Oldest cities

The Oldest Cities in the World

Humans have looked for a safe haven to sleep, eat and reproduce since the beginning of history. Within the process, they’ve found caves, trees or built houses to sleep in. Nowadays, with the advancement of technology, we can even build “smart houses” which can cover some of our basic needs. But where did it all start?

According to an 2005 research, the oldest homo sapiens remains (The Omo Remains), found in Ethiopia, date back to 195.000 years ago [1]. However, it is not possible to talk about cities for the time, in the modern sense, at least. So which one is the oldest city in the world? Although the answer is not certain, it is possible to make a list of the cities that have continously been inhabited since their establishments. Here’s the 10 oldest cities built by the mankind:

10. Gaziantep (Turkey)

A bazaar in Gaziantep, Turkey

A bazaar in Gaziantep, Turkey

Located in the South eastern part of Turkey, the metropolitan city of Gaziantep is thought to be inhabited since 3650 BC, which makes it the 10th oldest city in the world, that is still inhabited. [2]

9. Faiyum (Egypt)

Sunset in Al-Fayoum

Sunset in Al-Fayoum

100 kilometers away from Cairo, Faiyum is the oldest city in Egypt and one of the oldest cities in the entire continent of Africa. The city is thought to be inhabited since 4000 BC. [3]

8. Susa (Iran)

A Zigurrat in Shush

A Zigurrat in Shush

Continously inhabited since 5000 BC [4], Susa is nowadays called Shush and the 2005 count of the population was approximately 65.000.

7. Sidon (Lebanon)

Sidon Coast

Sidon Coast

There is evidence that Sidon was inhabited at around 4000 BC [5], however, the city could also date back to 6000 BC, to Neolithic times.

6. Byblos (Lebanon)

Byblos from the sea

Byblos from the sea

Settled since 7000 BC [6], Byblos or Jubayl in Arabic is a coastal city in Lebanon, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

5. Amesbury (UK, England)

Stonehenge near Amesbury

Stonehenge near Amesbury

Located near the famous Stonehenge, Amesbury has its population for the last 11.000 years.  [7]

4. Jericho (Palestine)

Walls of Jericho

Walls of Jericho

Jericho is thought to be inhabited since 9000 BC [8], with some intervals, though. Archeologists believe that the city was abandoned for hundreds of years in the past, to be rebuild and reinhabited later.

3. Damascus (Syria)

A Square in Damascus

A Square in Damascus

Capital of Syria today, Damascus is thought to be inhabited since 9000 BC [9], which makes it the 3rd oldest city in the world. Subject to a lot of conflicts today, the city has a population of 1.711.000.

2. Athens (Greece)

Pantheon - Athens

Pantheon – Athens

Although the city has been continuously inhabited for 6000-7000 years, archaeological evidence suggests that the earliest human presence in the city dates back to 13.000 years ago [10]. The city is now the capital of Greece.

1. Aleppo (Syria)

Aleppo Citadel

Aleppo Citadel

According to archaeological evidence found 25 kilometers around the city, Aleppo is inhabited for 13.000 years [11]. Today, the city has a population over 2.000.000 people.

So these are the 10 oldest cities in the world, with debatable dates, naturally. I find it really amazing how life has continued in those cities since the ancient times, which makes all of those cities worth seeing at least once! Interesting, isn’t it? If you want something more interesting, click on the link to check out the most interesting places in the world!

 

References

1. University Of Utah. (2005). The Oldest Homo Sapiens: Fossils Push Human Emergence Back To 195,000 Years Ago. ScienceDaily. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/02/050223122209.htm .

2. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/picturegalleries/6242644/The-worlds-oldest-cities.html?image=11

3. Overy et al. (1999:43); Aldred (1998:42,44)

4. Lendering, J. (2009). Susa. Livius. Amsterdam. http://www.livius.org/su-sz/susa/susa00.html

5. http://www.middleeast.com/sidon.htm

6. Ciasca, Antonia (2001). “Phoenicia”. In Sabatino Moscati. The Phoenicians. I.B.Tauris. p. 170.

7. Brown, M. (2014). “Britain’s oldest settlement is Amesbury not Thatcham, say scientists. http://www.theguardian.com/science/2014/may/01/oldest-britain-settlement-amesbury-wiltshire-stonehenge

8. Gates, Charles (2003). “Near Eastern, Egyptian, and Aegean Cities”. Ancient Cities: The Archaeology of Urban Life in the Ancient Near East and Egypt, Greece and Rome. Routledge. p. 18.

9. Burns, Ross (2007). Damascus: A History. Routledge. p. 2.

10. “v4.ethnos.gr – Οι πρώτοι… Αθηναίοι – τεχνες , πολιτισμος”. Ethnos.gr. http://www.ethnos.gr/article.asp?catid=22784&subid=2&pubid=2530782&tag=8796

11. http://www.mnn.com/lifestyle/eco-tourism/photos/12-oldest-continuously-inhabited-cities/aleppo-syria

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Dünyanın En Eski Şehirleri / The Oldest Cities in the World
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Dünyanın En Eski Şehirleri / The Oldest Cities in the World
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