Lost cities by continent[edit]



  • Carthage – initially a Phoenician city in Tunisia, destroyed and then rebuilt by Rome. Later served as the capital of the Vandal Kingdom of North Africa, before being destroyed by the Arabs after its capture in 697 CE. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Dougga, Tunisia – Roman city located in present-day Tunisia. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Leptis Magna  Roman city located in present-day Libya. It was the birthplace of Emperor Septimius Severus, who lavished an extensive public works program on the city, including diverting the course of a nearby river. The river later returned to its original course, burying much of the city in silt and sand. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Timgad, Algeria – Roman city founded by the emperor Trajan around 100 CE, covered by sand in the 7th century. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Aoudaghost, Mauritania – wealthy Berber city in medieval Ghana.
Horn of Africa[edit]
Subsaharan Africa[edit]

Uncertain or disputed[edit]



Central Asia[edit]


East Asia[edit]

  • Xanadu, China – now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Uncertain or disputed[edit]

South Asia[edit]

Uncertain or disputed[edit]
Sri Lanka[edit]

Southeast Asia[edit]


Angkor was rediscovered by Henri Mouhot in 1860
Uncertain or disputed[edit]
  • Kota Gelanggi, Malaysia
  • Ma-i, Philippines – was a sovereign polity that pre-dated the Hispanic establishment of the Philippines and notable for having established trade relations with the Kingdom of Brunei, and with Song and Ming Dynasty China. Its existence was recorded both in the Chinese Imperial annals Zhu Fan Zhi (諸番志) and History of Song.

Western Asia[edit]

Uncertain or disputed[edit]



  • Noreia – the capital of the ancient Celtic kingdom of Noricum. Possibly in southern Austria or Slovenia.

Bosnia and Herzegovina[edit]


  • Perperikon – the megalith complex had been laid in ruins and re-erected many times in history – from the Bronze Age until Middle Ages.
  • Seuthopolis – an ancient Thracian city, discovered and excavated in 1948. It was founded by king Seuthes III around 325 BC. Its ruins are now located at the bottom of the Koprinka Reservoir near the city of Kazanlak.


  • Heraclea somewhere in the Adriatic on the Croatian coast. Exact location unknown.




  • Quentovic – In 842, the ancient port of Quentovicus was destroyed by a Viking fleet.
  • Thérouanne – In 1553, the city was razed, the roads broken up and the fields ploughed and salted by command of Charles V.



  • Akrotiri – on the island of Thera, Greece.
  • Chryse Island – in the Aegean, reputed site of an ancient temple still visible on the sea floor.
  • Helike – sunk by an earthquake in the 4th century BC and rediscovered in the 1990s.
  • Mycenae
  • Pavlopetri – underwater off the coast of southern Laconia in Peloponnese, is about 5,000 years old, and is the oldest submerged archaeological town site.



  • Acerrae Vatriae – a town of the Sarranates mentioned by Pliny the Elder as having been situated in an unknown location in Umbria.
  • Castro – a city in Lazio, capital of a Duchy ruled by the Farnese family. It was destroyed by a Papal army in 1649.
  • Luni
  • Paestum – Greek and Roman city south of Naples; three famous Greek temples.
  • Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Stabiae – buried by the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD and rediscovered in the 18th century.
  • Sybaris, Italy – ancient Greek colonial city of unsurpassed wealth utterly destroyed by its arch-rival Crotona in 510 BC.
  • Tripergole – ancient Roman spa village on the eastern shores of the Lucrine Lake in the Campi Flegrei. The village and most of the lake were buried by tephra in 1538 during the volcanic eruption that created Monte Nuovo. The exact location of the village and its associated hot springs can no longer be identified.




  • Kaupang – In Viksfjord near Larvik, Norway. Largest trading city around the Oslo Fjord during the Viking age. As sea levels retreated (the shoreline is 7m lower today than in 1000) the city was no longer accessible from the ocean and was abandoned.



  • Conímbriga – early trading post dating to the 9th century BC. Abandoned in the 8th century AD.




  • Stari Ras – one of the first capitals of the medieval Serbian state of Raška, abandoned in the 13th century.


  • Myšia Hôrka (near Spišský Štvrtok) – 3500 years old town (rediscovered in the 20th century) and archaeological site.


  • Amaya – either the capital or one of the most important cities of the Cantabri. Probably located in what nowadays is called “Amaya Peak” in Burgos, northern Spain.
  • Cypsela – drowned Ibero-Greek settlement in the Catalan shore, Spain. Mentioned by Greek, Roman and Medieval chroniclers.
  • Reccopolis – one of the capital cities founded in Hispania by the Visigoths. The site was incrementally abandoned in the 10th century.
  • Tartessos – a harbor city or an economical complex of small harbors and trade routes set on the mouth of the Guadalquivir river, in modern Andalusia, Spain. Tartessos is believed to be either the seat of an independent kingdom or a community of palatial cities devoted to exporting the mineral resources of the Hispanic mainland to the sea, to meet the Phoenician and Greek traders. Its destruction is still a matter of debate among historians, and one modern tendency tends to believe that Tartessos was never a city, but a culture complex.


