5 Of the Oldest Cities in the World

1. Jericho, Palestine (9000 BC)

This historic city is located 258 meters below the sea level in an oasis of the Jordan Valley. Located on the west bank of the Jordan River, the city was referred in the Old Testament as the ‘City of Palm Trees’ due to its picturesque trees and the numerous springs in the area has made it an ideal site for human habitation. Archaeologists have unearthed many remains of earlier settlements that date back to as early as to 9000 BC, the beginning of the Holocene epoch of the human civilization. The city is now the administrative seat of the Jericho Governorate and believed to be the oldest continuously inhabited city with a present population of around 20,000 exporting fruits, flower and spices.

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2. Athens, Greece (5000 BC)

Built around a number of hills, this ancient city was earlier a powerful city-state; a center for arts, literature & philosophy, and is the place of Plato’s Academy and Aristotle’s Lyceum. Athens is also considered to be the birth place of democracy because of its huge impacts on the cultural and political front over the Attica region in its golden days. Athens has been inhabited for the 7000 years and at present; it is the capital and the largest city of Greece with a population of around 3,000,000. The cave of Schist is the testimony to the earliest human presence in Athens and Athens houses two UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Acropolis of Athens and the medieval Daphni Monastery.

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3. Byblos. Lebanon (5000 BC)

Founded by the Phoenicians as Gebal, the Greeks gave this great city the present name Byblos. It has the remains of well-built uniform houses that reveal the first sign of a town. This modern city is located at 42 kilometers north of Beirut, and is a major tourist attraction with a population of around 40000 people. This Mediterranean city comes under the Mount Lebanon Governorate of present-day Lebanon. According to the archaeologists this old city was built by Cronus and has been continuously inhabited since around 500 BC. Byblos has a rich heritage and is famous for the spectacular structures including the ancient the Bronze Age monumental temples, Persian fortifications, roads built by the Romans and majestic Byzantine churches.

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4. Aleppo, Syria (4300 BC)

Aleppo is the largest city in Syria with a population of more than 2,000,000. Though the city has passed many hands, after the Hittite control, including the Assyrian, Greek, Persian, and later capsized by the Romans, Byzantines and Arabs, Aleppo was also taken by the Mongols and Ottomans as well it is still live with a history of continuous habitation. As the modern city is located on the ancient site, the city was barely touched by the archaeologists, but excavations carried out at Tell as-Sawda and Tell al-Ansari, just south of the old city of Aleppo supports the believed antiquity Aleppo. Due to its strategic location, Aleppo was popular amongst the settlers who took advantage of the silk route.

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5. Plovdiv, Bulgaria (4000 BC)

Plovdiv is the second largest city in Bulgaria with a population of over 300000. It is a rich history that spans 6000 years with Neolithic settlements that of early as 4000 BC. Originally a Thracian city, it later went under the control of the Greeks, Romans and afterwards the Ottomans before becoming a part of Bulgaria. Situated on the two banks of the Maritsa River, Plovdiv has developed on seven syenite hills and is often called the ‘The City of the Seven Hills’. Archaeologists have discovered Neolithic settlements and also fine pottery and other objects of everyday life that testify antiquity of the area. Plovdiv is a major cultural center boasting many ancient structures like Roman amphitheatre and Turkish baths.

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