10 Oldest Cities in the World

By | March 14, 2023

When you walk through the streets of an ancient city, it is fascinating to think that many centuries ago people lived and lived in the same place. The following ten cities are the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. It is not an exact science, by the way, Byblos, Damascus, and Jericho claim to be the oldest city. Check thefreegeography for list of top 10 largest peninsulas on earth.

10. Beirut, Lebanon

Earliest habitation: 3,000 BC.

Many of the oldest cities with constant habitation are in Lebanon. The first city we encounter is Beirut, formerly known as “Berytus”. Westerners also called Beirut “Paris of the East” thanks to its allure. During the Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990) the city was almost completely destroyed. In recent years, there has been a lot of reconstruction work.

9. Gaziantep, Turkey

Earliest habitation: 3,650 BC.

Originally the city was called Antep, which means “good source”. In 1920, the year of Turkey’s war of independence, the prefix Gazi, “combatant”, was added to the name. The current name Gaziantep means “indestructible source”.

8. Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Earliest habitation: 4,000 BC.

Plovdiv is the oldest city in Europe. The slogan of the city is therefore “ancient and eternal”. There are archaeological finds that show that around 6,000 BC. already people lived in the area. The current city was founded about 2,000 years later.

7. Sidon, Lebanon

Earliest habitation: 4,000 BC.

The name Sidon comes from Sidunu, which means “fish port”. Sidon was one of the oldest and most important Phoenician cities. Due to its favorable location on the Mediterranean coast, the Mediterranean trading empire was established from the port of Sidon.

6. El-Faiyum, Egypt

Earliest habitation: 4,000 BC.

The city is also called Medinet El-Faiyum, which means “City of Faiyum”. The city is located in the Faiyum oasis. This is not really an oasis, as it draws its water from Lake Birket Karoen. A real oasis draws its water from groundwater. The name Faiyum is derived from the Coptic word Phiom, meaning “sea”. This name refers to the lake Birket Karoen, which used to be much bigger than it is now.

5. Susa, Iran

Earliest habitation: 4,200 BC.

Susa was the capital of the Elamite Empire. The Elamites gave the city its name. They pronounced it “Susan”. After being annexed to the Babylonian Empire in a violent battle, the name was connected to the Semitic word “susan”, meaning lily

4. Damascus, Syria

Earliest habitation: 4,300 BC.

Damascus, the capital of Syria, now has 1.8 million inhabitants. The city is located in the middle of a large oasis on the edge of a desert-like area. Because of this location, the city is associated with the Garden of Eden. Several events described in the Bible are said to have taken place in and around Damascus. Like the birth of Abraham and the murder of Abel by his brother Cain.

3. Aleppo, Syria

Aleppo, Syria

Earliest habitation: 4,300 BC.

Aleppo has been the capital of two kingdoms: the Amorite kingdom of Yamkhad and the Aramean kingdom of Bit Agusi.
A red pepper, mainly grown near Aleppo, is called Aleppo pepper, named after the city.

2. Byblos, Lebanon

Byblos, Lebanon

Earliest habitation: 5,000 BC.

In the Bronze Age (c. 3,000 to 800 BC), Byblos was the main port for the export of cedar wood to Egypt. A lot of bark was also produced in the city, the raw material for papyrus. Therefore, later the holy scriptures of Christianity were copied in Byblos. It is believed that this is why the Bible was named after Biblos.
Byblos was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1984.

1. Jericho, Palestine

Jericho, Palestine

Earliest habitation: 9,000 BC.

Jericho has been destroyed and rebuilt twenty times in its long history.
The ruins of the destroyed cities formed an artificial mound 25 meters high and an area of ​​10 acres.
Jericho with its fertile soil, springs of water, oranges, dates and bananas is like a green carpet in the arid desert of the Jordan plain. In ancient times, Jericho was already called “the city of palms”.
The name Jericho probably comes from “jareach”, meaning moon. The city is believed to be named after the ancient Semitic moon god.