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Top 10: Lost Cities

Some are swallowed by sea, some surrender to the jungle, and others simply sink beneath the soil…
This 17th-century map shows the location of Kublai Khan’s palace of pleasure, Xanadu

XANADU

CHINA

Kublai Khan’s hedonistic summer capital, Xanadu, was popularised by Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s iconic poem, Kubla Khan, in which he describes the city’s dramatic destruction. It was home to almost 100,000 citizens until the invading Chinese attacked it. Visited by Marco Polo in 1275, the city rapidly deteriorated. All that remains are a few walls, but the square boundaries are easily visible from the air.

ALAMY X1, GETTY X9, TOPFOTO X1
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Find the complete article and many more in this issue of BBC History Revealed Magazine - April 2017
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About BBC History Revealed Magazine

This might well be our most-packed issue ever, and we’ve got pretty much every time and place imaginable covered. Our section in the centre pages looks at those archaeological discoveries that make our understanding of the past possible – from buried kings to mysterious writings.