Archaeology is a fascinating study that helps stitch together the history of humanity. From digging up historic sites and accurately determining the age of the discoveries, we can learn from our past. So, what are some of the oldest cities in the world? These cities were geographically positioned in prime locations that allowed the practice of facilitating trade and movement of people and goods. The following five cities are among the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world.
The capital city of Syria dates back to 10000 to 8000 years BC. It is located between Africa and Asia; making it the crossroads between the east and the west. The influence of the many civilizations that ruled this area is reflected in its architecture. Now Damascus is home to about 2.5 million people, and many tourists flood the city to take in the breathtaking structures.
The cradle of the Western civilization, Athens is the capital of Greece and has been inhabited for about 7000 years. It is the home of many philosophers, artists, and writers. The modern metropolitan city has a population of 3 million and is the cultural, political educational, media, and industrial center of Greece. The historic landmark of Acropolis sits among the remnants of ancient buildings reminding visitors of the city’s glorious past.
Byblos is one of the oldest cities in the Phoenician civilization. It has been continuously inhabited for over 5000 years. The English word Bible was derived from the word Byblos. This is due to Byblos being an important port city through where papyrus was imported. With many Ancient citadels and temples overlooking picturesque views of the Mediterranean, Byblos has now become a popular tourist destination.
India is the birthplace of many ancient civilizations, religions, and spirituality. Situated on the banks of the river Ganges, the history of Varanasi goes back to the 12th century BC. Also known as Benares, this holy city has long been a destination for pilgrimages. Varanasi is a center for arts and crafts where many poets, artisans, and musicians reside. Mark Twain once described
“Benares is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend, and looks twice as old as all of them put together.”
This city is composed of many scattered villages. It boasts 2500 years of history, and translates to “place of flight.” This city was considered the most beautiful city outside of Spain during the Spanish conquest. Now Cholula is a colonial town of 60000 residents. Its greatest attraction is the great pyramid of Cholula with a sanctuary at the helm. This structure is considered the largest human-made monument ever built.
The richhistories that these cities narrate construct our cultural evolution; history museums without any enclosures. Echoing the words of Lord Acton, “History is not a burden on the memory but an illumination of the soul.”