Ancient Cities Wiped Out By Disasters

What happened to these ancient cities and the millions of people in them? In most cases, archaeologists can’t figure it out — no one left a note.

By Ben Conoley

You’ve no doubt heard of the ancient lost city of Atlantis — after all, it’s where Aquaman chillaxes when he’s not out foolishly attempting to be a superhero. But Atlantis is almost certainly a myth invented by some Greek dude named Plato. (Who the hell names their kid after a planet?) And yet scientists still debate the existence of Atlantis more than 10,000 years after the city supposedly sank to the ocean floor.

Why? Because people are fascinated by the thought of an entire civilization wiped out by a disaster. After all, the disasters that destroyed or emptied out ancient civilizations still exist — volcano eruptions, tsunamis, earthquakes, war, disease, an influx of pushy Spaniards. So what wiped them out could wipe out a city today.

 

TROY
Turns out it’s not just a mediocre Brad Pitt movie. Troy was actually a real city in what is now Turkey, but for hundreds of years, people thought it was fictional, a place that existed only in The Iliad. But in 1870, an archaeologist armed with the book set out to find it, and did.

The city appeared to have been destroyed not only by Brad Pitt’s sculpted pecs, but many more times after that. Eggheads theorize it was ravaged by war, earthquakes, and a group of marauders known as the Sea Peoples. No wonder people finally wised up, moved the hell away, and forgot the place.

TAGS: disasters, gods, Indiana Jones, Star Wars, travel