A fascinating tour of cities that have been lost to history, from the Neolithic period up to the late Roman Empire, that offers a fresh new perspective on the roots of urban life.
The ruins of ancient Athens, Luxor and Rome are familiar cornerstones of world history, visited by travellers from across the globe. But what about the cities that have dropped off the map - that have been submerged under water, or swallowed up by the sands of time? Where are they, and what can they tell us about our past? In this compendium of forgotten cities, Philip Matyszak explores the trials, tribulations and triumphs they faced, revealing how people have embarked on the shared endeavour of living together since we first settled down 12,000 years ago.
Illustrated throughout with important artefacts, ruins and maps, Lost Cities of the Ancient World brings to life the sites and settlements across Europe, the Middle East and beyond that time forgot, from the sunken city of Ropotamo in the Black Sea to the deep cave dwellings of Derinkuyu in Turkey. Some have survived only in ancient literature, such as the lost city of Zoar by the Dead Sea, known from the Bible but not yet found. Others have been located, allowing archaeologists to trace their changing fortunes through centuries of occupation.
Matyszak reveals a dynamic network of peoples and cultures who fought and traded between themselves, exchanging inventions, ideas and philosophies, with the result that peoples as far apart as Çatalhöyük in Turkey and Skara Brae in the Orkney islands in Scotland shared much of a common heritage. By examining the motivations that first drew people to gather and settle together, as well as the challenges that led to their cities' abandonment, this visually striking and often surprising book offers us a fresh perspective on our urban origins.
Thames & Hudson
Country of Publication:
Publication Date: 01 October 2023
Introduction: Ghosts of the Past The Oldest Cities 1. Çatalhöyük 2. Skara Brae 3. Akkad 4. Pavlopetri 5. Zoar 6. Hattusa 7. Mardaman 8. Thebes 9. Phaistos From Troy to Rome 10. Troy 11. Thonis 12. Mycenae 13. Seleucia-on-the-Tigris 14. Sybaris 15. Plataea 16. Taxila 17. Tigranocerta 18. Persepolis 19. Numantia Across the Roman Empire 20. Glanum 21. Falerii Novi 22. Cyrene 23. Tipasa 24. Baiae 25. Volubilis 26. Stabiae 27. Maiden Castle 28. Timgad 29. Antinopolis The Empire’s Edge and Beyond 30. Palmyra 31. Waldgirmes 32. Sarmizegetusa Regia 33. Gerasa 34. Venta Silurum 35. Dura-Europos 36. Beta Samati 37. Derinkuyu Epilogue
Philip Matyszak has a doctorate in Roman history from St John's College, Oxford. He is the author of numerous books on the ancient world, including Forgotten Peoples of the Ancient World (2020), The Greek and Roman Myths (2010) and Ancient Magic (2019), all published by Thames & Hudson.