Lost city

Lost City
Enlarge picture
1st edition Lost City novel cover

First edition cover
AuthorClive Cussler, with Paul Kemprecos
CountryUnited States
SeriesNUMA Files
Genre(s)Thriller, novel
Publication date2004
Media typePrint (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages420 pp (first edition, hardback)
ISBNISBN 0-399-15177-X (first edition, hardback)

Lost City is a novel by Clive Cussler of 2004, it tells of Kurt Austin's dealings with the Fauchard family, which has dominated the weapons industry for several thousand years, their secret past, the monsters they have created, and the plague they have unleashed on the worlds oceans, all in a quest for immortality.

Plot summary

The Story begins with a flashback to August 1914, where Jules Fauchard is flying his Morane-Saulnier N, mono-winged aircraft. Fauchard is heading to meet the pope's emissary in Switzerland but as he is coming to the border and the French Alps, a squad of six Aviatik bi-planes find him. The planes attack Fauchard and while he destroys four planes he is eventually shot down and killed. His plane lands in a glacial river and Fauchard along with his helmet and strong box are buried in a glacier.

Cut to the present day in the Scottish Orkneys. A reality television show is being filmed when that evening a group of animals attack the crew and cast. Everyone is killed save for Jodie Michaelson; the only reason she is not killed is because as she was running from the creatures she fell into a deep crevace in the rocks and the animals lost her scent.

At about the same time yet another plotline is developing. This part of the story takes place in Monemvassia, The Greek Peloponnese. The storyline follows Dr. Angus MacLean, a research Chemist. MacLean is on the run. He is living in a monastery on a small island in Greece.

As MacLean reminisces it becomes clear why he is running. The trouble began when he was hired to research enzymes in France. As the leader of a team of scientists doing enzyme research, the hours were long but the pay was great and MacLean had no complaints. That was until he began asking questions. The owners of the lab decided to send home the scientists, telling them "not to worry." MacLean headed to Turkey to see the ruins. This probably saved his life. When he came home he was greeted with an envelope full of newspaper clippings and a telephone message from one of his former colleagues that asked him if he had been watching the news and urged MacLean to call him back. When MacLean tried to call him back he was informed that the man had been killed in a hit-and-run accident. This leg of the story ends with MacLean being kidnapped by a hit team that had been hired by the company that ran the lab.

The story then cuts to the French Alps where a team of scientists is studying a glacier named Le Dormeur. The scientists, Hank Thurston and Bernard LeBlanc are accompanied by Derek Rawlins, a journalist for Outside magazine. As the three scientists are giving Rawlins a tour they get a phone call saying that a body frozen in the ice had been discovered.

Two hundred feet below the surface of Lac du Dormeur, Kurt Austin and a beautiful women named Skye Labelle are inside a submersible searching for remnants of trade routes between Europeans and the Mediterranean civiliztions, when Skye is recalled back to land. Skye is an expert in arms and armour. It seems that the authorities need her help to identify the helmet found with the frozen body in the glacier.

When Skye arrives where the body is frozen, she sees her arch-nemesis, Renaud. Auguste Renaud is one of the higher-ups at the State Archaeological board of France. He is attracted to Skye but she is repulsed by him. Skye is puzzled by the body. The deceased is dressed in an early twentieth century flight suit but in his possession is a very old helmet. The helmet is a riddle in itself, as it is of very high quality and very distinctive yet it isn't like anything she has ever encountered. Needless to say Skye cannot identify the artifact on the spot. Much to Skye's chagrin, Renaud has called a press conference in the underground laboratory to announce the discovery to the world.

During the press conference something terrible occurs. A very large and muscular bald man comes up to Renaud and demands the strongbox found with the body saying, "Give the box to me." Renaud responds saying with a grin, "Not on your life!" To this the bald man says, "No, Not on your life!" and with that he pulls a pistol out of his coat and brings it down on Renaud's hand. The large man then takes off with the box. A few seconds later the group hears a loud explosion as a barrier that holds back the glacial waters is destroyed, water is flowing into the laboratory.


  • References are made to the work of Edgar Allan Poe throughout the novel. In one scene, the villains host a costume ball where all of the guests dress as characters from Poe's stories.
  • The final scene references Poe's "The Fall of the House of Usher" and Kurt Austin explicitly cites the parallel.
  • The Fauchards were loosely based on the Krupp family, a dynasty who manufactured quality steel products, mainly (and most profitably) ammunition and armaments for four centuries.

For other uses of the term Lost city, see Lost city (disambiguation).

In the popular imagination lost cities were real, prosperous, well-populated areas of human habitation that fell into terminal decline and whose location was later lost. Most known lost cities have been studied extensively by scientists. Abandoned urban sites of relatively recent origin are generally referred to as ruins.

