Quiz about The Mystery of The Disappearing Civilizations
Quiz about The Mystery of The Disappearing Civilizations

The Mystery of The Disappearing Civilizations Quiz


Across the globe and throughout history, entire civilizations have simply vanished. Various explanations have been debated, but the disappearance of these people are still a fascinating mystery. Come learn a little more.

A photo quiz by stephgm67. Estimated time: 4 mins.
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Author
stephgm67
Time
4 mins
Type
Photo Quiz
Quiz #
410,626
Updated
Oct 21 22
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
7 / 10
Plays
220
Awards
Editor's Choice
Last 3 plays: Reamar42 (9/10), Guest 31 (5/10), Guest 71 (8/10).
photo quiz
1. Niya, now a set of ruins in China's Taklamakan Desert, was once a thriving city in the second century BC. Nobody knows why the citizens deserted Niya, which was a prosperous stop along what route? Hint

Salt Route
Amber Road
Silk Road
Incense Route

photo quiz
2. Catalhoyuk was inhabited almost 9000 years ago and was a site (in present day Turkey) where humans morphed from nomad to settler. What was unique about the road system in this later-abandoned city? Hint

Roads were a series of concentric circles
Roads were subterranean
There were no roads
The pavement was made of tiles

photo quiz
3. The Indus Valley Civilization, or the Harappan Civilization as it is also known, was a series of settlements in what is now western Pakistan. At its peak, in 2600 BC, it was home to over five million people before it disappeared several centuries later. They are known for having carved seals out of what material? Hint

Stone
Gourd
Bone
Wood

photo quiz
4. The city of Cahokia and its civilization rose around AD 700 and, at that time, was one of the largest towns ever built north of Mexico. The area was made up of over 120 earthen mounds, many of which were flat-topped pyramids and boasted a thriving metropolis. By the time Christopher Columbus set sail, this civilization had disappeared. In what modern US state was the center of their culture? Hint

Florida
Mississippi
Illinois
Oregon

photo quiz
5. There stands a single monument in Afghanistan where the Hari River meets the River Jam. It is rumored to have belonged to the Ghurid Empire of the 12th century. Also called Firozkoh, what was the colorful name of the capital of this legendary empire that disappeared after a siege? Hint

Turquoise Mountain
Red Kabul
The Pink City
Black Balkh

photo quiz
6. This lost civilization was in power in the first millennium AD and covered a huge region in the Yucatan Peninsula. Although the culture declined, their pyramids, artwork, and calendars live on. Who are they? Hint

Egyptians
Aztecs
Mayans
Incas

photo quiz
7. An ancient civilization in Africa, located in Nabta Playa, built an astronomical megalith that is older than Stonehenge.

True
False

photo quiz
8. Gobekli Tepe, a World Heritage Site in modern day Turkey, dates back to an incredible 10,000 BC. The people that gathered and lived here for hundreds of years have long vanished into history but what for what did they utilize this site? Hint

Sporting arena
Trading center (marketplace)
Place of worship
Water source from oasis

photo quiz
9. Many people are familiar with the Cambodian temple called Angkor Wat. However, it is just one temple that was part of a huge civilization centered around the capital of Angkor. Of what Empire was this heavily populated city and its people? Hint

Roman
Persian
Khmer
Mongol

photo quiz
10. The people who inhabited Easter Island, in the southeastern Pacific Ocean, are considered a lost civilization but perhaps are more famous for their Moai. What do these statues depict? Hint

Sea serpents
Human heads
Alphabetic characters
Aztec gods


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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Niya, now a set of ruins in China's Taklamakan Desert, was once a thriving city in the second century BC. Nobody knows why the citizens deserted Niya, which was a prosperous stop along what route?

Answer: Silk Road

Niya was once a huge commercial center that sat in an oasis in the southern part of China's Taklamakan Desert. Merchants carrying silk, spices and other goods stopped here on their journeys from the Orient to the Roman Empire. Written history, such as the "Book of Han" state that the city had over 500 households with almost 3,500 citizens. Archaeologists have found coins, written tablets, pottery, and pieces of furniture.

Scholars have noted that the people of this Silk Route stop left so quickly that dogs and pets were left behind. Nobody knows the reason and over the centuries the city became engulfed by the encroaching desert which covered the ruins and the secrets.
2. Catalhoyuk was inhabited almost 9000 years ago and was a site (in present day Turkey) where humans morphed from nomad to settler. What was unique about the road system in this later-abandoned city?

