A Cultural Encyclopedia of Lost Cities and Civilizations
by Michael Shally-Jensen and Anthony Vivian
November 2022, 335pp, 7 x 10
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-7310-2
$107, £83, 94€, A147
Please contact your preferred distributor for pricing.
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-7311-9
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Now more than ever, our world’s continued survival calls for a deeper understanding of cities and civilizations that once flourished but no longer do.

This volume explores the span of human history—and plenty of prehistory—searching out prominent and fascinating examples of cities or broader civilizations that shifted from a position of influence to a lack thereof.

The accelerating threat of climate change challenges us to analyze our own communities’ relationships with the wider world and to contemplate their very existence. This single-volume cultural encyclopedia examines lost cities and civilizations from every region of the globe and dated throughout human history. Arranged alphabetically, the compilation allows both students and general readers easy access to detailed entries on specific lost cities and civilizations.

Throughout the geographically and chronologically diverse entries, such themes as colonization, migration, and especially climate change are developed and analyzed. Supplementing the main entries are sidebars detailing mythological cities and Investigative Boxes examining present-day cities on the brink of extinction. These round out the book’s focus on disappearing cultural centers and reveal the robust relevance this material has to a world facing the crisis of climate change.


  • Includes 25 sidebars outlining the significance of mythical cities created by the human imagination
  • Supplies 86 in-depth yet accessible entries on lost civilizations that can be read on their own or systematically
  • Explores such themes as colonization and migration
  • Investigates the present-day crisis of climate change through the historical perspective of extinct communities
Michael Shally-Jensen, PhD, is an independent author and editor specializing in works on history, culture, and society. Among his previous books is ABC-CLIO's Alternative Healing in American History: An Encyclopedia from Acupuncture to Yoga.

Anthony Vivian, PhD, is a writer, historian, and adjunct professor. His historical writing analyzes ancient Greek historiography and Attic Comedy, among other topics.
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