Lost cities generally fall into three broad categories: those whose disappearance has been so complete that no knowledge of the city existed until the time of its rediscovery and study, those whose location has been lost but whose memory has been retained in the context of myths and legends, and those whose existence and location have always been known, but which are no longer inhabited. The search for such lost cities by European adventurers in the Americas, Africa and in Southeast Asia from the 15th century onwards eventually led to the development of the science of archaeology.

How are cities lost?

Cities may become lost for a variety of reasons, including geographic, economic, social (e.g. war), others, or some combination of these.

An Arabian city named Ubar (Iram of the Pillars) was abandoned after much of the city sank into a sinkhole created by the collapse of an underground cavern, which also destroyed its water supply. The city was rediscovered in 1992 when satellite photography revealed traces of the ancient traderoutes leading to it.

Other settlements are lost with few or no clues to guide historians, such as the Colony of Roanoke. In August 1590, John White returned to the former English colony, which had housed 91 men (including White), 17 women (two of them pregnant) and 11 children when he left, to find it completely empty.

Malden Island, in the central Pacific, was deserted when first visited by Europeans in 1825, but ruined temples and the remains of other structures found on the island indicate that a small population of Polynesians had lived there for perhaps several generations some centuries earlier. Prolonged drought seems the most likely explanation for their demise. The ruins of another city, called Nan Madol, have been found on the Micronesian island of Ponape. In more recent times Port Royal, Jamaica sank into the Caribbean Sea after an earthquake.

Many cities have been destroyed by natural disasters and rebuilt (sometimes repeatedly) - but in other cases the destruction has been so complete that the sites were abandoned completely. Classic examples include the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum, buried with many of their inhabitants under a thick layer of volcanic ash after an eruption of Vesuvius. A lesser known example is Akrotiri, on the island of Thera, where in 1967, under a blanket of ash, the remains of a Minoan city were discovered. The volcanic explosion on Thera was immense, and had disastrous effects on the Minoan civilisation. It has been suggested that this disaster was the inspiration that Plato used for the story of Atlantis.

Less dramatic examples of the destruction of cities by natural forces are those where the coastline has eroded away. Cities which have sunk into the sea include the one-time centre of the English wool-trade, at Dunwich, England, and the city of Rungholt in Germany which sank into the North Sea during a massive storm surge in 1362.

Cities are also often destroyed by wars. This is the case, for instance, with Troy and Carthage, though both of these were subsequently rebuilt, and the Achaemenid capital at Persepolis was accidentally burnt by Alexander the Great.

Various capitals in the Middle East were abandoned; after Babylon was abandoned Ctesiphon became the capital of the new Parthian Empire, and this was in turn passed over in favor of Baghdad (and later Samarra) for the site of the Abbasid capital.

Some cities which are considered lost are (or may be) places of legend such as the Arthurian Camelot, Russian Kitezh, Lyonesse and Atlantis. Others, such as Troy and Bjarmaland, having once been considered to be legendary, are now known to have existed.

Lost cities by continent


  • Akhetaten, Egypt – Capital during the reign of 18th Dynasty pharaoh Akhenaten. Later abandoned and almost totally destroyed. Modern day el Amarna.
  • Canopus, Egypt – Located on the now-dry Canopic branch of the Nile, east of Alexandria.
  • Itjtawy, Egypt – Capital during the 12th Dynasty. Exact location still unknown, but it is believed to lie near the modern town of el-Lisht.
  • Tanis, Egypt – Capital during the 21st and 22nd Dynasties, in the Delta region.
  • Memphis, Egypt – Administrative capital of ancient Egypt. Little remains.
  • Avaris, capital city of the Hyksos in the Nile Delta.
  • Leptis MagnaRoman city located in present day Libya. It was the birthplace of Emperor Septimius Severus, who lavished an extensive public works programme on the city, including diverting the course of a nearby river. The river later returned to its original course, burying much of the city in silt and sand.
  • Dougga, Tunisia – Roman city located in present day Tunisia.
  • Carthage – Initially a Phoenician city, destroyed and then rebuilt by Rome. Later served as the capital of the Vandal Kingdom of North Africa, before being destroyed by the Arabs after its capture in AD 697.
  • Great Zimbabwe
  • Aoudaghost – Wealthy Berber city in medieval Ghana, sacked by mujahideen, location unknown.
  • Timgad - Roman city founded by the emperor Trajan around 100 AC, covered by the sand at 7th Century.


Far East Asia

Southeast Asia

South Asia

Central Asia

Western Asia/Middle East

South America

Inca cities


North America

Maya cities

incomplete list – for further information, see Maya civilization
  • Chichen Itza – This ancient place of pilgrimage is still the most visitied Maya ruin.
  • Copán – In modern Honduras.
  • Calakmul – One of two "superpowers" in the classic Maya period.
  • Coba
  • Naachtun – Rediscovered in 1922, it remains one of the most remote and least visited Maya sites. Located 44 km (27 miles) south-south-east of Calakmul, and 65 km (40 miles) north of Tikal, it is believed to have had strategic importance to, and been vulnerable to military attacks by, both neighbours. Its ancient name was identified in the mid-1990s as Masuul.
  • Palenque — in Chiapas, Mexico, known for its beautiful art and architecture
  • Tikal — One of two "superpowers" in the classic Maya period.

