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Four Lost Cities

A Secret History of the Urban Age

Annalee Newitz



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11 March 2021
Investigating across centuries and around the world, acclaimed science journalist Annalee Newitz explores the rise and fall of four ancient abandoned cities, each the center of a sophisticated civilization: the Neolithic site of Catalhoeyuk in Central Turkey, the Roman vacation town of Pompeii on Italy's southern coast, the medieval megacity of Angkor in Cambodia, and the indigenous metropolis Cahokia that stood beside the Mississippi River where East St. Louis is today.

In Four Lost Cities, Newitz blends an engaging account of their travels to all four sites with an exploration of cutting-edge research in archaeology-including new discoveries about who lived in these cities and the tools they used to create monuments that lasted millennia. The result is a thrilling journey into the urban past that reveals the mix of environmental changes, social transformation, and political turmoil that doomed ancient cities-and could be a sign of things to come.
By:   Annalee Newitz
Imprint:   Norton
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 239mm,  Width: 163mm,  Spine: 28mm
Weight:   557g
ISBN:   9780393652666
ISBN 10:   0393652661
Pages:   304
Publication Date:   11 March 2021
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Annalee Newitz, a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times, is the founder of io9 and former editor-in-chief of Gizmodo. They are the author of Scatter, Adapt, and Remember: How Humans Will Survive a Mass Extinction, and the novels Autonomous and The Future of Another Timeline. Newitz is also the cohost of the Hugo Award-winning podcast Our Opinions Are Correct. They live in San Francisco.

Reviews for Four Lost Cities: A Secret History of the Urban Age

As the American science journalist, editor and author Annalee Newitz chronicles in the superbly detailed Four Lost Cities, the cities of the past are never completely lost - exploring their histories can tell us much about our own time... an astounding reflection on the rise and fall of civilisations, on the ancient human need to cluster together in our version of burrows and ant heaps. -- Nilanjana Roy - Financial Times The stories behind Four Lost Cities... show the importance of the deep history of urban life for our near future. -- The Best Science Books to Read in 2021 - New Scientist Excellent of its kind... fair, judicious, open-minded... the writer ruminates amid ruins... the imaginings shared are always vivid, well-informed and disciplined. -- Felipe Fernandez-Armesto - The Washington Post The book functions as a travel guide to places that no longer exist... [it] filled me with wonder. -- Russell Shorto - The New York Times Book Review Newitz dispels myths, evokes fascinating stories, and makes us think hard about our own urban future. -- Charles Mann Newitz always sees to the heart of complex systems and breaks them down with poetic ferocity. -- NK Jemisin, author of the Broken Earth trilogy and The City We Became Newitz has achieved something remarkable, taking a very personal drive to understand the way we live and using it to enliven the past, at each turn letting expert voices guide a clear-sighted discussion of the lives of marginalized populations, the potential held by new scientific methods of analysis, and-perhaps most importantly-the self-awareness that what we see of the past is very much a product of how we understand the present. -- B. R. Hassett - Science

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