The most impressive lost, but newly found cities are easily accessible. It is not necessary to cut through the selva and hide from warlike savages, to conquer mountain passes and cross rough rivers, as did the brave discoverers. It’s enough to buy a plane ticket. Great puzzles await their researchers a few hours of flight. In just a day’s journey, with interruptions in sleep and food, you can touch the walls built by civilizations, about which little is still known. The problem is only one – from which city to begin to learn the secrets of antiquity.
In the remote jungle of Cambodia, the beautiful and mysterious city of Angkor was lost. It was actively built in the 9th-12th centuries, but after three centuries, for unexplained reasons, it was empty. Once it was a huge settlement the size of modern Moscow. One can imagine how struck by the French traveler Henri Muo, who discovered him in a remote jungle in 1860.
After many years of restoration, only the very center, where the temples are located relatively close to each other, was put in order. Best of all looks the biggest and most beautiful Hindu complex of XII century – Angkor Wat ( of Angkor of Wat ), the included in the UNESCO World Heritage. It has been restored almost completely. Here, not only the external decor was preserved, but also more than a thousand square meters of bas-reliefs, stone carvings on the walls and ceilings. Beautiful views open up to Angkor Wat at sunrise and sunset, when the temple is reflected in the ponds in front of it with blooming lotuses (Reflecting Pond).
There are small and large circles exploring the ancient city. If the center of Angkor can be reached on foot, then it is better to go on a bike to travel in a big circle. Many more buildings are lost in the jungle and are waiting for the hands of researchers to reach them. However, tourists are better off not venturing into the forest without a guide.
In Angkor, it is always very hot, but you forget about the inconvenience immediately, as you see the first building. Graceful lines and proportions, powerful tree roots encircling ancient walls. This is how the temple of Ta Prohm appears to tourists. In some places, the trees with roots were not specially cleaned in order to make you feel the strength with which the jungle consumed the ancient city, as well as the scale of the clearing and restoration work. It turned out so picturesque that Ta Prom was chosen as the site for the filming of the Hollywood blockbuster “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider” with starring Angelina Jolie.
The Lost Ancient City ( Petra ), founded in the 18th century BC in the red Jordanian desert, also inspired Hollywood directors. In Peter, the action of one of the episodes of the final part of the film “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” takes place. Filming was conducted at the most picturesque place – the Treasury. She suddenly strikes the gaze of the main characters of the film, taxiing out due to the next bend of the canyon Sik.
The treasury, like other temples and tombs, is cut down in a red soft rock of a large tectonic fault. The whole of Peter is hidden inside one giant stone, falling apart due to earthquakes. Excavations have been going on for more than a century, but only a small part of the territory of a huge ancient city has been studied. Once upon a time, there lived 30 thousand people, and the water supply system had 200 storage tanks and a terracotta pipeline that collected water from sources tens of kilometers around. The city was ruled in turn by the Edomites, Nabataeans, Romans, Byzantines, and Arabs – all built in their own style.
Petra has always attracted fans of dangerous adventures. The pioneer of the lost city for the Western world was the Swiss orientalist and traveler Jan Ludwig Burkhart. He traveled under the guise of an Arab merchant and Peter almost cost him his life. The local Bedouins were about to kill him when they saw that he was making sketches of temples. However, Jan Ludwig nevertheless managed to get out of this situation and then describe the city he found in the book “Journey to Syria and the Holy Land”.
Petra is still the arena of romantic and dangerous adventures. A secret initiation ritual that has been practiced in Israeli special forces for almost 40 years is associated with this place. It was necessary to secretly cross the border with hostile Jordan, get to Petra and go back unnoticed. The first to do this in 1953 was Meir Har-Zion of Detachment 101 with his girlfriend Rachel Savorai. Then in Israel, they composed the song “Red Rock”, dedicated to this impudent sally. But when ambush began to be set on daredevils, as a result of which, according to some sources, 12 Israelis were killed in several years, this risky tradition and song about it were banned by law.