Olmec cities

Lost cities in the United States

Lost cities in Canada



See also

Clive Cussler

Born: July 15 1931 (1931--) (age 76)
Aurora, Illinois,
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Paul Kemprecos is an American writer of mysteries and adventure stories. He is a Shamus Award-winning author of six underwater detective thrillers, and has been co-writing with Clive Cussler the "NUMA Files" novels, which focus on Kurt Austin, head of NUMA's Special Assignments
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In political geography and international politics, a country is a political division of a geographical entity, a sovereign territory, most commonly associated with the notions of state or nation and government.
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"In God We Trust"   (since 1956)
"E Pluribus Unum"   ("From Many, One"; Latin, traditional)
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A language is a system of symbols and the rules used to manipulate them. Language can also refer to the use of such systems as a general phenomenon.
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Writing system: Latin (English variant) 
Official status
Official language of: 53 countries
Regulated by: no official regulation
Language codes
ISO 639-1: en
ISO 639-2: eng
ISO 639-3: eng  
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The thriller is a broad genre of literature, film, and television. It includes numerous, often overlapping sub-genres.

Thrillers are characterized by fast pacing, frequent action, and resourceful heroes who must thwart the plans of more-powerful and better-equipped villains.
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novel (from, Italian novella, Spanish novela, French nouvelle for "new", "news", or "short story of something new") is today a long prose narrative set out in writing.
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Publishing is the process of production and dissemination of literature or information – the activity of making information available for public view. In some cases, authors may be their own publishers.
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Putnam may be:


  • Putnam, Connecticut
  • Putnam County, Florida
  • Putnam County, Georgia
  • Putnam County, Illinois
  • Putnam County, Indiana
  • Putnam County, Missouri
  • Putnam County, New York
  • Putnam, New York (town)
  • Putnam County, Ohio

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A hardcover (or hardback or hardbound) is a book bound with rigid protective covers (typically of cardboard covered with cloth, heavy paper, or sometimes leather).
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Paperback, softback, or softcover describe and refer to a book by the nature of its binding. The book covers of such books are without cloth or leather, and are bound, usually, with glue rather than stitches or staples.
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International Standard Book Number, ISBN, is a unique[1] commercial book identifier barcode. The ISBN system was created in the United Kingdom, in 1966, by the booksellers and stationers W.H. Smith.
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Clive Cussler

Born: July 15 1931 (1931--) (age 76)
Aurora, Illinois,
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Kurt Austin is the hero of the NUMA Files series of books written by Clive Cussler and Paul Kemprecos.

Around 40 years of age, Austin is described as just over six feet tall, around two hundred pounds, having a big build with white hair and blue eyes.
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Edgar Allan Poe

This daguerreotype of Poe was taken in 1848 when he was 39, a year before his death.
Born: January 19 1809(1809--)
Boston, Massachusetts U.S.
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The Fall of the House of Usher

1894 illustration by Aubrey Beardsley.
Author Edgar Allan Poe
Country United States
Language English
Genre(s) Horror
Publication date September, 1839
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Krupp family, a prominent 400-year-old German dynasty from Essen, have become famous for their steel production and for their manufacture of ammunition and armaments. The family business, known as Friedrich Krupp AG Hoesch-Krupp
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In the popular imagination, lost cities were real, prosperous, well-populated areas of human habitation that fell into terminal decline and whose location was later lost.

Lost city may also refer to:

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Americas are the lands of the Western hemisphere or New World consisting of the continents of North America[1] and South America with their associated islands and regions. The Americas cover 8.3% of the Earth's total surface area (28.
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Southeast Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, and north of Australia.
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Arabian Peninsula (in Arabic: شبه الجزيرة العربية, or جزيرة العرب) is a peninsula in Southwest Asia at the junction of
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Iram of the Pillars (Arabic: إرَم ذات العماد,
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Iram of the Pillars (Arabic: إرَم ذات العماد,
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satellite is an object which has been placed into orbit by human endeavor. Such objects are sometimes called artificial satellites to distinguish them from natural satellites such as the Moon.
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Roanoke Colony on Roanoke Island in Dare County in present-day North Carolina was an enterprise financed and organized by Sir Walter Raleigh in the late 16th century to establish a permanent English settlement in the Virginia Colony.
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John White (c.1540 – c.1606) , flourishing 1585-1590, the Virginian pioneer and English colonist in America, sailed with Richard Grenville in 1585, and returned with Sir Francis Drake in 1586.
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Dieu et mon droit   (French)
"God and my right"
No official anthem specific to England — the anthem of the United Kingdom is "God Save the Queen".
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Malden Island (), formerly Independence Island, is a low, arid, uninhabited island in the central Pacific Ocean, about 39 km² in area. It is one of the Line Islands belonging to Republic of Kiribati.
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