at Wikipedia]
The inhabitants of Pompeii did not know that Vesuvius was a volcano, as it hadn’t erupted in 1,800 years. There isn’t even a Latin word for volcano. The longer a volcano sleeps, the more deadly the eruption. There were signs that Vesuvius was beginning to stir – earthquakes, ground rising up and underground springs drying up – but the people didn’t know how to read these signs or understand what they meant.
8. Ephesus, Turkey
Ephesus was founded between 1500-1000 B.C. Ephesus was destroyed by an earthquake in A.D. 17 and then rebuilt and enlarged by Tiberius. Ephesus is the best preserved classical city of the Eastern Mediterranean, and among the best places in the world enabling one to genuinely soak in the atmosphere of Roman times. The Marble Street is 800 meters long and Curetes Street is 1km long. The Grand Theatre in Ephesus has seating capacity of 24000 and a high of 38meters. the Celsus Library in Ephesus was the third largest library with the capacity of 12,000 scrolls after the Alexandra and Pergamum. The first church dedicated to Virgin Mary is in Ephesus. The Virgin Mary lived her last years of her life in Turkey, here in a small cottage near Ephesus. The Virgin Mary’s house in Ephesus is visited by Pope the 6th Paul and Pope Jean Paul as well. Temple of Artemis, one of the seven wonders is Ephesus. Artemis Temple covers an area of 125meters by 60meters, as big as a soccer field.
Carthage was an ancient city in north Africa located on the eastern side of Lake Tunis, across from the center of modern Tunis in Tunisia. It remains a popular tourist attraction. ” Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam“( “And therefore I believe that Carthage must be destroyed.”) were the words of Marcus Porcius Cato who always ended his speeches with this sentence. He lived 234-149 BC, during a glorious, powerful time in the Roman Empire. Rome’s military dominance was overwhelming. The empire had expanded across the entire Mediterranean region – from Syria to Greece to southern France, and its army kept on conquering with no end in sight. Carthage, an ancient city near what today is Tunis, had been controlling most of the western Mediterranean since around 300 BC, but soon had been challenged by Rome, which was expanding west and didn’t want another strong power in the area. Rome launched two wars, in which Carthage lost its possessions outside of Africa as well as its war ships, but despite that and the sanctions and conditions imposed by Rome, the city quickly recovered and regained prosperity and thus continued to play an important role in the region. In particular, it owned a lot of fertile land and successfully grew olives, grapes, grain, and other agricultural products. After three years of brutal fighting against fierce resistance, Rome emerged victorious, burning and razing the city and taking the few remaining survivors to Rome as slaves. It is believed that he even salted the ground in order nothing to grow there any more.
10. Troy, Turkey
The great works of the Greek poet Homer, the Odyssey and the Iliad, tell of a war between the Greeks and the city of Ilium, which was also called Troy after the region in which it was located.
According to Homer, Troy was a fortified city in present-day Turkey, near the shore of the Aegean Sea. The Greeks attacked Troy to bring back Helen, the kidnapped wife of a Greek warrior. They laid seige to the city for ten years before they captured and destroyed it. The city of Troy disappeared from history in the fourth century. In the centuries since then, there have been many disputes about the exact location of this city. Then in the nineteenth century, archaeologists began digging up a mound of earth in Turkey. The found not one city of Troy, but nine! The first five were small villages. But the sixth, built on top of the other five, was a walled city dating from the twelfth century B.C., the period in which the Trojan War was supposed to have been fought! And there were three more cities on top of that one!
The discovery of the ancient city of Troy didn’t prove that all the stories told in the Odyssey and Iliad were true. But it did much to prove that the Trojan War really happened.