Lost & Forgotten Sites...

I’ve been thinking this last week about the importance of learning how to discover lost and forgotten sites from the historical past. In fact, I have recently received quite a few requests for how to overlay various historical maps, one on top of the other, in a way to be able to clearly combine the information.

When I was a young and active metal detectorist, being able to find old sites was especially important because it allowed me to increase the age and value of my discoveries. It also helped to reduce wasted time digging trash.

calakmul maya pyramid

​Formerly Lost Mayan City

As I grew older and began to search for lost cities in Central and South America, I had to develop some much stronger research skills. That was still before the days of Google Earth. I eventually developed a formula that allowed me to discover dozens of truly “lost cities” that once supported thousands of people many hundreds or thousands of years ago.

And then came Google Earth… WOW!

Google Earth changed everything for me. All of a sudden, I could go exploring from the convenience of my home office. I could zoom in anddetect historical anomalies from space.

So, let’s put some of the puzzle pieces together now...

First, you can start off by reading a little about the history of your home or target area.

Next, you can acquire a few historical maps of your target area. The more diverse the time period of the historical maps, the better may be your results.

You can scan and digitize these maps if they are paper. Finding the maps already in a digital format is much easier.

Now, you can overlay and geo-orient the historical maps on Google Earth. You can play with the transparency settings so that you are able to see a clear combination of several maps on Google Earth.

An alternative to this would be to do the work in Photoshop (or similar software) and assign each map to its own layer. Then you can manipulate the transparencies of the layers in order to see things in the best possible way.

Once you have all of your layered maps geo-oriented with Google Earth, you can then begin to zoom in to your target areas and look for anyhistorical site anomalies. Then you can capture the exact coordinates of your anomalies and use a GPS to locate the sites in real-time with your boots on the ground.

I have done this hundreds of times over the last few years. It works perfectly almost every time. Just think of the implications for detectorists, explorers and plain curious people. There are literally millions of lost and forgotten sites out there. Many of them hold a lot of treasure in many forms.

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There are more than a dozen ways to monetize your efforts and discoveries. I’ll write about a few of these methods in my next newsletter. Some of my methods have nothing to do with digging at all. Please stay tuned for that profitable information…

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Finally, a long-time friend came to visit Ecuador a few years ago. He was in the process of becoming a major expert in discovering lost cities. He shared an incredibly valuable post on one of my forums. In his post, he revealed his own SIX Methods for finding lost cities anywhere on the planet.

I have now created a new web page with his comments and also with the responding comments from some of my subscribers. This may now be the most information-packed article I have ever shared!


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How to Find Lost Cities

​Here is a great post by a good friend of mine who has become an expert in discovering Lost Cities around the world... Stan

calakmul maya pyramid

​Formerly Lost Mayan City

by Rob (Island of Malta)

Hi Guys, I was just wondering if anyone had any ideas on exactly how to follow leads to lost cities or settlements. I thought we could brainstorm some ideas. 

I've written a book about the subject, and am in the process of writing yet another one. 

For now, I was wondering if anyone would be interested in commenting about the different research methodologies used in actually locating sites. We all know that research is the cornerstone of what we do, whether it's finding lost treasure, lost cities, or simply looking for gold nuggets or alluvial deposits. 

Abandoned Mansion

​Mysterious Abandoned Mansion

Personally, I think it's best to start with the more common sources:

1. Indigenous/Local knowledge (this is a branch of ethno-archaeology which uses contemporary native beliefs and practices to infer information about ancient beliefs and practices)

2. Satellite imagery (available freely on the internet)

3. Ancient descriptions (contemporary descriptions of travels or pilgrimages, or exploration, ect.)

4. Geography (where would it most make sense to found or establish a settlement or city form the standpoint of taking advantage of natural resources such as rivers, waterways, edible trees, mineral deposits, etc?)

5. Archaeological reports from previous sites which could lead to the discovery of new sites.

6. Ancient migratory patterns, tribal routes, roads, pilgrimage routes, etc (any patterns of the mass movement of people regularly used)

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These are just six of my ideas, if anyone has any other ideas, please feel free to comment. You're also more than welcome to visit my site and see what I've got up there. Articles are still going up. I also highly recommend Stan's original 'Wealth Through Adventure Course', which was a great inspiration to me in my work. Not sure if it's still available, but it should be, for pure ideas on lifestyle transformation. I knew about the subjects he had written about, but had never thought to actually put them into practice as part of making a living.