United Kingdom[edit]

  • Calleva Atrebatum, Silchester, England – large Romano-British walled city 10 miles (16 km) south of present-day Reading, Berkshire. Just the walls remain and a street pattern can be discerned from the air.
  • Dunwich, England – lost to coastal erosion. Once a large town, now reduced to a small village
  • Evonium, Scotland – purported coronation site and capital of 40 kings
  • Fairbourne, Wales  managed retreat policy adopted by council in 2019 due to flooding prospects following climate change
  • Hallsands, Devon – built on a beach, last resident left in 1960, closed to public. Several derelict buildings still stand.
  • Hampton-on-Sea, England – a village in what is now the Hampton area of Herne Bay, Kent, drowned and abandoned between 1916 and 1921.
  • Kenfig, Wales – a village in Bridgend, encroached by sand and abandoned around the 13th century.
  • Nant Gwrtheyrn, Wales – former village on the North Welsh coast, abandoned after its quarry closed during World War II. Now regenerated as a language centre.
  • Old Sarum, England – population moved to nearby Salisbury in the 13th and 14th centuries, although the owners of the archaeological site retained the right to elect a Member of Parliament to represent Old Sarum until the 19th century (see William Pitt).
  • Ravenser Odd, England – important port near the mouth of the Humber, lost to coastal erosion in the 14th century.
  • Ravenspurn, England – near to Ravenser Odd, lost to coastal erosion at some time after 1471.
  • Roxburgh, Scotland – abandoned in the 15th century
  • Selsey, England – mostly abandoned to coastal erosion after 1043.
  • Skara Brae, Orkney, Scotland – Neolithic settlement buried under sediment. Uncovered by a winter storm in 1850.
  • Trellech, Wales – declined between the 13th and 15th centuries.
  • Winchelsea, East Sussex – old Winchelsea, important Channel port, population of over 4000, abandoned after 1287 inundation and coastal erosion. Modern Winchelsea, 2 miles (3.2 km) inland, was built to replace it as a planned town by Edward I of England


North America[edit]


  • L’Anse aux Meadows – Viking settlement founded around 1000. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Lost Villages – The Lost Villages are ten communities (Aultsville, Dickinson’s Landing, Farran’s Point, Maple Grove, Mille Roches, Moulinette, Santa Cruz, Sheek’s Island, Wales, Woodlands) in the Canadian province of Ontario, in the former townships of Cornwall and Osnabruck (now South Stormont) near Cornwall, which were permanently submerged by the creation of the St. Lawrence Seaway in 1958.



Mexico and Central America[edit]

Maya cities[edit]

Incomplete list – for further information, see Maya civilization

  • Calakmul – One of two superpowers in the classic Maya period. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Chichen Itza – This ancient place of pilgrimage is still the most visited Maya ruin. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Coba
  • Copán – In modern Honduras. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Naachtun – Rediscovered in 1922, it remains one of the most remote and least visited Maya sites. Located 44 km (27 miles) south-south-east of Calakmul, and 65 km (40 miles) north of Tikal, it is believed to have had strategic importance to, and been vulnerable to military attacks by, both neighbours. Its ancient name was identified in the mid-1990s as Masuul.
  • Palenque — in the Mexican state of Chiapas, known for its beautiful art and architecture. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Tikal — One of two major powers in the classic Maya period. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Tulum – Mayan coastal city.
Olmec cities[edit]
Totonac Cities[edit]
  • Teotihuacan – Pre-Aztec Mexico.[20] Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Izapa – Chief city of the Izapa civilization, whose territory extended from the Gulf Coast across to the Pacific Coast of Chiapas, in present-day Mexico, and Guatemala.
  • Guayabo – In Costa Rica. It is believed that the site was inhabited from 1500 BCE to 1400 CE, and had at its peak a population of around 10,000.

United States[edit]


South America[edit]

Inca cities[edit]

  • Choquequirao – One of the last bastions of Incan resistance against the Spaniards and refuge of Manco Inca Yupanqui.
  • Machu Picchu – Possibly Pachacuti‘s Family Palace. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Vilcabamba – Currently known as Espiritu Pampa, the capital of the Neo-Inca State (1539–1572).
  • Vitcos – Currently known as Rosaspata, a residence and ceremonial center of the Neo-Inca State.


Status Unknown[edit]

Undiscovered and fictional lost cities[edit]


That some cities are considered legendary does not mean they did not in fact exist. Some that were once considered legendary are now known to have existed, such as Troy and Bjarmaland.