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Atlas of Vanishing Places: The lost worlds as they were and as they are today

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Imagine what the world once looked like as you discover places that have disappeared from modern atlases. Have you ever wondered about cities that lie forgotten under the dust of newly settled land? Rivers and seas whose changing shape has shifted the landscape around them? Or, even, places that have seemingly vanished, without a trace?   Following the international bestse Imagine what the world once looked like as you discover places that have disappeared from modern atlases. Have you ever wondered about cities that lie forgotten under the dust of newly settled land? Rivers and seas whose changing shape has shifted the landscape around them? Or, even, places that have seemingly vanished, without a trace?   Following the international bestselling success of Atlas of Improbable Places and Atlas of the Unexpected, Travis Elborough takes you on a voyage to all corners of the world in search of the lost, disappearing and vanished. Discover ancient seats of power and long-forgotten civilizations through the Mayan city of Palenque; delve into the mystery of a disappeared Japanese islet; and uncover the incredible hidden sites like the submerged Old Adaminaby, once abandoned but slowly remerging. With beautiful maps and stunning colour photography, Atlas of Vanishing Places shows these places as they once were as well as how they look today: a fascinating guide to lost lands and the fragility of our relationship with the world around us. Also in the Unexpected Atlas series: Atlas of Improbable Places, Atlas of Untamed Places, Atlas of the Unexpected.


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Imagine what the world once looked like as you discover places that have disappeared from modern atlases. Have you ever wondered about cities that lie forgotten under the dust of newly settled land? Rivers and seas whose changing shape has shifted the landscape around them? Or, even, places that have seemingly vanished, without a trace?   Following the international bestse Imagine what the world once looked like as you discover places that have disappeared from modern atlases. Have you ever wondered about cities that lie forgotten under the dust of newly settled land? Rivers and seas whose changing shape has shifted the landscape around them? Or, even, places that have seemingly vanished, without a trace?   Following the international bestselling success of Atlas of Improbable Places and Atlas of the Unexpected, Travis Elborough takes you on a voyage to all corners of the world in search of the lost, disappearing and vanished. Discover ancient seats of power and long-forgotten civilizations through the Mayan city of Palenque; delve into the mystery of a disappeared Japanese islet; and uncover the incredible hidden sites like the submerged Old Adaminaby, once abandoned but slowly remerging. With beautiful maps and stunning colour photography, Atlas of Vanishing Places shows these places as they once were as well as how they look today: a fascinating guide to lost lands and the fragility of our relationship with the world around us. Also in the Unexpected Atlas series: Atlas of Improbable Places, Atlas of Untamed Places, Atlas of the Unexpected.

45 review for Atlas of Vanishing Places: The lost worlds as they were and as they are today

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    Atlas of Vanishing Places: The lost worlds as they were and as they are today by Travis Elborough I received this digital ARC from NetGalley and White Lion Publishing in exchange for an unbiased review. Related to earlier book Atlas of Improbable Places Arak Sea in Uzbekistan, once the 4th largest lake in world, 1950s River diverted (Anu Darya and Syr Darya Rivers) to irrigate land for cotton. The author explores the evolution of land and changes occurred through nature and man which have continu Atlas of Vanishing Places: The lost worlds as they were and as they are today by Travis Elborough I received this digital ARC from NetGalley and White Lion Publishing in exchange for an unbiased review. Related to earlier book Atlas of Improbable Places Arak Sea in Uzbekistan, once the 4th largest lake in world, 1950s River diverted (Anu Darya and Syr Darya Rivers) to irrigate land for cotton. The author explores the evolution of land and changes occurred through nature and man which have continued to erode with each passing civilization. There are many illustrated picture and maps of these once inhabited places. I found the history and archeological aspects interesting. It seems that I “knew” of these places but honestly never gave thought to whether they still existed. Some places seemed to exist only from history books and mythology. The author provides detailed information on ancient cities, forgotten lands, shrinking places and threatened worlds. It provides thought provoking history of our ever changing world as a result of changes in each civilization.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Theediscerning

