Recalling ice age. The Oldest Inhabited Cities on the Planet
The first cities have appeared on our planet thousands of years ago; the fact that some of them still continue to evolve seems incredible. Today ancient settlements attract not only scientists and archaeologists, but also travelers who want to see unique historical monuments and walk through the streets, which has being seethed with life during previous eras. Unique ancient monuments and rich history are not the only distinguishing features of the oldest towns in the world. They attract travelers with special rhythm of life and unique atmosphere of harmony and peace, which no one could break for thousands of years.
The oldest inhabited city in the world is Jericho. According to scientists, the first fortifications in its place were built about 6800 BC. However, the age of some archaeological artifacts found in exploring the modern city are more than 11,000 years old, which means that the territory of modern Jericho began to attract people much earlier. Currently, the city is the capital of the eponymous province; it’s home to about 20,000 people.
Amazing Biblical city has a wealth of ancient sites. The oldest historic district is located in the western part. Here you can see the ruins of ancient buildings, including ancient burial and the surviving part of fortification walls, which were built during the Bronze Age. Scientists were able to detect an impressive age of the city quite recently, less than a hundred years ago.
In 1930, archeologist John Garstang came to Jericho, and in the mid-20th century, the territory of the city was explored by Kathleen Mary Kenyon. Scientists have done a great job and followed the most important stages of development of the city. They managed to establish that in the Bronze Age Jericho was one of the largest and most prosperous cities in the world. The modern city is in many ways inferior to large metropolises, both in its population and scale; however, its main asset is the rich cultural and historical heritage. Jericho is a huge open-air museum; each element of its infrastructure and its way of life are unique. Next - Byblos
Phoenician city of Byblos, which is nowadays called Jubayl, is also among the oldest cities in the world. In biblical times, it was called Hebe; for thousands of years the city has changed several names, but it hasn’t lost its historic charm and mystery. Ancient fortifications, which were discovered by archaeologists, date back to 3000 BC, while the first traces of settlements are much older and belong to 7000 BC. Even in ancient times Byblos had the status of a major transportation hub and one of the world's largest trading centers. Complete article
Jerusalem is one of the most beautiful and exciting cities in the Middle East and one of the oldest cities in the world, whose history dates back to 2800 BC. Many travelers know it as the location of priceless religious shrines. It’s visited by followers of the Christianity, as well as Judaism and Islam. Complete article
Plovdiv is the oldest city in Bulgaria and one of oldest cities in the world that never ceases to attract with its cultural and historical charm. According to scientists, it was founded in 4000 BC, so the city is over 6,000 years old. Currently, the city is home to about 400,000 people; it’s the second largest settlement of the country after the capital. Complete article
Mantova is the legendary city of the Etruscans, which was founded in 2000 BC. Advantageous location near the waterways made the city incredibly attractive in eyes of the conquerors, so during its long history, Mantova was often the site of fierce military confrontations. The formation of the city's culture was influenced not only by the tribes of the Gauls and Etruscans, but the Roman Empire as well. Modern art historians and fans of poetry know Mantova as the birthplace of the greatest Roman poet, Vergil. Complete article
One of the oldest cities in the world can be found in Syria. Damascus has gained worldwide fame through its interesting and culturally rich history. The age of archaeological artifacts discovered during exploration of the city is about 12,000 years. Those are evidences of first settlements. However, a major city was founded on the site of Damascus much later, in the 15th century BC. Aramean tribes are considered its founders. Complete article
The real leader of the planet by the number of old cities is Lebanon. The beautiful city of Beyrouth, whose history dates back more than 5000 years ago, is situated there. According to scientists, the city was founded no later than 3000 BC. Today Beyrouth is the capital of Lebanon and the most populous city in the country. It’s noteworthy that the exact number of its population isn’t known, as the last census was conducted in 1932. Complete article
Amazing Athens has long been synonymous with bright ancient culture. Founded in 1400 BC, this Greek city has being improving for over 3,500 years. It has to endure a lot of important events, periods of decline and prosperity. Travelers associate Athens with unique ancient monuments, beautiful myths of ancient Greece and the names of prominent philosophers. The culture of this ancient city is extremely interesting and original. Complete article
From a historical point of view, one of the most interesting cities in Turkey is Gaziantep. According to one version, the city was founded in 3650 BC, but many scientists tend to believe that the age of the ancient city is much more. The Golden Age of the ancient city was the period of the Roman Empire; thousands of years ago Gaziantep has been a thriving center of arts and crafts. Confirmation of this are wonderful Roman mosaics found in its territory, which have been restored and are now stored in one of the city's museums. Complete article
The city of Susa in Iran is one of the oldest cities in the world, it was founded no later than 4200 BC. The first settlement in its place appeared 3,000 years earlier; during the study scientists have discovered prehistoric rock carvings and pottery indicating high culture of the early settlers. In the 5th century BC, the city was the capital of Šušan; rulers of the ancient state, and later the Persian kings chose the rich city to live in. Complete article
Travelers who are interested in history of the ancient world should definitely visit the city of Balkh, in Afghanistan. Its history goes back to more than 3500 years, to 1500 BC. Population of the modern city is about 80,000 people, but it’s still difficult to imagine that a few thousand years ago it has been ten times more. The heyday of the ancient city coincided with the heyday of the Silk Road, in those days, Balkh had the status of the greatest city and at least a million people have been living on its territory. Complete article
Speaking about the oldest cities in the world, it’s worth to mention wonderful Thebes, founded in 1400 BC. A story of the city is extremely interesting, it involves a lot of beautiful myths. According to one of them, the founder of Thebes and powerful Cadmea was the son of the Phoenician king Agenor, Cadmium. Ancient city of Greece was a place of many outstanding mythical events; one of the most important among them is considered a campaign against the seven kings of Thebes. Complete article