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Monday, March 31, 2008

MADD SICK - List of oldest continuously inhabited cities - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This is a list of the oldest, still surviving, towns and cities in the world. There are some points of contention here and care should be taken when using the list below. The cities have been listed because either the archaeological record has shown, or documents have supported the claim, that the settlement was in existence at the time given. However, presence here should in no way indicate that there is total consensus over the date the city was founded — differences in opinion can result from different definitions of "city" (usually relating to the population size) as well as "continuously inhabited" (relating to changing population size; changes in location and changes in name). Additionally, where an approximate date has been given, the date was treated as the lower end of the estimate for the purposes of the table.

The definition of "continuously inhabited city" for the purposes of this list was that there must be evidence to show that the city had been constantly settled by a population of more than 250 for the entire time since the date shown. This is different from there simply being 'evidence of human occupation in the area' and that it may well be different from the numerous other definitions of the term 'city' that are in use. In spite of all this, several cities listed here (Aleppo, Arbil, Byblos and Hebron) each claim to be 'the oldest city in the world'. An attempt has been made to discuss the validity of each of their claims alongside their stated position in the table.

Name  ↓ Location  ↓ Approximate time founded  ↓ Note(s)
Jericho Palestinian flag Palestine 9,000 BC[1][2] Evidence indicates that the city was abandoned several times, and later expanded and rebuilt several times.[3]
Byblos Flag of Lebanon Lebanon 5,000 BC[4] Carbon-dating tests have set the age of earliest settlement around 7000±80[5]
Damascus Flag of Syria Syria 4,300 BC[6]-3000 BC[7] Excavations at Tel Ramad on the outskirts of the city have demonstrated that Damascus was inhabited as early as 8000 to 10,000 BC.[8] However, Damascus is not documented as an important city until the coming of the Aramaeans which is the date used in this table. See reference for presence of urban life among cattle herders at this date — also due to land fertility and constant water source.
Aleppo Flag of Syria Syria 4,300 Originating in the early second ‎millennium BC,[9] Syria's second-largest city, Aleppo, vies with Damascus for the title of the world's oldest ‎continuously inhabited city. Both can demonstrate occupation for more than 8,000 years[10]
Susa Flag of Iran Iran 4200 BC[11] As a city, up to 7500 years of inhabitation
Sidon Flag of Lebanon Lebanon 4,000 BC and perhaps, earlier[12] There is evidence that Sidon was inhabited as long ago as 4000 B.C., and perhaps, as early as Neolithic times (6000 - 4000 B.C.)[12]
Medinat Al-Fayoum (as Crocodilopolis or Arsinoe) Flag of Egypt Egypt 4,000 BC[13]
Gaziantep Flag of Turkey Turkey 3,650 BC This is disputed, although most modern scholars place the Classical Antiochia ad Taurum at Gaziantep, some maintain that it was in fact located at Aleppo. Furthermore, that the two cities occupy the same site is far from established fact (see Gaziantep). Assuming this to be the case, the date of founding the present site would be in the region of 1,000 BC. (see Gaziantep)
Hebron Palestinian flag Palestine 3,500 BC[citation needed]
Harappa Flag of Pakistan Pakistan 3,300 BC
Beirut Flag of Lebanon Lebanon 3,000 BC or earlier[14]
Athens Flag of Greece Greece 3,000 BC[15]
Hamadan (as Ecbatana) Flag of Iran Iran 3,000 BC
Varanasi Flag of India India 3,000 BC[16]
Kutaisi Flag of Georgia (country) Georgia 3,000 BC
Jerusalem Flag of Israel Israel / Palestinian flag Palestine 2,800 BC[17]
Tyre Flag of Lebanon Lebanon 2,750 BC[18]
Arbil Flag of Iraq Iraq 2,300 BC or earlier[19]
Kirkuk (as 'Arrapha') Flag of Iraq Iraq 3,000-2,200 BC[20]
Mohenjo-daro Flag of Pakistan Pakistan 2,600 BC
Balkh (as Bactra) Flag of Afghanistan Afghanistan ca. 1,500 BC Balkh is one of the oldest settlements of the region.
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