10 The Oldest Cities In The World

Today there are more than two and a half million cities in the world. And only ten of them can boast of an ancient history that goes back thousands of years. So, what are the oldest cities in the world that are still flourishing and attracting many tourists from all over the world?

oldest cities

Oldest cities in the world

10.
Damascus, Syria (c. 2500 BC)
oldest cities, Damascus, Syria
The capital of Syria, Damascus, has been inhabited since ancient times. Some argue that the first mention of it dates back to 2500 BC. e. But a number of scientists are sure that Damascus originated 6 thousand years ago.

The city is mentioned in the Old Testament, it belonged to Jews, Assyrians, Persians, Alexander the Great, Romans, Arabs and Crusaders. All have left a major mark on its history.

Today, Damascus is home to about 1.7 million people. It was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1979.

10 oldest cities in the world that still exist today


09.
Beirut, Lebanon (c. 3000 BC)
oldest cities, Beirut, Lebanon
Excavations in the Lebanese capital have revealed the remains of Phoenician, Hellenistic, Roman, Arab and Ottoman settlements. It is believed to have been inhabited as early as 3000 BC.

The first historical mention of Beirut appeared on cuneiform clay tablets - the Amarna writings in the 1300s BC.

Today Beirut, with a population of about 2.1 million, is Lebanon's largest city.

oldest city in the world


08.
Gaziantep, Turkey (c. 3650 BC)
Gaziantep, Turkey
The ancient city of Gaziantep is one of the largest in Turkey. It was founded by the Hittites, an Indo-European people who mainly lived in Syria and Palestine.

In the Middle Ages, it was considered an important point on the Great Silk Road, as it connected the largest cities of the Ancient East. Here they traded in spices, fabrics, carpets.

Today Gaziantep is home to more than one and a half million people, and the city itself is the center of light industry in the state.


07.
Saida, Lebanon (c. 4000 BC)
Saida, Lebanon
Saida is the third largest city in Lebanon, with a population of about 170,000. Located on the Mediterranean coast about 41 km south of Beirut. In ancient times it was one of the most important city-states in Phenicia. It is believed that it was inhabited as early as 4 thousand years BC.

06.
El-Fayyum, Egypt (circa 4000 BC)
El-Fayyum, Egypt

El-Fayyum is a city in Central Egypt, located 130 km south of Cairo. It was founded around 4000 BC. BC, making it the oldest city in Africa.

During the Middle Kingdom (the era of the history of Ancient Egypt between 2040 and 1783 (or 1640) BC), the city was the center of royal tombs and pyramidal structures.

The cultural heritage of the city is very rich, and among the archaeological finds were the so-called Fayum portraits - funerary portraits in Roman Egypt of the 1st – 3rd centuries. They were buried along with the mummified bodies. Thanks to the dry desert area in El Fayyum, the portraits have survived to this day. About 700 specimens were excavated. Many of them are in the British Museum, Louvre, Metropolitan Museum in New York.

05.
Byblos, Lebanon (circa 4000 BC)
Byblos, Lebanon
Byblos is an ancient city in central Lebanon that was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1984.

The area is believed to have been inhabited since 4000 BC. It is located on a sheltered hill by the sea, where there were two bays, which made the location very favorable and safe. In ancient times it was an important port city. Exported papyrus, known in ancient Greece as "byblos".

Today, Byblos has about 3,000 inhabitants. The city remains an important tourist attraction in the country, where you can visit the ancient ruins - the necropolis of the kings of Byblos, the amphitheater, part of the Roman street with columns, etc.


04.
Plovdiv, Bulgaria (c. 6000-5000 BC)
Plovdiv, Bulgaria
Plovdiv is the second largest city in Bulgaria, second in terms of population only to the capital - Sofia. He is older than Rome, Athens, Carthage and Constantinople. He was a contemporary of ancient Troy. The current city lies on the remains of many former settlements, which determines its rich cultural heritage. The oldest traces on the territory of today's Plovdiv date back to the sixth millennium BC. e., when the first permanent settlements arose in the Neolithic.

Throughout its history, it belonged to the Roman, Byzantine, and Nicene, and Ottoman empires. It became part of Bulgaria only in 1885.

Now Plovdiv is home to about 370 thousand people.


03.
Aleppo, Syria (c. 6000 BC)
Aleppo, Syria

Aleppo is said to have been founded by the Phoenicians around 3000 BC. e. However, historical finds point to older structures. It is believed that this place was inhabited as early as 6000 BC. Aleppo is mentioned in Mari inscriptions on Euphrates, in central Anatolia and in the city of Ebla, where it is described as a center of trade and art.

Today Aleppo is the most populous city in Syria with a population of about two million.


02.
Susa, Iran (c. 7000 BC)
Susa, Iran
The Iranian city of Susa was located near ancient Mesopotamia and became known as the capital of the ancient state of Elam. The city is mentioned in early Sumerian documents. It is believed that the first traces of habitation date back to 7000 BC. e. 

Today Susa has a population of about 65,000. Mostly Shia Muslims and Persian Jews live here.


01.
Jericho, West Bank (c. 10,000 BC)
Jericho, West Bank
Jericho is located on the West Bank of the Jordan River within the Palestinian territory. It is considered the oldest inhabited city in the world, which was probably inhabited as early as 10,000-9600 BC.

Originally Jericho was inhabited by hunters and gatherers of the Natufian culture. And in the Middle Bronze Age, it was already a thriving city. During its history, it was repeatedly destroyed. The last time was during the battles between the crusaders and the Muslims of Jericho. It lay in ruins until the 19th century.

Today Jericho has about 20,000 inhabitants.

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