The fossil section is just one example of this. His ​Discover Anything course may at first glance seem unrelated to such a discipline as treasure hunting. However, upon further consideration, research largely consists of following up leads.

For example, you see a newspaper clipping of someone who has recently found an old gold coin in the area. It doesn't say where it was found or give details of the discoverer. Using the proper research tools and methods from this particular series, one would be theoretically able to track down the individual, question them, and go back over the area where the coin was found. 

​Stan exploring the lost city site of Oyacachi

Where there's one coin, there may be many... this is the idea which lies behind the concept of a treasure cache. The questioning format which is given in the series can also be used in one's questioning of locals in an area (in case of indigenous tribesmen who speak no English, use a translator or guide).

Research really is the cornerstone of what we do folks, and it's important to develop solid methodologies on which to base treasure leads or site research if we hope to be successful. Until we do that, we're just shooting in the dark. I know, I used to be an archaeologist and we had to do this stuff all the time. It's almost like detective work. So let's try and put our heads together to figure out the general principles of treasure hunting and get more specific from there.

Stan's comments: What a great topic to discuss! I can't wait to see what everyone has to say about this. Rob's 6 sources are right on the mark. I look forward to making comments in this thread as well. Lost cities can still be found on every continent in the world, even close to big cities! Let this interesting discussion begin...

Comments for How to Find Lost Cities?

Finding the Lost City 
by: Anonymous 

The first thing you will need is a Maya calendar and a compass as well as a protractor and a map of Mexico. An old one, the older the better and star chart an old one, the older the better.

With these items you're ready to find your lost Cities and lost treasurers you're looking for and you will need a base 13 number chart that goes up to 360. Just like circumferences on a circle. Now you are ready.
Your website 
by: Rob2female 

Rob, I have read all the comments but am not seeing your website address. Would love to look at it, if you could repost it. Thanks
city of atlantis 
by: Anonymous 

hi i believe that i have found the lost city of atlantis. it is not underwater and it has the circular feature. with redish rock in center, also exact as described on maps and as plato described it. it also has ruins on posidons temple. i was wondering if they was some sort of reward and who are the bodies i report to. please let me know . regards 

Stan's response: Much depends upon the country where your discovery lies. If it were me, I would document the discovery with photo and video evidence without disclosing the location. Then, I would publish the evidence on the internet. With this published evidence, I would seek the opinions of competent and open-minded professionals about what your next steps should be. 

Most people will likely not take you seriously without the evidence in hand. The more detailed your evidence, the better.

Any other ideas out there anyone?

by: Anonymous

Hi, Rob! I was wondering if you were still selling your ebook on lost cities and where can I contact you?
Lost Cities and Treasures in Ecuador 

I have found two in Ecuador, unmapped. The third a local miner I know found it, still unmapped. 

Three day hike not a walk in the park, if you are interested email me; please no flakes, serious people who want to go. Have been doing this for 5 years, the locals know me and my rep for finding artifacts. Currently working on locating a galleon, have the place and saw the pieces of eight that were found. 

I don?t often give or talk about where I have been, but I really can?t cover everyplace. I don?t want anything, so I am not after your money or looking for an investor, just someone who enjoys adventure as much as I do. 

Don?t expect me to go with you, I will introduce you and you decide. I don?t hold hands, unless you are a cute guy. Some advice, the best way to find anything is to know the locals, as I said I have been doing this for 5 years plus in Ecuador. 

I have had the opportunity to explore in Afghanistan and other countries and can search everyday and find something here in Ecuador, hope someone out there enjoys the same thing.

Thanks for the Replies about Finding Lost Cities!!! 2 
by: Rob 

Jack, thanks for the great review of my site. It's still going up and I'm working on it slowly. I think I've managed to fix the forum problems. If I haven't, let me know (I'll email you personally). 

You're welcome to post whatever you'd like on there. The more the merrier. I'm trying to get some more articles and maybe some photos up there myself. Anything u guys would be interested in reading about? More theory, or treasure legends or something? Let me know! 

Town names are a very good starting point, but can sometimes be annoying as towns change overtime. Two towns may eventually merge into one, for example, and may be renamed on account of this. In the medieval period, such 'cannibalization' was common. 

Other towns may have their names changed on account of an event, decimation by plague such as the black death, for example, or, in the new world, by diseases brought by Europeans. 

