AO Magazine October November 2021

Ancient Origins IRAQ Tour

AO Magazine October November 2021

Everyone can name at least a few ancient kingdoms that they learned about in school, read about in a popular book, or watched someone discuss on a tv special or in a film. These are often stories about ancient Rome, Egypt, or Greece. But there are many other fascinating kingdoms that don’t receive the attention they deserve.

The lost kingdoms that we showcase in this issue are either kingdoms that don’t exist anymore, imaginary realms people once believed to be real, or forgotten empires that are often overlooked in the pages of history. For many of these kingdoms, all that is left today are their names, legends, and sometimes archaeological sites.

But those details may be enough to inspire an explorer who’s keen on adventure and solving mysteries. Their journeys may have been full of perils, but I wonder if the Portuguese explorers who ventured into unknown lands on a quest for Prester John and his fabled kingdom returned home satisfied that they had the courage to travel somewhere new. Of course they weren’t the only ones to set out in search of lost kingdoms.

I get the impression that despite their hardships and failure in finding the hidden land of Shambhala, the Roerich couple did enjoy their expeditions into hard-to-reach and little-investigated areas of Central Asia. The lost kingdom of Punt is another elusive land, one that researchers are still looking for. Finding the reasons behind Hatshepsut’s visits and what she brought home, as well as examining an ancient baboon skull, may help to finally solve this mystery.

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