Answer: There were no roads

Catalhoyuk was a Neolithic city in what is now south central Turkey. Studies have shown that over 8000 people lived here until around 6,000 BC when it was deserted. Archaeological digs have found that this site was not only important because people began to settle rather than roam, but also that art was introduced. A unique feature of the city is that there were no streets, roads, or paths. The houses were built right up against each other and people traveled across the rooftops and entered homes through holes in the ceilings.

The city's dead were buried in the homes and each house had decorations on the walls or in the form of pottery, statues, and even painted animal horns. An ancient mural depicts a volcano and is considered to be one of the world's oldest maps. The population seemed to peak around 6,500 BC and then rapidly decline and quickly disappear. Theories abound from disease to dietary changes to suburban violence. No matter the reason, the city continues to offer some valuable insight into the past.
3. The Indus Valley Civilization, or the Harappan Civilization as it is also known, was a series of settlements in what is now western Pakistan. At its peak, in 2600 BC, it was home to over five million people before it disappeared several centuries later. They are known for having carved seals out of what material?

Answer: Stone

This ancient site was first discovered in 1856 and then heavily excavated in the 1920s. It was a remarkable find because it showed that the Indus River Civilization was older and more spread out geographically than anyone knew. It appears this civilization was made up of several large cities and hundreds of villages, in what is now Pakistan, as far back as 7000 BC.

Studies have shown this population was involved in urban planning, intricate water supply systems, and advanced architecture. It appears they were among the first to create a system of standardized weights and measurements. They were also very well known for seal carving, whereby they cut patterns into squared stones. These stones were then used to stamp clay on trade goods. They were usually decorated with animal figures.

This amazing civilization sharply declined around 1800 BC and soon was gone. It is still a mystery as to exactly what happened to them. Various claims have been made as to heavy monsoon seasons, drying of local rivers, invasions of hostile forces, or trade decline.
4. The city of Cahokia and its civilization rose around AD 700 and, at that time, was one of the largest towns ever built north of Mexico. The area was made up of over 120 earthen mounds, many of which were flat-topped pyramids and boasted a thriving metropolis. By the time Christopher Columbus set sail, this civilization had disappeared. In what modern US state was the center of their culture?

Answer: Illinois

The Native American people known as the Mississippian Culture lived in the area around the Mississippi River and it is a splinter group that, around AD 700, constructed Cahokia. They found this area (directly across the river from what is now St. Louis) to be very conducive to farming and trading. As more mounds began to be built, the population boomed. These hand-built mounds served as temples, residences, and tombs.

The civilization was active in trading and the city housed merchants, copper workers, basket weavers, and loggers. Farmers, outside the city proper, grew acres and acres of corn. The city was also a spiritual hub of the area and priests performed religious sacrifice.

By early 1500, the people had abandoned the mounds and the city with no explanation left behind. Given that there is no concrete evidence, theories have abounded from political clashes with neighboring groups to environmental disasters to deforestation. It is a mystery, one that perhaps only the mounds themselves know.
5. There stands a single monument in Afghanistan where the Hari River meets the River Jam. It is rumored to have belonged to the Ghurid Empire of the 12th century. Also called Firozkoh, what was the colorful name of the capital of this legendary empire that disappeared after a siege?

Answer: Turquoise Mountain

The Ghurid Empire was ruled by Persians and covered a large area over what is now Afghanistan. Here, they ruled from the AD 900s until AD 1215 and built a great city. It was rumored that it is the blood of slaves, laboring to build the city, which bound the mud bricks together.

Turquoise Mountain (Firozkoh in Persian) is that legendary lost Afghan capital of the Middle Ages. It became a prosperous town and had a legacy of having Jews, Christians, and Muslims living side-by-side in peace, united in their love for the town. It is believed that the city was the heart of a large Jewish trading community. The large metropolis was a center of culture, wealth, and power. It was destroyed by the Mongols in AD 1215 and its exact location lost forever.

A single minaret, called the Minaret of Jam, stands 65 meters above the nearby valley and is, perhaps, the only key to this mysterious city that disappeared. It is octagonal and is made of brick and lime and is decorated in beautiful detail. It, alone, appears to know the true story of Turquoise Mountain.
6. This lost civilization was in power in the first millennium AD and covered a huge region in the Yucatan Peninsula. Although the culture declined, their pyramids, artwork, and calendars live on. Who are they?

Answer: Mayans

The Mayan Empire was centered in modern day Guatemala and reached its zenith of power around AD 550. They were not scattered and were centered in the Yucatan Peninsula area. The early settlements date to 1800 BC but the golden age of this empire started around AD 250. Over forty cities, each having between 5,000 and 50,000 people, dotted the area.