Other towns may have simply gone extinct. Mining towns are good examples of this, as are 'temporary' settlements lasting fifty years or so, examples of which may be found in military camps (perhaps, Conquistador camps?). 

I'm afraid my memory of South American history is rather rusty. It was a long time ago that I studied it. Most of what I remember is drinking at the bar with my professors (one was Canadian and specialized in Peruvian Culture, the other was Australian and specialized in MesoAmerican culture) whilst they regaled me with stories about close encounters with jungle wildlife and ceremonial drinking sessions with the locals. 

Is that what u guys get up to down there on your days off? I hope you're making good progress on those Spanish documents. I'm trying to do the same for stuff I brought back from Syria several years ago but was too lazy to begin working on until now. I've been reading some of your previous posts as well. Congratulations on making the move and getting your life just the way you want it! Feels great, doesn't it?


Thanks for the Replies about Finding Lost Cities!!! 
by: Rob 

Thanks Guys for all your replies! It was fantastic to see all your responses. Rob, I'd love to collaborate with you on a project! I just have to find the time! I travel a lot and right now I'm in Malta, but within a month or two I'll be heading off to China for an extended period (meaning that communication will be severely restricted due to communist paranoia). 

Bill, I completely agree with you! Most 'lost cities' aren't actually lost! The perspective is relative. Your discoveries of those two sites sounded interesting, I'd love to hear more about them when you've had time to explore them a little more. I also like your example about country boys and knowing where everything is. 

I, myself, grew up in rural Australia, and we definitely knew everything there was to know about our area! Asking locals should, in my opinion, always be the first source of information. Listen to those who have their hands in the dirt before you listen to those who spend their day in books - listen to those who spend time in the field rather than relying on armchair academics. 

When I was in the Sinai looking for a certain cave, I'd hired a couple of Bedouin guides who knew every nook and cranny of the desert, every rest stop and shelter, and much more importantly, where all the mines left over from the 6 day war with Israel were (they're difficult to pin point as their position shifts with the sands). 

Without them, and their knowledge of the area, the other guy on the expedition would have definitely died and we wouldn't have gotten him to a doctor in time. We were able to do that because of their knowledge of the paths through the desert, many of which are not mapped, known only to the indigenous Bedouin, and have been used for centuries (perhaps even thousands of years - hint, hint)by them. Exploring some of these paths, I even found a few 'undiscovered' ancient rock paintings!

Agreed About How to Find a Lost City! 
by: Rob2female 

As an archaeologist myself (and named Rob, too?!?!) I agree with Rob's 6 methodologies. Wish I was down there looking for treasure or whatever else I could find of interest! Those should be good for starters and if I think of more I'll let you know. good luck in your endeavors and if you need an old archaeologist to help with anything, let me know....
Most Lost Cities Are Not Lost to Everyone 
by: Bill 

Hi Rob, I think the very best method is just getting to know natives in the Area. The lost city is supposed to be in. If you talk men who tended cattle for their dad when they were kids high in the mountains trust me they Know where everything Is. I have found two lost cities now in Ecuador that way. I was just up near one today trying to figure out some Logistics on getting there and staying for a few Days. SO I can actually get some work done.

There is Dumb Luck also which is actually how I found one of them. But it was from a man that had been there when he was a Kid chaseing his dads cows. 

I think sometimes we make stuff way harder than it has to be. I just remember when I grew up in the country I knew where everything was I used to just follow my dog off into the woods hunt and fish all day and I had many great adventures and I think most country Boys do no matter where they are from.

Lost cities are usually only lost to people not from the area. Especially if the area is a bit Backwards meaning no Internet and just subsitant farming or mining. 

So what I'm saying I guess is the lost city your looking for, assume its not lost to everyone. 
Good Comments, Good Website about Lost Cities 
by: Jack 

Hi Rob, Just took a look at your website. It is very well done. I was not able to register on your forum so you might want to take a look at that. 

Please email me:                                           when you have it working.

I would like to be able to post to your forum. You brought up some very good points in your post here. I tend to pay attention to the names in articles, and then do a search on the names, adding the time period I am interested in. Town names works well too. 

Here, in Ecuador, I am researching Spanish documents from the 1600s through the early 1800s, and have found Google translator invaluable translating from Spanish to English. The translations are sometimes flawed, but good enough to glean information. I am happy you have decided to post here on Stan's site, and hope to read more from you.

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