Talk:Lost city

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I don't think Pripyat is a lost city, as is was never 'lost,' it would rather be a ghost town. Hans Wors (talk) 12:07, 27 June 2010 (UTC)


I'm not sure the Roanoke bits belong here. Just over 100 people does not make a city. I don't know where else to put it though. -Koyaanis Qatsi (14:08, 31 March 2002)

No, probably not but it will fit into what will prove a nice little catchment point. sjc


I don't think the capital of Atlantis was called Mu-Mu, though. Mu was a far later mythology; and the `Justified Ancients of MuMu' in Robert Anton Wilson's Illuminatus trilogy merely muddy the water further.

You mean the K.L.F. and Miss Tammy Wynette got Mu-mu wrong? Naw!! Actually, you're right - Atlantis is the city and the island (I'm having to reread the Republic this week, God help me). I'm all in favor of natural-disaster-cities, and we should add "Akrotiri, island of Thera" to the list (high on the 'possible Atlantides' chart at the moment for people who refuse to believe that Plato was making it up). --MichaelTinkler


Wasn't there an arabian city that got lost, as climate change and the shift of trade routes led to it being abandoned, and even its location being forgotton?

The lost Arabian city was Ubar. Some orbital photographs taken from the shuttle showed ancient tracks that archaeologists home in on a site, which was shown to be Ubar in 1992. --PaulDrye

Pompeii & Herculaneum[edit]

How about adding Pompeii and Heculaneum under this category? Not lost as in misplaced, but lost as in destroyed.-- Malcolm Farmer

I think we should add Pompeii and Heculaneum, with a qualification about the meanings of "lost."

Angkor Wat, Macchu Picchu[edit]

I've incorporated some of the above suggestions into the main page. Now, where do Angkor Wat, Macchu Picchu (if that's how it's spelled) and those Mayan cities buried in the jungle fit into this? In the case of the Peruvian city, do Spaniards count as a natural disaster? Do crop failures count? IIRC, that's one of the current theoiries about the Mayan collapse

"Not rebuilt"?[edit]

Troy shouldn't be in tha list of cities "not rebuilt". I understand that it was destroyed and rebuilt about 6 times, just wasn't rebuilt after the last destuction. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) (18:04, 13 November 2001)

Also, Carthage was rebuilt by the later Romans, and I believe existed continuously until being absorbed as a suburb of Tunis. I really don't think a list is appropriate here, simply because there will be an absolutely huge number of cities that got depopulated at some point or another: Ur, Babylon, Hattusas, Washukanni, Ctesiphon, Ecbatana, and so forth, just off the top of my head from one region of the world. Examples should be given in the text, that's good enough. If anyone disagrees, the list consisted of Troy, Carthage, Sodom, and Gomorrah, and they are welcome to restore it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Josh Grosse (talkcontribs) (20:31, 26 November 2001)

Minoan palaces[edit]

Btw, the eruption of a volcano causing extensive damage to the Minoan palaces is well documented, but isn't it general consensus nowadays that they quickly recovered and mainly collapsed due to interference from the Mycenaean mainland?

Tanis, Egypt?[edit]

What about Tanis, Egypt, where according to "Raiders of the Lost Ark" the Lost Ark was, erm, lost? Was it historical? And I have read from Bruce Sterling about Audoghast in the Sahara -Error (03:41, 1 July 2003)

Hakim Bey[edit]

I don't know who added the Hakim Bey quotation, but I hereby declare that I adore it, and shall defend its place in this entry to the death. Trachys 11:23, 21 November 2006 (UTC)


I removed the link to Naachtun, since the link simply points back to the main article! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) (05:42, 22 January 2006)

Harappa, Mohenjo-daro, and Dwarka[edit]

Any reason why Harappa, Mohenjo-daro, and Dwarka are listed under Central Asia rather than South Asia? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) (12:35, 4 January 2007)


I removed Sabate, Italy because no such city has ever existed. --Gspinoza 17:48, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

There are several cities listed here that are fictional or of questionable existence. Shouldn't Sabate be in that category? Ttmab7 22:00, 9 August 2007 (UTC)TTMAB7

Sodom and Gomorrah[edit]

Should Sodom and Gomorrah be on this list? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) (15:15, 26 July 2007)

I think it should. I personally think it meets the criterion. Ttmab7 22:00, 9 August 2007 (UTC) TTMAB7

Lost city?[edit]

I heard about a city in Australia that disappeared in the 1940's. It was abandoned by the townspeople and covered up completely in a sandstorm. Anyone heard of this?