    A wonderful book. For those who did Ur early in secondary school, and who can rattle off factoids about Hammurabi at will, comes this volume, which introduces us to what could be called the most important places that don't exist, and, gleefully, many are places you won't have heard of. The Hittites, yes, but their capital city, resplendent within miles of walls surrounding an imposing – if heavily restored – citadel? Alright, it only took until the third place here, Leptis Magna, before I hit on A wonderful book. For those who did Ur early in secondary school, and who can rattle off factoids about Hammurabi at will, comes this volume, which introduces us to what could be called the most important places that don't exist, and, gleefully, many are places you won't have heard of. The Hittites, yes, but their capital city, resplendent within miles of walls surrounding an imposing – if heavily restored – citadel? Alright, it only took until the third place here, Leptis Magna, before I hit one I'd actually heard of, but the fact remains – for someone such as I, who would claim some geographical nous on a TV quiz show, will have copious holes in their knowledge filled by these pages. Sticking with Leptis Magna – I might have been alright remembering its name, but could tell you nothing about it – but this volume call tell you what is known about it, map it, photograph it – and never have the feel of pure armchair research, which is superlative. Splitting it up into spurious categories of kinds of place, so cities and towns are replaced by a chapter of cities, towns, rivers and a whole island that's vanished, is daft, but that's the nearest thing to a flaw. The reasons for the places having vanished differ, but you do see an environmental thread before too long; it's good then that the focus is both on manmade environments as well as naturally occurring ones. This was right up my street – a road in several cases to nowhere I even knew existed.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Anjana

    This particular book was different from the previous two Atlas' that I read. This is more of a paced history/geography lesson. It goes in order, introducing us to a place- both as it stands(or doesn't) now and how it used to be. There are pieces of information about the socio-economic conditions when it was a thriving location, the amount of information varies from place to place. It factors in the amount of upheaval that the place saw before 'Vanishing' from our current maps. I am not sure if I This particular book was different from the previous two Atlas' that I read. This is more of a paced history/geography lesson. It goes in order, introducing us to a place- both as it stands(or doesn't) now and how it used to be. There are pieces of information about the socio-economic conditions when it was a thriving location, the amount of information varies from place to place. It factors in the amount of upheaval that the place saw before 'Vanishing' from our current maps. I am not sure if I will be purchasing this as well since I bought the last two and I am yet to re-read them. This is a beautiful series though and serves as a good coffee table edition, and can spark new life into flagging conversation at parties. I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishers but the review is completely based on my own reading experience.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Pop Bop

    Armchair Travel Through Space and Time There are very good reasons why most of the places described in this book will never again be visited by travelers. Many are lost, some are buried, a few may never have existed at all. But, with engaging text, specially commissioned maps, and old photos and sketches, these places can be brought well enough to life to still fire the imagination. The selection is generous and eclectic. There are many well known sites, (Petra, Palenque, Timbuktu), but most are r Armchair Travel Through Space and Time There are very good reasons why most of the places described in this book will never again be visited by travelers. Many are lost, some are buried, a few may never have existed at all. But, with engaging text, specially commissioned maps, and old photos and sketches, these places can be brought well enough to life to still fire the imagination. The selection is generous and eclectic. There are many well known sites, (Petra, Palenque, Timbuktu), but most are recognizable only from legend and vague cultural memory, (Xanadu, Leptis Magna, Roanoke), if they are recognized at all, (Chan Chan in Peru, the Mosque City of Bagerhat). Each is treated, though, with style and sly wit. The book is divided into four main sections - Ancient Cities, Forgotten Lands, Shrinking Places, and Threatened Worlds. You can get a sense of the sections from those titles. The Ancient Cities are in barely excavated bits and pieces, mostly now covered by sand, jungle, or sea. The Forgotten Lands are a bit more like ghost towns, if you expand your idea of what a ghost town can be. Shrinking Places, not surprisingly, are places sustained by water that is now disappearing, (Everglades). Threatened Places is a more predictable category - the cautionary tale - witness Venice, Glacier National Park, and The Great Barrier Reef. The book is well researched and even the briefest pocket descriptions contain a wealth of fascinating detail and context. This isn't just a pretty coffee table book filled with photos and breezy descriptions. A real effort has been made to introduce the reader to what it is that made, or make, all of these places special and worthy of interest. Each site gets about three pages of densely formatted text, complemented by very good photos, and a map showing what is visible, what is suspected, what was, and what might still be hidden. Sometimes the descriptions are a bit brief and thin, but that's usually because there's not much to work with. Sometimes there is more detail and breadth. There is usually a description of how and when an ancient site was discovered, and there is often a fair try at providing some historical context. Through it all the author remains congenial and engaging, although sometimes glibness and humor are used to distract from the fact that little is actually known about a site. As you might expect, none of the vanishing places are treated in complete or thorough depth. This book is, rather, a marvelous sampler and a tease to encourage the reader to find out more about places that intrigue her. There is certainly an excellent selection, ( thirtyseven entries), from which to choose. (In that regard, a selected bibliography will help send readers on their way.) (Please note that I received a free advance will-self-destruct-in-x-days Adobe Digital copy of this book without a review requirement, or any influence regarding review content should I choose to post a review. Apart from that I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.)

