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14 once-great lost cities

May 21, 2014, 3:53 p.m.
Caral

Photo: Hakan Svensson/Wikimedia Commons

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Caral

The most ancient city in all of the Americas, Caral was a large settlement in the Supe Valley, Peru, about 200 miles north of modern-day Lima. The ruins feature evidence of complex and monumental architecture, including six large pyramidal structures. Interestingly, the site shows no evidence of warfare. It has been proposed that Caral was at the center of a great gentle society, built on commerce and pleasure rather than conquest.