Many significant locations, cultures/groups, and objects throughout history have been lost, inspiring archaeologists and treasure-hunters around the world to search for them. The existence of some of these places or items, particularly those from ancient history, is legendary and remains in doubt. Excluded from these lists are lost works—literary, historical, or mythological writings which have no current complete copies but are referenced by their contemporaries.
- The ancient city Troy (found by Schliemann, though this has been disputed) (found in the 1870s; lost 12th century BC–14th century BC)
- The Greek place of worship, Olympia (found by German archeologists in 1875)
- The Lost Legions Of Varus (Battle of the Teutoburg Forest) (last seen 15 AD, found 1987)
- Roman cities of Pompeii, Herculaneum, Stabiae, and Oplontis all buried in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. (Lost 79 AD, rediscovered in 1748)
- The Nuestra Señora de Atocha Spanish treasure ship lost 1622, found 1985.
- The RMS Titanic (lost 1912, found 1985)
Still lost - some are legendary or dubious
- Ten Lost Tribes of Israel, lost following the invasion by Assyria in 722 BC
- The Lost Army of Cambyses — an army of 50,000 soldiers that disappeared in a sandstorm in the Egyptian desert (lost 525? BC)
- The Ark of the Covenant – biblical repository for the Ten Commandments (lost after the Babylonian invasion of Jerusalem)
- The Holy Grail — biblical chalice
- The Roanoke Colony of Roanoke Island, North Carolina (Lost 1587–88) Settlers of the first English colony in the New World vanish; leaving an abandoned settlement and the word "Croatoan," the name of a nearby island, carved into a post.
- The Money Pit on Oak Island (lost treasure pre-1795?)
- The Mahogany Ship — an ancient shipwreck somewhere near Warrnambool, Victoria (Australia) (last seen 1880)
- The Lost Dutchman's Gold Mine (lost 1891)
- Victoria's Parliamentary Mace (lost 1891)
- The Amber Room (lost 1941?)
- Amelia Earhart and her aircraft (lost 1937)
- Flight 19 World War II era military aircraft training flight (lost 1945)
- FIFA World Cup Trophy Jules Rimet World Cup Trophy (lost 1983)
- Lost asteroids and planets, lost after having been once discovered (multiple incidents) — some rediscovered but others still lost
- Noah's Ark – biblical ship
- The island of Atlantis described by Plato BC
- El Dorado: lost city of bountiful gold in the Americas.
- The Lost Ship of the Desert
- Missing Wonders: Many of history's most famous shipwrecks, tombs and relics are still missing By Jennifer Saranow, Wall Street Journal, November 9, 2007; Page W1