top of page

Top 10 oldest cities in the world still inhabited

Cities were founded and then destroyed. This has been a true fact for as long as there have been cities. Most of the ancient cities of the earliest cities in human history are long gone. Most of them are now ruins or archaeological sites and sometimes their whereabouts are completely unknown. But on the contrary, there are some ancient cities that are thousands of years old and still exist a lot. These cities, founded several thousand years ago, are still inhabited. People still live in those people to this day. Want to know where you can experience ancient history like no other place without having to visit an uninhabited archaeological site? The following ranking lists the 10 oldest cities in the world that are still inhabited to this day.

The Parthenon in Athens, one of the oldest cities in the world still inhabited. But not a Top 10 oldest cities.
The Parthenon in Athens, one of the oldest cities in the world still inhabited. But not a Top 10 oldest cities.

TOP 10 OLDEST CITIES STILL INHABITED

1. JERICHO

Founded in ~9,600 years BC

2. BYBLOS

Founded in ~8,800 years BC

3. DAMASCUS

Founded in ~6,300 BC

4. RAY

Founded in ~5,500 BC

5. ARGOS

Founded in ~5,000 years BC

6. ALEPPO

Founded in ~4,300 years BC

7. ERBIL

Founded in ~4,000 years BC

8. GAZIANTEP

Founded in ~ 3,600 years BC

9. LUXOR

Founded in ~3,200 years BC

10. BEIRUT

Founded in ~3,000 years BC


10 oldest cities in the world still inhabited


1. Jericho

Founded in: ~9,600 years BC (~11,600 years old)

Jericho
Jericho

Today part of: West Bank, Palestine

Population today: 22,000

Jericho is the oldest city in the world still inhabited to this day. The first permanent settlement in the city area occurred around 9,600 BC. Jericho is also known as the oldest walled city in the world. The famous Jericho City Wall is the oldest city wall ever found, dating back to 8,000 BC. Although the city has been abandoned a few times throughout its history, mainly due to climate change, Jericho has always been resettled. Today, the oldest city in the world is located in the West Bank region of the Palestinian territory. About 22,000 people call the oldest city in the world their home today.


 

2. Byblos

Founded in: ~8,800 years BC (~10,800 years old)

Byblos
Byblos

Today part of: Mount Lebanon Governorate, Lebanon

Population today: 40,000


Byblos is the second oldest city in the world still inhabited. The city is located right on the Mediterranean coast of Levante. It was originally founded around 8,800 BC. The port city was repeatedly abandoned and resettled during its first 3,800 years of existence, but has continued to be inhabited since around 5,000 BC. This makes Byblos the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world. The city was, and still is, known under many different names. It was the ancient Greeks who called the city Byblos. Byblos was of great importance to the Greeks, as Egyptian papyrus was exported to Greece from the city's seaport.

The world's best-selling and most important religious book in history, the Bible, also takes its name from the city of Byblos. Today, Byblos is part of Lebanon's Mount Lebanon Leadership. About 40,000 people live in the city that is thousands of years old.

 

3. Damascus

Founded in: ~6,300 BC (~8,300 years old)

A typical modern neighborhood in Damascus
A typical modern neighborhood in Damascus

Today part of: Governor of Damascus, Syria

Population today: 1.7 million


Damascus is the third oldest city still inhabited and also the oldest current capital in the world. The city was founded around 6,300 BC. Like many settlements in the area, it was constantly abandoned and then resettled. However, since about 2,000 BC, the city has been regularly inhabited. The name "Damascus" is Syro-Aramaic and can be literally translated as "watered land". Due to its very favorable location both geographically and politically, the city quickly developed into one of the most important cities in the region. It has also always been known as a multicultural metropolis. Since 1946, Damascus is now the capital of the country of Syria. There are about 1.7 million people living in the city.


 

4. Ray

Founded in: ~5,500 years BC (~7,500 years old)

Modern Ray
Modern Ray

Today part of: Tehran Province, Iran

Population today: 250,000

Ray (or Shahr-e Rey) is the fourth oldest of the still inhabited cities in the world. The city dates back to around 5,500 BC. The city once belonged to the most important cities of ancient Iran (aka Persia). Originally named Rhages, the city was once the capital of the Parthian Empire. However, Ray's importance waned quite a bit after nearby Tehran (which is the capital of present-day Iran) began to dominate the region. However, Ray is the oldest surviving city in Iran. Part of the province of Tehran, today it has a population of about 250,000.


 

5. Argos

Founded in: ~5,000 BC (~7,000 years old)

The Old Theater of Argos
The Old Theater of Argos

Today part of: Peloponnese region, Greece

Population today: 22,000


Argos is the fifth oldest city still inhabited in the world. At the same time, the city is also the oldest still inhabited city in Europe. Argos can trace its origins back to around 5,000 BC. The population of the city fluctuates quite a bit over time and with that comes its importance. However, Argos reached its absolute height in importance in 808 BC, when it served as the founding city of the Argead dynasty (also known as the "House of Argos"). The most prominent member of the Argeadians, Alexander the Great, later became known as the greatest military commander in the world, who created one of the greatest empires in human history. Argos is not so important today, but it is actually still inhabited after more than 7,000 years. About 22,000 people call the city in the Peloponnese Region of modern-day Greece their home.


 

6. Aleppo

Founded in: ~ 4,300 BC (~ 6,300 years old)

The downtown area of Aleppo in 2016
The downtown area of Aleppo in 2016

Today part of: Government of Aleppo, Syria

Population today: 1.9 million


 

7. Erbil

Founded in: ~4,000 BC (~6,000 years old)

Erbil city center
Erbil city center

Today part of: Kurdistan Region, Iraq

Population today: 880,000


 

8. Gaziantep

Founded in: ~ 3,600 BC (~ 5,600 years old)

Gaziantep
Gaziantep

Today part of: Southeast Anatolia, Turkey

Population today: 1.5 million


 

9. Luxor

Founded in: ~3,200 BC (~5,200 years old)

Luxor
Luxor

Today part of: Luxor Administration, Egypt

Population today: 510,000


 

10. Beirut

Founded in: ~3,000 BC (~5,000 years old)

Beirut
Beirut

Today part of: Beirut State, Lebanon

Population today: 360,000


 

10 oldest cities still inhabited

TOP 10 OLDEST CITIES STILL INHABITED

1. JERICHO

Founded in ~9,600 years BC


2. BYBLOS

Founded in ~8,800 years BC


3. DAMASCUS

Founded in ~6,300 BC


4. RAY

Founded in ~5,500 BC


5. ARGOS

Founded in ~5,000 years BC


6. ALEPPO

Founded in ~4,300 years BC


7. ERBIL

Founded in ~4,000 years BC


8. GAZIANTEP

Founded in ~ 3,600 years BC


9. LUXOR

Founded in ~3,200 years BC


10. BEIRUT

Founded in ~3,000 years BC



The 10 oldest cities in the world are still inhabited today, based on their founding year.


 


See more posts:












Related Posts

See All

Comments

Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
bottom of page