Athens, Thebes, and Rome, along with several other major cities throughout the world, are known for their enduring cultural, educational, and political legacies. In addition, there have been other civilizations that once prospered greatly and then disappeared into history. Legends have circulated for centuries about their existence, but until recently, scientists have discovered secrets behind these lost civilizations.

The vibrant urban settlements of the Indus Valley

The Indus Valley civilization existed from around 2500-1700 BCE and is thought to have been as powerful as the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia, and Egypt. While those civilizations grew and were conquered over time, integrating with other cultures, the Indus Valley civilization has vanished, leaving behind no explanation for its decline and disappearance.

Statue found in the Indus Valley.

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The people of this civilization thrived on the fertile lands of the Indus river and traded with the nearby civilization of Mesopotamia. The cities of Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro were home to between 40,000 and 50,000 people, including farmers, merchants, and craftsmen, attesting to the prosperity of this region.

The golden city on a beautiful mythical wallpaper. | Concept art, Diablo 3,  Diablo

With such a strong civilization, it seemed that it would continue to grow and expand to areas beyond. However, around 1900 BCE, invaders swept through the great city of Mohenjo-Daro, and it fell.

These ruins give evidence of the wealth of this civilization.

Not only that, but the wind patterns changed, causing the land to become cooler and drier, and forcing the people to migrate elsewhere to survive. By 1700 BCE, almost all of the cities of the Indus Valley civilization had been abandoned.

The ancient city of Tanis, Egypt

The ancient city of Tanis is located in the Nile River Delta, northeast of the capital of Cairo, Egypt. Here, archaeologists have discovered a royal tomb complex filled with gold masks, jewelry, silver coffins, and treasures comparable in value to those of King Tutankhamun.

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A wealthy city buried by the shifting course of the river.

Though not many may know of this place, this was once the capital of Egypt and the richest economic center. However, when the river changed course, the city was buried under layers of sand.

The ancient Greek city-state of Helike

According to records, Helike was located in Achara, west of the Peloponnesian peninsula. During the golden age, this city-state was the first to lead the League of Achaean States, consisting of 12 neighboring states. Thanks to its unique geographical location, Helike became an important economic, cultural, and religious center.

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This city disappeared in just five days, according to legend.

However, this city disappeared in only five days. According to classical historians, one day in the year 373 BCE, all the animals such as snakes and rats suddenly left the city to go to higher ground. Immediately afterward, an earthquake occurred and the city collapsed into the ground, quickly swept away by the flow of the ocean, with no one lucky enough to survive.

Legend has it that the city of Helike sank into the Gulf of Corinth.

This once-famous city is now only a legend, and for centuries, no one knew exactly where it

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