Also, perhaps it should be divided up into cities that are lost, and cities that were lost. Just a thought.Ttmab7 21:56, 9 August 2007 (UTC)TTMAB7

List criteria?[edit]

Are there any criteria for getting on the list? AFAIK eg. Ayutthaya and Sukhothai, while both former capitals, were never "lost". Jpatokal (talk) 17:08, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

No, unfortunately, the list criteria for this article is very lax. Until it is rewritten, with good references, it will remain a catchall for truth, mythology, and pure fiction. Alas... ---RepublicanJacobiteThe'FortyFive' 19:36, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
The term "lost city" is a colloquial term, not a scientific definition. It's really tied up with 19th century romantic European notions of discovery and trailblazing adventure than anything else. Whether a city is "lost" or not often depends on one's perspective. Angkor in Cambodia was never "lost" to the people who continued to live there - albeit in much smaller numbers than at the height of Cambodian civilization. The 19th century French who "discovered" it thought otherwise. Very few cities are ever completely lost to all human knowledge. Those that are tend to be either extremely ancient or extremely geographically isolated. It's far more common for "lost cities" to have been largely abandoned or gone into steep decline as a result of military, political or economic factors - but in most cases they're not actually literally physically "lost". --Gene_poole (talk) 21:04, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

Yamatai -- a country?[edit]

Wikipedia and everything else I can find says this is a country, not a city. Delete?--Dougweller (talk) 18:43, 20 February 2008 (UTC)


The list is a thin on Asian cities and isn't one immediate example that springs to mind Xanadu? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Themitfords (talkcontribs) 12:15, 22 July 2008 (UTC)

Extinct settlements[edit]

Please have a look at this proposal for a new project (ExtinctSettlments) and add your votes and/or views. Folks at 137 (talk) 19:02, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

How are cities lost?[edit]

The article states Cities may become lost when more than 50% of the living population no longer knows where the city in question is located.

This seems weird:

  • Firstly it seems a ridiculously high bar. I doubt anything like 50% of the population knows where Dunedin, Erdenet, or Plovdiv are, yet none of these cities are "Lost".
  • Secondly 50% of which population? Without qualification it suggests world population, but it's possible that some smaller range is intended.

Kiore (talk) 09:06, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

Answering my own question I found the source. It was an edit on 10 May by a new user User: (contribs), so I've reverted as the prior version made sense Kiore (talk) 19:55, 17 May 2009 (UTC)


Some lost cities at known sites ...

One couldn't have put it "badder". The whole article is a mixup of two basically different categories, namely mythological places and extant, but most probably unrelated ruin sites.-- (talk) 22:01, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

Wow! Much better now.-- (talk) 09:23, 7 May 2010 (UTC)


There is no Oceania section, the articles "Nan Madol" and lapita would be linkable to this page —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:40, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

Rewrote the article[edit]

I rewrote most of the article to make clearer what a lost city is, how they become lost, and a brief section on rediscovery. I removed most of the references to cities that were destroyed or abandoned but never lost or forgotten. For example, Baghdad is definitely not a lost city and locations that were destroyed and rebuilt shouldn't count as lost either. We need more examples besides my quick and dirty ones. The list needs to be cleaned up to separate "ruined" from "lost". (talk) 09:34, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

I agree. Many "lost cities" listed in the article have never been lost. Like the capital cities of precolumbian America, or Chernobyl, and many others listed here. They were abandoned or destroyed, certainly, not lost. Also, the "Lost cities by continent" section should be in alphabetical order for NPOV reasons : Africa/Asia/Europe/North America/South America.--Munin75 (talk) 10:47, 9 September 2011 (UTC)

The first sentence of the article clarifies that it is about cities whose location has been forgotten, yet the list is full of places that were "evacuated in 1983", "abandoned in 1986", etc. These are not lost cities but ruins or ghost towns. I'm removing some of them. – Alensha talk 23:31, 21 March 2013 (UTC)

Please do. We have a ghost town article. Dougweller (talk) 17:26, 22 March 2013 (UTC)

What qualifies as a "Lost city"?[edit]

I see that this issue has been raised several times before, but never resolved. As I see it, the main problem is: 1. "Lost city" is a colloquial term that is used loosely by different people to describe different kinds of historical settlements. 2. As a colloquial term, no one has the authority to make a clear definition that excludes other uses. 3. Nevertheless some of the contributors tried to do just that.

While the definition of "lost city" shouldn't be something too contentious, we should still try to maintain NPOV and describe different ways the term is used, and list cities that may fit different kinds of criteria. A more diligent editor may split the list up to different categories of "lostness". o (talk) 20:20, 15 April 2013 (UTC)

Okay I've rewritten the intro sentences to be more inclusive. But let me clarify my position:
IMO, the root of the confusion lies in the word "lost", which could be understood to mean 1. "no longer to be found" or 2. "no longer possessed (by man)". (See definitions 1. and 2. in the OED.) In the "lost city" context, definition 1. implies def. 2., therefore it is the stricter definition. However, the locations of cities like Carthage, Xanadu, Port Royal, Persepolis, and Babylon have long been known, yet they are often called lost cities. A google search on "lost city of X", where X is one of these cities, will return many hits, including scholarly articles (on JSTOR, etc.) This just goes to show that the term "lost city" is used with both definitions 1. and 2. o (talk) 20:48, 15 April 2013 (UTC)
Do you agree that there are a number of cities in the list that don't belong? On a lightly different point, I'm not convinced Troy is correctly described, it's a 'maybe not lost anymore' city, not like Carthage, etc (and I don't think those belong). — Preceding unsigned comment added by Dougweller (talkcontribs) 12:25, 16 April 2013 (UTC)


How about this place? Simon de Danser (talk) 00:11, 10 November 2013 (UTC)

Iram and Ubar[edit]

It would probably be good to include Iram/Ubar which either are or are not the same and which either have or have not been found. [1] Scanlyze (talk) 21:00, 8 May 2014 (UTC)

Iram may have been the name of a tribe.[2], [3]. Dougweller (talk) 10:08, 9 May 2014 (UTC)