Ciudad Perdida ( the Ciudad Perdida, Colombia ) Spanish translates as “The Lost City.” It is hidden in the dense Colombian jungle in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountains. This city was founded 8 centuries before Christmas by the Tyrone Indians and was empty after Spanish colonization, and it was discovered recently – in 1975. Mysterious artifacts began to appear in large numbers on the market in Santa Marta. The authorities suspected something was wrong, pressed the miners and learned about the find in the mountains. By that time, the ruins were badly damaged by black diggers who were looking for gold and archaeological values there, but now the city is being restored, again, by the forces of the local population.
The Indians had long secretly visited Ciudad Perdida for ritual purposes, but were in no hurry to report this. To get into the city, you need to go 44 kilometers through the jungle, forcing tropical rivers and steep climbs. The journey ends with the conquest of an ancient staircase of 1200 steps.
The Colombian army patrols the lost city and the trek, guarding visitors and archaeologists. At night, soldiers join the tourist camps, and during the day help travelers cross the river.
However, Ciudad Perdida is worth it to overcome difficulties and endanger itself. The city is not fully understood and full of surprises. It is covered with an extensive network of roads, bridges, canals, stairs and 169 picturesque terraces. Happy tourists who get there, bathe in waterfalls, live on high terraces, make their way along cobbled paths through the virgin jungle and watch the evening fog envelop the ancient squares.
To overcome a difficult walking track through the mountains, overgrown with impenetrable jungle, and to get into a little-studied lost city is a real adventure worthy of Indiana Jones. Ciudad Perdida is one of the few places on the planet where this is still possible.
Do you think that the Earth has been studied along and across, so it is impossible to become the discoverer of a lost city? It turns out that there are still pristine ancient capitals. Recently, the largest Mayan city was allegedly found on the border of Mexico and Belize. It is located in the inaccessible jungle, where researchers and archaeologists have yet to reach.
The city of Kaak-Chi (Maw of Fire) was found by William Gaduri – a 15-year-old schoolboy from Quebec. He compared satellite imagery to star maps. 117 Mayan cities coincided with the location of the stars. Moreover, the brightest luminaries accounted for large settlements. William figured out the place where the lost city might have been and contacted Dr. Arman Laroc of the University of New Brunswick with this information. The scientist took up the analysis of satellite images of the area and confirmed that at the place indicated by William, there may be a huge ancient city with a central pyramid of 86 meters and several dozens of buildings. So far, everything is under study, but the day is not far off when the first adventurers will discover a new wonder of the world. You may well be among them!
For those who are not ready to wade through the wild jungle, but still want to join the secrets of lost cities, there are plenty of alternatives. One of the most impressive ancient settlements of South America is Machu Picchu in Peru. This city is much younger than Ciudad Perdida (it was built by the Incas in the 15th century), but it is easily accessible (a railway was laid there) and is spectacular. A spectacular settlement hangs over the valley in the mountains, at an altitude of two and a half kilometers.
Machu Picchu was rediscovered by American professor Hyrum Bingham, who served as the prototype of Indiana Jones, in 1911. Hyrum was considered an avid explorer and traveler, a brave climber. He traveled to the most inaccessible corners of the Andes: he repeated the path of Bolivar from Venezuela to Colombia; crossed the mountains, traveling from Buenos Aires to Lima; crawled out around Cuzco in search of Inca monuments and Machu Picchu, risking his life more than once. As it turned out, he was not in vain trying. Still, he was able to find a lost city, which the conquistadors never reached.
The views from Machu Picchu to the surrounding mountains offer spectacular views. The city itself holds many secrets and mysteries. Scientists have not found out how the Indians managed to fit the huge granite blocks of some temples with such accuracy that even a knife blade does not crawl between them. The purpose of many city buildings also remains a mystery, as is the layout of the streets, which often end in a dead-end or access to the terrace over a cliff. Finally, it is not clear for what reasons the city was abandoned by residents in the 16th century.
Anyone can touch these secrets. At one time, they tried to limit the number of visitors to Machu Picchu but then abandoned this idea. So take the road soon, until the railway to the city of Aguas Calientes nearest to Machu Picchu was again washed away by rains, as in 2010. Then the famous wonder of the world was closed for tourists for several months, during which the repair of the railway track was going on.