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Intriguing lost cities around the world

Lonely Planet Logo Lonely Planet | Slide 1 of 10: Stone age, Neolithic, settlement Skara Brae, UNESCO World Heritage, West Mainland, Orkney Islands, Scotland, Great Britain.

Skara Brae, Scotland

More a village than a city, this prehistoric set of ruins in Orkney is of a small farming settlement over 5000 years old. It was discovered in 1850 after a wild storm revealed the stone remnants. Excavations (and more storms) showed the village had at least eight stone cottages, complete with beds, hearths and shelves. It seems erosion brought the village closer to the sea, until it was abandoned and left to the enshrouding sands for four millennia. Today, erosion continues to threaten the site, and visits in winter depend on weather conditions.

© Bernard van Dierendonck/Getty Images

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