Special Report

24 Ancient Cities That Were Just Discovered

Source: Getty Images / Getty Images News via Getty Images

Qin Dynasty capital
>Location: China
>Dates to: 221 B.C.
>Discovered: 2019

A subway line construction in the city of Xi’an in Northwest China was halted when the ruins of an ancient capital dating back to the Qin dynasty were unearthed. The ancient city of Feiqiu dates back 2000 years to China’s warring states period. Findings such as this are common in Xi’an, which has served as the capital for 13 dynasties; numerous subway excavations have led to historical findings in the city.

En Esur
>Location: Israel
>Dates to: 7000 B.C.
>Discovered: 2019

Near the town of Motza, three miles west of Jerusalem, a Neolithic settlement with a Bronze Age settlement built on top of it was excavated during a survey for a new highway. The site is possibly the largest excavation from the Bronze Age in the Middle East and contains evidence of advanced urban planning including large buildings, roads, graveyards, intensive agriculture, a temple, and fortifications.

Source: Mahmoud Khaled / Getty Images News via Getty Images

>Location: Egypt
>Dates to: 1391 B.C.
>Discovered: 2020

The so-called Dazzling Aten was the largest city of its time in Egypt, dating back to Pharaoh Amenhotep III. Hidden under sand for millennia, this massive lost city metropolis found in 2020 near Luxor, in what is considered to be the biggest discovery in Egypt since Tutankhamun’s tomb was unearthed. Many structures and artifacts are in pristine condition. So far, archaeologists have uncovered burial grounds, intact 10-foot walls, houses full of possessions including jewelry, and a large industrial bakery.

Türkmen-Karahöyük city
>Location: Turkey
>Dates to: 1400 B.C.
>Discovered: 2020

While surveying an ancient mound called Türkmen-Karahöyük, a group of archaeologists talked to a local farmer who’d seen a stone with inscriptions on it in an irrigation canal. Upon finding and translating the stone, they realized they’d come upon a kingdom ruled by King Hartapu, who defeated King Midas in the 8th century B.C. The site appears to cover 300 acres and the team expects to find monuments, dwellings, and a palace inside the mound.

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