  5. 4 out of 5

    Bill

    Atlas of Vanishing Places is an encyclopedic tour via brief (2 or 3 pages) entries of 37 settings that have for natural and human-made reasons either disappeared entirely or are on the way to doing so. Beyond simple description, it’s also, as the introduction says, meant to stand as “a clarion call for the urgency of preserving what we hold dear.” While one could certainly “read” it in a setting or two, it probably works best as a nice browsing book: read a number of entries at a time, set it as Atlas of Vanishing Places is an encyclopedic tour via brief (2 or 3 pages) entries of 37 settings that have for natural and human-made reasons either disappeared entirely or are on the way to doing so. Beyond simple description, it’s also, as the introduction says, meant to stand as “a clarion call for the urgency of preserving what we hold dear.” While one could certainly “read” it in a setting or two, it probably works best as a nice browsing book: read a number of entries at a time, set it aside, pick it up and read another grouping. The sites are divided into four broad categories: Ancient Cities, Forgotten Lands, Shrinking Places, and Threatened Worlds. One’s familiarity with the sites will vary of course. I found I knew, and had even visited, a number of them, but even with those I usually found a tidbit of interesting information I hadn’t known. The book is well researched and engaging, with the textual information supplemented by nice, clear maps/city plans as well as photographs. The text does an excellent job of concisely placing the site in historical context, explaining its significance, how it was lost (and sometimes how it was rediscovered). Conciseness is the key; this is more of an introduction to these places, not a deep dive into details. Meant more to whet the appetite of the curious reader to do their own further explanation, Atlas serves that purpose quite well.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Zeb Kantrowitz

    If your one of those people who read books like "100 Places to See Before You Die", this is actually a geographic study of where those places are (maps and/or pictures), and how soon they will disappear. Actually, many of these places have already disappeared, either destroyed over the eons or by other Empires of the pre-christian times. Some like Pompei were destroyed by nature, others like Palmyra (which had been partially restored) are damaged by fanatics who look at them as the construction If your one of those people who read books like "100 Places to See Before You Die", this is actually a geographic study of where those places are (maps and/or pictures), and how soon they will disappear. Actually, many of these places have already disappeared, either destroyed over the eons or by other Empires of the pre-christian times. Some like Pompei were destroyed by nature, others like Palmyra (which had been partially restored) are damaged by fanatics who look at them as the construction of Devil Worshipers. Not all these places are impossible for you to go because of ongoing wars (many of the Crusader castles are located in areas of armed conflict) or other dangers (such as Timbucktu, which is in a non-governmental controlled area). These will be lost to all of us, but the people in control of these areas don't want tourists or others coming to there homelands. In the future we will lose the use of some due to the rise of ocean levels (Yangoo, Dhaka or Venice) that will put them under water. Many of these are island nations like the Maldives, who have little land higher than 15 ft above sea level and will just sink below the waves. I will be a boon to those who like to SCUBA. In the years to come it will become a reminded of things that we have lost. Zeb Kantrowitz [email protected]

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sreeram Narasimhan

    [I got this book as a giveaway from NetGalley] My first ever book from a giveaway, and I need to say that I am very happy to have received this book, thanks to NetGalley and White Lion Publishing. The book is very informative, more so from the fact it covers both the places from long forgotten past as well as those that are vanishing right in front of our eyes. This book is divided into four parts: Ancient Cities, Forgotten Lands, Shrinking Places and Threatened Worlds. Each section covers varied [I got this book as a giveaway from NetGalley] My first ever book from a giveaway, and I need to say that I am very happy to have received this book, thanks to NetGalley and White Lion Publishing. The book is very informative, more so from the fact it covers both the places from long forgotten past as well as those that are vanishing right in front of our eyes. This book is divided into four parts: Ancient Cities, Forgotten Lands, Shrinking Places and Threatened Worlds. Each section covers varied places from across the world. While information about many of these places can be easily googled, the fact that the author has brought all of these places into an interesting compendium of ready reckoner. Each place is covered in good detail, without getting too long to become boring. This, according to me, is the strength of this book. Further details can always be gained through the selected bibliography provided at the end. I only wish all the images were rendered properly - I am not sure if this was an issue of the book shared by the publisher or Adobe Digital Editions app. This was the only downside in my whole experience.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ksenia Kulichik

    I imagine this is meant to be an attractive and mildly entertaining coffee table book that people leaf through, skimming the brief commentary for interesting factoids. I think the book fills that niche very well. It is made up of short, several page long chapters on obscure places vanishing (or vanished years ago) in various ways - from depopulation, flooding, droughts etc. They are grouped into topical sections in ways I don’t entirely understand. Overall, I really enjoyed finding out the little I imagine this is meant to be an attractive and mildly entertaining coffee table book that people leaf through, skimming the brief commentary for interesting factoids. I think the book fills that niche very well. It is made up of short, several page long chapters on obscure places vanishing (or vanished years ago) in various ways - from depopulation, flooding, droughts etc. They are grouped into topical sections in ways I don’t entirely understand. Overall, I really enjoyed finding out the little interesting bits of information Elborough unearths and have nothing untoward to say about the text portion of the book. It does what it is meant to do. The graphics were a letdown though. This being an atlas I expected some high quality, diverse and engaging maps, but they are all fairly bland and simplistic, not delivering much information and not doing so in creative ways. Perhaps, it is the fault of the digital edition, and they all look much more impressive crisply printed on quality paper, but their informational paucity will persist printed or not. It seems like a real missed opportunity. Thanks to NetGalley for a digital ARC of the book.

