Lost Cities of the Ancients
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  Pompeii:The Buried City 庞贝:被掩埋的城市
  In the blink[眨眼] of an eye, the once busy city of Pompeii, Italy, was turned into ash-covered ruins, forever frozen in time. It was a normal day in the year 79 A.D. for the residents[居民] of Pompeii. Suddenly, Mount Vesuvius erupted[爆发], covering the city in ashes and other debris[碎片,残骸]. Many residents were able to escape before the volcanic[火山的] waste landed. However, those 2,000 people who didn’t escape in time were trapped under the ashes.
  The ruins of Pompeii weren’t disturbed until they were discovered in 1748 and archaeologists[考古学家] began the excavation[挖掘] process[过程]. Archaeologists never expected the near-perfect preservation of the buildings and objects that had been buried for more than 1,500 years. They were even able to create molds[模子] of the people trapped underneath the debris. Though their bodies had long since turned to dust, the spaces where they were trapped still remained. Once filled with plaster[石膏], the molds allowed one to see the exact position the person was in when he or she died.
  El Dorado:The lmaginary City 埃尔多拉多(黄金城):想象中的城市
  The pursuit[寻求] of wealth has long encouraged treasure-seekers to play the lottery[彩票] and search for pots of gold at the end of the rainbow. However, few legends make people go as crazy as that of El Dorado, the famed (and almost definitely imaginary[想象的]) city of riches that has been hunted by explorers for centuries.
  The origin[起源] of El Dorado, which is Spanish for“The Gilded[镀金的] One,” dates back to the 16th or 17th century, when European explorers in South America first heard tales about a wealthy American Indian chief who was covered in gold dust. The city was said to be full of precious[宝贵的] gems[宝石] and gold. Thousands of explorers have tried to locate[找到位置] this city of riches, but many of them have died in the process.
  One of the most famous cases involves[涉及] Percy Harrison Fawcett, a British explorer who set out in 1925 to find El Dorado, which he named the City of Z. Fawcett and his team entered the jungles of the Amazon, never to be heard from again. Still more explorers have tried to find Fawcett’s group but have repeatedly turned up dead or empty-handed. Given this track record[记录], even Indiana Jones注 might encourage El Dorado seekers to buy a lottery ticket instead of risking their lives.   对财富的追求一直鼓舞着寻宝者们孜孜不倦地赌运气、寻找藏在彩虹尽头的一桶桶黄金。但很少有哪个传说像埃尔多拉多那样让人们如此疯狂―数百年来,无数探险家们一直在寻找这座据说(几乎可以肯定是虚构的)埋藏着巨额财富的城市。
  Troy:the Legendary City 特洛伊:传说中的城市
  Few epic[史诗] tales are studied more than The Odyssey or The Iliad, which was written by Homer around 800 B.C. and described the Trojan War. The city of Troy was located in what is now modern-day Turkey. Homer’s epic poems describe how Helen, the beautiful wife of Sparta’s King Menelaus, was said to have run off with a Trojan prince named Paris. This affair[风流韵事], according to legend, caused the Trojan War. Menelaus launched a huge attack against Troy, resulting in the war that may have involved the Trojan Horse, Achilles and a number of other famous tales.
  With a history so rooted[(使)扎根] in legend, it’s no wonder that historians were unsure whether Troy actually existed. It’s evident[显然的] that Troy was abandoned[遗弃] following the Trojan War, from 1100 to 700 B.C. It was then resettled[重新定居] before it was taken by the Romans in 85 B.C. Soon after, the civilization died out and was left in ruins until its discovery in 1822. Archaeologists have since found many layers of cities built on top of each other. The stone walls and fortresses in the sixth and seventh oldest layers are now believed to be the Troy described in Homer’s epics, and the legend of the Trojan War is now widely accepted, although its cause is still uncertain.
  Atlantis:The Utopian City 亚特兰蒂斯:乌托邦的城市
  According to the Greek philosopher[哲学家] Plato, Atlantis was a healthy society, filled with wealthy and happy people. While Plato’s colorful descriptions of Atlantis are widely believed to be fictional[虚构的], some historians think the city really existed. Plato noted that the island of Atlantis disappeared 9,000 years before he wrote about it, but some scholars think this number was incorrect[错误的] because 900 seems more possible. Some archaeologists believe that Atlantis was located in the Greek Islands and was sunk by a volcanic eruption. Still others think its location is underwater near the Caribbean, Ireland, South America or even Antarctica.   Whether or not Atlantis actually existed, the mere idea of this utopian city has led to the creation of numerous[无数的] books, movies and documentaries[纪录片], hoping to solve the mystery[神秘的事物] of its disappearance.
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