5 Oldest Cities in the World That Are Still Around

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If you talk about the oldest city in the United States, that would be St. Augustine, Florida, with four and a half centuries of history. But in some parts of the world, St. Augustine would be considered the new part of town. The Middle East in particular has cities that are thousands of years old, with names you may recognize from the Bible. The oldest cities on Earth blend modern living with the traditions and lifestyles of their era.

5 Athens, Greece

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Athens is not only the capital and largest city of Greece with a population of about 725,000, but it has a renowned history that goes back about 7000 years. In its golden age, Athens was the cradle of Western civilization, with remarkable advances in art, literature, architecture and philosophy that still are widely studied today. Athens is known for the Acropolis, which was one of the Seven Wonders of the World, and for being the birthplace of democracy as a form of government.

4 Aleppo, Syria

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Although archeologists have not concluded the exact age of Aleppo, their research has estimated that this city has been inhabited since about 5000 BC. It’s in the northwestern part of Syria, about 193 miles from Damascus, and is the largest city in Syria. Aleppo has a population of about 2.1 million. Historically, it was important in trade because of its roads that spread as far as China to the east and Europe to the west.

3 Byblos, Lebanon

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Byblos has been continually inhabited since about 5000 BC, making it the third oldest continually inhabited city in the world. It’s built on a cliff of sandstone on the Mediterranean coast of present-day Lebanon, about 26 miles north of Beirut, with a population of about 40,000. Byblos is known for its structures such as temples and churches that have been built throughout the ages. These include the beginnings of Phoenician civilization through the Medieval days, to the antique dwellings of monumental temples built in the Bronze Age, and the Persian fortifications, as well as a Roman road and Byzantine churches.

2 Damascus, Syria

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Damascus is the second oldest inhabited city of the world, and its existence goes back to 6300 BC. It has a population of about 1.7 million, and is located at the crossroads of the Orient and the Occident, between Africa and Asia. It was once the center of flourishing craft industries that specialized in swords and lace, and to this day it remains an important cultural and commercial center. The Bible makes many references to the city of Damascus beginning with Abraham at the time of Sodom and Gomorrah.

1 Jericho, Israel

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Jericho is considered to be the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world, dating back to about 9000 BC. Situated below sea level, Jericho is near the Jordon River in the West Bank of the Palestinian territories and has a population of about 20,000. The Bible records this city as the one where Jesus healed Bartimaeus and dined with Zacchaeus. It’s known as the “City of Palm Trees” because of its picturesque trees and abundance of beautiful springs, which supplies the city with irrigation to grow its many gardens of fruit, flowers and spices that are exported throughout the world.

  • Show Comments (0)

  • WakkaWakkaWakkaWhat

    Jericho is not in Israel.

  • Fibinachi Guest

    Palestine is not a country. Maybe someday it will be, but until then Jericho is in Israel.

  • Zyp Fibinachi

    Incorrect, sir. Jericho is clearly shown as being in West Bank. West Bank may be occupied by a majority of Israelis, but by no means whatsoever is it actually a part of Israel. It is not officially recognized as being a territory of Israel, nor should it ever be. Those who wish it to be a part of Israel are dreaming. Theres a reason the land is being disputed and Ill be damned if its because the Palestinians are trying to “steal” it. That region is a circus act at this point and its an utter disgrace to mankind. Until the day comes that West Bank no longer appears on any map and is filled in by the state of Israel, It is still West Bank, not Israel. Even then, that is still debatable.

  • Vincent Gladue Zyp

    steal what their land back?

  • Hanoisteve Fibinachi

    The occupied territories, not part of Isreal…… yet.

  • Georgey P Fibinachi

    Its internationally recognised and meets all the requirements of the pan american union convention, which is often referenced when deciding whether or not a power is a state or not; so yea, it is a country.

  • Fibinachi Georgey P

    A nation is not a country. A country has borders and sovereignty.

  • fadsafsdafs Georgey P

    Nazi Germany was recognised and meets all the requirement, why did we overthrow them?

  • KH

    Jericho is in Palestine, not Israel. Get your facts straight.

  • satiani

    Jericho is not in Israel by any measure, except colonialist maps released by state of Israel.

  • ThatSpuds

    Im a jew who gets really pissed off at all the pro-Israel bullshit just like this “Oh yeah, the oldest inhabited city is TOTALLY ours! So is Chicago!”

  • SpeedRacer

    The Flintstones was set in Jericho.

  • Jasin Afana

    Israel occupied Palestine and Jericho is a city in Palestine. Therefore you shouldnt say “Palestine is not a country. Maybe someday it will be, but until then Jericho is in Israel” Mr. Fibinachi … as you know this fact and everybody in the world know this fact. So what are you saying is (STUPID)! 😉

  • Clint Irwin

    Jericho was not continually inhabited, and had gaps as long as 500 years

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