10 Ancient Cities you’ve probably never heard about before

When you discuss ‘ancient cities’ with someone, the first ancient settlements to come up are probably ‘Teotihuacan,’ ‘Machu Picchu,’ ‘Tiahuanaco’ and ‘Pompeii’ among others. However, while these are some of the most incredible ancient cities on the surface of our planet, the truth is that three ar countless other ancient cities that many have never heard of before.

The sheer amount of ancient cities around the planet is staggering, and most of these antique settlements date back thousands of years. Most of them are extremely well preserved even today, and are evidence of extremely sophisticated cultures, existing on the surface of our planet in the distant past.

In this article, we bring you 10 ancient cities you’ve probably never heard about before:

The Lost City, aka ‘La Ciudad Perdida’


Also known as Teyuna and Buritaca, this ancient city located in Columbia’s Sierra Nevada is one an ancient city unknown to many. These incredible ancient ruins predate the Inca city of Machu Picchu by nearly 7000 years. The ancient settlement was discovered in 1972 and archaeologists believe it was the capital city that connected several other villages in the area belonging to the Tairona people.

Skara Brae

Image Credit
Image Credit

Another ancient settlement only a few have ever heard about. Located on the largest of the  Orkney Islands in Scotland, this ancient city predates both the Great Pyramids of Egypt and Stonehenge in England. It was a lost city until harsh weather conditions exposed its ruins in 1850.

The Ancient city of Caral


Researchers consider Caral as home to one of the first sophisticated ancient civilizations that inhabited the Americas. It covers a mighty 165 acres, and it is one of the largest in Peru. The pyramids of Caral according to archaeologists are contemporary with Egyptian Pyramids (3200 BC). These complex constructions are proof of ingenuity of ancient man, being able to erect these incredible monuments, precisely constructed, shows the planning and organisation levels of the builders of this incredible monument complex.

Hatra: The Capital of an ancient Kingdom


This ancient city is located in modern-day Iraq and was one of the most prominent ancient Capitals of the First Arab Kingdom. Its incredible architecture and incredibly well-designed walls helped fight off numerous conquer attempts. It was one of the most important trade centers under the Parthians and was eventually destroyed during the Sassanid invasion. According to archeologists, this ancient city has numerous features of Greek, Roman, and Eastern architectures. Hartra is believed to have been destroyed by the Islamic Republic.

Chan Chan

Author Hubert Guillaud Image Source CRAterre
Author Hubert Guillaud
Image Source CRAterre

It is another ancient settlement in Peru, home to the Chimu people. It was one of the largest Pre-Columbian cities in South America and was populated until it was conquered by the Inca Empire in 1470. This vast ancient city was called home b over 30,000 people in the distant past.

The Ancient City of Virupaksha


The ancient city of Virupaksha was one of the largest ancient cities in the world. Archaeologists believe that half a million people called this ancient city their home in the distant past. The ancient city was conquered by Muslim kingdom around 1565 when most of the city was destroyed.

Mesa Verde


Mesa Verde was one of the most important ancient cultures in North America, the Anasazi. The architecture displayed in the construction fo this ancient city was unlike anything seen in previous cultures. The Anasazi construction methods allowed them to erect houses that could boast up to 150 rooms. Interestingly just like many other ancient civilizations, the Anasazi too vanished mysteriously around 1300.


A city-settlement of the the Indus Valley Civilization, ca. 2600-1500 BCE.
A city-settlement of the Indus Valley Civilization, ca. 2600-1500 BCE.

Mohenjo-Daro is without a doubt one of the most mysterious ancient cities ever discovered by researchers. Located in the Indus Valley, it is known as one of the earliest urban centers on the planet. Constructed around 2600 BCE, the city was one of the most important sites for 600 years. Researchers believe that the original name of this ancient city was ‘ Kukkutarma’.

The ancient city of Babylon


Babylon is another ancient city that is omitted by most people. It was one fo the largest ancient cities in Mesopotamia built along the River Euphrates. Researchers believe that this ancient city was one of the first ancient settlements to provide permanent shelter for 200,000 people. This ancient city was considered one of the holiest cities of the Akkadian Empire.

Amarna: The Lost City of Akhenaten


This ancient city was founded by one of the most controversial Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt: Akhenaten. This ancient Egyptian city was among the fest to feature never-before-seen architectural techniques in the land of the Pharaohs.

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  1. Ivan,
    Along with Mesa Verde (Anasazi) in Colorado you can add Tuzigoot and Montezuma’s Castle (both Sinagua) in Arizona. The Southwest has been home to some of the most iconic of Indian tribes, most of which their descendants still survive such as the Navaho, Hopi, and Puebla Indians.

  2. This article is very good, but there are still many more ancient cities out there 🙂 My home town, Plovdiv is one of the oldest cities in the world.

    From Wikipedia:

    “…Plovdiv has evidence of habitation since the 6th millennium BC. By the end of the 4th millennium BC there already was an established Neolithic settlement there. In the 12th century BC the village evolved into a real town populated by Thracians ranking it among world’s oldest cities. Plovdiv was known in the West for most of its recorded history by the name Philippopolis…”

  3. This article sucks! The lost city in Colombia is not 7000 years older than machu pichu by anymeans!

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