Lost city is a term that can be used to a human settlement that which fell into terminal decline, became extensively or completely uninhabited. The location of many of these cities had been forgotten, but some have been rediscovered and studied extensively by scientists.
Recently abandoned cities or cities whose location was never in question
might be referred to as ruins or ghost towns. The search for such lost
cities by European explorers and adventurers in the Americas, Africa and
in Southeast Asia from the 15th century onwards eventually led to the
development of archaeology.