We often read about old civilizations in school textbooks and sometimes it’s just amazing that some of the cities that we read about are still inhabited up to this day. In this article we will look at some of the oldest cities that have stood the test of time.
Jericho, Palestinian Territories
It is believed that Jericho is one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world and the city with the oldest known protective wall. Archaeologists unearthed evidences of settlement dating back to 9000 BCE. Being near the Dead Sea, Jericho became a popular destination among Palestinian tourists. Due to having several pilgrimage sites in and around the city, Christian tourism became one of Jericho’s main source of income.
Aleppo is the most populated city in Syria, having around 4.4 million citizens. Despite being an ancient city, Aleppo remains almost untouched by archaeologists since the modern city currently occupies the ancient sites. In 2012, some parts of the ancient city, including medieval buildings and sections of the Old City of Aleppo World Heritage Site were either destroyed, ruined or burned by armed groups who were fighting to take control of the city.
The ancient city of Jerusalem is the spiritual center and and is considered as a holy city by Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam). This ancient city has been captured 44 times, besieged 23 times, attacked 52 times and was destroyed twice.
Damascus is often cited as the world’s oldest inhabited city. Evidence of habitation show it has been inhabited as early as 10,000 BC. The city’s abundance in historical attractions made Damascus a well-known tourist destination, until the civil war began.
The Phoenicians founded the old city of Byblos as Gebal, whose name was given by the Greeks, who were then importing papyrus from the city. Byblos has been an inhabited for around 5000 years, but evidence of habitation date as far back as 7000 years ago.
Plovdiv boasts a number of ancient remains like the Ottoman bath, Roman amphitheater and aqueduct. Plovdiv was originally a Thracian settlement before the invasion of the Persians, Celts, Greek Goths, Romans, Huns Bulgarians
Athens is the largest city of Greece, as well as one of the oldest cities of the world. Signs of the earliest presence of settlement dates back between the 11th and 7th millennium BC. It is also known as the ancient home of philosophy and its Acropolis is a well-loved tourist destination.
Also known as Benares, Varanasi is considered as holy city for the Hindus and Buddhists. It is a city located on the banks of Ganges river. It was believed that Lord Shiva, a Hindu deity, founded Varanasi 5000 years ago. Evidence of habitation found in the city dates back to 3000 years.
Known for its beautiful shores lined with palm trees, the city of Larnaca was founded by the Phoenicians as Citium. Its archaeological sites and beaches attracts many travelers.
Described by the Arabs as the “Mother of Cities”, Balkh or Bactra, to the ancient Greeks, is one of the world’s oldest cities, as well as the center of Buddhism, Islam and Zoroastrianism. Nowadays, Balkh is known as a center of the cotton industry.
We hope you enjoyed reading this article on the 10 Oldest Cities in the World