Google Earth's new feature shows lost civilisations from space

Google Earth's new feature shows lost civilisations from space

Google Earth's new feature shows lost civilisations from space

Updated 21 April 2017, 18:40 AEST

Ever wondered what became of the great civilisations of the past 10,000 years?

Ever thought about a great lost civilisation — the Maya of Central America, say, or the Indus of South-East Asia — and thought: what does that ancient site look like now?

Google's got you covered.

A new feature from the tech giant, called Lost Civilisations, lets you explore, using Google Earth technology, those parts of the world in the present day.

Some, like the Nabaya Playa — home to a small community 10,000 years ago in what is now the Egyptian Sahara — are little more than empty expanses of desert.

Other places are still occupied. Collinsville, in suburban Illinois, was a thriving Indigenous community known as Cahokia between 600 and 1400AD. Google's tool lets you explore what remains (spoiler: not much).

Here are a few of the other lost civilisations, and how those locations look today.

Niya, China, a city on the Silk Road 1,600 years ago

Cahokia, United States, a city of earthen mounds built before Europeans arrived

Angkor Wat, Cambodia, a massive urban centre during the Khmer Empire, 1000-1200AD

The Minaret of Jam, Afghanistan, built in the 1100s

The Maya, Mexico, a thriving empire in the first millennium AD

Catalhoyuk, central Turkey, was a community without roads 7,000-9,000 years ago

Indus or Harappan, Pakistan, a major population centre abandoned 3,000 years ago

Gobekli Tepe, Turkey, a nest-like structure of walls more than 10,000 years old

Nabta Playa, Egypt, a community between 7,000 and 6,500 BC