Archaeologists have found temples, ball courts, plazas, and farms. The Maya earned a reputation as great artists as their temples and palaces had elaborate decorations. They also made great strides in math and astronomy and developed a whole calendar system. They made use of chocolate and rubber from the local area.

However, starting in the late 700s the cities started to become abandoned and by AD 900, almost all of the civilization had collapsed. The reason is unknown. Some people speculate they had overextended the natural resources. Some say it was warfare from other city-states. Some say epidemics swept through. Whatever the reason, by the time Europeans arrived, the beautiful pyramids and their secrets were deep in the forest.
7. An ancient civilization in Africa, located in Nabta Playa, built an astronomical megalith that is older than Stonehenge.

Answer: True

Nabta Playta is about 700 miles south of the Great Pyramid in Egypt and was built more than 7,000 years ago. It was put there by a cattle worshiping group of nomadic people to mark the summer solstice and the potential arrival of monsoons. When the site was discovered in the 1970s, it was determined that the ancient stones aligned to major constellations in the night sky.

The people who built this would have been nomads and held rain sacred as it filled up small lakes, or playa, that gave them oases. They had also brought cattle into their culture and bones from their herds were found near the site. As the region became wetter in 6000 BC, these people built huts and the site shows signs of well organized villages and sorghum seed remains.

By 3000 BC, the civilization had disappeared and all that remained were the stone monoliths and buried ruins in the desert. Various experts have thrown out ideas such as a changing climate, a drive to return to nomadic roots, or the compulsion to gather into northern Egypt in time to have pharaohs rise to history.
8. Gobekli Tepe, a World Heritage Site in modern day Turkey, dates back to an incredible 10,000 BC. The people that gathered and lived here for hundreds of years have long vanished into history but what for what did they utilize this site?

Answer: Place of worship

Gobekli Tepe was discovered in 1994 and is located in an area full of religious history. However, this discovery proved how far back religion played a part in people's lives. This temple dates back to 10,000 BC and is the oldest man-made place of worship found as of AD 2022. It consists of a series of nested, circular walls. Most pillars contain carvings of animals such as snakes, lions, foxes, and deer. Bones found here also suggest sacrificial offerings.

The people who built the temple, and the priests who lived there, were in a civilization that predated writing, metal, and pottery. Yet these people found a way to cut limestone and build circular patterns for worship. This "cathedral" also contained tools such as knives and points.

By 7000 BC, it appears the site was apparently abandoned and no clue lies as to the people that worshiped here, the priests that lived here, or the religion they practiced.
9. Many people are familiar with the Cambodian temple called Angkor Wat. However, it is just one temple that was part of a huge civilization centered around the capital of Angkor. Of what Empire was this heavily populated city and its people?

Answer: Khmer

The Khmer Empire ruled over what is now Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam and lasted from about AD 802 to AD 1431. The Khmer built their huge capital, Angkor, in present day Cambodia. The Khmer were known for the building skills and constructed many temples, roads, canals, and bridges.

At its peak, Angkor was among the world's most populated cities with over 750,000 residents and was the center of the Khmer Kingdom. The city boasted impressive monuments, hundreds of glorious temples, urban planning models, and large water reservoirs. The people were predominantly farmers and harvested rice.

The city was partially abandoned in AD 1431 when it went through an invasion by the Thai armies. Soon the city's inhabitants disappeared and took many of their secrets with them. Did the people permanently relocate? Was their a mass epidemic? Did people switch religions? Did environmental damage harm the irrigation systems? Whatever the reason, most of the wooden structures are long gone, leaving only the quiet stone temples deep in the forest.
10. The people who inhabited Easter Island, in the southeastern Pacific Ocean, are considered a lost civilization but perhaps are more famous for their Moai. What do these statues depict?

Answer: Human heads

Around roughly AD 800, a group of Polynesians rowed canoes across hundreds of miles of open sea, presumably navigating by stars. They landed on an island 2,300 miles west of Chile and named it Rapa Nui, now known as Easter Island. Over the centuries, they chiseled stone and carved huge moai, or monolithic statues (these of human heads) to honor their ancestors. They moved the stones, which averaged 14 tons apiece, to different sites on the island.

This civilization would have built small settlements and lived off the fruitful land and the sea. They created art work in the local caves and performed religious ceremonies on top of raised platforms.

But by the 1500s, the civilization was gone and leaving explorers and historians to offer explanations. Many think that the people used up all their natural resources and were forced to abandon their island home. Some think, based on many rat skeletons, that an invasive rat species destroyed the local habitat. Others think that slave trade reduced the original settlers to be termed a "lost civilization".
Source: Author stephgm67

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