  9. 5 out of 5

    April A. Taylor

    This is destined to be the favorite coffee table book of many who enjoy history and geography. The author has assembled a fascinating mixture of well-known and obscure places that have become lost throughout history. You'll learn about ancient civilizations, the mysterious disappearance of the Roanoke Colony, and a government decision to wipe China's Lion City of the map. There's also much more of note within this book's pages, including concise descriptions of each area/civilization, large, ful This is destined to be the favorite coffee table book of many who enjoy history and geography. The author has assembled a fascinating mixture of well-known and obscure places that have become lost throughout history. You'll learn about ancient civilizations, the mysterious disappearance of the Roanoke Colony, and a government decision to wipe China's Lion City of the map. There's also much more of note within this book's pages, including concise descriptions of each area/civilization, large, full-color photographs, and maps. You may not ever be able to visit the sites mentioned by Travis Elborough, but he certainly provides enough information to help you envision walking through many ancient streets. Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing an ARC. This review contains my honest, unbiased opinion.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jun

    I loved the concept of this book as soon as I read the title and description. Our world is constantly changing and shifting, nothing is permanent, and documenting the places and things before they are gone is meaningful for ourselves as well as future generations. The author truly does these places justice. A wide variety of places are represented, not just the most famous or relatable examples. Each place gets a few pages, so it is not overwhelmingly long. The images are good quality and help t I loved the concept of this book as soon as I read the title and description. Our world is constantly changing and shifting, nothing is permanent, and documenting the places and things before they are gone is meaningful for ourselves as well as future generations. The author truly does these places justice. A wide variety of places are represented, not just the most famous or relatable examples. Each place gets a few pages, so it is not overwhelmingly long. The images are good quality and help to visualize the past. Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the digital ARC.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Anett Kovacs

    From well-known sites like the Dead Sea or the Great Barrier Reef to unsung places like Esanbehanakitakojima in Japan, Atlas of Vanishing Places takes you on a journey through "Ancient Cities", "Forgotten Lands", "Shrinking Places", and "Threatened Worlds". Elborough manages a statisfying balance between supplying plenty information about the places and keeping each chapter brief enough to make it a perfect pick for your daily commute or bedtime reading. Highly recommendable!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    Completely fascinating. I got lost down so many awesome Google rabbit holes while reading about all of these vanished/vanishing cities, islands, landmarks, natural wonders and civilizations that it took me 5 times longer to read this than it should've. Loved the maps overlaying the disappeared places with the current locations. Really, really cool idea for a book.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Leah Horton

    What an amazing book. All of the places that used to exist and are no longer there. It was scary to see the places that are vanishing still and threatened. I love the history of the world and this book was really interesting to me.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kirsten never has enough time

    Astonishingly pretty, very interesting and very much a book you need in the flesh.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Alexandra

    Great for those who like maps and looking at places that were and places that are still here in some way. Goes through different cities and civilizations, ruins and places that are vanishing - Like the Danube and Dead Sea. Great for those who like looking at forgotten or lost cities, places that used to be and changing places today.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lucy

  17. 5 out of 5

    Joanna

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Bradshaw

  19. 4 out of 5

    Konstantina

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jamie

  21. 5 out of 5

    The Quarto Group

  22. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

  23. 5 out of 5

    Carrie Pirmann

  24. 4 out of 5

    Bernie Gourley

  25. 4 out of 5

    Anna Borges

  26. 5 out of 5

    James

  27. 5 out of 5

    L A

  28. 5 out of 5

    Mike

  29. 4 out of 5

    Laura

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sharon Smith

  31. 4 out of 5

    Amie's Book Reviews

  32. 5 out of 5

    Janet

  33. 4 out of 5

    Nick

  34. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

  35. 5 out of 5

    Jason

  36. 4 out of 5

    Kylie

  37. 4 out of 5

    G Morris

  38. 5 out of 5

    C

  39. 4 out of 5

    Dominika Olszowy

  40. 5 out of 5

    Carole

  41. 4 out of 5

    Minna

  42. 4 out of 5

    Larry

  43. 5 out of 5

    Ed Shelley

  44. 5 out of 5

    CountyNocturnal

  45. 4 out of 5

    Piero Basso

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